Wednesday, 10 April 2013

We'll always have Paris

-Howard Koch

"You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”
-A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

from :
On this website you can slide the slider from the 2013 vision of the street to the 1914 version. See how the streets have changed, or not. One striking thing about the 1914 pictures is how prevalent advertising was on the buildings. The advent of the mass produced print and the start of what we know of as graphic design was started with the Gutenberg press in 1450 which turned into the Humanist or Old Style to what was much later evolved into what we now recognise as graphic design, something distinctly different from fine art in the late 19th century which was recognised with the help of Henry Cole.2

What we now have is a plethora of advertising constantly bombarding us. In the present day we go through life besieged by images, sounds and text made to appeal to our highly attuned consumerist instincts. They are constantly changing, moving, flitting by before we even have time to take in their total impact. We slowly become so desensitised to the world of publicity that it fades into the background as a part of the environment. Only when something appeals to our own individualized interest do we pay attention in a conscious manner to the image presented. The act of looking is never a static one, our eyes are always searching, and moving. Only in the silent contemplation and stillness afforded by the art of old can we truly appreciate what lies before us. But in the fast world pushed faster by modern technology and the human omnipresent need to grow and break boundaries, our unending discontent with the status quo ,these moments will only be fewer and further apart. Though we are in an active mode while looking, we are static compared to the fast pace of publicity. This cycle is only broken when we turn the page, the ad is dropped, we throw the newspaper away, hopefully in the recycling bin!, or we change the channel. Advertising are all geared toward one person, the future buyer, promising to make them into a new and better person. They feed on our desires and insecurities on how others will view ourselves— that somehow think more highly of us in the first five seconds in which we have to make an impression. 

But buildings, cities, fashions and trends constantly change though people's wants and desires out of life do not.  Paris has in some ways changes drastically but it is still 'a movable feast'

These dreamy images remind me of Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen and Ernest Hemingway, especially as I'm reading A Movable Feast. So I leave you with this and maybe the wish to visit Paris in the springtime.

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