Paris Galaxies Action Shooting Lab #2
in collaboration with CASA93 School, in Docks neighborhood in St Ouen (92), 2017
Series of photomontages done with photographic materials coming from an action shooting performed with students at CASA93 (professional and social rehabilitation fashion school) in the Docks, a newly transformed neighborhood of St Ouen located near the school in the Greater Paris.
This Action Shooting Lab was focusing on the construction of individual, collective and urban identities, and how the students, all coming from the suburbs, can take awareness and ownership of the emerging Greater Paris metropolis’s potentials in their future plans. The creative transformation of Paris into Greater Paris goes hand in hand with the individual and collective transformation of the creative suburban youth. The clothing and gestural freedom fostered by the Action Shooting Lab is part of the urban emancipation process.
Action Shooting Lab presentation
The Action Shooting Lab is exploring new aesthetic and critical fields at the crossroads of the making of images, identities, urban imaginaries and digital humanities, via performative photography experiments in the public space combined with reflexive writing – principle of a laboratory connecting experimentation and intellectual production.
Whether individual or collective, the shooting is transformed into an urban setting where cameras and smartphones become protagonists of a performance under construction and a set of multi-dimensional interaction. For each lab, RBW creates performative protocols to guide, explore and mark out this new field of photographic experimentation, where the notions of ‘in front of the camera’ and ‘behind the camera’ no longer make sense, and where the border between reality and fiction vanishes. Conventional photographic intentions, codes and “consciousness” are set aside. Both guidance and improvisation can focus on other issues, such as the occupation and interpretation of surrounding space, or even deliberately abandon any directed gaze to leave room for bodies’ freedom and eventually dance.
But it is just as possible to experiment with more elaborate and scripted staging, sometimes including props (for example a simple chair in ASLab # 3), that may become protagonists as well.
These live sessions are associated with time to analyze the experiments carried out and the images produced, additional research, speculative or prospective extrapolations, and then writing.
One of the references of the lab is the photographic practice of William Boroughs who “sniped” quite savagely the city with his camera, lived a singular psychic experience during this and then used his photographs as material for his cut-ups and literary productions.
It was also originally through urban photography exploration that RBW developed an understanding of urban realities, prior to designing full urban labs such as its Paris Galaxies project, on the future of Greater Paris. See the project site www.parisgalaxies.net
The Action Shooting Lab was thus born in Greater Paris, and has been then storified by RBW in different ways, whether in her Machination project or, and this time on a very large scale, in her book “Paris Ars Universalis, fictional scenario of a future Greater Paris” (Avant-Garde Collection, L’Harmattan publishing, 2017).
Action Shooting Lab history
2015: Action Shooting Lab #1 in Bobigny (Greater Paris), with a group of urban photography students, Paris College of Art. View photomontages and fiction experiment in Machination #3 (2016-18), published on d-fiction.fr (literature and photography platform).
2016-17: Paris Galaxies Action Shooting Lab, fictionally expands into a giant art-based urban lab in a chapter of Paris Ars Universalis, Scénario-Fiction d’un Futur Grand Paris, R. Bidault-Waddington, Avant-Garde Collection, L’Harmattan publishing, Paris (written in 2016, published in 2017).
2017: Action Shooting Lab #2 in St Ouen (Greater Paris), with students of CASA93 (professional and social rehabilitation fashion school). + Paris Galaxies website.
2018: Action Shooting Lab #3 in St Ouen (Greater Paris), with students of CASA93 (professional and social rehabilitation fashion school). + Paris Galaxies website.
2021: Action Shooting Lab #4 in Bois de Vincennes (Greater Paris), with a group of free meditative dance in the public space.