Tuesday, January 12, 2010

10 things scrawled on wood in Paris parks

I was walking through the Jardin du Luxembourg less than two months ago (*sigh*) when I noticed some graffiti written on a bench. It read (and I'm editing here): F--- Lavoisier! F--- Montaigne! I burst out laughing as I imagined some French high school kid studying for the bac exams. Then I thought about graffiti and how much it has (and hasn't) changed over time. Today, I usually think of spray cans, subways, and city walls when I hear the word. With the ubiquity of tags, stencils, space invader tiles, collage, stickers, and all forms of elaborate graffiti, things written on park benches or carved into trees had fallen off my radar.

I know that the etymology of "graffiti" links the term to scribbling, and yet I don't think park bench scribbles are really in the same class as what we now call graffiti. So I decided to rename things carved into wood "scrawlings." And thus begins a personal project to collect examples of things scrawled on wood.

Since my focus is on lists this month, here is a very specific list:
Things scrawled on wood in Paris parks

When you use a list to create a photo essay, the more specific the better. In fact, I could be more precise and use five photos specifically of trees as the beginning of a project...






or five photos of benches...





My point is that a prompt that might sound like something from Family Feud ("Name something you might find carved into a tree trunk.") can become the start of a fun photo project. Try it. Be specific. Post your results and link back to share for the "monthly special."

4 comments:

michelle said...

I particularly liked the face of the girl and the other face carved into the tree!

megan said...

You told us about this project while we were in Paris... I particularly remember you talking about "Luc + Felipe + Sonia = <3." Classic.

Jocelyn Bower said...

J'aime bien le photo de "ont fait l'amouor ici".

When I see this shot, I visualize a scrawny, french teenage boy who just got lucky for the first time. He has a mischievous grin on his face and can't wait to tell his equally emaciated friends about how he scored big. Greasy hair, semi-tight jeans, ratty zip-up hoody... can you visualize him?

Alex said...

haha... one of my favorite things about photography is how with a little practice and creativity, photographers can turn the mundane into something everyone can relate to and appreciate. ;) I'm working on a list... but for now, i really like the "Love is not a crime" :) thats so true... :)