Paris Photo was arguably the most important photography event in the entire world. I have always been eager to go, so this year I decide to visit the photography festival which took place in the Grand Palais.
I have never been to Paris Photo before but was always eager to go. So this year I decided to break my piggy bank and buy myself a return Eurotrain ticket from London to Paris. Much better than flying, I must say!
This year, the Paris Photo festival took place at a new venue, the Grand Palais. Construction of the Grand Palais began in 1897 as part of the preparation work for the Universal Exposition of 1900. The structure was built in the style of Beaux-Arts architecture. The building reflects the movement’s taste for ornate decoration through its stone facades, the formality of its floor planning and the use of techniques that were innovative at the time, such as its glass vault, its structure made of iron and light steel framing, and its use of reinforced concrete.
The queues were enormous! So it helped that I bought my tickets online in advance. For 60 euros, I got an admission to the Paris Photo itself + the exhibition’s catalogue + the book called “Mutations-Perspectives on Photography”. General admission tickets cost 25 euros. Unfortunately, once in, you can’t go out anymore, otherwise you would have to pay again. So if you left your dog in a car, or just needed to go to the drug store, you couldn’t do it. To digest this news I decided to have a glass of champagne to kick off the show – 15 euros! Well, ok, it’s Paris after all, I guess…
The exhibition itself was spectacular! Huge amount of galleries from all around the globe were presenting their best. Richard Mosse, famous for his usage of Kodak Aerochrome film, which is so much loved by lomographers, had a separate gallery, representing his works (among them – “Quick”, a series of photos from Eastern Congo) and books.
This year, Paris Photo was giving African photography a place of honor, from Bamako to Cape Town. The African theme was present throughout the exhibition. Many galleries that supported African art in general and photography in particular, were presenting their most emblematic works.
Another highlight of the show was an exhibition by the SFR Young Talents winners. “Woman: the future of man?” was the theme of the 5th edition of the “SFR Young Talents – Paris Photo” competition.
But my favorite gallery was the one representing Korean and Hong Kong photographers. There is something about the Asian approach to photography. I even bought a book by Maleonn, a former film director turned photographer, called “The Kingdom of Illusions”. Look it up! Amazing, dreamy stuff.
I must say, it was quite tiring to see so many art works in one go. So if you go next year, make sure to bring some water and provision! I will surely be back.