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mairie du 14eme : Valérie Simonnet : the street speaks


It’s a lovely idea: 10 exhibitions of the month of photography in the 14th arrondissement of Paris will be presented on the gates of the squares until March 31.
We have chosen to present to you the images of Valerie Simonnet accompanied by her text.

For this new edition of the month of photography, the format has been reviewed, favoring the organization of outdoor exhibitions which are always free.

Most of the hangings are made on the railings of the squares and gardens, perfectly integrated with their environment and also with their subject. A bit like mirrors held up to passers-by.

The 10 large-scale individual or collective exhibitions in the streets of the 14th are supplemented by 13 indoor exhibitions. The Photoclub Paris Val-de-Bièvre, established for a long time in the district and involved in previous editions of the Mois de la photo, prepared and coordinated the operation in partnership with the Town Hall. All exhibitions are the result of a call for applications and a selection by a jury.

The theme, common thread of the project, is that of street photography, because it is the reflection and the memory of urban life, of the spectacle that is the street, made of  the exchanges, encounters, solitudes, moments of grace, of humor or poetry that coexist there, because it puts the human at the heart of the photographer’s action by his/her presence or his/her traces.

Complete program


Valérie Simonnet : the street speaks

A title as an antiphrasis because I am struck by the silence of the people I meet in the street.

Sometimes I hear more than I should this fatigue of beings reduced to silence, to the silence of words.

The intention of this series is to show what I hear when the street speaks without opening its mouth. When it is silent or when we speak for her.

We have the extreme privilege, despite some people with very short memories and particularly short-sighted eyes, to live in a free country where freedom of speech and expression is possible. Yet the street remains strangely silent.

We are reduced to silence by brutal consumerist injunctions, more resonant than us, until the erasure sometimes..

My images attempt to capture those moments when reality seems to slide towards poetry, revolt or abandonment. These moments that speak of the need to escape from a world not completely scaled for us.

Exhibiting in the street was obvious. Happiness to see people turn towards the prints on tarps as towards a mirror with this hope that they will speak out as the last image on the wall invites them to do.

Gates of the square of the aspirant Dunand rue Mouton Duvernet

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