Photographer Alison Harris is interested in the cliches about Paris: When did the idea of Paris being a city of ‘romance’ actually begin?” she muses.
The famous Doisneau photo “The Kiss” was one of several photos shot for advertisements that would bill Paris as a city of romance.
“I think the concept of romantic Paris must have gone back at least to the Belle Epoque.”
In Alison Harris’s photographs you’ll discover an artist who likes to play around with the cliches. During a recent visit, she showed me her carefully composed photo of a couple embracing on a park bench with two trees embracing the couple. She likes to capture the repeating motif. Her piece de resistance is the TGV departing kiss where she captures two couples simultaneously embracing on the quai in front of a train’s compartment door. (and these weren’t actors and nothing was staged). She’s modest – she says sometimes she just gets lucky.
“I don’t know who’s leaving and who’s staying in this photo – I think it’s the men – but it seems like the women are almost glad to see the men go …. the expression on the one woman’s face remind me of Bruegel.” Harris pulls a book of Bruegel paintings off her shelf and flips through to one of the country festival scenes.
She hands me the magnifying glass. We zero in one one of many couples caught in an embrace and there it is – the identical expression of mild distraction that Harris has stumbled upon at a Paris train station.
What fascinates me about Alison Harris’s photographic diary of Paris is her sense of harmony. Each photo becomes a sort of organic world of its own. Strictly in black and white, her perspective is pure and faithful to the Paris of our dreams.
Many of her photos are included in David Downie’s recently published book: “Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light” www.TransatlanticPress.com
(which I will be reviewing once I finish reading it!)
If you would like to see Alison Harrris’s photographs of Paris and meet the artist in person, her work will be exhitibed starting December 1st – vernissage at 18h to 21 h) at
Atelier de la Main d’Or
9 Passage de la Main d’Or
Metro: Ledru Rollin
The show continues from Dec 2 to Dec 10 (December 7 the show will be open for viewing from 11h to 18 h) otherwise call for an appointment (06 20 04 82 53)
or visit Alison Harris’s website:www.alisonharris.com.