Numéro 37 Du 05/03 au 18/03/14

VUES SUR LE MONDE

  • 37- Junior Suite

Montre-moi ta chambre d’enfant, et je te dirai qui tu es. Je partageais la mienne avec mes deux frères, nous étions installés à l'étage dans une mezzanine qui donnait sur le salon. Les meubles étant trop lourds, nous les avions laissés dans la disposition hasardeuse qu’avaient établie les déménageurs quelques mois plus tôt, reliant, ici et là, draps et planches pour que chacun puisse être dans sa bulle.

J’avais l’impression de vivre dans une cabane, un tissu tendu me servait de plafond, des dizaines de livres tenaient le rôle de murailles. A l’intérieur, une planche en suspension entre l’étagère et le rebord de mon lit faisait office de bureau. Accoudé à ce dernier, plus que tout, je me voyais déjà grand, cravaté, peigné, sans avoir besoin de grand-chose : mon imagination suffisait. Mais bizarrement, je n’y ai jamais réellement travaillé, j’étais bien trop occupé à modeler ma cabane selon mes humeurs, mes influences du moment, ou à griffonner des tas de dessins sur la tranche de mon armoire,- simplement pour entendre le frottement de mon crayon sur le bois verni. Un été, j’avais même accroché une balançoire sur la poutre centrale qui maintenait sur pied mon abri de fortune. Et je me balançais, à l’affût du moindre mouvement de mes frères, espionnant leurs conversations, scrutant leurs ombres à contre-jour.

Souvent je m’imaginais à ciel ouvert, vivre une chaleur californienne, que la musique qu’ils écoutaient venait parfumer. Parfois, ils se battaient pour avoir le monopole du son, alors l’orage grondait et mon père demandait finalement le silence. J’aimais le silence, car il était pur, frais. Je pouvais presque le toucher, le voir à travers l’unique fenêtre de notre chambre.
Au matin, les oiseaux chantaient, mon père rentrait de la boulangerie, il chuchotait, ses pas prudents sur le parquet bruyant, la chaise grinçante où il s'asseyait, tous ces bruits familiers, et moi, éveillé dans mon lit.

Je n’aurais pas aimé avoir davantage d’espace, mon cocon me protégeait, et lorsqu’on m’y arrachait, je n’avais qu’une hâte: retourner m’y enfermer pour me sentir libre. Et comme tout cocon, le mien a éclaté: j’ai fait du monde ma cabane, le ciel a remplacé mon drap tendu. Mes frères sont partis, j’ai ouvert ma fenêtre, j’ai enfin pu écouter le monde chanter. Depuis, je ne cesse de le traverser et de poser mes valises au gré des pays que j'explore.

Guillaume Durand


Numéro 36 Du 19/02 au 04/03/13

NO FIXED PLACE

  • 36- Junior Suite

It all kicked off one day when I was bored! To pass the time, I rearranged my collection of Kinder toys that I had kept for no good reason…  One awkward movement and one of them slipped down into the space between the furniture and the wall. So I had to move the commode to get it back.
All of a sudden, the dresser sideways gave the impression that the space in my room took on another dimension. Like a little separation that, if you slid cushions behind it, would be a private space where I could read or write in my diary. And what if I shifted the bad, would the room feel bigger? The result was doubtful but I did get the impression I was in a new room!

I think I rearranged my room at least six times from then on. And with each new inspiration I would celebrate by buying little objects to decorate. Nothing revolutionary, I didn’t spend all my pocket money on stuff but a little cushion (a pink one, I was so proud!), a kitschy (not to me!) knick-knack that I picked up in the “pound store”… Once I even managed to negotiate a new duvet cover with my mother…

Today I live in a simple, unpretentious house with my man and my two kids. They often joke by saying “so are we celebrating the new living room tonight?” Yes, I still have a tendency to “rethink” everything! I often paint furniture to make even more of a change… Redecorating through recycling: the “home staging” trend is something I’ve always done! So what do I do for a living? I’m looking for work. My friends and family are trying to get me to do an interiors course…  Perhaps it’s time to take that step?

Bianca Alberti from an interview with Catherine L.
 

Numéro 35 Du 05/02 au 18/02/13

DRAW ME A WOMAN

  • 35- Junior Suite

As a teenager I tended to stay in, a lot, and that suited me just fine. It meant I could spend hours in my room reading “Tank Girl”. I had discovered this cartoon in my mother’s few issues of Gotham magazine.

Tank Girl was probably the craziest girl I had ever “come across”, until now! Impossibly vulgar, fantastic looking, constantly cursing… She strode through the Australian desert in her tank with her pet kangaroo. I was fascinated by this girl who was the polar opposite of myself. I am pretty discreet, I like when people are polite and respectful to one another. But this girl… A form of escape perhaps? In any case, I lived my teenage rebellious years vicariously through her. Minus the frustration! We were much different, but nevertheless we were “close”. Yes, there was a sort of admiration. But no envy, no love… 

In my bed I would examine each story in detail, follow every plotline however intricate like the drawings which were very rich. They truly filled the page! I loved to find new details… Until the day I discovered a tattoo… It didn’t appear every time as the artist allowed himself the freedom to change things. Not always in the same place either. Sometimes on a shoulder, sometimes on an arm.
That tattoo was a sign of a state of mind. That of “Tank Girl”, the cartoon strip, the graphic style… I was fourteen. I copied it on to a sheet of paper… I hesitated for a long time. But at the age of nineteen I took the plunge! I had the same one tattooed on my forearm. Not for any ideological reasons but for what the cartoon strip meant to me.

It was a way to remember the happy times I spent reading the stories… But how could I forget! I bought the complete works a few years ago. I enjoy it all with the same passion today. Even better, this edition is annotated and explains many of the writer’s musical and cultural references. It has helped me discover other artists…

Bianca Alberti from an interview with Colin J.

 

Numéro 34 Du 22/01 au 04/02/2014

MICRO DORTOIR

  • 34- Junior Suite

Fun Radio, the call-in show. With my walk-man glued to my ears every night, in secret, having to replace the batteries every week.

