Parler Photogéniquement Paris (Photogenically Speaking Paris)
When the skies are blue and the air is warm, Paris is sublime. That describes this past weekend…and with it came a long list of things to happily do outdoors in summery clothing.
Of all the possibilities, the one that struck us best was to simply stroll along the Quai Branly to peruse the third Biennale des Images du Monde opposite the Musée du Quai Branly known as “Photoquai” and then wander to the Eiffel Tower, down the Champs de Mars and to the environs.
The Photoquai opened on the 13th of September and runs until the fateful date of 11-11-11 — a concept to “give non-Western photography a chance to compare points of view in order to renew, or even challenge conventional perspective of the world, while energizing the relation between photography and ethnological museums.”
There is nothing not to love about this exhibition, particularly under such magnificent atmospheric conditions — the Seine on one side, the Musée du Quai Branly on the other and La Grande Dame looming overhead in the background.
The photography is world class (pun intended) and emotionally moving. The photos of Colombian artist Julián Lineros of the mud-encrusted paramilitary will make you want to run home and take a long, hot shower. China’s Yue Liu’s series of mountains made up of floral-printed fabrics set against cloudy skies on round canvases will have you yearning for a new dress of the same design. And my favorites by Mohan Verma from India providing a glimpse of the Indian culture in both traditional and non-traditional garb on faceless/headless wonders has you seeing yourself placed within her settings.
Then, she gives you the chance! Along the route, there is a Photomaton offered for 3 per print to insert your own face (or two) into one of her images. It’s impossible to explain why no one else seemed to be taking advantage of it until I stepped in and came out with the treasure of a photo of me as an Indian bride…then a line formed so that others could have as much fun!
For more information, visit photoquai.fr/
A few steps later we landed under the iron canopy of the Eiffel Tower. There is an energy within that space that gives a sense of security, like the loving arms of a mother. It is so visually stunning — all that lacy ironwork overhead — or from any perspective for that matter — that I wonder what possessed the Parisians to consider tearing it down for even one second.
The entire length of the Champ de Mars was dotted with picnickers, strollers and Sunday afternoon leisure-seekers. One young couple was seriously enthralled in hot lovemaking on the grassy plain and no one seemed to care or bother to interrupt them.
Half-way down the Champ de Mars the 7th edition of “Famillathlon” was taking place — activities designed to promote sports and health for all ages. For those who wanted to do a little boxing, practice a little judo or hit the bullseye with a bow and arrow, this is where you’d find it all…for free.
To plan on attending next year, visit famillathlon.org
As we tried to cross boulevard de Grenelle to take the Métro home, more than 4,000 skaters whizzed by, rendering us and the traffic helpless to move for a good fifteen minutes. Every Friday evening and Sunday afternoon experienced skaters take a different circuit (20 or 25 kilometers) and once every two months, they take on the Champs-Elysées! Many of the skaters are both athletes and acrobats — so watching their smooth antics as they sail down the streets of the city are well worth the price of admission (it’s free and it’s fun!).
Stay tuned to this coming Wednesday’s Parler Paris Nouvelettre® when we’ll be talking about the best things to do during the upcoming La Nuit Blanche this coming Saturday, October 1st!
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. For those of you in the New York vicinity who like photography as much as I do, don’t miss the exhibition at the Calumet Photo Gallery (22 west 22nd street – upstairs) title “Altered Reality,” a photography exhibition by members of the Professional Women Photographers (PWP) — my daughter, Erica Simone, being one of them. Tonight is the opening from 6:30-8 p.m. and the show will run until October 14th. For more information, visit altered-reality-exhibit-by-members-of-professional-women-photographers
P.P.S. Mark October 11th on your calendar for our next Parler Paris Après Midi when author David Downie will be talking about “Paris and the Nostalgia Business: Merging Past and Present in the City of Light” Visit apresmidi for more information.