Photo of the Week

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Bicycles in a Parisian courtyard. © Paris Update

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Stick up for science
> The Paris March for Science begins at 1pm at the Jardin des Plantes (Place Valhubert), April 22.

Silent films from Switzerland?
> They’re rare, but they do exist and can be seen at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Paris, April 20-May 2.

Voices from the North
> The Pølar Festival celebrates Northern European culture with films, concerts, talks and more. Various locations, Paris, April 19-29.

Photo walk
> Eight Paris galleries hold special photography shows and events for Parcours Fotofever. Various locations, Paris, through May 1.

Photo shows galore
> Le Mois de la Photo has been moved from autumn to spring, with 96 exhibitions taking place all over the greater Paris area. See Web site for locations and dates.

Art videos
> The theme of this year’s Videobox Festival is “noise and movement.” Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 27-29.

Take home a winemaker
> Winemakers from Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux come to Paris to offer tastings of their products in wine bars and private homes for the event J’Irai Déguster chez Vous. Various venues, Paris, April 20-22.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Nicolas Bedos’s Monsieur & Madame Adelman preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, April 21.

Polaroid pix
> The “Expolaroid” exhibition features Polaroid images by nine artists. La Maison des Ensembles, Paris, through April 25.

Binge-watching
> Festival Séries Mania shows TV series from around the world and holds debates, conferences and special guests like Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,” all for free. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 23.

Travel yarns
> Travel fanatics get together at the Paris Travelers Festival to swap tales of their adventures. FIAP, Paris, April 22-23.

Street art indoors

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The gallery Art in the Game will be showing works by Felipe Pantone at the Urban Art Fair.> Some 30 galleries show street art at the Urban Art Fair. Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 20-23.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, through May 28.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

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Art - Temporary Exhibitions

 

Daido Moriyama & Fernell Franco

Transitory Spaces In
Urban Chaos

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Daido Moriyama: “Tokyo Color” (2008-15). Courtesy of the artist/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Cities, seen through the eyes of two camera-wielding artists, Daido Moriyama and Fernell Franco, are the subject of new exhibitions at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contem-
porain.

Two phrases written by María Wills Londoño about Franco for the catalog of his exhibition, “Cali Clair-Obsur,” could actually be applied to the work of both photographers. Both of them focus on “transitory spaces which, but for these photographs, would have passed into anonymity,” and both take pictures that reveal the “indefinable charm that can reside in chaos.”

The Moriyama exhibition is split into two parts. In one gallery is the show “Tokyo Color,” with 86 large-format color pictures of Tokyo taken between 2008 and 2015. They are grouped closely together by two, three, four or more on freestanding panels. I wondered if they wouldn’t have more impact if they were displayed separately and asked one of the médiatrices (art guides thoughtfully provided by the Fondation Cartier to explain the art to visitors) about it. She said they were shown that way at the artist’s request to give an impression of the chaos in his Tokyo neighborhood, the “monster that is Shinjuku,” home to a red-light district, several universities and the world’s busiest train station, one of many in the area.

At the press conference, Moriyama spoke of how he walked around his neighborhood every day with a small camera, “instinctively ” snapping the shutter without looking through the viewfinder whenever he saw something that interested him. “I don’t think, I feel,” he said. Since the advent of digital cameras, he has gotten into the habit of shooting in color, then converting most of the photos into black-and-white, which he finds “erotic in an abstract way.” The ones in the exhibition are those he has chosen to leave in color

Personally, I found the slide show of 291 black-and-white images, “Dog and Mesh Tights” in the other gallery to be more powerful, with stunning images of everything from water

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“Dog and Mesh Tights” (2014-15). © Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

spouting from a showerhead or a torn window screen to a woman’s bejeweled lips. These photos were taken in cities around the world, although none are identifiable.

Fernell Franco (1942-2006) took a very different approach to photographing his city, Cali, Colombia. His work, on show in the

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““Billares series” (1985), by Fernell Franco.

basement gallery, examines aspects of the city – ruined buildings, empty seaside landscapes, bicycles, interiors, billiards halls, etc. – in series, studying them closely, dissecting them, multiplying the images, hand-coloring some of them, zooming in for closeups and pulling back for long views like a film director.

Film was in fact the first love of this country boy forced to move to the city as a child by Columbia’s civil war, and he never lost his empathy for the refugees who flooded Cali, fleeing poverty and war and indelibly changing the city’s face. His images are dark, almost murky, not only because he often shows the dark side of the city but also in reaction to the harsh sunlight that usually flooded Cali.

Unlike Moriyama, fast, instinctive shooting was not his thing. His approach to his subjects was oblique. For the “Amarrados” series, for example, he went to the market to shoot but ignored the food stalls, vendors and buyers, photographing only mysterious packages

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“Amarrados” series (1976).© Fernell Franco Courtesy Fundación Fernell Franco Cali/Toluca Fine Art, Paris

wrapped in fabric and tied up with rope. “I realized that this way of wrapping things up had to do with the way we wrap up death to insulate ourselves from it,” he said, “with the way we package death to cover it up, to keep it out of sight.”

The show also includes his “Prostitutas” series, the first to bring him fame as a photographer, which was shot in one of the last brothels in Buenaventura.

These two photographers from very different times and places take very different approaches to their work, but they share an obsession with cities and the ability to find the exotic and mysterious in their chaotic everyday surroundings.

Heidi Ellison

Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain: 261, boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris. Métro: Raspail. Tel.: 01 42 18 56 50. Open Tuesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Admission: €13 (€12.10 online). Through June 5, 2016. fondation.cartier.com

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© 2016 Paris Update