Kiki de Montparnasse
aka Alice Ernestine Prin
was a French country girl down on her luck in early 20th century Paris. She would however become a great muse of the avant-garde art scene of the Années Folles
, posing for and befriending the likes of Chaim Soutine
, Moise Kisling
, Amedeo Modigliani
, Per Krogh
, and, most famously, Man Ray
, with whom he entertained a steady (if not particularly monogamous) relationship before Lee Miller
. During their tumultuous eight-year romance, Kiki was the model for several of his most famous works
(with some Surrealist art films
thrown in for good measure).
She also competed with Jean Cocteau
for the affections of sailors in Southern France, was a good friend of Tristan Tzara
and received letters of support of Aragon
when she was jailed for public disorder.
A life of excess that ultimately led to her early death in destitution in 1953 also provided stuff for several biographies
(the latest one, appropriately enough, a graphic novel), as well as a Hemingway
which was banned for obscenity in the US until the '70s, and the odd art exhibition
posted by Skeptic
on Mar 30, 2007 -
The UBS Bank
calculated how long it takes an average worker around the world to earn enough to buy a Big Mac.
Workers in Tokyo were the fastest:
Tokyo 10 minutes,
New York 13 minutes,
London 16 minutes,
Hong Kong 17 minutes,
Paris 21 minutes,
Moscow 25 minutes,
Rome 39 minutes,
Beijing 44 minutes,
Manila 81 minutes,
Jakarta 86 minutes.
Is this a fair comparison? Is it something that will change people's perspective about the rest of the world?
posted by PetBoogaloo
on Nov 17, 2006 -
He has cavorted naked with Charlotte Rampling [this is VERY NSFW]
and covered himself in caviar for Marc Jacobs
, but Jürgen Teller
thinks "fashion is a wank".
Teller's first solo show in Paris is entitled "Nurnberg"
, it consists of a sequence of images (annoying Flash site, sorry)
taken at the infamous Zeppelintribune
parade ground, site of Nazi propaganda rallies
, which was designed by Hitler's favourite builder, Albert Speer. Over several months, Teller (.pdf)
has photographed the monument, the podium and the steep, ruthless steps, all of which have been left to decay. Or not. "It wasn't really maintained, but if there was a broken step, or a smashed wall, it would be mysteriously replaced with a new one." Teller's photographs show the delicate weeds, flowers and lichen [NSFW]
that have grown up around the stone blocks. "In Germany, there is a saying about letting the grass grow over things, meaning that events will eventually be forgotten".
posted by matteo
on Mar 22, 2006 -
The Riot of Spring.
, Paris, May 29, 1913. Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Proust, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy are among those present at the premiere of The Rite of Spring
(the score is here
), written by Igor Stravinsky
and choreographed by the great Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky
The music and the choreography shocked the audience with its daring modernism, ripping up the rulebook of classical ballet with its heavy, savage movements. Many in the audience promptly booed, then yelled, insulting the performers and each other. Then fistfights broke out. The police was summoned, but was unable to stop an all-out riot
Now the BBC has made a TV movie about that night
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Mar 11, 2006 -
Eugene Atget photographed Paris from 1888 until his death in 1927. Christopher Rauschenberg retraced Atget's steps in 1997 and 1998, photographing the same scenes, and documents his project in a gallery at Lens Culture. The gallery includes an audio discussion of the project. [more inside]
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Feb 24, 2006 -
Joblessness is a major motivating force of these riots, which is why the politicians and the press turn endlessly around the question of job creation in the banlieues. [...] An injection of vigorous enterprise, a big deregulating kick, and racial discrimination would evaporate in the tremendous, creative release of market forces. No race riots in an untrammelled market economy: that’s what Sarkozy really means. It’s an ingenious, high-pressure sales pitch for the ‘Anglo-Saxon model’ – indeed, it’s bordering on blackmail.
