As a child I made several scrapbooks commemorating important trips and, within, pivotal artifacts that signified the real, tangible trace of experience. A ticket stub to to the Royal Tournament, an autographed headshot of Lionel Jeffries (I'd love to cover this song), a shiv of gold paint scraped off a chair in the Buckingham Palace waiting room; these seemed to hold special powers of marking time. When I look back, I don't remember the moments, I remember the scrapbook.
A month in Paris has been seen by all, in all photos by everyone and anyone who has ever stood in front of the Eiffel Tower pretending it's a hat. I hereby submit (in no particular order) my stubs, refuse, scraps, billets, flyers, and whatever other pulpy detritus made its way into my possession.
While visiting Heather Goodchild during her residency at the Cité des Arts Internationale, I piggybacked a hobnob during the Cité open studio party and met some wonderful artists. Tero Puha was a very nice Finnish guy who I saw at every Cité party; the images of his work intrigued me at first glance. David Rodriguez snuck me in to the Salon de Montrouge, and I had a chance to see his wonderfully pornographic tins up close.
This was another project featured at the Salon de Montrouge. The idea is to post photographs of this slip of paper in places all over the world, then aggregate those photos on the website. I suppose I will have to do that now to honour my commitment.
It's no secret that The Wardens love a good brocante - French fleamarket - and I happily tagged along to soothe the persistent sickness of the hapless hoarder. I had it in my head that I would like to learn to draw, and thereupon sought out any manner of image I might like to recreate. I think I'll start with a moustache.
Note to artists: your desire to appear legitimate in certain circles is trumped by the abstract nature of your self definition. If you give these to me late at night at some party, I still won't remember.
It was inane to think I would re-learn French over the course of an hour. I even second-guessed the choice up front, opting to take one of each, as if I might compare the two. The choice of image from the actual ticket stub is no less confusing than the displaying of literally hundreds of thousands of human remains as a tourist attraction, deep underground.
Heather cut and painted these shapes, I assume for the open studio. Perhaps she will add an editor's note in parentheses to clarify. I crashed in her spare cot one night, and I could hear them peeling off the wall and falling with a light clatter among the early hours.
I walked past the Eiffel tower one day, walking and walking, into a district I had neither seen nor returned to since, and shoplifted a pair of running shorts. Heather was mortified. "I don't want you getting yourself thrown out of the country!" Afterwards, I hopped the metro clear across town and met up with a young Asian woman from Craigslist who sold me a ticket to the King Krule concert. After she left, I took off my jean shorts and sprinted down the Champs Elysees. The concert was lovely but overcrowded and hot.
I overdosed on museums in Paris. Painting after painting after painting. Hundreds in a row of hundreds. I began to feel incredibly guilty. How long did it take this artist to finish this piece, which I mull over for mere seconds before dismissing it? I did have some favourite collections though. On either side: the Musee de la Chase et de la Nature, featuring images of attack, ornate weapons and an animated boar's head; the other, the Musee D'Orsay where I investigated theatre director Artaud's interpretations alongside Van Gogh's captivating canon. I ventured to each on the first Sunday of the month, meaning free admission but lengthy lines. The others: Rodin (a favourite from my first visit at fifteen), Carnavalet (the history of Paris), Palais de Tokyo (free-for-all destruction garbage town) and Pompidou (paintings; contemporary wing closed).
PIED DE COCHON
The oldest all-night bistro in Paris. I went twice; once on a whim with friends Matthew and Tatevik, and again with Goodchild to celebrate Juliann Wilding's birthday. On both occasions we ordered a massive seafood platter, replete with mollusks and crustaceans.
I think this was from the Pompidou. I forget the exhibit, but it doesn't matter. The quotes still resonate without their curatorial context.
I rented a chambre de bonne near Iena. I could see the Tour Eiffel out my window. I used the metro occasionally but Matthew lent me his Velib membership and I was liberated via bicycle. I mastered the system and conquered the city, despite some early setbacks. I learned early that I could not rely on the Eiffel lit up at night to guide me, as it dims at . This is also my way of saying to Matthew: sorry, I just realized I still have your Velib card. I'll pop it in the post.
An entire novel in French. Get real, Fabergé.