‘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
Francois Prost Site
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Aux Champs Élysées 2018 BY FRANCOIS PROST
Un samedi soir en Province
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.
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.