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Samuel Hense, Paris 127.1 - Av de la République, Bagnolet / Av Cartellier, Paris 20

Samuel Hense Paris 127.1 - Av de la République, Bagnolet / Av Cartellier, Paris 20, 2011

View in a room Photography 6.7 x 7.9 inch 1 remaining copy


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Samuel Hense, Paris 127.1 - Av de la République, Bagnolet / Av Cartellier, Paris 20
  • Offered by the gallery

    Professional art gallery
    Almere - Netherlands

  • Authenticity

    Work sold with an invoice from the gallery
    and a certificate of authenticity

  • Signature

    Signed artwork

  • Medium

    Photography : color edition, inkjet

  • Support

    Photography on fine art paper

  • Type

    Numbered and limited to 12 copies

  • Dimensions cm | inch

    6.7 x 7.9 inch

  • Framing

    Not framed

  • Collector’s Guide

  • About the artwork

    Individual road signs marking the entrance to a large town are barely noticed when passing from the City centre to its suburbs and from the suburbs to the City centre. Road signs, erected over the years to mark the boundaries of the town, are a purely artificial concept which have no real significance other than for administrative purposes.

    In 1971, Polish photographer Eustache Kossakowski took a series of 159 photos of road signs found at the entrance to Paris, which he called "6 meters to Paris". Deliberately taken with a non-emotional perspective in mind, Kossakowski took meticulous care to ensure that each photo was taken at a distance of exactly 6 meters from the signs and facing the signs too.

    At a time when the 'Grand Paris' project is discussed more and more, I wanted to see for myself where current boundaries lay. In 2011, by retracing Kossakowski's footsteps and using exactly the same methodology he had used in 1971 to record Paris road signs, I compiled my own up-to-date photo collection. The aim is not so much to make the image look nice, but to compile the images.

    This study accurately shows how Paris limits have changed over the 40 year period between 1971 and 2011. Out of 159 road signs that were photographed in 1971, 88 no longer exist while 39 new ones have been erected. Hence, there are currently 110 in existence. Some road signs have disappeared due to changes to traffic routes or to theft. It is notable that the Bois de Boulogne has its own sign « Bois de Boulogne » (district of Paris) ; The same goes for the Bois de Vincennes. New road signs have been erected and due to changes to traffic routes but also, for example, to the addition of road signs at the major trunk roads on the Paris ring road.

    As a foreword to Eugene Kossakowksi’s project in 1971, Anka Ptaszkowska-Kossakowski (co-funder of the Foksal gallery and former teacher at the Ecole nationale des beaux-arts of Caen) explains that : « Each photo indicates that the location of Paris is defined in writing and according to regulation, i.e., by sign posts. But beyond the signs lies a living reality which is different each time. In the series « 6 meters to Paris », the sign evokes the myth of the city whereas the environment demystifies it ».

    When the “Grand Paris” project is achieved, will that redefine the boundaries of the capital, will the current road signs of the entrance to Paris disappear to only leave traces in our memories? Will Paris always remain Paris?

    - Samuel Hense

    This is a 17 x 20 cm print on a matte fine-art paper sheet of 20 x 30 cm.

    • urban landscape

    • paris


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Samuel Hense

Born in: 1973


Samuel Hense is a French artist, born in 1973. He studied in the Beaux-Arts Paris studios and took municipal lessons in Paris in photography, report-photography and studio photography. He then did a training in photojournalism at Ecole des Métiers de l'Information and during the summer of 2011, he participated in a workshop at International Summer School of Photography in Riga, Lithuania. In 2015, he did a AFDAS professional training in humid collodion and large format room. Samuel Hense's work is based on analyzing landscapes, whether they are urban or natural. For most of them, these places are either left out or forgotten, intermediate zones, ones being restructure, vernacular landscapes, cities which are on their way towards change, modern ruins to a point where they are overrun by nature, nature subject to major urbanization. The nature, urban and human relation is the main focus of his photos. If Man isn't very present physically, he is still there due to his actions on the territory, which are constant. Man creates bearings, willingly or not, claims ownership of a territory, leaves his marks on the landscape. Cohabitation with nature is complex, as our present is contradictory, between the ecological awakening and the increased economic development, and of course our uncertain future. A duality which makes this relationship poetic at times, but is often tragic. Samuel Hense often works with silver film in black and white, a photographic style which is often direct (frontal images in the« straight photography » current and for some series he uses a collection of images. The main aim of his work is to re-establish the inventory of a territory. But a subjective inventory, rather than a documentary, per say, as the remarks aren't neutral, fiction might be close by. This feeling is strengthened due to the few indications of legends, places and dates. He was awarded the SFR SFR Jeunes Talents Paris Photo prize in 2008 and his work has been presented during several exhibitions in France.
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Samuel Hense, Paris 127.1 - Av de la République, Bagnolet / Av Cartellier, Paris 20
Samuel Hense, Paris 127.1 - Av de la République, Bagnolet / Av Cartellier, Paris 20 Samuel Hense, Paris 127.1 - Av de la République, Bagnolet / Av Cartellier, Paris 20 Samuel Hense, Paris 127.1 - Av de la République, Bagnolet / Av Cartellier, Paris 20 Samuel Hense, Paris 127.1 - Av de la République, Bagnolet / Av Cartellier, Paris 20

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