One day, FM radio was born. So my teenage years were filled with music but mostly talking, advice, practical jokes. Every night between 10 pm and 3 am behind my mother’s back, she only found out about this three years ago, I had a feeling of opening a window onto the outside world from my bed, knowing that everyone was asleep, quite alone in my cocoon, watching the hours go by. It filled my dreams before I even fell asleep, like so many teenagers of my age. I was only 13 years old when I started, but as I already loved the atmosphere of the night, I was hooked. Because everything is different at night.
The DJ’s voice, talking to me, what does he look like? Where is he? What about the team? What does the studio look like? I could only dream, fantasise about the radio station. This mystery goes a long way in explaining why radio presenter is such a dream job. For me it was Max on Star System. From listening every night, his voice became familiar, I listened to his advice, and I learned from his experience. I felt like I knew him, like a big brother, always there, at the same time. I never got tired of it until I was eighteen. One walkman replaced another.

I never lost my passion for music. At the age of 23 in 2003, I sent a test tape to a local radio station in Lyon and they hired me. Since then I’ve worked for NRJ radio and I am a DJ on the weekend. For some, getting behind a camera is their thing, for me it was getting behind a mike. And how funny to see the spark in the eyes of the fifteen –year old interns who come to work at the station now and again. "So this is what it’s like…!"

Chloé Danglard from an interview withe Sébastien Boyer

• More information about Sébastien Boyer with his Facebook page

Numéro 33 Du 08/01 au 21/01/14

A CRUISE WITH TOM

  • 33- Junior Suite

My teenage bedroom? Tom Cruise! What I mean is “a shrine to Tom Cruise”. It was love at first sight when I was fourteen. It all happened during “Mission: Impossible”. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Things didn’t get any better when I started to examine his back catalogue and discovered Top Gun, among others. 

I still don’t know why he had such an effect on me but sometimes you can’t explain love! Whatever, I bought every single magazine like «OK» or «Salut» where he was mentioned. Even my friend in Germany sent me everything that came out on the subject. And when I found a “100% posters” that was all about Tom, I think I may have had what might have been my first orgasm! I papered my bedroom wall with them. I even papered the ceiling when I ran out of room. I would stick photos into notebooks. I had my favourite pages and I would look at them before I went to sleep. I also included Nicole Kidman. I wasn’t jealous! Mind you, when he married Katie Holmes who is my age, I was a little green. 

In the meantime, this virtual love helped me get through my teens as a pretty shy girl, when I thought I wasn’t very pretty, “ugly and nerdy” to be precise. He was my only obsession so I was able to concentrate on my studies, with pretty good results I might add! 

Tom even came to engineering school with me. But when my friends started to throw tennis balls at him and the plaster started coming off the wall, I realised it was time to take him down! I also understood that boys could be jealous. So, I did interest them after all? Tom left discreetly to leave a bit of room. Is the man in my life now anything like him? He is American at least but he’s blond and is 1.98m tall. Spot the difference!

B.A. from an interview with Caroline A.

 

Numéro 32 Du 24/12/13 au 08/01/2013

SWEET HOME CINEMA

  • 32- Junior Suite

As teenagers, we all have posters on the walls of our room. In my room there was an invasion of postcards, photos and little posters on a very clearly defined space: from the height and width of my top bunk to the ceiling. And there was only one theme: cinema! It entered my heart and system without my knowing. Probably a form of cultural inheritance pass on by my parents who often brought us to see old movies and with whom we often enjoyed “La dernière séance” with Eddy Mitchell. I also used to catch “Le cinéma de minuit” was broadcast very late on a Sunday on FR3 but which I managed to see from my bed as the TV was located at the perfect angle from my open bedroom door!

I was overcome by the stories and worlds each I would plunge into at each film. I literally experienced the plots, recreating them in my head. Then one Christmas, my parents bought me little plastic posters of “Gone with the wind” and “West Side Story”. This started off my collection of stills so I could relive the scenes… At the time, cinemas would post up stills to attract clients. I knew the shops that sold on these promotional stills and spent a lot of time there!

My wall became my screen… Right up there, in A3 format. My favourites were close to my pillow. For a long time the space was taken by « Star Wars », the « Empire Strikes Back » and the « Return of the Jedi ». Beside them of course there was Kubrick with «A Clockwork Orange » masterpieces by Coppola “The Godfather”, “Rumblefish” or “The Outsiders”… I would change the photos according to my most recent screenings or my obsessions of the moment and I would settle in up there to read Première or Ecran Fantastique. It was my form of escape, my reservoir of emotion.

I am not an actress. But every day I do take part in the immense dream machine that is the cinema: I am head of “Business & Legal” in a big production company!

B.A. from an interview with Elise B.

 

Numéro 31 Du 11/12 au 24/12/2013

DEADLINE

  • 31- Junior Suite

They started piling up in my room at the same time as my passion for them was developing.
I found them a space at the foot of my bed, on a wooden coffee table.
Each, day, each week, each month, each quarter, the pile grew. They included «L’Equipe», «Miroir-Sprint», «Sport & Vie», «Miroir du Cyclisme».
My attraction to newspapers, my desire, my need, began with the sporting press. Photos of cyclists above all. I would come back from the newsagents holding them gently against my chest to protect them from the wind.

 They would land on my desk like that: impeccable, beautiful, smooth. Still smelling of the printers… And then I would flick through them, then read them, taking care not to turn down the corners, or worse, wrinkle them. This was an art that only I mastered. And it was obviously forbidden for any member of my family, even my brother who shared my room, to touch them once they were on the table.
Any infringement of this law led to a hysterical reaction on my part which worried my mother, whose copy of the local paper «Dauphiné Libéré», I massacred daily. I would cut out pictures to illustrate my own paper that I would put together from time to time on foolscap sticking them on with glue and writing my articles around them. I felt as if I were in a real newspaper office, surrounded by my “archive”.

They were “my” papers, my treasures, and this continued throughout my life from “Disco Revue”, “Combat” or “Le Monde”, until I truly became a journalist, and beyond.
Today, other piles have taken over the coffee table in the living room to the despair of my cleaning lady. And my daughters have followed the rules since their childhood, giving my papers a wide berth!

M.A.

 

Numéro 30 Du 27/11 au 10/12/13

MONSTERS IN PUBLIC!

  • 30- Junior Suite

 When I went into CM1 my parents, seeing as I had become “a big girl”, decided to give me my own room. No more sharing with my little brother ! I was so proud. I had two old beach changing cabins where I could put my clothes. The problem was, when night fell, I wasn’t such a big girl after all! Like all kids, I thought there were monsters in the closet. Creatures that weren’t necessarily there to hurt me but whose favourite pastime was to make my blood run cold when my parent’s had their back turned.

I was sure that they would come out the second I switched off the light. And every noise I heard in the house as associated with one of them. For example, there was one for the noises of footsteps in the stairs, another for the creaking bathroom door…
But I was determined never to give in! To get a peaceful night’s sleep, I elaborated an infallible plan. My theory was that they enjoyed scaring children because they were bored, so all I had to do was… keep them occupied!

