The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones along with Franck Zappa, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page or Tina Turner but also Telephone, DanielBalavoine or Magma : starting November 14th (until January 31st) the Carré Belle Feuille of Boulogne Billancourt invites you to discover or rediscover one of the richest period of rock and roll history .
Presenting the exhibition “It’s Not only rock and roll” by Bruno Ducourant, whose exclusive photographs and recent “photo-graphic” compositions spotlight some of the 60’s and 70’s legends, the hall of Boulogne completes once again its musical program. “By mixing photography and music, this round of “Acrylic rock”, allowed me to blend writing, drawing and photography”.
Student in literature in the 70’s, passionate about photography and music, his 24×36 (silver) on his shoulder, the young Bruno Ducourant regularly went to London. Big Ben City, Amsterdam or even Brussels turned out to be the best destinations to go to to listen to the bands in live sessions which he preferred to French singers. These break-outs allowed him to practice stage photographing. “What I liked about taking photos was to be able to take distance from reality in order to pin it in a better way”. But pocket money has limits, especially when, in order to complete his vinyl collection made in England, he chose to dedicate his hotel budget to the record-stores on Shaftesbury Avenue. To hell those bed and breakfast, after all, the English grass has an excellent reputation and Hyde Park is only a stone’s throw to the famous Marquee Club on Wardour Street where all the bands of the British scene performed.
In those years, “if only one managed to blend in, he could be standing really close to the bands, even be on stage! There was a real proximity with the musicians of this generation. At that time, we were only a few photographers, nowadays, if you stand at the back in a concert, you’ll see more smartphones in the air than lighters and the next minute dozens of pictures of the show are available on Instagram”.
From month to month, Bruno Ducourant accumulated pictures on stage but also backstage of what would become a few years later the British Blues Boom. Back in his room in Versailles, the student who listened to the Rolling Stones was at the time far from suspecting that chance would take him a few years later on the famous band’s path to design the cover album of Emotional Rescue (recorded at the Pathé Studios in Boulogne).
First photographer and journalist for the “rock” press, (Rock & Folk, Best and Extra), then artistic director and designer and thereafter writer and director, Bruno Ducourant now refreshes and revives memories. He gives a voice to his black and white pictures, enlivening them with an overlay of the titles of major hits from when he was eighteen, in acrylic paint.
“I figured that as background, I might as well use my own photos. A few touches, and the words displayed had an impact as important as the photo ; it took us even further in a unique way. I admit, from a commercial view, to be an anti-Ikea, or an anti-Yellow Corner. As I am a staunch defender of singular over plural, I believe in the original and rare approach, and consequently in uniqueness or in the worst case in limited series for only a few tens, not hundreds or thousands of pieces”. “It’s NOT only rock and roll” exhibition is a mix of artistic genres, in the style of the famous saying “weight of words / shock of photos” that Paris Match used for their editorial, but this time in a “lyrics and music” way.
Bruno Ducourant also confesses the satisfaction of being able to expose in the city he’s been living in for several years now. “I hope that this exhibition will allow those who are interested, and especially young musicians and photographers, to discover one of the most abundant part of a history that was not ONLY rock and roll”.
Artists presented in the exhibition:
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
TEN YEARS AFTER
Photos et Tableaux © Bruno Ducourant
The X Factor is a talent show originally from The United Kingdom and created by Simon Cowell. This television music show is a replacement of the old program Pop Idol. It is now held in several countries such as the United States since 2010, or Australia since 2005. It occurs once a year, the end of the show is always around Christmas. The point of the show is to find a new singing pop sensation who possesses the X Factor, meaning that one special and indefinable thing that makes a good artist unique. The contestants are trying to be noticed by the panel composed of four judges. The judges change depending on which country you are in and sometimes even within two years the judges won’t be the same.
The contestants are divided into four categories : the boys, the girls, the over 25′s and the groups. A contestant first needs to pass an audition in an arena in front of the four judges and a full crowd who came to watch the auditions. After they sang, the judges decide if they liked the performance by giving the contestant a yes if it was good and a no if it wasn’t. A contestant needs to have at least three yeses to go onto the next round. If he or she has a majority of no, the competition stops right away for that contestant. On the contrary, if the contestant has a majority of yes, he can go through the next level which is originally called boot camp (throughout the years and countries, the rules might change sometimes). During boot camp, the acts that first made it through will now sing again for the judges who will be more severe because the competition is now tougher.
