Month: January 2012
The French word <canivaux> means the gutter. In Paris, every day, street sweepers (wielding lurid green plastic versions of the witch’s ‘besom’ broom) block off the gutters near to drains using carefully crafted mini dams made of rolled up carpet tied with string. They turn on the water from a hydrant further up the street and let the water sluice all the trash down towards the ‘dam’. They then turn off the water and scoop up the rubbish into their carts. I began photographing first the exotic rolled up carpet-dams, then the content of the gutters themselves. The ‘odd one out’ in this series is the pink ball, washed up on a beach in Thailand… This was the image that started me thinking of photographing found (or abandoned) objects in the streets of Paris – unexpected objects out of their original context. The series is part of my work on abandoned objects in Paris, called Paris Traces.