And what better than offering them a nice dinner? Every night, I would use my little oven and cook them dinner, a fictitious dinner of course, but I made an effort: coconut chicken sauce, beef bourguignon… not to mention dessert! Anything that could make them sleep was welcome. Then I would stand in front of the two doors I would recite the evening’s menu. It worked! They were captivated by my menu and hungry for their meal, and so they forgot to scare me and I, sensing that I had their attention, I discovered the pleasure of making up stories, telling them, bringing them to life…

Since then, the little game has become my job: I am an actress and just recently got into directing… And while I’m no longer scared of monsters, I still suffer from stage fright! 

Chloé Danglard from an interview with Alice Barbosa

• More details about Alice Barbosa

 

Numéro 29 Du 13/11 au 27/11/13

CHILDHOOD OBSESSION

  • 29- Junio Suite

When I was small I loved tidying my room. This may seem surprising for a child but it really was my thing.

It all started the day I tipped over my box of tiny beads onto my thick midnight blue coloured carpet. To begin with, everything was all together, the colours and shapes were mixed and all the strings entwined. So I started to pick them up. First of all by hand, then with a needle… I started sorting them meticulously into each little compartment. Unfortunately there weren’t enough boxes to separate all of the colours. I then went as far as collecting my father’s empty cachou boxes on which I would put a sticker with the name of each shade… 

Putting everything in order became my sole aim and I was about to succeed when the whole box fell over again! Strangely, no one had to beg me to get back to work, from the beginning obviously. I have to admit that I found the task relaxing. Believe it or not, sorting little stones one by one made me feel better as I was a solitary kid and I loved to occupy my time alone. The excuse was easy to find!
Especially as once this fastidious task was over I felt proud. I wanted to feel that way again so I began to tidy everything. But really everything. Books categorised by size, colouring pencils in perfect order and even piles of clothes that would not look out of place in a department store, nothing escaped. Even my knickers were colour-coded!

Today this devotion to tidiness can be seen in my home. To the extent that it is sometimes an issue for those who live with me. For example, my four cushions are so well placed on my couch that my flatmates are afraid to sit on it. There is a thin line between passion and obsession, it’s up to us to stay on the right side. A place for everything and everything in its place, that is my motto!

Mégane Seure from an interview with Nathalie P.

 

Numéro 28 Du 30/10 au 12/11/13

DELIRI-ROOM

  • 28- Junior Suite

I have always been attracted to the bizarre. At the age of six, I built a little museum in my room that I called “Baheiro”, a word I totally made up. In it I displayed all sorts of Egyptian objects like little replicas of sarcophagi or postcards I bought in museums with skulls on them. 

But in fact, I spent most of my time drawing. Between the ages of six and seven, my friends and I would draw pictures with violent tendencies, like a person in a wheelchair rolling towards the edge of a cliff… strange ideas for our age but we thought it was fun. I was always drawn to death and crime… But don't let all that death stuff fool you: I was and am a very happy boy!
When I got older, I spent hours making mix-tapes and reading… Everything from Mad Magazine to novels and stories about witches and demons. I haven’t really changed since. In fact, at the moment I am mixing for a weekly show on Red Light Radio, behind a former prostitute’s window. Killer! 

My parents took me to museums regularly when I was young and this influenced me enormously. The “Der Blaue Reiter” movement was a revelation for me. I like drawing black and white landscapes that take hours and hours and force me to be meticulous so that there are no drips on the paper. I like the precision of drawing in ink. You can add details that some people will never see. And when they do see them, they are intrigued. 

My whole day can be an inspiration to me. Waking up, going to the gym, to the supermarket, meeting people buying stuff, etc. All of this can end up in my drawings in one way or another. My work is a real blend of the precise and the crazy, filled with all the ideas that run through my mind… but which are perfectly ordered. 

Today I do mostly tattoo design, ink drawings, album covers and photo collage… I also have exhibitions… Letting your crazy side run free works!

Bruno Lancelot

• Father Futurback on show in Paris!
Amsterdam Invasion by Sizzer
At Superette Production, 104, rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, Paris
Exhibition until November 10th, open Monday to Friday between 14:00 and 18:00

• To see and read more : fatherfutureback.com

 
Numéro 27 Du 16/10 au 29/10/13

CHI VA PIANO VA SANO

  • 27- Junior Suite

When my mother suggested that I take piano lessons when I was seven, it was only natural that the instrument, an upright Zimmermann be housed in my room among my toys. I loved it immediately. I took it seriously. I had my weekly class with Huguette and enjoyed my daily half-hour of piano practice before going out to play. Then an hour, then two… Up until I turned fifteen and dropped everything. Teaching methods too traditional, no psychology… My adolescent self rebelled, the discipline no longer suited me.

So, I was given a synthesiser. I started to record small compositions, integrating other instruments. I missed the feel of an acoustic piano. I went back to it and had a breakthrough. I left high school at sixteen and with my parent’s permission moved out of the apartment into the little studio upstairs to work on my music full time.

My second room. I lived in between the coffee maker, the bed, my four track recording gear and my two keyboards. I knew I had to learn harmony and song writing to move on. I went back to Huguette but we clashed and her parting shot was: “In any case, you’ll never be a pianist”. We would see about that. I locked myself in the attic and discover jazz. The lights suddenly went on... I felt at one with my need for freedom, to escape. I worked hard, often up to six or eight hours a day not to mention rehearsals at night. To play the acoustic piano I went back down to my first room. I lived happily between the two spaces! I deepened my knowledge with Bernard Maury, one the of the best harmony teachers going. He remained my spiritual father until I was 23 when I stopped taking classes and became his assistant at the École Supérieure de Jazz. It was time to leave my two rooms and start my adult life.

Today, I make a living from my passion between teaching, concerts and albums where I play both jazz standards and my own compositions… My latest record “Poetic Memory” is based on some classical pieces that I adapted to jazz and is a blend of my understanding of each genre. I have come full circle!

Virginie Achard drom an interview with Alexis Tcholakian

Listen to Alexis Tcholakian 
• Read more about sur Alexis Tcholakian and discover his last album Poetic Memory 

 

Numéro 26 2/10 au 15/10/13

LITTLE BOXES

  • 26- Junior Suite

Spirou, the magazine. Cartoons, jokes but above all: crossword puzzles.
I had a little ritual every week night. I would sit down at my desk but rather than doing my homework I systematically opened my magazine. My enthusiasm was tireless, and my new dictionary became my faithful companion. I had even swapped it for my grandmother’s one whose yellow pages were filled with history. It was a fair trade, hers was too hard to read, and her eyes were getting tired. Once I had started, even the smell of dinner couldn’t drag me away from my puzzle. So the cat took to lying on my desk at seven on the dot. Smiling, I came back to reality. 

