– Exhibition Statement –
The wave of protests across France in early 2018 were born out of a myriad of issues, some of which affect France quite uniquely, and others that resonate throughout the world at large. Bonding everyone and everything together were the strong undercurrents of rising inequality and the belief that the world is increasingly becoming an unfair and unjust place for most people while the one-percent only increase their grip on power and control of wealth.
This series, while focusing closely (and quite literally) on the streets of Paris, is not an examination of the many social and political reasons behind a protest – its a look at the remnants and the residue once the masses move on.
We see smashed cash machines covered in a fine layer of shattered glass and pink spray paint; police tear gas canisters lying empty and benign next to a cement block hurled by protestors; the kaleidoscopic sulphur patterns of burnt out flares; share bikes set aflame; what was it all for, and did it matter?
The visceral leftovers of a protest, photographed where they lay, leave as many questions as answers, but are testament to action in a world of increasing apathy and inequality.
– Unconfirmed elements –
I‚Äôm working with some French locals involved in the protests to arrange a collection of the police‚Äôs used gas canisters to send to me here in Australia. These will be incorporated into the exhibition.
R√©mi Chauvin is an Australian photographer with degrees in Fine Arts and Journalism from the University of Tasmania. He worked as the senior photographer for the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) for six years, during which time he also conducted freelance documentary photography work, gaining commissions for the likes of The Guardian. Having left Mona in 2017, he now works as a freelancer, and in 2018 he was selected to take part in VII Photo Agency‚Äôs Tutor Program in Milan, while also completing the Rosamond McCulloch Residency in Paris.
He is interested in exploring social and political issues, particularly those relating to climate change, inequality and migration.
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