Exhibitions

10 November 2016 -13 November 2016

Chris Boïcos Fine Arts at Fotofever 2016

Jean-Manuel Simoes - Jorge Rodríguez de Rivera
Etat des lieux: Le "93" dans la photographie contemporaine

Fotofever 2016 at the Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris.
Thursday 10 November, VIP/press preview: 3-6 pm
Thursday 10 November, Private View: 6-9:30 pm
Friday 11 November, Open 11 am - 7:30 pm (10-11 am VIP)
Saturday 12 November, Open 11 am - 7:30 pm (10-11 am VIP)
Sunday 13 November, Open 11 am - 6:30 pm (10-11 am VIP)

Chiens de la casse and My last campagne by Jean-Manunel Simoes

Chiens de la casse (« Broken Dogs ») is the name the young from the ill-reputed suburban « projects » on the outskirts of Paris have given themselves.
Jean Manuel Simoes, renowned photo-journalist since the 1990’s for major French newspapers and magazines (Le Monde, Le Figaro, L’Express, Télérama) has always been fascinated by the sociology of the Paris suburbs and the marginal corners of French society as can be seen for example in his magnificent reportage from 2010 on the homeless inhabitants of the Paris ring road .
In October 2005 violent riots broke out at Clichy-sous-Bois in the Seine-Saint Denis department (informally dubbed the the Neuf-Trois or "93" department) after the accidental electrocution of two adolescents, Zyed and Bouna, hiding near an electrical transformer from a police patrol. After the riots, which spread through the French suburbs and lasted for nearly three weeks, Jean-Manuel Simoes decided to explore the nucleus of the conflagration, the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.

Introducing himself to the local young with his Leica, he negotiated with them and gradually overcame their distrust. With patience, persistence and empathy he got to know them and assimilated their codes and rites. From this exploration of one of the most marginal corners of millennium France he produced a series of individual and group portraits whose intimacy and subtlety go well beyond that of standard photojournalism.
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In all the portraits the young suburbanites are framed and defined by their urban environment – basements, hallways and doorways of social housing projects, fast food outlets, parking lots. Ever present in the photos, the script from the local shop signs and the violent graffiti on the walls add an almost poetic element of language to the images.
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The black and white silver prints are developed by the photographer himself on fibre base paper and selenium toned. The final prints conserve the intimacy of the relationship between photographer and subject and confer a sense of tonal contrast, warmth and beauty on the often harsh environment portrayed. They have been published in a very fine photography book, Chiens de la casse, by Husson in 2013.
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The subsequent demolition or renovation of many of the sites in Clichy photographed by Simoes in 2005-11, have given his work an historical character despite its contemporary look - a sociological portrait of the France of the early millennium which has since evolved, if not radically changed.
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In the second series of prints shown at Fotofever 2016, My last campagne by Jean-Manunel Simoes, Simoes continues his exploration of the suburban environment but in a more ironic mode. In this sequence of false adverts the inhabitants of Clichy-sous-Bois replace professional models in the advertising posters of famous brands or companies. The logos of famous fashion houses - Chanel, Gaultier, Boss – and their advertising slogans are superimposed onto Simoes’ images of the rough suburbs. Two contemporary economic and photographic worlds that normally never meet are here juxtaposed in manner that is both violent and amusing. As in the Chiens de la casse, script and words enrich the photo adding a deeper layer of meaning to the stark black and white image.
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The discreet delights of the art of Jorge Rodríguez de Rivera

In the unique world of collage Jorge Rodríguez de Rivera’s work holds a special place. In its technical aspects it is distinguished by the artist’s attention to minutiae and detail. Figures, creatures and plants are pasted on his own photographic backgrounds in carefully considered spaces and perspectives. As they diminish in size from front to back, carefully adjusted to pre-existing shadows and grounds, they create a truly illusionist effect. On closer inspection the humdrum reality of the urban scenes and sites he photographs is magically transformed by the arrival of creatures from Victorian and Rococo painting. The result is a light-hearted and poetic Surrealism that combines visual magic with witty titles, carefully inscribed in discreet corners along with the work’s date and the artist’s signature. Cactuses, the artist’s personal symbol and link to his native Canarias, are also amusingly present in all his collages.
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In his latest set of collages on show at fotofever 2016 Jorge has photographed the same suburban territory – Clichy-sous-Bois - as Jean-Manuel Simoes in his Chiens de la casse series of 2005-11. In an ironic twist, the desolate sidewalks and parking lots of Clichy have in Jorge’s collages become the backdrops for Impressionist picnics, Rococo fêtes galantes and Belle Epoque beach parties. Romantic era soldiers and ragamuffins refer to the infamous 2005 Clichy riots in a humorous rather than portentous manner.
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By bringing into the harsh sociological realities of the Paris suburbs images from art history and a gentler, bucolic past Jorge softens the reality and soothes our irritated contemporary nerves. His, is an alternative vision of the modern world in which humor, gentleness and magic can still trump banality and gloom.

Jean-Manuel Simoes - Les Chiens de la casse

Jean-Manuel Simoes - My last campagne

Jorge Rodríguez de Rivera - Collages de Clichy-sous-Bois

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