Monday, 10 March 2014

Brassaï Exhibition - Hôtel de Ville

The Paris City Hall, Hôtel de Ville hosts a series of free exhibitions, open to the public each year. Hôtel de Ville is situated in a central location between the Marais and Notre Dame which means it's a great place to drop by to see an exhibit while you're exploring the city. 

The current exhibition on show is a photographic exhibition - "Brassaï, Pour l'amour de Paris" (highly approriate for this blog!). Brassaï was a great Hungarian French photographer, filmmaker, writer and sculptor who had a love affair with Paris that led him to all the nooks and crannies of the City of Light. 




Brassaï, whose real name was Gyula Halász was born in Brasso, Hungary (now Brasov, Romania) in Transylvania in 1889, arriving in Paris in 1924. Known for capturing the true essence of Paris in her dim lighting, thick fog and reflections in the rain, Brassaï photographed Parisian intellectuals, artists and socialites and the events attended by the city's high society during the roaring twenties as well as, the activities of lesser known, the more 'colourful' side of Paris. His after hours Bohemian wanderings allowed him to capture the lives of "the real nightbirds, those who belong to a world of pleasure and love, vice, crime and drugs". It was during these walks where he captured the fascinating lives of streetwalkers, gangsters, hoodlums and vagabonds. 

Brassaï's love for Paris took him to places never before visited in the realm of Parisian night photography. What I find interesting about this exhibition is how Brassaï was able to share the full scope of the Parisian night, catching glimpses of the lives of Parisians from all walks of life from the late 1920s. 

If you then take a step back and consider the limited range of photographic technology available 90 years ago, you'll appreciate the techniques Brassaï employed and this exhibition even more. 

Open Monday to Saturday (10am to 7pm) at Hôtel de Ville until the 29th of March.

Hôtel de Ville
Salle Saint-Jean
5 rue de Lobau
75004
Métro Hôtel de Ville 

PS Apologies for the quality of these photos! I thought it wasn't really appropriate to take photos in the exhibition, so these are from a display in conjunction with the exhibition.  

     


     









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