PARIS 1997

PLACEText: Marc Nguyen

A few years ago, the capital of France was renown for it’s poor artistic and night scene in Europe. The work of a few individuals and a recent turn over, have transformed Paris into a more complex, active and colourfull place.

The very begining of the alternative road starts at the doors of the “Un Regard Moderne” (rue git le coeur), a small and famous bookshop. It is one the strangest eclectic and trendy places that has maintained and developped a huge catalog of japanese, american and english fanzines and publications about alternative culture: piercing, tatoos, body art, bondage and spanking, politics, contemporary art and graphic design… It has also been a pionneer in graph-zine distribution and sales.

This path follows through in the record shops. At “Odd Size” (rue Laghouat), you will find a wide range of recent types of alternative music for both the amateur and the afficionado. All sorts of strange sounds and curious music are gathered here: from the extreme japanese hardcore to the noisy european industrial and the hippest grooves. A unique contemporary audio panorama.

Rough Trade” (rue de Charonne) enters upon the similar concept of “the record that you will never find elsewhere” but with a more electronic and technoid approach. It’s the only place in Paris where you will find the products of the FAX label, records from SUBLIME, and amazing experimental works in both vinyl and CD format.

Just in front of the Cigale, in Pigalle, a place called “La Boule Noire” has recently opened its doors. Here you will discover peculiar artists, like “MOUSE ON Mars”;

More extreme still, “Les instants Chavir駸” in Montreuil, has taken over the activities of a worshiped place of the parisian experimental and industrial scene. Video festivals as well as concerts like Sister Iodine and jazzy trash musicians of Zeni Geva performe there regularly. In a few weeks, the “La Maroquinerie” (23, rue Boyer) will open. This will be the place for discovery and experimentation in the pure tradition of the “Passage du nord ouest” where there will be held concerts, movie festivals and retrospection.

It is already considered as a good place for dinning. For the video amateurs and the animation afficionados, the entrepot movie house, offers every Tuesday for 20 francs, it’s evening happenings called”trash”, one hour and a half of experimental video, in the company of director of movie. Here the public is invited to debate over the movie.

Text: Marc Nguyen

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