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Paris 75020, France

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Street Art and Architecture

The photo above reflects the Canal Saint Martin before it becomes the Canal d'Ourq, but Moontown is more about the journey than the destination. Even though the Point Ephémère cultural hall at the far end makes for a ridic local beverage stop, when it's not "wabbit" season and  you're hunting for something else, you've got other interests rather than stopping. Do consider going right here on July 14 (Bastille Day) when the entire space to the left of the canal is the site of a huge dance party hosted by the local fire brigade. Don't ask are we done yet. Because we're really never done. There's just a time limit.

 

We started out for street art from the carousel in front of City Hall. The Marais is full of the tiny and titanic. In the alleys you might never take, weaving back and forth from rue du Temple and rue Beaubourg, every day and night men and women paste up, stencil, paint, cement, or chalk their entries. The day of the gallery is not at all over, but it's the streets that have something to say about them . "We're not going to wait this long for a capricious art market, we're going to put ourselves out for public consumption." The galleries may have the last word, but they're trying to save face, saying, "some of you are worth a show or two."

 

And so it is born and nourished. With what you ask? With our critical eye. Nothing is inherently desirable. It's the persistence and determination of certain artists that get them seen and admired. And some of them don't care for the gallery at all because the work gets its energy from the street. The work doesn't live in a cage, it needs the passerby to participate. The tension between it's ephemerality and it's eternal beauty gets played up in the digital age with our tendency to document everything. As this article proceeds to grow a scope beyond the reader's attention span, remember that we are looking at established architecture as the setting for street art, and whatever is there changes every time. 

 

What we have to say can change a hundred times, too. So I can't pinpoint everywhere we'll go, but we certainly make a break for rue des Archives, rue de Bretagne, the Carreau du Temple area, Republique and the canal area. It's a hunt! In Paris! For an art form that's as old as Lascaux. If you have the legs we can make it to the edge of La Villette, one of the most interesting sites of innovative contemporary architecture in Paris today. In the future we'll offer a walk of that.

 

See, this is the future: not in prescriptive and predictable, but in spontaneous and intuitive. The major architecture remains fixed, but it becomes obvious that it's not there for us to judge - it already exists and we inherited it - whereas some of the street art demands attention be paid now. Some people are getting used to it and it is being exploited from many angles, but the energy and ambition is there and if we find the artists who make it, you'll have it confirmed that the streets are the source for the new vocabulary, the inexpressible, the passion for ideas that might bare slight imperfections.

 

 

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