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Art Photography

Futuristic Portholes Capture the View from France’s Aging ‘Tours Aillaud’ Apartment Towers

December 5, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Series “Les Yeux des Tours” (2015 – 2017). Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France. All images courtesy Laurent Kronental.

Eighteen towers filled with more than 1,600 apartments were built by architect Emile Aillaud between 1973 and 1981. The housing complex is found in the Pablo Picasso district of Nanterre, an inner suburb of Paris. The residential towers range from 7 to 38 floors, yet each share peculiar windows shaped like futuristic portholes. French photographer Laurent Kronental has long been fascinated by these windows and their towering hosts which serve as the subject of his 2015-2017 series Les Yeux de Tours.

Kronental shoots through these windows to capture the landscape that lies far below their sky-high positions. Many of the images in the series simply focus on the exterior view, while others include  a glimpse into the lives of residents. Curtains and bed linens hint at the owners’ aesthetic preferences, while a few photographs capture more telling objects such as pianos and dishware.

“The mundane and the magic intermesh and merge through the porthole that acts as a two-way eye, the window of a flying living room, of a spaceship galley,” explains a statement about Kronental’s series. The futuristic details built into the architecture are now elements of the past, yet their inhabitants still share the dream of a bright future. The more homely elements of their lives severely contrast the flashy design elements of the buildings’ exteriors, aging wallpaper set against the sleek skyscrapers that exist right outside.

Kronental’s work from his earlier series Souvenir d’un Futur will be exhibited in the group exhibition French Landscapes, a Photographic Experience (1984-2017) at the Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand in Paris through February 4, 2018. The exhibition includes more than 1,000 photographs from 160 artists in order to provide a diverse depiction of the French landscape as seen over the last 40 years. You can see more of Kronental’s work on his website and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Art

A Massive Mural by Ella & Pitr Depicts a Refugee Seeking Passage in France

September 13, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

All images courtesy of Galerie Le Feuvre

French duo Ella & Pitr (previously) tackle the gravity of the global refugee crisis in their latest mural, Le Naufrage de Bienvenu/The Shipwreck of Bienvenu. The massive outdoor work reaches over 47 meters (154 feet), scaling the surface of Piney’s Dam in La Valla-En Gier, Rhone-Alpes, France.

Ella & Pitr frequently highlight neglected societal groups such as the elderly and homeless by placing them on highly visible urban canvases like snowy hillsides or old airport tarmacs. Their choice of a dam―a huge aquatic blockade―could be interpreted in reference to the swelling crisis of displaced people crossing the Mediterranean from Africa.

The artists and their team spent ten days suspended from the dam to complete the painting. You can follow more of Ella & Pitr’s work on Instagram.

 

 



Art Photography

Surreal Views of the Marqueyssac Topiary Gardens Photographed by Philippe Jarrigeon

July 21, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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All photography by Philippe Jarrigeon for PIN–UP.

For the latest issues of PIN-UP, photographer Philippe Jarrigeon visited the Château de Marqueyssac in France to photograph the incredible topiary gardens found there. The area was first developed in the late 17th century by Bertrand Vernet de Marqueyssac, but truly began to take form in the 1860s when owner Julien de Cervel planted thousands of malleable boxwood trees which were carved into fantastic shapes. Today the sprawling gardens have over 150,000 trees cut into unusual geometric forms that can be explored by the public through 5 kilometers of walkable paths. You can see more photos by Jarrigeon over on PIN-UP. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

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Amazing Photography

Incredible Long-Exposure Photo of the Milky Way Above Mont Saint-Michel Island

February 18, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Photo by Loïc Lagarde

Last week while visiting Le Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, photographer Loïc Lagarde captured this awesome view of the tidal island at night with the Milky Way spanning the sky above, further highlighting the near fairy-tale nature of the historic landmark. The island has held strategic fortifications since the 8th century and is famous for the dramatic shift in surrounding tides that vary roughly 14 metres (46 ft) between high and low and high water marks. Despite being visited by nearly 3 million people annually the island has a population of just 44 permanent residents. Lagarde says the photo was made without multiple exposures or blending and is a ‘true’ representation of the moment. You can see more of his photos on Instagram.

 

 



Art

New Works from Banksy at the The Jungle Refugee Camp in Calais

December 11, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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“The Son of a Migrant from Syria”

Based on an update to his website this morning it appears Banksy visited the Jungle Refugee Camp in Calais, France, one of the largest refugee camps in western Europe. The artist left behind four new artworks, most notably a piece featuring Steve Jobs carrying an early Macintosh computer and a sack over his shoulder noting his background as a “son of a migrant from Syria,” (Jobs was adopted, but his biological father was from Syria). In another piece he references Géricault’s famous Raft of Medusa painting, depicting an imperiled group of people on a sinking raft as they hail a modern cruise ship just on the horizon. The artist previously brought attention to the refuge crisis in a piece at Dismaland earlier this year.

In addition to the artworks, part of Banksy’s team installed 12 permanent structures and a makeshift playground inside the squalid Jungle camp using materials left behind from Dismaland, a project he refers to as Dismal Aid.

One of the best ways you can help Syrian refugees is through donations to the UN Refugee Agency.

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Art

Hundreds of Colorful Café Chairs Take the Form of a Winding Roller Coaster in the Middle of a French Square

August 4, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images via Baptiste Debombourg

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Baptiste Debombourg (previously here and here) has transformed a public square using the very objects that typically occupy it—taking 1,200 café chairs and forming them into an elaborate roller coaster. Although the installation is static, Debombourg created movement within the sculpture by incorporating six bright colors and four sky-high loops that twist and turn far from the ground.

The installation, titled Stellarwas built as a part of Le Voyage à Nantes, and will be located within the Place du Bouffay in Nantes, France until August 20th. Its inspiration stems from addressing the great presence of outdoor cafés and restaurants within the city center, as well as an artwork Robert Delaunay produced for the Paris World’s Fair in 1937. (via Junk Culture)

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Design

The New Pathe Foundation Headquarters by Renzo Piano Squeezed Into a City Block in Paris

June 10, 2014

Johnny Strategy

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all photos copyright Michel Denancé

For the last 8 years the Pathe Foundation in Paris has worked with Pritzker-winning architect Renzo Piano to design and construct their new headquarters. Slated for a grand opening this September, photos have emerged that reveal, in the architect’s own words, “an unexpected presence”: a curved bulbous structure that looks like it’s been squeezed into an opening within a historic Parisian city block. “The art of inserting a new building into an historic city block,” says Piano, “means engaging in an open, physical dialogue with the existing city buildings.” In other words, it’s an exercise in reclaiming space.

Hidden mostly behind buildings, the new headquarters, which will promote the Pathe’s heritage in cinematography with office spaces, film archives and a screening room, pokes its head out above the neighbors, looking like a giant armadillo. Walking by, an unsuspecting visitor would have no idea was behind that street-side facade. (via Designboom)

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