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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Galerie Dennis Cooper presents … François Prost’s After Party

 

‘After Party shows hundreds of rural French discotheques’ frontage, shot in daylight. Those nightclubs, still in activity, show themselves in a new light: neon and other sulfurous attributes from the nocturnal ambiance are replaced by a more standard and less glittery reality. They become then quite neutral buildings in peri-urban or rural zones, in the middle of industrial area or sugarbeet fields.

‘As Cinderella getting back to reality, those places of celebration, idealized by many teenagers, become void. Not without humour, and with a hint of nostalgia, the series wants also to pay tribute to the sometimes overdecorated designs and visual codes claimed by those places. The project was awarded in 2016 a “Fidal Youth Photography Award“ and won a 5000€ grant.’ — collaged

 

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Further

Francois Prost Site
Francois Prost @ instagram
A PARISIAN AFTER PARTY IN THE LIGHT OF DAY
Paris Syndrome: photographer Francois Prost explores a replica city in China
“Photo Stories” by François Prost
Francois Prost’s Photographs Show Parisian Architecture Like You’ve Never Seen It
Buy the book of ‘After Party’

 

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Extras


Aux Champs Élysées 2018 BY FRANCOIS PROST


Un samedi soir en Province

 

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Interview
from Nova

 

After Party is a trip through France. The idea is to photograph the storefronts or buildings of discotheques “periphery”, almost nightclubs roundabouts?

François Prost : Yes. Many discos are actually in these areas between the city and the countryside, either from the suburbs of large and medium-sized cities or from the deep countryside. After the discotheques, historically, have been rebourguer in the suburbs not to disturb the neighborhood.

You do not photograph the insides of the clubs, you do not photograph them at night but by day, when there is a kind of non-life in a place that can be very excited. By the way, the first time you saw a club like that was during a late night?

François Prost: Not exactly, I did not go out but I ended up on a disco parking lot by chance. I left a few days to take a bike trip in Burgundy and I took this place in photo. He touched me because he was decontextualized. To see the backdrop of this place in the middle of the day, I found it interesting. It was called the Attitude Club, not far from Corbigny in Burgundy.

And from when did you start doing this routinely?

François Prost: I took this picture in 2011 and falling back a few months later I thought it was a subject that could be the subject of a documentary.

Did you notice occurrences of names?

François Prost: There are several categories of names, namely references to mythical places, Studio 54, Amnesia, Pasha, places that made the history of nightclubs. Then there are many names of places that refer to hedonism, the Dream for example, or references to the Greco-Roman culture.

We almost feel the American Dream.

François Prost: Yes, because these places are still a lot of American culture, shopping center, driving, mall … All these areas have taken a very important place in the French landscape, we begin to realize. Historically, the image of France a little cliché is the small village with the town hall, church etc. And in fact these areas take a lot of space on the territories.

You asked permission from all these clubs?

François Prost: No, no. I started asking, but in fact it was too complicated.

You saw them at night?

François Prost: There are still not far from 250 photos. I reviewed some at night, I had been to others when I was younger, including the Titan near Lyon. You see it returns this Greco-Roman image, of power.

And the Macumba?

François Prost: I met two of them. There were more but some closed. There is a lot of turnover overall for the discotheques. Except for Macumba, because it’s a chain! There is one still in activity in the suburbs of Lille, another towards Bordeaux which closed, one in Savoie which closed also … In any case it is the mythical image of the French discotheque.

There are the references of the south, the Macumba, but also Italy , the American references, the historical references, there is a combo between all that.

François Prost: Indeed you can say a lot about all architectural references, it even speaks of the history of architecture. The pictures speak for themselves.

Everything is relatively recent, since the 70’s. Is it really the explosion of disco that brought all these discotheques?

François Prost: I would say yes. Afterwards there are certainly buildings that have been recycled, for example in more remote places there are farm buildings.

