I recently waited in an hour and a half line to get into this exhibition in Hotel De Ville called Izis. It was my third try at seeing the thing and every time I went there was an equally long line (of all real life Parisians, no tourists!)…so I knew it had to be good. The classic black and white photographs of Paris, although disarmingly beautiful, displayed images that were far from the myth of glamour and glitz that usually surrounds the city of lights.
Izraëlis Bidermanas, later just Izis, was a part of the humanist movement and a reporter for the Match, a French magazine. The exhibition at Hotel De Ville is compilation of about 250 of his photographs as well as personal memorabilia such as letters and cameras. The audience is given access not only to his life as a photographer but his relationship to Paris.
His topics included homeless people sleeping by the seine, street children, shop windows, crowds, and my personal favorite: circus folk. All his photo’s have a surreal aspect and a contradiction between the subject of the photo and the over all image: he makes every picture look timeless and beautiful even though many of them depict depressing circumstances- for example a one legged war veteran begging for change (in black and white it looks elegant and glamorous but…)
All in all my wait on line was well worth it. After my visit I felt accomplished like I got my culture in for the week…so I treated myself to a nutella creep just around the corner…another Paris perk!
For more information, please visit the Izis official website.