Jeremy Harding in the London Review of Books
goes among the arsonists in Paris and offers some insights on the economic factors and political consequences of the riots.
posted by funambulist
on Dec 3, 2005 -
Quitting France: French Jews are leaving the country in ever-growing numbers, fleeing a wave of anti-Semitism. They are moving to Israel, the United States, and increasingly, Montreal -- where the mostly English-speaking Jewish community is preparing for its greatest demographic change in decades.
An interesting if slightly anecdotal look at the situation for Jewish people in France from Canada's National Post.
- Barricaded in Paris, Part 2
- Taking leave of 'the fear', Part 3 tomorrow deals with the impact of the influx of French Jews in Montreal.
posted by loquax
on Nov 21, 2005 -
Why Paris Is Burning
Officially, the French state doesn't recognize minorities, only citizens of France, all of them equal under the law. But that republican ideal has seemed especially hollow over the past week as the children of impoverished, largely Muslim immigrants from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa fought running battles with police throughout the banlieues, or suburbs, to the east and north of the French capital...
posted by Postroad
on Nov 5, 2005 -
Mythmaker of the Machine Age.
In the statue erected above his grave in Amiens, in Picardy, Jules Verne
, who died exactly 100 years ago, resembles God. He is, after all, the second-most-translated author on earth
, after Agatha Christie. To celebrate the anniversary
, there's a Verne exhibition at the Maritime Museum in Paris
, one of a series of events from Paris to the western city of Nantes
, where Verne was born on Feb. 8, 1828, to the northern town of Amiens, where he died on March 24, 1905
. His many fans, some of them quite famous
, will be treated to exhibits, concerts, films and shows in Verne's honor. “Underground City
”, a lost classic written by Verne and never before published unabridged in English, emerges this month
in not one but two new unique editions.
100 years later, questions remain about his life
: Why did he have two homes in Amiens? Why did he burn all his private papers? Why was he shot in the foot by his nephew, Gaston, in 1886? Gaston was locked in an asylum for 54 years after his attack on L'Oncle Jules. Was Gaston, in fact, Verne's natural son? More inside.
posted by matteo
on Mar 23, 2005 -
Browsing at my local library, I just came across a display of the winners
of this year's Canadian Awards for Excellence in Book Design
I was blown away by the design and content of The Gryphons of Paris
, a limited edition collection of black-and-white photos of surpassing beauty. This led me to the web page of the photographer, Ronald Hurwitz
, his city vignettes and remarkable portraits. A good reminder that not everything
of value can be found on the internet.
posted by louigi
on Aug 3, 2004 -
You may not have heard of Jansenism.
But on May 1, 1727
one of its more prominent members, Francois de Paris, died. He was a popular fellow for his charitable works and lots of people visited his tomb. That's when things got weird. At first it was just a bunch of people claiming to have been cured of things like "cancerous tumors, paralysis, deafness, arthritis, rheumatism, ulcerous sores, persistent fevers, prolonged hemorrhaging, and blindness."
Then things started to get really weird
...The mourners also started to experience strange involuntary spasms or convulsions...the 'convulsionaires,' as they came to be called, displayed...the ability to endure without harm an almost unimaginable variety of physical tortures....
These events lasted years and were witnessed by thousands as well as commented on by the likes of David Hume and Voltaire. Louis-Basile Carre de Montgeron investigated it for the Paris Parliment and published La Vérité des Miracles
in three volumes detailing the events. The tortures were asked for by the convulsionaires. Montgeron details one time when while having an iron drill hammered into a convulsionaire's stomach he, "maintained an 'expression of perfect rapture,' crying, 'Oh, that does me good! Courage, brother; strike twice as hard, if you can!'"
posted by john
on Jul 23, 2004 -
As the Wiki
Insecula: L'encyclopédie des arts et de l'architecture is a French language art website containing images and descriptions of thousands of works of art from major museums and collections in France and elsewhere, including the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Palace of Versailles, the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MOMA.
