By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – An upcoming free to the public photography exhibition will feature approximately 22 images by French photographer Marich Devise that aim to link the cities and people of Paris, France and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Opening on Thursday, March 10th, the “Paris – Rio Plages” photography exhibition will remain on display at the Galeria Aliança Francesa in Botafogo from March 11th through May 28th.
The images of the “Paris – Rio Plages” exhibition were created by Devise through the use of large photo panels and a mobile studio setup inspired by traditional African photography studios.
Devise installed the large photo panels in public spaces in both Paris and Rio and then invited passers-by to pose in front of the images. In Paris, people posed in front of images of Rio and in Rio, where Devise first installed her mobile studio on Copacabana beach in 2014, people posed in front of images of Canal de l ́Ourcq in Paris.
“The idea is to offer those who pass by the installation the opportunity to take a picture in front of a scene showing another place on the planet,” said Devise in a press statement when speaking of the images.
Devise also hoped to highlight the similarities between the two countries. “In addition to being fun, the images depict and compare two cultures (French and Brazilian) who have much more in common than we can imagine, starting with a deep mixture of people,” said Devise. “The images are a way to remember that true humanity embraces its differences.”
Dividing her time between homes in Paris and Rio de Janerio, Devise was a practicing lawyer for over fifteen years and only recently began to seriously explore her passion for photography.
When asked by O Globo how the idea originated to photograph people against backgrounds and landscapes from other cities, Devise said; “It began with an NGO [Non-Governmental Organization] created in France, “Clichés Urbains” to teach poor children to shoot. One of the steps was to animate the neighborhood with photos of New York, like a journey, and to photograph the children wearing hip-hop clothes. I also held workshops in South Africa and Rio. Then, in Paris, I put a picture made in Copacabana of a soccer goal with a blue sky for people to pose as if they were on the “beach” while actually being on the bank of the Seine River.”
The Aliança Francesa (French Allicance) in Rio de Janeiro where the exhibition will be held, is part of a network of sites known for helping to spread the French language and culture. In Brazil, the Aliança Francesa is well known for developing partnerships with French and Brazilian companies and for adding to and strengthening the Franco-Brazilian cultural dialogue.
What: “Paris-Rio Plages” Exhibition
When: Opening Thursday, March 10th at 7PM. Exhibition will be open to the public March 11th through May 28th, Mondays through Fridays 2PM to 8PM and Saturdays 9AM to 1PM.
Where: Galeria Aliança Francesa Botafogo, Rua Muniz Barreto, 746 – Botafogo