Strangely, my schoolwork didn’t have the same effect on me. Leaving behind the excitement of the black and white squares was not a good feeling. The sensation of my brain cells working, looking for different combinations, the perseverance needed, was such a rush. Above all there was the satisfaction – when you write the last letter of the last word -, when everything comes together, like a very complex jigsaw. 

Ironically, later on the dictionary and words were replaced by a calculator and figures: I became an accountant. But I felt the same passion when lining up figures in columns on the big accounts book. When the books balanced perfectly, to the centime, the feeling of joy was immense, the same as when I filled in every blank square on my crossword.

My only regret is the digital age. Now, my computer gets to feel the satisfaction of “all right”. Happily, Sudoku came along, as if it were invented for me. With the blend of squares and figures, I find myself enjoying my favourite pastime with just as much enthusiasm.

Chloé Danglard from an interview with Marylène D.

 

Numéro 25 Du 18/09 au 01/10/13

TO WAR!

  • 25- Junior Suite

We lived in a house in a village called La Machine. War machine? Perhaps my love for little toy soldiers was inevitable.

It’s back-to-school time, I’ve just turned nine. I hand Madame Lecomte a ten franc coin in exchange for a box of little men to add to my already consequential collection. My pocket money has been spent exclusively on this for the past two years and when anyone asks me what I would like I always reply: “a box of toy soldiers”!

The first thing I do when I get home with my loot cleverly concealed in my schoolbag, is to detach my new friends from their plastic frame. Then I start to sort through them carefully: the ones I like less will end up in the enemy army, while my favourites will be proudly placed on the front line, forming my elite troops, defending the territory they have be given that day. Each time, I take out hundreds of my little soldiers and place them at either end of my room, making them go through all sorts of obstacles, bed, chair, drawers, imagining the most unlikely scenarios.
These moments are mine alone, and I never let my Playmobiles or my Lego take part in these wild games. Often, the rug under my desk was used for the mountains and valleys, at times providing shelter, other times mortal danger.

One winter’s day when I was bored, my father let me invade the shelves of his pharmacy thus widening my horizons to a great extent. When I think back nostalgically to those moment when my imagination was running riot, I see myself as a sublime war hero, surviving extraordinary battles. I even dreamt about it at night! 

As for the rest, years have passed since then and my dreams haven’t aged a second: I still play extremely audacious characters who save the universe without fear with my demi-God build. Of course, it doesn’t make the world a better place. But at least playing at war helped me to make peace between two other worlds that are often at odds: childhood and adulthood. 

Chloé Danglard from an interview with Antoine D.

 

Numéro 24 04/09 au 17/09/13

CRAZY CEILING

  • 24- Junior Suite

The door-knob squeaks a little, like it always did. No one has slept here since I left. I do a quick inventory, nothing has changed. The walls have been repainted but I can easily imagine my room as it was when we first met with yellow and red stripes so bright that I always thought I had forgotten to switch off the light. There is my bookcase, filled with books that I knew off by heart. Here’s the fireplace, decorated with the paw prints of a mysterious feline painted by my grandmother. But above all, the ceiling.

When I was small, my room was filled with toys, but like most kids, I didn’t need much to invent the craziest stories. Singer, writer, world traveler, but always a successful career, I spent hours imagining my future as a fulfilled woman once the bedside lamp went off. Right at that moment, things kicked off, my ceiling became my screen and my eyes projectors. While the images flew by, I would add a soundtrack and extensive dialogue that formed naturally, inspired by the films I saw, events I had seen during the day, adult discussions I had heard around the dinner table. I would make my own film.
One day, my child’s bed was replaced by one of those immensely fashionable mezzanines. I found myself even closer to my dreams, I could almost touch them.
Then the years went by. I grew up, getting closer to the ceiling of each apartment I would visit. When I reached my present height (Ed: A good metre seventy-five), and I was asked to take the first step in my professional life I thought I chose photography school by a process of elimination.

I was wrong. I now understand that it was there, in that little room with yellow and red walls, comfortably settled, blinds closed and eyes wide open, that I was predestined to develop a passion for images that has become my job. 

Alice Dardun

 
Numéro 23 04/09 au 17/09/13

CINEMA IN A DRAWER

  • 18- Junior Suite

Issue 18 from 12/06 to 25/06/13

Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais, 1957. Rue Jules-Ferry, N°6. I waited eleven years to get my own room, inheriting it from my brother who had just left to get married.
The room was tiny. One Spartan bed. One chair, like in the Van Gogh painting. One wardrobe in pale wood, salvaged from the war. Families who had been bombarded were re-housed and summarily re-furnished. 

The central item was the desk, known as the «minister’s» desk, which smelt of varnish and had nine drawers (two columns of four and one in the middle that could be locked), that my parents bought for me. It was my domain, a working desk where only I understood the organised chaos. Everything in the drawers was filed, thousands of precious or useless documents, half-finished manuscripts and attempts at cartoons – which soon were to include cinema magazines. Books piled up in the wardrobe.

There were no ornaments and very little decoration, except a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary perched on a corner of the wardrobe. The inevitable crucifix at the head of the bed. On the walls, a few beer mats and postcards I had framed.
I didn’t have a radio but the minute I got home from primary school, and secondary, I would run in to borrow my sister’s transistor which I put on the desk from 5 to 7. From 1961 on I listened to «Salut les copains» every day. I got my hands on a tape recorder and taped everything possible.

From my window I could see the silhouette of the cathedral where there was a «Son et Lumière» every night. At night, the voices came through distorted, with a surreal echo. Perhaps shaping my taste for the fantastic early on. It was to be the subject of my first book, written on that very desk on a little Olivetti typewriter that had replaced my mother’s old Underwood, a relic from the thirties.

I went on to write about the cinema, music, cartoons, for the press, publishing, to earn a living, for pleasure. As they say, it’s all I know.

Gérard Lenne, film critic

• Discover Gérard Lenne books' on amazon

 

Numéro 22 Du 07/08 au 20/08/13

DEAR JETTY…

  • 22- Junior Suite

In a way you were my favourite summer room. Where I learned to dive, to drown, to splash the adults dive-bombing, to sunbathe and… one night, to kiss a boy !

