All things PARIS
It’s hard to know where to begin to tell the tale of the city of lights when it celebrates photography….the city becomes a magical place with all the wonders we appreciate normally , but with the added element of a big dose of photography, it takes on a another layer of excitement. So I will start from the beginning and hope for the best. I was not the most thorough reporter, as I was distracted with my own agendas, so much of this post will simply be a visual walk through of the experience.
I flew from Los Angeles with my friend, Noelle Swan Gilbert, arriving on Saturday November 9th, ready to attend the Lensculture/Foto Fest reviews, portfolios and leave-behinds packed in a second suitcase. On Sunday we went to Speos, the Art School Campus that hosted the event, to pick up our schedules. And once that was done, we joined with a crew from Los Angeles and a few other photographer friends, for a celebatory lunch simply acknowledging that we were all in Paris at the same time.
Monday morning we hit the Metro with heavy portfolios in hand to begin the process of sharing our work with the European market (and some American and Canadian reviewers too). It was exciting to meet with gallerists, festival directors, editors and publishers from Dubai, India, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Toronoto, Korea, the U.S. and many other locations, in addition to rubbing elbows with 128 photographers from 40 different countries. You can see the selection of work brought to the reviews on the Lenculture site, here.
The reviews had a different feel as they did not take place in a hotel, where you could casually take the elevator back to your room, crawl into bed and sob. There was no additional programming (workshops, lectures, parties) with all the focus on the review event itself. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting how physical the experience would be lugging portfolios on the Metro each day, dragging the huge portfolio cases to lunch and dinner. It didn’t help that it was raining for most of the event and there was a struggle to hold the umbrella and the portfolio case as we sometimes had to wait for a review in the rain. The reviews were held in two classrooms with minuscule time to run back and forth for back-to-back reviews (which I seemed to have a lot of). And as anyone who has done a 20 minute review, the time flew by and you sort of wondered “what just happened”. All the reviewers spoke English, so there weren’t any language issues. The reviews were truly engaged and there was lots of good conversation and interesting questions.
Tuesday night was the portfolio walk, again held in two rooms. In addition to reviewers, we met many of the Speos students who came to the review.
The reviews ended Wednesday afternoon, which coincided with the opening of Paris Photo. The evening was a red carpet event and walking into the Grand Palais was an other worldly experience.
Booth after booth was filled with inspiring photographs and I coined it, The Year of the Multiples. Large and small images shared the spaces and there was a plethora of work that showed the artist’s hand, from Matthew Brandt to Duane Michals, moving the photograph into an art realm. I’m simply sharing a ton of quickly captured images to give you an idea of the event…
I was also lucky enough to have my work shown in the Galeria Tagomago booth at Fotofever, one of the additional photography expos that coincide with Paris Photo. Held at the Carrousel du Louvre, the event was packed with wonderful photography and lots of attendees. I just spotted by Facebook Profile pic on this poster!
A highlight was meeting Jacqueline Roberts, who not only is a fabulous photographer, but a Lenscratch contributor. She had work in the booth next to mine. The world gets smaller.
Another major draw was the Offprint Paris exposition, sharing artist’s books from around the globe.
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The 2021 Lenscratch Student PrizeMay 1st, 2021
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