Thursday, 1 March 2012

Paris at War: Couldn't Happen Here? - Patrick Chauvel's Incredible Photomontages

POSTED IN:  ~ Places History War

Patrick Chauvel: 'Sacré Coeur'
Paris At War: Couldn't Happen Here? 
War photographer Patrick Chauvel's incredible photo montages

I came across these chilling images on the web the other day and thought I would share them here on Paris If You Please.

My title of 'Couldn't Happen Here?' is ironic of course, as it could and did happen here within a human lifetime, which is something those of us who grew up in relative peace often have difficulty appreciating.

Copyright Anna Pitoun
What this brilliant war photographer has done is mix some of his hardest hitting work with the familiarly calm backdrop of the world's number one tourist destination. The result is highly unsettling, especially for those of us who know these places well.

I'll let the images below do the talking, with just a final couple of notes about their origin.

Bizarrely, although there are plenty of sites which feature Patrick Chauvel images, I honestly couldn't find a reference to a personal site of his to credit or link to, even on Wikipedia, so if anyone knows of one I'd be happy to link to it here. There are references to documentary films, and publications, and even other references, but not a Patrick Chauvel web site... in sight, unfortunately.

From what I can gather, these composite images come from a 2009 exhibition called Guerre-ici (War-here) with the aim of awakening our consciences by combining scenes of violence from Beirut, Panama, Chechnya... and placing them in a banal, everyday peacetime context.

Quite apart from what we see here, it's obviously very worth checking out some of the original images which have made him famous (and almost dead) over the last nearly 40 years.

All images are presumably copyright Patrick Chauvel, and possibly a Paul Biota who I saw credited for photomontage somewhere, and are freely available to discover all over the web.

Patrick Chauvel: 'Assemblée Nationale' 

Patrick Chauvel: 'La Concièrgerie'

Patrick Chauvel: 'Hôtel de la Monnaie'

Patrick Chauvel: 'Panthéon'

Patrick Chauvel: 'Arc de Triomphe'

Patrick Chauvel: 'Place Vendôme'

Patrick Chauvel: 'Pont Alexendre III'

Patrick Chauvel: 'La Samaritaine'

Patrick Chauvel: 'La Tour Montparnasse'

Patrick Chauvel: 'La Tour Eiffel'


* Sab Will runs Photo and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...

© 2012 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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