Art of Paris

Part Two: Cabanes Imaginaires Autour du Monde

This is the second in a series of posts relating my visit to Paris in October 2019.
See Part One

My first day’s Parisian wanderings led me to the Louvre, which I’d not planned on visiting. Before I even realised that’s where I was, my eye was drawn from a distance to this free outdoor photo exhibition, works by the photographer artist Nicolas Henry. At first sight it reminded me of a fairground, being a collection of three colourful, slightly higgledy-piggledy, circular structures.

Closer up, the work revealed itself as a collection of photographs of people in what appeared to be staged environments.

Gallery

The work was made over a number of years, Henry travelled the world to explore diverse communities, and enlisted the help of his subjects to produce these fabulous, very human and charming images. According to the blurb from the book of the project:

these participatory stagings are composed of large-format sets bordering on theater and installation, produced with the help of part of the village or neighborhood.

translated from Cabanes imaginaires autour du monde: Worlds in the making Hardcover – Illustrated, 28 Sept. 2016

According to the theatre director, producer and actress Irina Brook, M. Henry’s photographs illustrate perfectly Shakespeare’s sentence:

Le monde entier est un théâtre, et tous, hommes et femmes, n’en sont que les acteurs

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely Players”

As You Like It Act II Scene VII

The backdrop of the Louvre can be seen advertising its Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition, a sell-out show and one of the largest ever collections of Da Vinci in one place at one time.

You can see more of Nicolas Henry’s work, including selections from this project, on his website.

If you want to see Cabanes Imaginaires Autour du Monde for yourself, it remains on show in Paris until the 30th November 2023.

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