Bisous !
Marie 

Numéro 21 Du 24/07 au 5/08/13

BOSNIA: LITTLE DOLL

  • 21- Junior Suite

We often say that we don’t have many memories of one’s early childhood. For me the opposite is true! Bosnia-Herzegovina (ex-Yugoslavia) where I was born and lived for the first five years of my life, is my favourite album in my memory.

I lived in Tusla. It was the seventies. There was something in the air that I would later understand to be bohemia. My parents and their musician friends played gypsy songs. My grandmother made Cevap Cici in the kitchen, my Aunt came and went leaving a trail of strong but always bewitching perfume in her wake… And all of this came to me in dribs and drabs in my huge bedroom. Well, it seemed huge to my child’s eyes. 

It was a fantastic room. All of these atmospheres filtered up and rocked me to sleep. When I wasn’t in the garden eating strawberries, I was there, on the Persian rugs in bright greens and reds that covered the floor. That red, I was half in love with it! What did I do? I would play with my Russian dolls. I remember when my grandmother showed it to me for the first time. It was hand-painted with red clothes! I was entranced. Then my grand-mother started to open it slowly, to take out the dolls one by one. I admired the little replicas, each one smaller than the previous one but just as precious. The doll became my favourite object. Sitting on the ground on my rugs I took it apart and put it back together, I combined and aligned, I played with colours… I was composing without realizing it.

Then I moved to France. It was much different, more Western, modern and agitated. But great too! Today I am Slavic with a rock and roll spirit. I collect Russian dolls, walk barefoot on my rugs and drink rose tea listening to Dylan or Bashung. I miss the oriental life but it feeds the romantic side of the jewellery I design. There is a lot of red in my workshop. Otherwise, my designs associate icons, stars, flowers, guns… A blend of styles that all fit together. My signature…

Bianca Alberti in conversation with Gabriella de Galzain

 

Numéro 20 10/07 au 23/07/13

BASEMENT HEAVEN

  • 20- Junior Suite

It was my holiday bedroom, in my grand-parent’s house. When I say my room: there were four of us sharing it! Two sets of bunk beds in a little room for me, my sister and our two cousins. A flat share before our time with our own specific set of rules: not much room for our clothes so we were allowed to leave them lying around, beds never made, the door closed at night and morning sleep-in a given. The room was in the basement conversion. To get there you could go through the separate front door through the garden, or down the stairs that were more like a ladder and through a back basement. The adults didn’t visit often, it was our territory.

It was where I spent the best summers of my life. When I was small, I experienced my first terrors. I remember the night my cousin told us the story of «The Shining» in the dark. The tiniest shaft of light or the slightest cat sound made us jump. No one had the nerve to go pee afterwards. As I got older we stuck posters of Prince and Madonna on the wall that my grand-father would remove, shocked by what they were wearing. Then there were the hours spent talking, with my sister and my cousin, about boys. They were given nicknames and we would write their names on the underside of the top bunks so that they would be in our thoughts as we slept… Later on, we would spend hours trying to find the right clothes to wear to go out, the scent of too much perfume blending with the smell of our shoes… 

Today I don’t sleep down there anymore, I’ve left it to the younger ones. But I always go down for a look any time I’m in the house. It beats any pilgrimage in terms of finding a little lightness and «touching base» before going back to adulthood. The beds are still there and the writing on the bunks too. They are like legends that our little cousins like to hear us «explain» as they write their own dreams. It is a sacred place where the flame of insouciance is passed on.

B.A. from an interview with Elise B.

 
 
Numéro 19 du 26/06 au 9/07/13

MICROSCOPIC

  • 19- Junior Suite

My desk had a lock and sometimes I would hide the key as it held my most precious treasures. In fact, it contained two. It could be double locked. First of all when I had just written something completely private in my diary, something that no one else would ever read, I hoped.

And the second thing was my microscope that no one was allowed to touch, thanks to which I carried out the same observations for a long time. In that little attic room, almost in the stars, I discovered an infinitely tiny, out of reach world that fascinated me.

I was given the microscope for Christmas when I was ten, after having spent months with my nose squashed against the shop window. It was a shop for grown-ups, I was no longer interested in toys.

For my experiments, I would leave a little water in the bottom of a glass and thus cultivate paramecium. I would observe these single-cell organisms for hours. They swam on the slide, carefully fixed with clips, lit from above. I stopped hearing my mother shout that the dinner was ready. If, by some horror, she had cleaned my room and destroyed my protozoan collection, I would start over, saying nothing. 

I don’t know what happened to the desk but I threw my diary into the fire the day I moved into my own apartment. The microscope, however, has followed me everywhere since. Today it is on my bookshelf, beside my school biology book. 

I correct papers from my nursing students and glance up at it when I feel any hesitation or doubt. 

Dominique Roosendans
Numéro 18 Du 12 au 25 juin 2013

CINEMA IN A DRAWER

  • 18- Junior Suite

Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais, 1957. Rue Jules-Ferry, N°6. I waited eleven years to get my own room, inheriting it from my brother who had just left to get married.
The room was tiny. One Spartan bed. One chair, like in the Van Gogh painting. One wardrobe in pale wood, salvaged from the war. Families who had been bombarded were re-housed and summarily re-furnished. 

The central item was the desk, known as the «minister’s» desk, which smelt of varnish and had nine drawers (two columns of four and one in the middle that could be locked), that my parents bought for me. It was my domain, a working desk where only I understood the organised chaos. Everything in the drawers was filed, thousands of precious or useless documents, half-finished manuscripts and attempts at cartoons – which soon were to include cinema magazines. Books piled up in the wardrobe.

There were no ornaments and very little decoration, except a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary perched on a corner of the wardrobe. The inevitable crucifix at the head of the bed. On the walls, a few beer mats and postcards I had framed.
I didn’t have a radio but the minute I got home from primary school, and secondary, I would run in to borrow my sister’s transistor which I put on the desk from 5 to 7. From 1961 on I listened to «Salut les copains» every day. I got my hands on a tape recorder and taped everything possible.

From my window I could see the silhouette of the cathedral where there was a «Son et Lumière» every night. At night, the voices came through distorted, with a surreal echo. Perhaps shaping my taste for the fantastic early on. It was to be the subject of my first book, written on that very desk on a little Olivetti typewriter that had replaced my mother’s old Underwood, a relic from the thirties.

I went on to write about the cinema, music, cartoons, for the press, publishing, to earn a living, for pleasure. As they say, it’s all I know.

