One week ago, I decided to take a little break for a few days in one of the most stimulating city of the world… London, obviously. I found out this singular place which is a little gem hidden.
Among all its facets, Brick Lane is a neighborhood very focused on fashion. Indeed, Brick Lane is one of the top place for fashion in London. Today, the neighborhood is known for its vintage shops and small designers.
In the streets there are many thrift stores, such as Absolute Vintage, a large vintage frippery located at 15 Hanbury Street. Inside there is a bit of everything: colorful shirts, psychedelic pants, tailors, but especially a lot of shoes ( boots, pumps, high heels, sandals…), bags and purses, all more unique and original than the others.
There is something for all tastes. It’s difficult to find elsewhere what we bought here. Objects are unique. The sellers are very nice, welcoming and known how to advise. In the same area other stores are veritable treasure cave: for example the Shop 72, which presents the creations of independent designers.
But the shops does’nt make everything, the best show is in the street. People of all ages, all nationalities are walking and have in common their styles, or rather madness and originality of their outfits. Sometimes we can wonder how it’s possible to find that kind of clothes really implausible.
Styles are very differents, it’s very inspiring. It’s like a live performance, a constant parade, a fashion show. It’s easy to get into this special atmosphere of madness and extravagance.
In London and especially in Birck Lane, it’s possible to wear anything and everything without being stared by passers. People are free to be who they want, young or old, from any country, and let freedom at their imagination and their appareance. Fashion is not only material in Brick Lane, it also has a share of tolerance and freedom.
How would be the biggest cities in the world if emptied of everything ? The two artists attempts to answer this strange and quite chaotic idea with erasing all forms of urban life (almost) in the cities we know as lively and crowded places. I repeat, almost. Indeed, there is on each picture few silhouettes in the vastness of the empty cities.
All the amazingness of this project is based on the presence of a few characters on the pictures because they remind us that these places are not fantastic, that they are not coming from a fiction movie, yeah, that would be too easy.
This makes us more think about places abandoned, where time is suspended. These pictures could have been taken 50 years ago, or 30 years later because each picture represents a symbolic place, most of the time with monuments which have been there for a long time. Thus, we do not really know what to think of these characters …
It’s oppressive, almost scary because we don’t even know what reality is. There is a strong confrontation between the real and unreal in this project. Are they the survivors of a post-apocalyptic event in which life would have be erased but cities but would have remained intact? Or maybe they are the ones who are responsible of this situation? Indeed, on the other hand it’s true that they look quite calm, they seem to know where they are going.
In any case, they represent all humanity. A topic that makes sense in a world’s situation where we wonder a lot about our world and about the future of humanity. The current ones are, as everyone knows, 2012 and its the possibly apocalyptic events to come which might lead to the end of our world.
At the end, Lucie and Simon created a disconcerting and thought provoking project but also a beautiful journey through the world.
Hi to all, I’m leaving for the week-end. Destination ? Galway.
Taking a breath of fresh air will do me good, and while talking about great air breath, I suggest you listen or re-listen Nuit sur les Champs-Elysees which is in my opinion the best song ever from Miles Davis.
He composed this song for the film Elevator to the gallows (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud), realized in 1958 by Louis Malle, who is a french director. What’s crazy is that the American jazz instrumentist has no written score before recording the song. Indeed, he just looked at the images of the movie which were scrolled in front of him and improvised the song while watching those scenes. He has played trumpet in a total improvisation, with as only inspiration the images he was watching. An incredible perfomance.
He crosses the range at full speed, a fury that gives a tragic atmosphere to the movie which would be, without Miles Davis’ compositions, a bit trite for my taste.
I don’t know what would be my life without Miles Davis’ music. I can’t wait to be in the bus to listen to him while I would be watching some beautiful Irish countryside passing over.