Paris, je t’aime

7 May 2010 | This 'n' that

Ismo Kajander: Miss France, 1998

‘Paris traverse la pensée comme une encyclopédie de la vie, où l’on découvre des passages, des cours intérieures, des ruelles et des autoroutes, toujours plus surprenants. La ville ne se vide ni n’abandonne jamais, n’accorde ni ne refuse.’

‘Paris permeates your mind like an encyclopaedia of life in which you will incessantly discover astonishing new passages, courtyards, alleys and avenues. It will never either run empty or surrender, it won’t admit or refuse.’

L’air de Paris / Pariisin tuoksu (‘Air of Paris’, Musta Taide, 2009) is an elegant little book that features artwork by Ismo Kajander and texts by Anna Kortelainen relating to the mother city of all artists.

Kajander (born 1939), whose art includes photographs, drawings, installations and mixed-media artwork, has taken a serious interest in Paris for the past 50 years.

Anna Kortelainen is a writer, researcher and a third-generation Francophile whose short, philosophical texts on the city of dreams and memories alternate in the book with images of Kajander’s art.

Ismo Kajander: Hôtel de Buci, 1972

The book has been designed and edited by Tuomo-Juhani Vuorenmaa, Editor-in-Chief of Musta Taide publishing company, and graphic designer Jorma Hinkka (a former Art Director of Books from Finland), himself a seasoned Francophile.

In 1961 Kajander discovered le nouveau Réalisme in Paris, and was inspired to work with assemblages commenting on social issues. The reception of this work in Finland was not particularly enthusiastic at the time, but this did not prevent the artist from dedicating himself to the genre.

Kajander now lives in Paris part-time; according to his wish, his ashes will be strewn over the Seine.

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