Gérard Lenne, film critic

• Discover Gérard Lenne books' on amazon

 

Numéro 17 29/05 au 12/06

IMAGINARIUM

  • 17- junior suite

The artist Samuel Rousseau tells us about his Junior Suite.

«I have never left my childhood bedroom. Never. I always create a parallel between my room and my workshop where I am really myself, with the attendant mess. In a kid’s room, you don’t care because your imagination runs riot, you explore everything, invent things out of nothing. Just like with Lego, it was amazing. You had a blue, yellow or green man : one day he was a robber, another day a nice guy. You could recreate the entire world with those little cubes. Today, the manufacturers add on accessories, wings for planes, police equipment, and it’s a pity – the touch of realism kills the imagination ! I do the opposite in my work, I strip things down, the fewer the details the more scope there is for the viewer’s imagination and projections.

I shared a room with my younger brother and we had a toy chest. It was stimulating and pushed us forward. I remember a game where we had to manufacture the strongest tanks possible because we attacked each other by throwing them and lost when one broke : this made us think long and hard about how to make them as resistant as possible (for example, not to pile up the bricks but to stagger them), engineering for kids ! I also made lamps, I played with bulbs, electrical wires, until I got a good shock ! Today I make video art…

I still play, researching – I work from morning till night. If I’m not having fun, I stop. My inner child is alive and well. I could have killed my dreams, or let them go (I was on unemployment benefit for seven years), but I hate to surf on misery or the horrors of the world. I prefer to show the wonder – like a bare tree, dressed only in its shadow… You need to follow your dream. The most important thing is to have eyes that shine.»

Bruno Lancelot

• To see more of Samuel Rousseau’s sparklingly clever and existential work: a documentary.
• Samuel Rousseau will show at Parizone@dream on June 1st and 2nd next. See the site.

 

Numéro 16 15/05 au 28/05 /13

BARTER

  • 16- Junior Suite

It all began the day my favourite vase that lived on my desk, disappeared in my absence. Who could possibly be to blame? Before jumping to conclusions, I went straight into my little brother’s room to investigate. Just to see. And what did I find? The loot, stolen earlier that day, was already resting between two cartoon books! The following day, same problem, I had to go get something else back from my sister’s room. Every time I went into my room after school I had to check. Was anything missing? 

Anyone would think my room was Ali Baba’s cave! The little «Borrowers» saw the most banal of objects as a precious treasure. And my absences were the ideal opportunity to pillage in peace… In an effort to catch them, I sometimes left objects out on display like pieces on a chessboard or coins. I counted them before I left and counted again on my return… A sneaky, but extremely revealing tactic as one or two things always went missing… They couldn’t deny anything, I had them!

I had to find a way to put an end to these little felonies! So I had the amazing idea to organise weekly garage sales in my room after carefully selecting items I knew they might like: baseball cap, books, bric a brac… Something for everyone! The were FINALLY able to take things legally and I didn’t have any more nasty surprises… (with a few exceptions, as the saying goes, you always want what you can’t have). Worse, I took advantage of my situation by negotiating a service for each object. I often got out of clearing the table and other domestic tasks that way! 

Now that they are teenagers, they are too old to covet useless objects from my room and would refuse to hoover instead of me anyway. But it’s funny that we all enjoy going to flea markets together!

D.M. from an interview with Lila B.

 

Numéro 15 01/05 au 14/05

MEMORIES OF A BB BRUNES

  • 15- junior suite

Félix, the BB Brunes's guitarist tells us about his Junior Suite.

"What object marked my childhood bedroom? I hesitate, a fraction of a second, then my thoughts go instinctively to that little pink plastic box. Yes, pink... The colour wasn't really an issue. The object in itself is nothing special. It was on my shelves and one day I got the idea to put my ticket for a Jamel show I had seen, two franc coins from 2001 (I had been told they were rare !), and even my marbles in it. (I had a lot of marbles as I tended to win all the matches in the yard!).

I distinctly remember the noise they made against the sides of the box when I picked them up. The box itself even had a special smell, a pleasant but totally indescribable one. The olfactory memory brings me back a few years: it's time for the "gouter", I'm just back from school and I'm ready to proudly add to my marble collection... I can still see my small hands on the lid of the box and I can still remember the unique smell of the plastic. Opening the box meant good news, a nice memory to be cherished, a treasure to be protected. Little childhood secrets that I loved to contemplate.

I find it strange that this object often reappears in my thoughts. One day I decided to try to get the box to bring it to my place. I was bitterly disappointed to find out it had been thrown out. I felt a twinge of regret as it corresponded to a reassuring and innocent time in my life. Those things we loved, and we think we have forgotten provoke strange feelings when they pop into our heads. Today I have a drawer where I keep tons of stuff that I will perhaps never use: a pair of glasses with no lenses, a broken torch, some used sello-tape... Perhaps unconsciously I need to keep a treasure box that links me to the past. Why? I still don't know..."

D.M. from an interview with Félix Hemmen

 

Numéro 14 17/04 au 30/05

ORGANISED CHAOS

  • 14- junior suite

«Tidy your room !». Does this first maternal commandment remind you of anything? For me, it punctuated my entire adolescence. How could I make my mother understand, other than slamming the door in her interfering face, that a growing mind needed to spread its creative raw materials all over the floor? At that time, twenty t-shirts, casually thrown over the chair, shared space with the single sleeve of «Je marche seul», a few bits of cardboard, balls of wool, a box of paints, a pair of scissors, brass fasteners… in short, anything that brought to life the fantasies that spilled out of my overactive imagination. Chaos it was, but an organised one, in which I had no trouble finding a red marker in a matter of seconds when my mother was still wondering on which table she had put her glasses.
Then Michael Jackson came along. My inner organisation experienced some upheaval: I transformed one shelf into an altar dedicated to my idol. My audio and video cassettes were displayed in a very precise order. So, imagine my surprise when I came home from school one day to find a suspect permutation!... Inquiries led to a confession from my mother that she watched my cassettes in secret. I took my opportunity for revenge and insisted that she put it back «correctly» in the exact place where she had found it. She didn’t back down, and requested that I respect the same level of precision when it came to my socks, pointing out that apart from Michael Jackson, chaos still ruled. Except that passion and organisation went together.

In fact, today, as unapologetically ex-messy person, I turned out not to be a lost cause after all !  I now work in my own creative business and things are going well. Even my accountant congratulates me on my level of organisation when I hand over my files. Receipts sorted and classified. Yes the yellow files are in the yellow binder and as the French say, the sheep are well guarded. Proof…

Sandrine Chaulet from an interview with herself !

