A report: Warehouses turned into art headquarters
During this weekend the neighborhood of Ivry-sur-Seine, in Paris’ proche banlieue, will let the public discover the beauty of old typical factories that used to dominate this particular landscape until the second part of last century. Amazing stories underlay those old working spaces; their walls still partly show nowadays some traces of what those structures hosted during time, thanks especially to the architects who worked on their rehabilitation that decided not to cover the real identity and personality of those constructions.
When I first visited those factories I felt dazzled. I started taking pictures of any detail: high coated metal pillars, rusty crooked gates, creaky wood boarded floor and the smell of the place… oh what an amazing atmosphere. No more noisy machines for molding or weaving, but a collection artist’s workspaces, all rearranged differently, pearls of rare beauty.
Artists interact with those spaces, most of the time they either live there, in a intriguing fusion with the spirit of this old-raw renewed architecture.
As I said before Ivry was well known for being a workman spot out of Paris boundaries since its origin, art was barely there but a bright future was about to come for this community. Today Ivry is known for being the municipality showing the highest density of working artists in between all France.
When lots of old factories started to move out of the place, mostly after the sixties, little by little enormous luminous structures were left abandoned and sometime fell into dereliction.
I would like to bring you into a virtual visit of those spots, starting from some representative images.
Act 1: United Shoe HQ in Beverly, Massachusetts, early XX