 

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*

p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Seems very possible that Tim’s and your paths might have crossed. Yeah, this weekend in the US was like national conspiracy theorist coming out day. American social media addicts need to take acid and realise their imaginations are capable of so much more than constructing shitty movie plots based on news items. Ha ha, that is not going to get me to read Proust, David, but it’s the thought that counts. ** liquoredgoat, Thanks for the prompt, man! I’m pretty good, hope you are too. ** Dominik, Hi, D! It does feel like years. So happy to see you! I’m doing okay, mostly working. It’s very, very quiet here as it always is in August. Yes, I have been thinking that you would have done the performance by now. It sounds totally nuts and amazing! So cool! Huge, huge congrats! And if a video of your piece shows up anywhere, please do wing it to the wider public. I’m way beyond curious. So, you’re into the live performance thing, eh? Any thoughts about the future of that? Would you work with your friend again? I’m excited that you’re so excited, and I’m absolutely sure your half of the excitement is so justified. Well, as is mine by consequence. Cool, re: Iggy Pop. I haven’t seen him live since, mm, I guess the ‘The Idiot’ tour. But I was a very lucky young lad and saw The Stooges a couple of times. Now that was cool. I’m good. I’m working on my novel again after years away. That’s interesting. As soon as Zac finishes finessing the French translated script of our film, it’ll go to the producer and the money raising phase will begin. The TV show is still on. It’s going to be even more difficult and time consuming now than it was, which is hell to even think about, but it’s proceeding, which is the best possible outcome. Not much else, really. Organising a couple of ‘PGL’ screenings in Berlin and Oslo. This and that. All good enough. So great to see you and to see/hear you sound so very up! Big love from me! ** Sypha, Hi, James. Good to hear that about the Tarantino. It finally opens here on Wednesday, so I can finally get it under my belt and put my thoughts in order. **  Bill, Hi. Yep, about Tim Dlugos. Good, you made it. They’ve been showing the protester-occupied airport, and I’ve been wondering if you managed to sneak through. What airline did you fly? That’s a very classy in-flight line-up. On AirFrance, my go-to airline, their idea of keeping the smart passengers at bay is offering critical darling indie shit like ‘Ladybird’. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Well, ha ha, I have to say I haven’t heard or read a peep about ‘The Mad Adventures …’ since I’ve lived here, so I think it’s probably considered more of an embarrassing mishap in French history now. ** _Black_Acrylic, Yay! Well, ‘yay’ is a funny reaction to anything Bresson-related, I guess. But I’m obviously thrilled it worked on you. A successful Bresson screening is when half the audience doesn’t walk out, so maybe it went well. Yeah, I saw something about that new UKIP head dude’s so perfect name. Ha ha. ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Well, that post was new, but there was a somewhat different post here about the book back when. Amy Gerstler is consistently fantastic, so it’s hard to pick and choose. You can’t go wrong whichever one you read. ‘Bitter Angel’ is the one that won a bunch of awards, but she just gets greater and greater, so, yeah, you can do an eeny-meeny-miney-mo. There’s a ‘Selected’ in the works, but I think it’s a ways off. Great about your installation show’s impact! Do share pix over on FB if you can. Very happy you saw ‘The Rest I Make Up’ and that you liked it so much. I think I mentioned it was definitely my favorite film that I saw in 2018. I’m very curious to see what Michelle Memran does next. ** Misanthrope, Hi. It is. Right, your birthday! Happiest of the happy birthdays post-thing! Celebrating someone else’s sounds like the perfect way to celebrate your own. Well, we’ll see about my novel. But I’m into it for now, and that’s all it takes for now. Ah, to see the finish line even still a ways off … lucky, lucky you. ** KK, Hi, man. I’m telling you, an oral biography of Tim Dlugos would be killer on many levels. Some smartie out there needs to do it. Extreme heat and extreme bugs simultaneously? Dude, so much sympathy. Nice about the getaway, but … isn’t Raleigh rather toasty this time of the year too. Differently roasty though? I’m just not going to see ‘Beach Bum’. I like his films so much, and every single person I know who’s seen it and really likes his work says it’s just thoroughly depressing, so I’m going to skip it aka preserve my respect. Ooh, reading on a bulldozer. My friend Zac is obsessed with earth moving equipment. In our new film there’s one short scene where a digger is seen digging a hole, and I sometimes think he just wants to make the film so he shoot that scene. Anyway, great idea: the reading. Stuff’s fine here. Not exhausting at all. Well, other my burnt out eyes from staring at a Word doc all day. May your week begin festively. ** Okay. Today you are asked to look at photos of provincial French dance clubs during the daylight hours. See you tomorrow.