But it's not just museums and art. It's got Mayan ruins
, and of course lots of Paris streets
. I can't believe plep hasn't posted this already...
posted by languagehat
on Apr 10, 2004 -
Paris is not actually in Paris
according to French archaeologists last month. It appears that the ancient capital of Gaul, named after the Celtic tribe Parissi, is not buried under modern-day Paris but under its unremarkable neighbor Nanterre
. "It's an unprecedented attack on the French national identity and the greater glory of Paris by a group of dirty-fingernailed parvenus
." Spare the dirty archaeologists and blame it on Julius Caesar who gave inaccurate descriptions of the location, returning from the grave causing fresh Parisian identity consternations.
posted by stbalbach
on Mar 15, 2004 -
French-fried cars for New Year
In Detroit, it has been a custom to fire guns during New Year's celebrations. Perhaps we should put aside our current dislike of the French and borrow this fine way to usher in a brand new year. After all, it is the French who have given us taste, culture, refinement, and the liberty of self-expression.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 3, 2004 -
The Vertically Inclined Photographer:
Shooting Paris, Rome, the French Riviera and the Loire Valley from a low-flying plane is Patrick Durand's
photographic obsession. It's an interesting flat
alternative to Horst Hamann's
[click on "Gallery" and go to "New Verticals"
] tall vertical New York
. There's something very exciting about looking at familiar sights from an unfamiliar point of view. [Both sites very, perhaps too Flash.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jul 4, 2003 -
of books, paintings, and sculpture from the estate of seminal surrealist Andre Breton began today at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris. Some estimates place the value of the collection at over US$30 million. At lot of art lovers
from all over the world don't think this is a very good idea.
posted by MrBaliHai
on Apr 1, 2003 -
The catacombs of Paris
are an immense maze of tunnels dug under the city. In 1786, all the bodies from Cimetiere des Innocents were exhumed and moved into the tunnels. A sign above the door reads: Stop! Here is the empire of the dead...
For a significantly less creepy (and infinitely cool) city under the city experience, check out the Seattle Underground
posted by jonson
on Jan 15, 2003 -
You probably remember him best for his famous green devil
, tempting you with the esoteric delight of evil absinthe*
, or the familiar image of the jester pushing the pleasures of Bitter Campari
. Called by some the "father of the modern poster", and even the "father of advertising
", Italian-born Leonetto Cappiello
created over 1,000 memorable posters during his 40-year career in belle-epoque and fin-de-siecle Paris, and a quick look at a collection
of his work quickly reminds us how enduring both his images and his basic concepts have been. (more...)
posted by taz
on Nov 4, 2002 -
Why has the attack of Parisian Mayor Bertrand Delanoe been ignored ?
You'd need a neutron microscope to find news stories or analysis regarding the attack of Parisian mayor Bertrand Delanoe by a Muslim who stated that he 'didn't like politicians and didn't like homosexuals'. What would have happened had the attacker been a white Christian or a skinhead ? A sad example of political correctness stifling any debate, a la Pim Fortuyn.
posted by Kaslo
on Oct 24, 2002 -
from Paris ! I hope everyone around here is having a great time with their friends, families and/or relatives, wether you celebrate X-mas or not. Besides being a commercial outrage nowadays, it's a time for giving/sharing, spending time with the loved ones and feeling like a child again. So : "yay !"
posted by XiBe
on Dec 24, 2001 -
paris is a mess this year
and anyhow, everyone goes there, and all you meet are more americans. I recently discovered the Allier region
, and it's got wine, castles, beautiful scenery and hardly any tourists. What is your favorite "hidden" travel spot?
posted by christina
on Jul 27, 2001 -
Adam Gopnik on NPR (NB: Requires Real Player)
Gopnik wrote about Paris for the New Yorker
for some years. Susan Stamberg interviewed him for Morning Edition
today, and he says many things I agree with about what makes for a good city (just to tie into the discussion we've been having about cities).
posted by aurelian
on Feb 6, 2001 -