Forming Conversations / Paris
I see the movement of travel within a space like the structuring of a conversation – with each place visited relating to one another or creating intrigue to discover somewhere similar. Whilst spending a long weekend in Paris, I sought to find spots where these conversation could form, places that are multidisciplinary through the experience they allow.
I was drawn to Olafur Eliassons’ thought that ‘there is often a discrepancy between the experience of seeing and the knowledge or expectation of what we are seeing’ – a thought that I look to encompass when travelling as a creative. It is important to have this unresolved vision of what to expect in order to allow for an organic flow of thoughts to unravel as you experience.
Noted below are a few places that encouraged this way of thinking.
A conversation between a bookshop, gallery & studio.
OFR invites you in from the street – stacks of artists books & magazines line tables either side of the store, dappled in Parisian sunlight. After an initial engagement you find yourself immersed inside journals and publications, each one placing you within the mind set and thinking of a different creative. It isn’t a large store, one that requires shuffling to interweave between books and other readers – you can almost hear the thoughts and discovery of those deep inside a read. Artist discovery continues into a small white space, set back from the store, offering the work of a selected creative. A space that presents a more minimal and refined visual to that of the store – a calming contrast.
A bookshop from a glance, a gallery in layout & a studio out the back – a spot that gives a layered conversation of artists and the art itself.
A conversation between craftsmen
A clean industrial feel from the outside – white painted brick work, exposed stone detailing and large warehouse style widows, hint to its raw and organic interior. Inside, Empreintes offers a conversation between craftsmen – each object sensitive in its nature, often minimal in quantity and selective in material, one can drift between both the contemporary and traditional identities that have been created in workshops across France. Painted white staircases allow a pause between floors, almost like a palette cleanser between each form of craft.
Whilst forming a visual conversation between craftsmanship, one can complement it with the drink of a coffee, read of a design journal or watch a fine art screening.
A conversation between space, the unexpected and coffee
Merci combines the lateral sense of forming a conversation with the physical, offering a space to simply sit and talk. From the outside, a bookshop with worn leather chairs cornering the room suggests a spot to just drink coffee. I did of course, whilst chatting with my sister, making plans for an afternoon in the city. This conversation is paused when you realise you’ve simply touched the surface of Merci, and that those plans could be contained in this one space. Beyond the tall shelves of used books and the rich smell of coffee, Meric opens up to be a concept store, each floor offering products of varying forms, textures & materials. Its garden level presents another spot one can pause, a melon soup or a homemade juice refreshing a journey through Merci. My experience of seeing was enriched by the unknown; of the unexpected discovery.