Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sab's Totally Crap Paris: No.1 ~ "Marine Bleue, Marée Noire"

Sab's Totally Crap Paris
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

Inspired unashamedly by a photo book I spotted whilst over in the British capital, the weekend of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, as chance would have it, called 'Shit London', I proudly present my latest délire, as the French would say: Sab's Totally Crap Paris.

It occurred to me, as I flicked through the aforementioned tome of images of run down neighbourhoods, horrendously spelt or imagined shop names, wildly-less-than-desirable eateries, and, yes, turds on the streets, that Paris didn't have much to be ashamed of, in an inverted snobbery kind of way if you see what I mean. Hell, Paris streets can out-shit the best of 'em, that's what I say!

My next challenge was the name of my latest genius idea. 'Shit Paris' was obviously an option, but I quickly crossed it off, for several reasons. First of all, given my inspiration, the existing 'Shit London', it would hardly be original, and may encounter slippy-slidy copyright problems down the line, who knows.

Then there's aesthetics. Prude as I'm not, words like 'shit' don't worry me too much, but having said that they don't always project the image or subtlety I'm after. Naff Paris was an option, but a little too colloquial. Crap Paris seemed to me the ideal compromise between vulgarity, slang and vapidly timid slander. The ´totally´added the personal touch I was after.

So there you have it. Expect blindingly banal boutiques with Anglicised names to weep over, screamingly uninviting ´trottoirs´, weary tourists, endless queues, rainy days, strikes, homeless souls and basically anything and everything that strikes me as crap about Paris, including, no doubt, the odd dose of, you know, that... brown stuff (shh***t)!

Sab's Totally Crap Paris
No.1 ~ "Marine Bleue, Marée Noire"

As the first in the Totally Crap Paris series, I understand I'm starting off with something overtly political, but I'd just like to point out that that wasn't my intention.

The image was grabbed even as it started to ferment in my mind, as is often the case, and I need to progress fast or my brain will lose the moment, and this is what I saw below my feet.

Believe you me, if the tract had been for the 'other side' I'd have produced the same image with the same attempts at double and triple meanings, which is really all that interests me.

Having been inspired by a book which only presented the images (of 'Shit London') and a one line caption, I'm tempted to do the same. However, for a start I don't think that's me and, secondly, I don't want to slavishly follow someone else's format. What I will try to do though is be economical in my comments, which means I should shut up, approximately, around about, leaving you time to draw your own conclusions, without further ado, all things considered, trusting you to see where I'm coming from... errr, now.


Discover all of Sab's Totally Crap Paris... 


* 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...

© 2011 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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