Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Paris is a place where things keep happening, repeating in familiar patterns. It is this repetition that gives Paris power and makes her a living place. Paris draws power and intelligence and art from these repetitions. Her structure, patterns of activity, her unique beauty, are a result of all that happens there. The “slices” of Paris in my images represent only a few instants in the life of a centuries old city that I want to believe will sustain these patterns, retain her vitality, for a long, long time.
Here is someone in Pasage Joufrey. This photography studio has been here since I first started coming to Paris and it was old then. It was never open, not once. I would look through the window at the faded prints and the leather bellows of ancient, dusty, cameras. All that is gone now, replaced by a more modern shop that is always open but the old prints are still in the bins for you and me to look through and to imagine stories from.
Look again, when do you think he might have been there? Last week, last year, last decade, last century? Who knows and more to the point, does it matter? He is looking through old photographs. Does he feel, as I do, connected in time to the places and faces in those old images? As soon as he is done I will take his place. I won't disturb him now, let him dream. I will have plenty of time when he's gone and the magic of Paris is that someone will replace me when I have moved on. As long as there is Paris there will be someone here in Passage Joufrey, dreaming and searching.
My task, one I have taken on with joy, is to create images for future generations of lovers of Paris to excite their dreams and awaken their passions with images of the now which will someday be the past. Timeless, not in the content of the image but in its inherent timelessness of spirit.