This series from the Jean-Marie Donat Collection brings together vernacular, anonymous photographs in which the word "PARIS" is present, sometimes in an obvious way ; sometimes very discreetly. It confronts the immediate imagery linked to this word, which for the viewer irrepressibly designates the City of Light — and the fantasies that flow from it! — a toponymic reality of the multitude of places named Paris, or indicating how to get there. Through this series, through this abundance of "PARIS" mention, the viewer approaches it without ever being there. The place escapes.
Jean-Marie Donat played on this motif in a previous series entitled "I AM NOT THERE", which brought together photographs of people posing in front of signs indicating the way to prestigious or tourist places. Paradoxically, in order to be able to show "that you were there", you had to take a photo outside the place itself, in front of the sign. You’re almost there, but not quite.
The series REVOIR PARIS is an extension, like an offshoot, of this long-term work.
The particularity of Jean-Marie Donat's artistic approach is the development of photographic series around repetitive subjects or details. He appropriates, recontextualizes and links together the collected images and gives them a new meaning. Here the mention "PARIS" is sometimes imperceptible and asks to be rediscovered in the interstices of the photograph.
The collection from which this series comes from has been built up over more than 30 years. It is mainly composed of vernacular images, photographs of amateurs, of anonymous people. It covers more than a century of photographic history (1880-1990). From this work of sedimentation over time and introspection on this fund, Jean-Marie Donat has built — since the 80s — this photographic corpus with the desire to give a singular reading of the twentieth century.