Weekje in de wolken:
op vleugels van
Wandel intussen in de tuin van bijna tweeduizend paadjes: sluipwegeltjes, schaduwpaadjes, doolhofjes, strakke laantjes met bloemperken, wilde avonturen-kronkels, dreven voor trage wandelaars, steegjes en straten…enz. Kom daarna thuis in je ‘vliegend huis’ zoals de Franse fotograaf en kunstenaar Laurent Chéhère ze samenstelde.
The “Flying Houses” are a surrealistic and poetic vision of old Paris, inspired by Jules Verne, Albert Robida, Moebius, Hayao Miyazaki, William Klein, Wim Wenders, Federico Fellini, Serge Gainsbourg, Martin Scorsese, Marcel Carné, Jean Cocteau and more. These buildings are also inspired by poor and cosmopolitan neighborhood of the French capital where lives Laurent Chéhère. (Vergeet de cineast Albert Lamorisse, Le ballon Rouge, niet!)
The author isolates these buildings of their urban context and releases them from the anonymity of the street to tell the life, the dreams and the hopes of these inhabitants. The images are photomontage of hundred of elements like roof, windows, gutter, fireplace, characters, antennas, graffiti and sky, captured and assembled afterward like a puzzle. In gallery, the images are shown in large format and let the curious observer to discover details and hiden references of these accurate reconstructions by proposing a double reading, one by far and one closely. The artist uses this distance to propose a different point of view and alert against preconceived ideas and prejudices. All the ingredients are there, the comedy, the drama, the poetry, the darkness, the onirism, the laughter and the tears… everything becomes entangled. The author gives some keys, but these flying houses remain open to the interpretation, it’s finally the people who will make his own way.
Laurent Chéhère is a French photographer known for his commercial work for clients such as Audi and Nike. He left the advertising industry to travel the world and along the way was born his flying houses series, a collection of fantastical buildings, homes, tents and trailers removed from their backgrounds and suspended in the sky as if permanently airborne.
Caught in the hustle and bustle of crowded streets, big city dwellers might not always have the time to stop and enjoy the scenery. But Laurent Chehere is giving you a reason to admire your street-side architecture. In a series titled “Flying Houses,” the artist takes images of ordinary urban and suburban residents and places them in the skies, creating captivating photographs of homes that appear to be floating through the air. Some are adorned with clotheslines and flower boxes while others are bellowing smoke and eschewing flames, but all of the houses seem to be captured mid-journey, moving above the clouds as they remain tethered out of frame. No longer hidden in the monotony of a congested street, the isolated structures become whimsical imaginations you can’t help but notice.
Laurent Chéhère is a french artist, born in 1972 at the foot of the parisian hill of Ménilmontant, a neighborhoods he explores with the same unceasing curiosity as he does in Bamako, Lhasa, Tokyo, Valparaiso or Srinagar. Early on his life, he was immersed in the images of popular culture. His father would make scripted holiday films with his Super 8 camera, his mother transmits the virus of drawing and his brothers was passionate by theater… and the young Laurent? He dreams in the atelier of his grand father Joseph, a house painter and typographer of a village in Normandy. To his young eyes, the place was extraordinary as Alibaba’s cave. Of course it’s not enough to be an artist but you never know!
Thus, he came to spend the last 20 years traveling around the world taking photographs starting with his own city. A veritable tower of Babel where you can meet the world crossing the street. These working class neighborhoods of Paris are his playing field, his principal source of inspiration, his own point of departure and arrival. It’s here in the places, where every street corner offers an escape through the foreigners accents, the spice perfumes, the orientation of satellite dish, that he discovered a passion for travel, and for people and stories from around the world. It’s there, also, where he returns to better tell these stories. And Because his inspiration are numerous and varied, he was chosen to bring them together in these flying houses that carry their univers, their atmosphere, their history, everything that the artist wanted to put there, but also everything the public will want to see there.
Ze zijn de wereld rondgegaan, de vliegende huizen. Gek dat je pas de ‘eigenaardigheden’ van een huis ziet als je het losgemaakt uit de rij. Je zou bij elk huis een verhaal kunnen vertellen. Of je eigen huis samenstellen uit onderdelen die je op het net vindt. De schoonheid van deze composities bestaat o.a. uit de zorg voor de onderdelen. Het is lang kijken wil je elk detail gezien hebben.
Misschien kun je ook steden, of regio’s uit hun totaliteit losmaken en ze daardoor hun specifieke eigenheid toedichten of benadrukken. Maar er komt een moment dat je weer de begane grond op moet. Dat je de opgehokten weer in het publieke leven wil zien en er zelf deel van gaat uitmaken.
I’m interested in houses and buildings that people do not look at any more. I try to highlight them, to show their hidden beauty and to get out of the anonymity of the street to help them tell their stories, true or not, funny or sad.
I am interested in gypsies, African immigrants, a circus, an old erotic cinema, a little bar, a decrepit hotel, or a house in the suburbs.
In the gallery, the images are shown in large format, so that they make sense, leaving it to the curious observer to discover details (graffiti, writing, anachronism, character, window, reference to a film or a musician) and propose a double reading, a story far and another closer.
The “Red Balloon” for example, is a Parisian building and is a tribute to Albert Lamorisse’s film “The Red Balloon” shot in Ménilmontant streets in 1956. I added details like political graffiti depicting “Big Brother” – the dictator in George Orwell’s book “1984”; a mosaic of Space Invaders and above the name of the street that has been stolen, a small inscription “Vive la Commune”. This is the part of Paris saw the last barricades of Commune in 1871.
The “Circus” was inspired by a circus in northern Paris. The photo has a tribute to Fellini movie “La Strada ” and the angel played by Bruno Ganz in “Wings of Desire” by WimWenders. Perched on the shoulder of a statue and observing humans, he falls in love with a trapeze artist. In my picture, a dwarf dressed as a clown who tries to light a cigarette on the snowy roof of the tent gets the role.