Nous serons ouverts après la revolution ! oder Die Abwesenheit der Dinge EN
Eva-Maria Lopez


Nous serons ouverts aprés la revolution !

or “The absence ot the things”

In the silence of the night – a expedition/ramble through the rue Saint-Honoré after the manifestation „acte IV“ 08. December 2018 and the morning after in the „triangle d'or“.

Shopping, at the moment better online. Also recommended by a company, a least the paper wrapping paper to cover the display is christmassly red. During my ramble7 expedition during this Saturday evening in the nearly deserted street Saint-Honoré, everything can be find behind the windows: brown kraft (paper), white wrapping paper, old cardboard's or poster, properly arranged or „a la bricolage francais“, quasi as an involuntary decoration, everything, but nothing christmassly.

Even, the obligatorily parisien red christmas trees prefers to stay inside, like at the restaurant opposite of the barred/blocked Palais Royal, as well as the cat does.

Outside the topic is the chip board in different variations, mostly the typical light brown; wafer board or noble black. A lot of shops already have the mass customized chip board on stock, for new years eve or soccer cup events. But this advent, they're mounted every Friday evening and dismounted Sunday mornings, up to 700 m² per label.

The street on this evening is dark, the glamours seems fading out. Some dispersed gilets jaunes, probably looking for an open metro-station, because the center of Paris is widely closed down. A bizarre atmosphere is spreading out on the street. Chip boards mounted on the nice historical facades - appearing like an own architecture. Some are looking like from a model making workshop, others like a sculptures in public space. The situation of the nearly deserted road is developing it own atmosphere, which is attracting me.

Some light is shining through the cracks of the boards or through tossed paper – which creates interesting structures and it's one aesthetic. The empty vitrines and sockets out of marble, metal or glass appearing like art sculptures in a gallery. Involuntary, it's remaining me on the warehouses in Havana 20 years ago without anything to sell ..

The only designer, showing courageous her fashion and stayed unharmed is Vivienne Westwood. All the others have protected themselves behind the boards, sometimes comments on, ironical “We look like a wine box, but we are open” or “bon manifestation a tous” (we wish all a good demonstration). Little shops are appealing to forbearance, because they don't have any glass insurance. Sporadically, some yellow vests are in the display, probably as a solidarity sign.

The most expressiveness comment to me is: “Nous serons ouverts apres la revolution !” before it was saying: We will be open this sunday 11.00 am, then stroked out and replaced by hand with “after the revolution”.

Only one magazin has actually been broken in Saint-Honoré, the entry is half open. The bursted glass plate appears in the first moment like carpet. The next morning, still the same situation/picture, supplemented by security and insurance men. Discussing about the case stands. Alongside, a drained cleaning lady, sitting on a re-erected chair.

A few houses next to it, a group of young people, ready for Saturday night life, bringing with there chatting a kind of regular live int the street. One starts posing underneath the graffiti “ Vive le vent, vive le vent, vive le vandalsime” which is an adaption/french version of the christmas song jingle bells … This nearly poetic situation is framed by a scooter from the left hand and a shadow of a quite meaningless traffic light.

Place Vendome has become a refugium for the CRS (Republican Security Companies), the general reserve of the french national police. Place to eat sandwiches during the night watch/shift. Like an allusive sign the advertising for a watch above the deserted place. Two giant artificial Christmas trees in front of the Trajan column appearing like silent guards. Something is missing – ah, yes the fairy lights are off.

Chinese tourist taking a snap shots of the anonymous shops while crossing the scene. Two men pulling there trolleys with white slip covers (fitting to the Arrondissment), Everybody can pass the check point, except some afrofrench people, after a strict control they can go on.

Next to a barrier, a poster for the exhibition “Un barbar à Paris” (a barbarian in Paris), is showing an artist in his studio surrounded by chip boards, it's like a slapstick to me.

Also slogans like “Joy” getting a different meaning, it's seems in this situation more like the joy is over, at least for this Christmas season. Others has been changed or invented after acte IV like “un parfum de victoire (a perfume of victory)”. Next to a pharmacy “colere” (anger) is written, but it's questionable for me, if they're is a medicine against it.

On my way back home, I make a step over in one of the rarely open bars, a german couple telling me, they stayed all day long in the hotel, the weekend trip to Paris was a gift from their children - unfortunately they haven't looked the news in Germany before..

Saturday night a heavy storm is blowing trough the parisien streets, but can't drown down the sirens. TV channels showing the same scenes of the manifestation at Champs Elysee over and over. A totally different view than the reality I've seen tonight. It's encouraging me, to go ahead with my camera the next day. I'm drawn to look behind all that, the leftovers, catching the energy which is in the streets after the demonstration. Wondering, how does absence of things matter to me. I'm so used to the crowed, the advertising, the lights and bling-bling (glitter/glamour), that it's difficult imagine anything else.

I discovered to today a new graffiti on some places “Jesus sauve (Jesus saves)”, it replaced the nice “Armour” of these autumn; will see - Macron is going to make a speech on Monday.

The day after

Sunday morning on my way to the golden triangle, I can't believe my eyes, yellow vests in the Seine! Actually it's a anualy stand-up paddling event/race to the Eiffel tower.

A lot of white vans instead of black limousines are parking in front of the shops of Avenue Montaigne. The sign/hint/lead of real life, due to the extraordinary situation in this 600 m luxury paved road. Cordless screw driver are humming. The chip boards are demounted, back to the storage until the next mission. The way, men carrying the boards away is reminding me of the TV scenes from the demonstration last night.

The only thing which this glittering - on this second advents Sunday morning in the english style front gardens of the “triangle d'or” – are piles of counter-sunk screws, carefully kept for the next Friday/use. Inside the cleaning teams, decorators replacing the store display.

There is not much damage this time. Only in one shop the morning sun/aurore is reflected in a cracked window glass. By the way, the street is named after the french moralist and philosopher Michel Montaigne, and before it was known as path through vegetable gardens outside of Paris, for widows looking for a gallant amusement.

At Champs Elysee first tourists for shopping are around. Some magazines are still barricaded, but doors already open. A bit weird, going in to shop without a name, that has never happen here before.

Entering the Rue Saint-Honoré – everything looks already quite restored, some shops displays are still empty, hopefully they won't make an mistake when taking back the jewels. In another window two decorators wearing a T-shirt with that meaningful slogan “Dream Tomorrow” while dressing up a mannequin. Not far away in a shop, a Lady with a funny hat is wearing a yellow west! It must be a misunderstanding. Maybe she thinking it's – en vogue??

Some cafes are open, but not many people. A few flaneurs passing by, which is not only a due to the rain. A bar tender is filling up ice in champagne buckets, behind the bar tints of caviar, ready for a very particularly hang-over breakfast.

Me, I take a double espresso to warm-up again. On my way home, I found in a side street just around the corner in a side street the prefect shot to finish my photo series:
“strange nights” !

They are not over yet.