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Picture Paris: Landmarks of a New Generation, Photography Exhibition at the Carrousel du Louvre, Organized by the Getty Conservation Institute, April 21-May 12, 1998

Paris, France / Los Angeles, Calif. - The vision and voices of nine young Parisians aged 11 to 18 will be presented in an exhibition of 70 black and white photographs commissioned by the Getty Conservation Institute. Picture Paris: Landmarks of a New Generation will be on view in Paris from April 21 through May 12, 1998 at the Carrousel du Louvre, in a dramatic underground passageway featuring the exposed foundations of the Louvre Palace.

The three-week exhibition is part of the Getty’s international Landmarks initiative designed to mobilize public support for preserving landmarks by connecting those landmarks to their historical roots and living communities. Picture Paris is the fifth in a series of "Landmarks" projects. Beginning with Los Angeles in 1994, the project went international with Picture Cape Town in 1996; and Picture Mumbai and Picture Mexico City in 1997. As in each of the previous cities, the Paris exhibition is accompanied by a video documentary. The catalogue will be available at the Carrousel du Louvre and local bookstores.

The students, some of whom had never before used a camera, were selected and guided by project field director and professional photographer France de Ramecourt. Equipped with automatic cameras and plenty of film, they scouted the whole of Paris from April through July of 1997. Drawn from neighborhoods throughout the city, six of the students were of French origin, one Algerian, one Taiwanese, and one Gambian. Together they amassed nearly a thousand images depicting the daily life of their city - the people, monuments, problems, transitions, and gestures that have marked them in a special way.

"How do young Parisians today regard the capital with which they live in such close contact?" asks Miguel Angel Corzo, director of the Los Angeles-based Getty Conservation Institute. "The diversity of the moments captured in these photographs reveals a multifaceted Paris, reflecting the diversity of the youth who participated. They show their personal territory punctuated by public monuments and by secret everyday places. With their pictures, these teenagers have encouraged us to discover and preserve what is most precious to each of us."

What is a "landmark"? A word that is difficult to express in French, "landmark" in this project refers to anything of monumental value in one’s life. The ensemble of monuments large and small, intimate and official, photographed by this new generation of Parisians prompts serious reflection on questions of personal and collective history and identity, bringing a more human dimension to the concept of landmarks.

The photographs depict familiar Paris emblems like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Sacré-Coeur, cafés, parks, and bridges over the Seine. But woven throughout are scenes of a more edgy and dynamic Paris: speeding rollerbladers and Metro cars, outdoor markets and foreign language newspapers, a fur-clad woman in a wealthy neighborhood, a shared toilet, graffiti-scrawled walls, a mother combing her naked child’s hair, and a film shoot at the Place de la Concorde. Nyouma Konate points her camera at the remains of his friend’s demolished house, fragments of wallpaper fluttering in the wind. At a political rally for peace, Hendrik Hegray captures the expression on an Algerian protester’s face, at once willful and wary. Jérémie Garnier expresses his passion for the neighborhood where he grew up, Mathilde Schneider focuses on her friends and the homeless, while Linda Bourabaa paints the details of her family’s apartment, its corners and hallways charged by the presence of personal mementos.

"We wanted to put the spotlight not only on kings and priests - on monumental palaces, tombs, and temples - ;but also on ordinary people in today’s urban centers," says Mahasti Afshar, initiator and director of the Landmarks project. "We hope that the vision of these young people will give those who see their work a better appreciation of the variety and importance of landmarks in their own life. We hope that people will learn to fight to protect the places and things they love. If that happens, the new millennium can be marked by a global movement to preserve the endlessly rich diversity of the world’s cultural environments."

The Getty Conservation Institute has published a Landmarks handbook for those wishing to start a similar project in their own community, and is working with UNESCO to develop a plan to initiate Landmarks projects throughout the world.

Event: Exhibition preview and opening
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 1998
Time: Please call ahead for time.
Location: Carrousel du Louvre, passage Charles V, Paris

Picture Paris: Landmarks of a New Generation,
April 21 - May 12, 1998
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Admission is free.
School groups are welcome.

The illustrated catalogue Picture Paris: Landmarks of a New Generation is available from:
Getty Trust Publications
P.O. Box 49659
Los Angeles, CA 90049-0659
Telephone: (800) 223-3431 or (818)778-6943
Fax: (818)779-0051
Email On-line catalog

For press information, contact:
Jean-Pierre Beaudoin, Information et Entreprise, Paris
Tel. 33 (1) 49 29 12 12
Agnès Schneider, Paris
Tel. 33 (1) 45 44 78 51
Sylvia Sukop, Getty Public Affairs, Los Angeles
Tel. (310) 440-6474

To visit the Getty Center, contact:
Visitors Services
Telephone: (310)440-7300

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About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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The Getty Conservation Institute works internationally to advance conservation practice in the visual arts-broadly interpreted to include objects, collections, architecture, and sites. The Institute serves the conservation community through scientific research, education and training, model field projects, and the dissemination of the results of both its own work and the work of others in the field. In all its endeavors, the GCI focuses on the creation and delivery of knowledge that will benefit the professionals and organizations responsible for the conservation of the world's cultural heritage. To learn more, subscribe to the GCI's E-Bulletin by visiting