Posts Tagged ‘Alain Paire Gallery’

GALERIE%20A%20PAIRE%20HOUDOT%20affiche-1[1]Another small photo exhibition in town – but fascinating. It captures the ancient walls of Aix centre ville, from the lovely old faded ads to the hues and textures of the flaking layers of paint. It’s been a labour of love for photographer Patrick Houdot and a good thing too, as some of it has disappeared since he began in 1996.

The town authorities are now aware of the heritage of the old ads but until very recently they tended to be scrubbed off along with grime and graffiti. In fact the two examples on this poster can no longer be seen. And the pretty layers of paint which, photographed look like abstract compositions, are often painted over when new owners renovate their facades.

I was lucky to meet the photographer when I popped in because he filled in some of the background to his work.

The red sign ‘A’ on a wall for instance means ‘Abri’ – the house has a shelterabri.

The next one has a blue circle indicating that this particular house contains a well.well

But there is another symbol that M Houdot has seen around town that still perplexes him.  Perhaps a gallery visitor will identify it for him?

This symbol on walls around town has mystified the photographer.

This symbol on walls around town has mystified the photographer.

It’s a small exhibition but really stimulating.  I walked along the rue du Puits-Neuf afterwards looking carefully at all the walls!

Unfortunately this gallery closes in December, apparently lack of visitors being one of the reasons.  So go along and give them some support if you can – if you like photography and patrimoine, you will enjoy this one.  www.galerie-alain-paire.com.  14:30-18:30.  Until September 19th.

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At recent social gatherings, the talk has frequently turned to the difficulty in sussing out what is going on round here.  Everyone agrees that events often seem to spring out of the blue with little advance publicity, which is after all one of the reasons I started this blog.  The MP2013 organisers have certainly tried to communicate with their new website plus key dates published; but even so, it can be tricky to figure out exactly what is on offer.  I can read descriptions over and over and still have little idea what will happen.  I have in the past put this down to my shaky French but now feel reassured that local hoteliers are finding an equal lack of solid information.

They claim that since the beginning of the year, they have been experiencing la morosité, great word, and are asking someone somewhere to ‘boost la communication’. The authorities are pointing out that J1 has had 40,000 visitors and the Pavillon M 80,000, numbers they expect to grow once the skiing season is over.  They said that that was the experience in Lille.  But the hoteliers complain that more has been spent on cultural aspects rather than marketing them. Running promotional campaigns for hotels, which link say weekend breaks to cultural events, needs timely and clear information and this is what has been short.  So 1 million euros has been debloqué for increased communications so hopefully we will see a difference.

I did notice in Marseille when I recently visited, a white painted message on the pavement.  It was outside a hotel which, it explained, had been a centre for immigrants fleeing Nazi persecution in their own countries.  Some travelled onwards but the unfortunate families who stayed were rounded up and deported.  I now learn that the message I saw is part of a programme publicising over 60 locations in town where arrests and incidents took place.  Here is a link to the Alain Paire Gallery website which has a full article on this programme and the part that the Mexican ambassador played in helping get people out of France. http://www.galerie-alain-paire.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=219:gilbert-bosques-consul-du-mexique-a-marseille-qici-memeq-15-cours-joseph-thierry&catid=7:choses-lues-choses-vues&Itemid=6

New in Marseille this week is an exhibition of paintings and art works on the theme of ‘Poissons, Coquillages et Crustacés’.  fishIt’s on at the Maison de l’Artisanat which you will find at 21 cours d’Estienne d’Orves, a few steps from the Vieux Port and the real fish market.

It’s a small gallery, on two floors, but they do interesting exhibitions and it’s free!  Until 16th March, Open Tues-Fri 10-12, 13-18; and Sat 13-18.

A new exhibition on life in the gypsy community starts on Tuesday 19th at the J1 gallery along in La Joliette.  ‘Partage de Memoires Gitanes’  has been curated by the Musée Arlatan in Arles and focuses on the traditional lives of Provencal gypsies. It comprises interviews, photography and symbolic objects – and sounds rather interesting.  More info here: http://www.culture-13.fr/agenda/partage-de-memoires-gitanes.html

Not a great deal new to report in Aix.  This weekend is the last opportunity to see the objects on the ‘L’Art à l’ Endroit’ art trail, none of which I suspect will be much missed though I think everyone agrees that the splendidly dotty trees in the cours Mirabeau did much to brighten the opening weeks of the year.  I did this week visit the Camus exhibition which is open during afternoons at the Cité de Livre but came away very disappointed.  I don’t know much about him, apart from memories of reading La Peste and L’Etranger at school; but this exhibition didn’t help at all.  It’s just a collection of photos and typewritten scripts in glass cases with no overarching narrative or helpful explanation for those of us not in the know.  Ironically, after all I said at the beginning of this post, this one has been wonderfully well communicated with large posters in bus-shelters all over town.  You might like it more than I did.

Whatever you do, enjoy the blue skies this weekend!




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It’s interesting to see what inspires a painter to pick up his brushes.  An small exhibition has just begun, split between two galleries in town, dedicated to studies of the bridge at Pertuis by Don Jacques Ciccolini.


He started painting it a year ago, wishing to record it for posterity before its demolition.  It’s a graceful bridge, straddling the Durance and linking Bouches du Rhone with the Vaucluse.  The artist didn’t realise how absorbed he would become painting it. 

He worked from photos and also from various spots on the river bank.  He recorded the bridge at different times of the year with the river in flood accompanied by storm clouds or in the summer when the water is very low.

His paintings are very large and rather moody.

I liked them and recommend a visit to the Alain Paire Gallery and also the Marina Rey Gallery, both in rue du Puits Neuf.  The galleries are open Tues-Sat, 14:30-18:00.  Details on www.galerie-alain-paire.com where you can also read an interview with the artist.  Expo runs until 3rd November.

While in the rue du Puits Neuf, you could try the excellent Café des Mots, a philosophy café with nice lunches including gluten-free dishes.

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