Another Brick in the Wall | Paris à la rue
Money People Words and City Walls - Paris - 2012
( Métaphysique des Tubes - Une Société à la rue )
Another Brick gathers photos taken in Paris in 2012. I started this work without thinking of it, while I was walking in the streets. I guess I was suddenly attracted by what we usually don’t see anymore. « Wild » ads glued by people looking for a job, or a couple of hours of work.
When I started taking these photographs, the President of my country (France) was often saying that citizens from his country didn’t want to work. Were we living in the same country ? Because urban landscapes do not tell the same story.
At first, this was what I wanted to show. Words and papers in the streets, everywhere, proposing all sort of services. Walls talk, the city talks. Each time, I would obviously read the text. And the more I was crossing these words, the more I started to see these ads differently.
Of course, they are all about some precise kind of jobs : cleaning, ironing. Painting. Gardening. All kind of works dedicated to the house. And the children. Then come massages. « Relaxation ». « Black Relaxation ». What is that ? Fantasies and realities mixed up in the ads’ vocabulary ? Then come classes. Piano classes. English and Spanish classes… Nothing really surprising. « Summer jobs », handy jobs, sensual proposals.
Then comes what’s around. What is said around. What kind of information is given to sell a service. Is the nationality that important to mention ? Does being a « young » woman help finding a job ? What is at stake ? Elements of trustability ? Elements of weakness ? What did people who wrote these ads mean, by mentioning their age, gender or nationality ? Was it natural to mention it ? Was it conscious ? What does being from a country or another mean, in Paris in the 2010’s ? What does the age and gender mean for employers ? Writing these lines, I realized my questions were probably very french : here we take exams with no names on our documents. Anonymity is a kind of guarantee. Of objectivity from the ones who judge us. Of real success when we pass : because our names, genders, nationality, skin color is not written or known.
Another Brick in the Wall is simply a series showing papers on the walls of the city. It is also a work showing what is written on these papers.