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Positions and Practice – Paris Photo 2016

The iconic Grand Palais is located in the heart of Paris on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It was built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900 and was dedicated to the glory of French art.


The Grand Palais was the venue for over 180 galleries and art book dealers that made up Paris Photo 2016.


After a protracted detour due to French security measures on the anniversary of the Bataclan massacre, we waited outside in the queue with great excitement. Once the security checks were done and we were inside, our eyes were drawn upwards.  The scale of the glass roof of the Grand Palais was overwhelming.



The nave of the Grand Palais has a glass domed roof constructed of iron, steel and glass.  The roof reaches a height of 45 metres and spans over 200 metres. It is impressive to say the least. I found myself looking upwards many times throughout the day.



Paris Photo presents a visual plethora of images from all the genres you can imagine (and more).  Each gallery presents their images in a way that tries to tempt the viewers to buy the images.  I was fascinated by the different presentation methods used and the presentation can influence the interpretation of the images.  As I walked round, I found the array of printing mediums used overwhelming.  Until that point I hadn’t considered the beauty and depth of black and white of silver gelatin prints. I also enjoyed the scale and hue of massive cyanotype prints, some taller than me!







A fellow student, Simon Fremont, captured several of the galleries using his gimbal and iPhone.  The resulting amazing panoramic images can be seen on his Twitter feed https://twitter.com/simonfremont


Figure 16: Sutherst 2016


I did find myself people watching at times and was intrigued by some of the fashion on show.


Figure 17: Sutherst 2016


A highlight of the show for me was to get a photobook signed by Roger Ballen and Asger Carlsen.  A video of this was taken by Simon Fremont and can be viewed at https://www.skypixel.com/share/video/the-full-book-signing


The vast arrays of work on display took nearly 7 hours to walk around and digest.  At the end I was mentally and physically exhausted.  In order to review and digest the vast amount of work displayed, I chose to purchase the catalogue to study and digest further. This was important for me to do because reviewing the exhibition content will be helpful to my project development and enable me to consider the work of other photographers to help improve my practice. I intend to blog at a later point on my findings.


Take a virtual tour of the exhibition at http://www.parisphoto.com/fr/paris/visite-virtuelle-2016#/accueil/


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