Untitled (Parc Saint Cloud, France) Copyright Douglas Stockdale 2010 –
Just recently I was asked if I had any photographs that investigate the city of Paris, which it turns out, I do. Regretfully, when I was in Paris, I was not inspired to work on a personal project that included Paris as a location, so for the most part I really have a collection of urban landscapes of the city.
What I was inspired to photograph over a couple of days was a location that is adjacent to Paris, the Parc Saint-Cloud, better known to photographers as one of the places photographed by Eugene Atget at the turn of the century (about 1907 – 1926).
For a short time I was associated with a company whose French investment partner was located in Boulonge-Billiancourt, a city that is adjacent to Paris and it turned out, a short walk from my hotel across the Seine river to Parc Saint-Cloud. The first time I ventured into this huge park, I only had memories of the photographs by Atget to draw on. My intent was to photograph this place over the next couple of days and then do some more research on Atget and Parc Saint-Cloud when I returned to my studio. Then I might be much better prepared for my next trip back to Paris and another visit to this wonderful park. I was aware that Chris Rauschenberg had already produced a photobook about walking in Atget’s shoes in Paris, including Parc Saint-Cloud (Paris Changing- Revisiting Eugene Atget’s Paris). I was still working on defining my return project when the company I was working for went sideways and my return to Paris turned to ashes. Oh well, another bump in the road.
Thus I have a small collection of photographs from my venture into Parc Saint-Cloud, perhaps not of interest to anyone but myself. This statue, like most of the others in the park, dates back to the early 1800’s. I did add a bit more reddish tone to this image that emulates the contact photographs (Print-Out-Paper) printed by Atget as sort of a homage to him.
I will admit, I do not feel strongly compelled to return to continuing working on this series, but if someone wants to finance such a trip to Paris, I would gladly accept and lead the way. It could be a lot of fun!