(Paris: Flammarion, 2014)
I copy-edited the catalogue for this major exhibition of photographs of the French capital by Magnum photographers held at the Hôtel de Ville in Paris.
This homage to Paris by the great Magnum photographers reveals a multifaceted portrait of the city’s effervescent character in 350 photographs. By documenting the everyday workings of the city, Magnum’s photographers capture the essence of Parisian life. Their photographs show the city as it lives and breathes—from fashion shows to underground jazz clubs, from the bustling metro to outdoor cafés, and from the Art Deco Fouquet’s hotel to the working-class Goutte d’Or neighborhood. Even celebrities appear as ordinary citizens encountered in their own milieu—from former President François Mitterrand to novelist Marguerite Duras, singer Edith Piaf to actress Catherine Deneuve, fashion designer Christian Dior to artist Giacometti. The city’s rich history and traditions are inherent in images depicting the bravery of an unknown female resistance fighter, the exuberant joy upon the Liberation of Paris, the eroticism of burlesque dancers, or the excitement of the final lap of the Tour de France. Crusty baguettes, buttery escargot, glasses of wine, and abundant butcher cases attest to the gastronomic pleasures of the city, and all of the monuments—the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame—appear like cast members at curtain call. This book celebrates the myriad aspects of Paris in a volume as captivating for the lifelong Parisian as it is for the armchair traveler.