“Reality is what we take to be true
What we take to be true is what we believe
What we believe is based upon our perceptions
What we perceive depends on what we look for
What we look for depends on what we think
What we think depends on what we perceive
What we perceive determines what we believe
What we believe determines what we take to be true
What we take to be true is our reality.”
– Physicist David Bohm
The screen print Je suis Paris was John Ingleton’s response to the November 13 assault in Paris reflecting the people’s response to the earlier Charlie Hebdo killings. Postcard copies with, “all you need is love” on the reverse were produced and distributed as a way of saying that violent reactions are not the answer to these atrocities. John also hoped to leave one or two at the Republique monument in Paris when he visited in April 2016.
“I had not really anticipated Parisian reactions – not to the image, but to the statement – by restaurateurs, protesters, shopkeepers, youths, waiters, a family and a nun.”
– John Ingleton
Being in Paris provided John the opportunity to visit Place de la Republique and place a card within the tributes already laid at the monument (a 9.4 m bronze statue of Marianne, the personification of the French Republic, “holding aloft an olive branch in her right hand and resting her left on a tablet engraved with Droits de l’homme.”
This was accomplished on Friday 2 April.
At the time he noted the presence of a small group of people who appeared to be settled in for some form of protest. He did not know that this was the start of the “Nuit Debout” protest which was to continue with more or less violence during the whole of our stay and beyond.
It wasn’t until Sunday 10 April when John emerged at Bastille from a trip to Melun ,to the sound of explosions and the sight of armoured, running police that he realised there had been a dramatic change. He approached the marching protesters and realised that the explosions were tear gas, as the police sought to control the surging crowd.
John stayed to one side to observe and photograph, and noted that the police were alert, ready to act, watchful observers (after all, the protest march is an integral part of French life written in to the 1789 “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”).
When John noticed people handing out flyers he decided that it was an opportune time to exchange some of my postcards and was fascinated to note the different responses. Some were happy to exchange, some approached eager to see what was on offer and some, happy at first to see the image, on turning it over shook their head and handed it back. These reactions were repeated over the following weeks with varying degrees of intensity – from anger to delight – as John continued to distribute the cards.
The purpose of this installation is to present those reactions and, hopefully;
– Affect a reconsideration of how we see/think-about/react to the world around us.
– Call into question our assumptions about our actions and how they impact on others.
The installation comprises both print and sound elements.
Thursday 15 September – Monday 31 October 2016
A ten minute soundscape reflecting the traumatic impact of these events within the everyday sounds of Paris will be broadcast at 10:50, 13:20 and 16:20 daily. These timings represent the times in Paris of the first attack on 13 November 2015, the storming of the Bataclan by the police three hours later and, the assault on the terrorists’ hideout in nearby St Denis on 18 November 2015.
Thursday 15 September 2016 @ 16:15
Image Credits: Prints by John Ingleton and photographs by Marcia Kavazos.