 

Numéro 13 03/04 au 16/04/13

CRAZY

  • 13- Junior suite

I was still living in Athens when, the day I turned fifteen, my best friend had the inspired idea to give me the famous coffee table book «All American ads 20's» as a gift. A well- chosen one as she knew of my obsession with everything retro.

It was a captivating read and I kept it beside my bed. I adored this collection of full page illustrations of adverts from the roaring twenties. Emancipated women, fringes, sequins, the ambient frenzy expressing the soul of a flagship era ! The images reflected a epoch, the desires of a people.

Every evening I would flick through the pages before going to sleep, passionately analysing the images for hours. It was a real exercise for my mind. It helped me to glean information about history and society in a fun way. I saw it as a form of revolutionary art that required a strategic creativity and in-depth reflection while to others they appeared as base, greedy adverts.

The magazines began to pile up. I searched, bought, and prospected all of the publications that might be of interest : the special edition, the issue of the month, the collector’s item… During a sleepless night, I picked up all of the papers I could find and tore out pages, words, snatches and began to create my own style wall, a fresco of inspiration that was added to continually and, although I didn’t realise it, would prove to be decisive. My room became my
workshop and my thirsty eyes edged my insatiable curiosity on.

I slowly developed a personal style and a certain taste in music : bob, lipstick and «richelieus». Perfect for swinging to the Charleston ! So, pure chance or direct descendant ? Putting in so much time and money is not neutral. I realised I had an incurable pathology ; passion. For visual communication. So I moved to Paris to study it before it became my area of predilection. My job.

Daniella Matoso from an interview with Anna Z.

 

Numéro 12 20/03 au 01/04/13

FACE TO FACE

  • 12- Junior Suite 2

It watched me grow, change, and even brush my hair. The most everyday of objects : Mirror, mirror on the wall… Nothing like the wicked stepmother’s in Snow White ! Mainly because I am a man, and I don’t care who is the fairest of them all…

When I was a kid, I didn’t think it had any value. The only original thing was the little light attached at the top of its triangular shape that lit all who looked in… But nothing special. I didn’t even take it with me when I moved to Paris. 
But. A few months later I came home for the weekend to clear my head, to get some home comfort and go back to my old habits. Before going out for a drink, I opened my wardrobe and found myself in front of it. What a shock when I caught a glimpse of myself ! My reflection had changed. I thought I knew my face but suddenly I didn’t recognise myself… This threw up all kinds of questions : the promises I had made myself, had I kept them ? The principles I had been taught, I had followed them ? I tried to throw light on my life through the intermediary of my mirror… I got seriously drunk that night ! 

So it became my lie detector. I remember seeing myself the unhappiest I have ever been in it, I understood immediately. I had only just put down my case when it caught me, the door half open. I couldn’t hide. «Don’t forget who you are and what you aspire to», that was its message. Another weekend I arrived, overcome with tiredness. And despite my fuzzy head, my eyes shone with life : had I respected my own contract ? In any case I felt proud.

As if it has become impregnated with my deepest thoughts, this mirror reflects my current state. When I stand in front of it, the invisible becomes visible. The painful or indolent truth it reflects, it has seen me in every state imaginable, and dares to show me the reality that others can not reveal. 

Daniella Matoso from an interview with Enzo O.

 

• The image is from a work of Gustav Troger. To see and learn more about this amazing project, a report on Tuxboard or the official website

 
Numéro 11 06/03 au 19/03/13

PERFUMED MEMORIES

  • 11- Junior Suite

It has its own shelf, at the back of the room for all to see. An assortment of scents, an exhibition I carefully added to with each find, each present, as time went by… My perfume collection. A passion handed down by my mother who spent twenty years of her life advising men and women of all ages to wear scented clothing…

It is not really the aesthetic beauty of these olfactory trophies that intrigues me, but more the mysteries they hide. The memories, impressions, buried secrets burst out suddenly. A tiny sniff of one of these fragrances takes me away on a dreamlike escapade.
«24 Faubourg» from Hermès, I see my mother getting ready to go out, sitting in front of the mirror. My father waits in the living room with Peggy Lee singing in the background... Then there is «Miel des bois» by Lutens that takes me back to a creek in south Albania for an instant of profound serenity.

Then, I wanted to try with others. What the power of smell can provoke was a revelation : one day, a friend came by and I asked her to pick a perfume and tell me what the fragrance evoked for her. She opened the bottle carefully and closed her eyes. She seemed  unmoved but I had a feeling her senses were bubbling. Later, she told me that the scent made her think of the softness of a clean, immaculate cloth, a summer afternoon in the countryside… For me, the perfume gave off the smell of smoke, with overtones of velvety wine, a bohemian caravan, a spellbinding woman…
We threw ourselves into this quest for memories and imagined feelings. A way of expressing our sensibility, and of really getting to know one another.

Since then, my collection has become a place of ritual, a marvellous place where I love to see my guests play the game ! An unexpected travel agency ! 

Daniella Matoso from an interview with Nina T.
 
Numéro 10 20/02 au 5/03/13

HOMELAND SECURITY

  • 10- Junior Suite

Sharing a room with one’s sister for almost two decades is not easy, especially when you both have explosive characters! But, we survived the at times painful, often complicit adventure, and to be honest full of great memories…

This «forced» cohabitation did however require strict rules, signed theatrically as soon as the older sister knew how to write. Rule number one: «Thou shall not cross the border from your space»… There were plenty of border crossings that ended with slammed doors and mutual invasions of fiercely defended territories! 

We tried everything; a wall of kaplas down the middle of the room, our desks as barricades, but above all two tepees, timely gifts from our parents.

Both tents were full of our treasures and both had threatening «No entry» signs hanging outside. Things got more complicated when we hit puberty… But we developed ingenious ways of defending our privacy; the establishment of a timer system that measured down to the second the time we would each have to ourselves in the room. 
This made our friends laugh, impressed as they were with our level of organisation.

Finally, the most difficult part was when my sister left the nest to start college in another town. Many tears were shed in secret as I missed the closeness I felt with her for so long… And I realised the level of adaptability I had developed having shared a small space for so long, and the links I had with my sister who became my soul mate. 

As an adult I can now sleep anywhere, nothing bothers me; a holiday home for six with twelve occupants, a tiny hotel room… But above all I used my skills to great advantage when my company changed offices into an open space; my colleagues panicked at the thought of losing their protective bubble, their four walls, but I taught them slowly how to appropriate their space. A question of survival for me too !