Still according to the original rules, in each category eight or six contestants, depending on how good the contestants seem to be on this particular season, will go through the next round. The competition now holds only 24 or 32 acts. The next step is the judge’s house. Each judge gets to mentor a category; this choice is made by the producers of the show. So the contestants are going by categories to the house of their own mentor to pass another step : singing in front of one judge and a celebrity he or she invited to help him/her. The sixth or eighth acts will be cut in half, meaning that only three or four of each categories will be able to go onto the next step : the live shows.
During the live shows, which occur every weekend, each contestant need on the Saturday nights to sing a song to prove they are good enough to receive the public’s votes and stay in the competition. At the end of each performance, the judges will give their opinion on what’s working and what’s not. Then, each Sunday, different celebrities will perform but more importantly the results are announced on who made it through and will still be there until the following weekend. Each week, one contestant leaves the competition until there are only three left. This is when the final occurs. One act is announced almost right away as the one leaving in third place, while the other two sing one more song to prove their point. Finally, the winner of the X a Factor can be announced. Each year, the winner gets a contract deal with Sony Entertainment, the producers of the show.
The X Factor allowed a lot of great artists to be discovered, notably in the UK, where it all started. Indeed, in ten years, the show found talents like Leona Lewis, Olly Murs, Little Mix, James Arthur and so on. The X Factor UK seems particularly proud to have discovered the talent of boys’ band sensation One Direction. Simon Cowell always brags about him being the one that puts them together.
“Just my life, my friends, the world is going on around me. I’m just trying to show that finally happiness and real beauty are just before our eyes …and not in things often unattainable. I’m just a student who took pictures of his friends, his travels. ” Theo Gosselin, January 2011.
Theo became interested in the image while filming his first video with his group of friends. Enrolled in audiovisual section in school, he is interested in the skate culture and punk music, but thinks more and more about photography, more accessible and immediate than the cinema. Walking in brownfields, he discovers an untapped universe of sets that his band with ”crazy charisma” and himself will appropriate bit by bit. ”Over time, I made progress while continuing to do the same thing but with a more artistic touch. This allowed me to simply create memories. “
Once graduated, he joined a contest: the Amiens Art Déco in Picardy. This was a radical change that opened the door to a new world and new meeting perspectives. From all over France, his friends initiated him into their passion for travelling, a passion he will not let go of.
Theo says that he owes his pictures to people he met, at the moment he saw them. Everyone can take the same pictures but these moments are his. He creates around him the drama that he captures : there’s no staging, no preparations. He willingly accepts the randomness of meetings and prohibits self-censorship.
We often find in his pictures a recurring element : the use of blacklight. “The biggest tragedy in my life is not getting up early to see the sunrise. I love these beautiful lights, the ecstasy that can provide the simple act of sitting in front of the sun. My fight is to render the sun as beautiful as we see it with our eyes. “
A concentrate of energy, a flood of emotions, the poetry of the ephemeral : Theo captures all this with his style, one of a permanent reporter who is interested in everything and always surrounded by his loyal friends. This is the notion of sharing that seems to be the key to all his work: “My desire is to tell stories, meet, share photos, experiences. “.
It is fortuitously that Theo started photography and began with a Nikon camera inherited from his uncle, the Nikon D700. Concerning the lens, the choice of Theo is relatively simple, three fixed focal wide-angle: the f/2.8 24mm, 35mm f / 2 f/1.4 and 50mm.He uses the maximum aperture of his lens most of the time.
Silver photo is a new step for Theo. Belonging to the digital generation, he appreciates the additional thought that it is necessary to have when a film is used as a support for his photos.
Theo works or has worked for several brands in fashion, the large consumption or luxury. He refuses point blank to submit to all the requirements of his sponsors, it’s important to keep the spirit of his photos. Models he photographs are not dummies but friends.