7 Comments

  1. Oh I love the look of nightclub exteriors in daylight hours, they’re so evocative and this is an inspired idea on Mr Prost’s part. So blissfully tranquil. Hmm by contrast, one club that I never attended but always admired photos of the outside of is the 90s Berlin techno institution Tresor with its a cellar housing a dancefloor pressed between bank safes, no doubt banging out some fearsome looped up 4/4 beats. A flipside to the suburban French nitespots of After Party.

  2. Actually it’s not all proceeding from a shity movoe, but rather ATruly Great One

    This “After Party” disco display is much like your amusement park posts — which figures. Great stuff.

  3. I liked THE BEACH BUM, although I think it’s fairly weak by Korine’s standards. If you’re interested in his work, it’s well worth seeing. The biggest problem is that its narrative feels forced and phony – there are 3 or 4 major plot points, but most of the film feels like Korine just hung out filming his actors as they improvised with no real direction in mind beyond convincing the audience they’re baked out of their minds. But it seems obvious that much of the negative reaction stems from presenting a flawed character in a neutral, nonjudgmental light. Here’s what I wrote about it on Letterboxd: https://www.letterboxd.com/steevee/film/the-beach-bum/

    Best Epstein conspiracy theory: he’s not really dead. A homeless man who looks just like him was killed and placed in his cell, while Epstein was taken out and flown to a hideout in the Bahamas or his pedo island.

  4. This is an oddly absorbing collection, Dennis. I think my favorite is l’Albatros, with the little flower boxes in the windows.

    The airline is Cathay Pacific. The movie selection is probably just a random glitch; I’ve flown them before with a uniformly ghastly selection.

    I optimistically went to see Luz last night. Bad idea when jet lagged, duh.

    Bill

  5. Dennis, Great day. In my (now) 48 years, it never dawned on me what a club might look like in broad daylight. It’s kind of like people who thing that everything in a room stops when they leave it. I just thought it kind of went away and popped back up the next night. 😛

    Thank you, thank you. ‘Twas a good time at the party.

    A close friend is coming back from Japan -her husband’s stationed there for a couple years- this coming weekend for a visit, and we’re all going to get together at another friend’s Saturday. That should be fun.

    Yes, the end is off, but I can see it if I stand on my tippy toes.

    Actually, I wrote the last two paragraphs of the novel last night. They’ll get revised when I get to them, of course, but it gives me a sort of frame in which to work. I did that with my long-abandoned novel; wrote the last paragraph very early into working on it. That works for me.

  6. Hi Dennis, really enjoyed these. I like to imagine what it would be like to be inside at night with all those French guys dancing and speaking French. Enough to turn me on in a big way. I’m in a new place and new kind of life, adjusting to post parents. I seem to be acquiring material objects of various sorts like my new flatscreen TV today…they seem to keep me grounded and sane. I’ve got my father’s gold wedding ring which I’ve started to wear. They were married for 70 years. So doing ok. Waiting to hear how I do on this first chapter contest, which might (or might not) encourage me to continue writing my next novel. Not at all sure what to do with it, but if I win anything, even a runner-up, it will definitely encourage me to go on with it. It’s a very good contest and I’ll let you know if I get any encouragement from it. Popping in quickly every day, just not in the mood to comment too often. Hope you’re good. K

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