Friday, January 11, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Year end Recap.

This project began almost a year ago, (January 17th)
Photos began to be taken in mid February up until late March when the first "galleries" (blvd louvain et parc borely) were presented in Marseille, France.

The initial collection in Marseille was taken during my two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). It was my missionary companion as wells as other missionaries in our "district" of 6 missionaries and missionaries in Aix-en-Provence. All of which have now completed their two year services.
To my knowledge, no articles were published on "Les Plaques Noires" until I returned home and emailed a reporter at Deseret news in Salt Lake City, Utah. An article was published that greatly increased the visibility of the 1st collection and eventually led to the photo shoot in Belgium.

Around the same time the collection was leaked onto Facebook which frustrated certain church  leadership but led to the photo shoot in Graz, Austria. 

Receiving positive reviews and excitement from the photos I made efforts to contact other european church leaders in order to receive the approval and support to continue the project in other "Missions". 
After a few days of Facebook contacting of old missionary friends and french church members I learned that the Mission President of Paris found the project of interest. I contacted him, organized a plan and a few months later I was in Paris shooting an expansion to "Les Plaques Noires".

I left for Paris on july 19th and on August 10th we opened the gallery on Rue Saint Merri in the 4eme arrondissement in the heart of Paris. We printed 9 new photos and reprinted one from the original collection. The Vernissage was small but well received by those who came.
The day before I left to Brussels, in a moment of youthful ambition we decided to affiche the posters to the wall of the building, in order to encourage and show passer-bys that we wanted simply to show them some photos. This action resulted in an article being published in RUE89 which attracted a fair amount of bad press. Comments in the online article were filled with negativity and slander. This led to a premature close to the Saint Merri gallery as well as severe consequences for future galleries in cooperation with the church.

By the time I received news of the impact of the article and the posters I was in Vienna working with a partner to do a different version of the project with german speaking young adults of the church for a workshop class.
Oddly enough, at the weeklong workshop there were special guests. These guests were church leaders who came to share uplifting spiritual messages and visit the young members. I was able to speak with them about the project, they were supportive and excited to hear of the progress and the success that had occurred thus far.
however, days later the gallery in Paris was taken down and the austria mission president contacted me asking that I cease taking photos with the missionaries. Luckily I was already done with the collection in Graz but any plans of showing the photos in vienna was now out of question.
I moved on and was in Budapest while this bureaucratic miscommunication was unraveling. I had plans to add photos of the hungarian missionaries and do the same work there but due to the photo shoot embargo I was unable to receive the mission presidents approval in Budapest. after waiting for two weeks in budapest I returned to Vienna and took my flight back to Brussels. It was now apparent that the church was no longer willing to support the project due to the negativity generated in Paris. Though my sejour in Budapest had ill consequences for my wallet and the project I was able to make invaluable contacts and meet truly helpful and inspiring individuals. 


 MARSEILLE (bibliothèque) 


Rue Beaumarchais. refrigerated professional films. I shot with portra and E100vs
 I lost the two i bought and returned to using brushes
 All Paris photos were shot with a Pentax 67II @ 105mm
 Paper for the boards
 Pass along invitations
 Posters drying
 Centre George Pompidou and a man feeding the pidgeons
 view from the apartment where three spanish tourists were staying. they were lost in paris and I helped them find their apartment.
 This was the reason the gallery was shut down early. I can't say its bad because it gives the story a good/ temporary end.
A weekend in brussels resulted in meeting several great individuals as well as adding a few of my favorite photos to the collection
 I was a little stressed out when I got to Austria. It was the farthest from home I had been and the project was beginning to unravel.

 These were the photos of Brussels, Graz and a final few from Paris.

One of the few signs in Hungary that I could actually read
 By this time I was pretty stressed. The project had fallen to pieces, i was short on money and the place I found to stay turned out to be a bust. I left budapest with only the hopes of better future projects in cooperation with the few lovely people I had met.