“Involving my friends in my projects allows us to spend a good time and earn money to restart traveling! All the photos I publish on my blog are pictures of my life, my friends, my girlfriends and eventually my meetings. Brands can buy pictures that are already made but that had no commercial intent at the time when I took them. “
“My photos are appreciated because they give a sense of freedom, a return to nature, perhaps because it shows a fantasized youth. Photography allows to imagine lots of things and I leave the possibility to dream watching my photos. “
Under the Dome is an American science fiction TV series that premiered on 31st October in France. It is adapted from the novel of the same name written by Stephen King, published in 2009. CBS renewed Under the Dome for a 13-episode second season to air in the summer of 2014 (in the US), with Stephen King writing the premiere episode.
Under The Dome tells the story of the people living in the small town of Chester’s Mill in Maine. Someday a kind of dome appears and cuts them off from the rest of the world. The dome is massive, transparent, indestructible but somehow, 4 kids have the power to interract with it; it seems like they are connected to the dome. But living under this dome prevents anyone from having any Internet access, mobile signals and limited radio communication. If you’re trapped inside you must find your own ways to survive and as time goes by tensions are increasing between the people of Chester’s Mill. While military forces, the government and the media positioned outside of this surrounding barrier attempt to break it down, with a bomb for instance, a small group of people inside tries to figure out what the dome is, where it came from, and when (and if) it will go away.
The main characters are Dale “Barbie” Barbara, the (very) handsome army veteran trapped inside while he was just passing through the town, Julia Shumway, a journalist whom he will fall in love with. The problem is: Barbie killed Julia’s husband whom she thinks is just outside the dome. That’s quite an important couple issue. Then we have the Rennie family, composed of “Big Jim” the town councilor who wants to take control of the town to hide his dark secrets by killing a few people, and Junior, who locked up his girlfriend Angie McAlister whom he declared as mentally affected by the dome when she broke up with him; such a nice family. But there are actually some decent people living under the dome. Linda Esquivel, the new sheriff, Joe McAlister (Angie’s brother) or Norrie a teenage girl from L.A who was just passing through the town with her 2 mothers.
Halfway through season 1, we discover that a mini dome is located in the forest and has supernatural powers. They think that the mini dome controls the big one and that if they destroy it they will also destroy the big dome and be free. Four kids can control it and see things that will tell them what to do, who will die, or who they have to kill. Whenever something goes wrong with them, the dome gets angry and weird things happen such as tornadoes. Under the mini dome, stands an egg, a black egg that changes color and seems to have supernatural powers; quite mysterious.
The series is a huge success in the USA and in France because it is a social analysis of the human behavior. We get to see how people are ready to do anything to survive. They steal at the local market, do trafficking, and kill people for their own surivival. It shows that human nature can sometimes be cruel and selfish. That’s why people watch this show; they want to see how far can a person go to save his own life, they also watch to analyse everyone’s behaviour and to identify with one of the characters.
“Dexter” is an American television drama series composed of 96 episodes which describes the life of Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter analyst for Miami Metro Police and especially a serial killer. During all the series he will demonstrate his capacity to escape the police.
When Dexter was a child, a police officer, Harry Morgan, found him in a container port, he was covered in his mother’s blood, who was killed by drug traffickers with a chainsaw. The police officer decided to protect the child and adopt him. Later, he discovered that Dexter did not have feelings only when he killed animals, first step to being a psychopath. He decided to give him a sort of code: Dexter should only kill criminals.
Afterward, we discover Dexter as a member of the Miami Metro Police, who alternates his life as police officer and as a psychopath while respecting his father’s code.
Debra is Dexter’s sister, and the biological daughter of Harry Morgan. She is very close to Dexter and like him, she works in Miami Metro Police as an inspector. Although she sees him everyday, she doesn’t know Dexter’s secret.
During all the series we follow Dexter in his life, his thoughts, whereby the viewer is close to or connected with this man’s strangeness. He becomes increasingly touching and entertaining despite the fact that he is a killer. The viewer can enjoy the twists which take place in his head in an atmosphere which is as tense as it is bloody.
A few years ago, when I was fifteen, I had one of the best experiences of my life. Oh,… Actually, at the beginning it wasn’t at all:
It was in June 2011, I left Paris for three weeks with my twin sister and a friend, ready to go to my first summer camp ! It took place in North Virginia in the USA and we were actually quite worried about what it would look like. We didn’t have much information about this camp insofar as it opened for the very first session that year.
