Saturday, December 17, 2005
I Woz Ere
Our central heating is run on 'fioul'. The tanker driver that delivers the 'fioul' gives us a large colour calender around Christmas time to thank us for our loyalty. The calender normally features scenes of France, and this year's is no exception. It is called: 'Paysages de France'. This evening I got it out of the cardboard wrapper and hung it on the wall, then stood back and admired the scene of Paris on the cover.
It didn't take me long to notice something rather disturbing about this scene looking down a Montparnasse sidestreet to the glittering lights of Paris below. The large white wall of one of the prominent buildings in the photograph had been tagged by a graffiti artist in large black indelible letters. So is that it then? Is it no longer possible to take an atmospheric photograph of Paris without some hip-hopper getting there first and signing it for you?
On the other hand, I guess you might point to the advertising hoardings everywhere and I'd have to agree that if a large corporation has the right to express themselves on the side of a building (just because they can afford to), then why shouldn't a youth with a spray can and something to say (even if he can't afford to pay for space). Even better if the graffiti is as intelligent as the celebrated Miss Tic's.
I mentioned before that Parisians have been fighting back against advertisers and corporations by spraying their replies onto advertising hoardings. A week or so ago, three protestors did a non-covert defacement of a new set of adverts which feature an old lady diving for the crotch of a young man in a yellow leotard who appears to be trying to flee her advances. As you can imagine, it is a sort of brain poison. The protesters with spray cans were backed by fifty or so vociferous supporters. The idea was that the sprayers would be arrested and thereby raise more media attention. The police, however, having grown so used to graffiti on the streets of Paris, simply let them go, even though the protestors waved their identity cards at them.