When we arrived after long hours on the plane and bus, we realized that it was not what we expected at all. We imagined big lakes, lots of people of all ages, wooden bungalows and I have to admit that we were quite disappointed by the reality… There were only three main buildings and we were 19 girls and 3 boys ! Moreover, they told us that we had only two weeks to create a big show that we would perform in front of three hundred people… What freaking news ! We weren’t aware of that and we didn’t know that we would have to learn how to sing perfectly more than 10 different songs and a lot of choregraphies. The first week was really harsh morally but also physically speaking because the activities were demanding and we had to speak English all day long. Furthermore, we didn’t have time to rest except after dinner sometimes and it was really stressful because we knew we had a deadline to respect. Every night, before going to bed, we gathered into a big circle, holding hands and singing that we were all “brothers and sisters”. Quite weird, isn’t it?
Though, things quicklychanged when we got to know each other. We actually realized that it wasn’t just a performing arts camp, but also an opportunity to open up and learn more about who we were and who we wanted to be in the future. Thanks to an amazing staff, we had occasions to talk about our feelings, our lives, listen to the others but also be listened by them. I learned so many things about myself and didn’t expect to know people as I did in only three weeks. At the end, we finally became like brothers and sisters, united on stage as well as outside, knowing the most personal details of the life of everyone. This unity within the group helped us to disregard our stage fright before performing for the big shows in town and I’m sure that the public could feel it. I sang for the first time on stage in duo with my twin sister and I experienced a rush of adrenaline, as if we could fly away for one moment. If I made it, it is only thanks to the great training we had.
This camp is actually well-known in the areas of leadership, cultural awareness and service learning. Thus, we did community service such as repainting a retirement home, helping in the fields to harvest but we also went to Washington for a week-end to discover the regional culture, staying in host families. We had the opportunity to go to the American biggest Via Ferrata and to live in the woods for one week-end in the middle of nature, surrounded by snakes and big campfires. All of those activities were challenges which made us go beyond our limits all the time. And this is precisely the goal of Up with people, which is at first an association which offers young people the opportunity to travel all around the world to perform on stage and spread a little bit of happiness to people who need it. It is also a way to discover new countries, new cultures, to meet friends for life but also amazing people within the host families where you stay. The most important mottos of this organisation are “We are many, we are one” and “Bringing the world together” and I think they are very illustrative of its goal. We are actually still keeping in touch sometimes with the other campers and the staff and I know that if one day I want to go somewhere, I’ll be able to stay at their house as if we had never left each other.
In a word, I can say that Up with people is an adventure of friendship and learning you never forget.
La fiac, “Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain”, is a project created in 1973 in Paris. The exibition takes place in the Grand Palais (next to the Champs Elysées). It is a concept which gathers galleries from all over the world and mainly from Paris, London, New-York, Asia and Golf countries. It is interesting because it gives an international point of view of what art looks like and how it is represented. We can notice that the artists’ work is sometimes very different or can be very similiar.
This year it was the Fiac’s 40th anniversary and it was a great success! Indeed, the exibition lasted 3 days and 73 550 persons came to visit it. Moreover, the art dealers were very pleased and satisfied with the organisation and the selling of pieces of art. The exibition was spread all over the Grand Palais, the Champs Elysées with the design spaces, and outside with some sculptures displayed in the garden or in the fountains. Everybody could simply walk by and enjoy the placement and the crowded but nice atmosphere.
As far as I’m concerned, I think some pieces of art were breathtaking in so far as some were gigantic or very realistic. For example, I was impressed by the big iron tree created by Ai Weiwei. Morever, we could notice a recurrent pattern between the works. Indeed, the use of mirrors was found in numerous sculptures like Anish Kapoor’s ones or photographs such as Le désepéré byPierre and Gilles. Personally, I found it interesting and nice because the matter was elaborate. Furthermore, it aroused a reflection for it created a link between the viewer and the piece of art, as if the artists wanted us to take part in their work.
Eventually, I enjoyed going to the Fiac this year. Indeed, the works were varied and colorful. For once, most of it was optimistic even if some were shocking and disconcerting. However, it seems like the Fiac is more and more considered in an economic and financial way. Indeed, the journalist or gallerists concentrated on how good the sales were. For me, Art shouldn’t be evoked as a the “art market”. It is, above all else, a personal conception of beauty and inspiration.