Stéphanie Norris from an interview with Raphaëlle M.

Numéro 9 06/02 au 19/02/13

DOLL'S HOUSE

  • 09- Junior Suite

My thing was building cabins in my room. Nothing fancy… A sheet between the bed and the bookcase, a few cushions and a few toys. Enough to set the scene for my stories. One day I just hid behind the curtains with all my dolls and cuddly toys to play at being the «teacher». That’s when I looked out the window. My room gave on to an inner courtyard so I could see everything that was going on in my neighbour’s homes. Bliss ! I had just discovered a giant doll’s house ! I didn’t even need to move the characters, they moved all by themselves. I only had to imagine what they were about to do… Of course not everyone lived their lives out in the open but I had enough material to be going on with ! In total innocence… I didn’t hide. My neighbours, most of whom knew me, would wave from time to time, finding my «naive voyeurism» amusing.

Then I grew up. My parents took me to see Alfred Hitchcock’s «Rear Window» in the cinema. The shock ! Not to mention the terror… I realised that observing others could be a problem. Above all, it dawned on me that, like the film’s hero, I was running the risk of seeing something horrible and becoming the prey of some nasty criminals… I left my observation post immediately.

But did I completely break the habit ? Not entirely ! When I’m dong the dishes, I can’t help but look out the window at what’s happening across the way. When I take the bus or am driving, I look up, «through the windows» of the buildings and let my mind wander at every light switched on, every movement, every decoration. A little dream sequence that helps to empty my head before I go quietly home… and pull the curtains ! 

B.A. from an interview with Chloé O.
 

 

Numéro 8 Du 23/01 au 05/02/13

ROOM WITH A VIEW

  • 08- junior Suite 3

My room always seemed to be surprisingly tidy and sparse to new visitors. And there was a reason ! My father was a soldier so his occupational hazard rubbed off on me. But mostly because we were sent abroad every two years so the main issue was to «keep the essentials» and say goodbye to the Playmobil house or other bulky toys that didn’t fit in the moving boxes.

The first time at age 7, it broke my heart, as I probably had the messy gene and accumulating useless objects was my thing. But getting older I soon became a pro at efficient tidying and emotional detachment from my toys. I used to sell my services as a pro tidier to my friends for sweets and toffee bars. I soon had a huge stock, my reputation preceded me… I even got into the habit of showing off before each departure abroad, passing on my sacrificed toys with false bravery! 

It has to be said, my mother was an expert in making things easier for me and my brother, making the unknown country we were about to go to sound like a dream… We couldn’t argue with her pre-departure overtures ; «Well kids, I know you had to say goodbye to your meccano and your Barbies, BUT there is a real gazelle in our garden in Djibouti». Thankfully she had done her homework, she wasn’t just getting our hopes up. In fact, the next two years I spent more time in the garden trying to butter up that gazelle than playing in my room.

There were to be many other fascinating destinations to replace the toys of my childhood. Today, the result is a taste for minimalist interiors and itchy feet! I’ve lived between London and Paris for twenty years and I dream of Asia. However, I remain the little girl that could never let go of her little bear throughout her nomadic youth. He still lies proudly on my bed. And after every trip, I’m always glad to get back to him.

Stéphanie Norris, from an interview with Denise M.
 
 
 
Numéro 7 09 au 22/01/13

FOOTLOOSE!

  • 07- Junior Suite

You have shoe fetishists and tights fetishists. I’m a sock fetishist ! It all began at a christening. Not mine, that of the daughter of friends of my parents. That day, I was dressed in a little shirt with a round collar –and it wasn’t the fashion like it is today–, a little pleated skirt, sandals and little white socks… with pink pompoms! While everyone was doting over my «Triplets» inspired outfit, I was over the moon with my little wool balls bobbing on my heels. Maybe because it was the only slightly original note in my outfit, the sock became my signature. 

I followed all changes and trends. It may not be noticeable but there are as many trends in socks as in handbags. Feathers, sequins, lace stitching, with Tex Avery characters, Burlingtons, the ultra-low – sport version-, the ultra high over-the-knee sexy version-, in silk thread, fine cotton, fuzzy on the inside… My father was dedicated to black socks – through discretion and faithfulness to Eddy Mitchell’s old band while I wore them white and slightly baggy like Michael Jackson. I had, and still have, socks for boots, trainers, leather shoes and those I wear inside. I still buy some just for their colour or their pattern… A real obsession !

But socks are all part of a show! I remember my mother had a stripy pair with separate toes. They were too big for me but they were my dream. They made me laugh. So they inspired me. When my nephews were young, I often made foot puppets with just a pair of socks that helped me tell endless crazy stories. They still talk and laugh about them. So, there you have it. My passion for socks. When you choose them well, your shoes fit well. And if the shoe fits…

B.A. from an interview with Marie A.

Numéro 6 26/12/12 au 08/01/13

TRUST FOR TRUST

  • 06- Junior Suite

My sister was nine years older than me. No matter how much soup I ate, I couldn’t bridge the gap. She began by welcoming me into her doll’s world then my high-pitched screams started to get on her nerves and she left me to my occupations.

I never played in my room, it bored me. I played in the living room until one day I realised that there was one room in the house that I had never set foot: my sister’ room. I took advantage of her absence in town one afternoon to launch my expedition. I was scared, I don’t really know why, as I sneaked into her room. 

A bitter smell made my nose sting. My cousin had had the great idea to give her some of the low-cost cigarettes he got from his regiment. I was standing in a real seventies teenage bedroom. I had taken the first step and survived. So I plucked up some more courage and started to rummage through her drawers, wardrobe, I read a few of her letters but didn’t understand much, I stole a few bits and bobs – stickers, an eraser and a tract for a demonstration against Poniatowski – and I was just about to make my getaway when I spotted the turntable. Nadège spent hours in her room listening to music. What could be so extraordinary about these discs that Touchatou (sticky fingers) as she called me, was forbidden from touching? I was about to find out. My mind was opened up to politics listening to «Let my people go» by Esther Galil and to the amazing world of the Beatles. There were indeed many hidden treasures in this room and how many others were under the piles of socks and scratchy vests? I began to search with more effort, pulling everything apart until I found something. 

«So, what did you find ?». It was Nadège, home earlier than expected.  «The secret of girls, but I promise I won’t tell anyone». And I didn’t. You can’t change the world at the age of nine, but by keeping my word I learned to be a confidant. And later on, that of my friends.

Christophe Ribeyre

 
Numéro 5 12/12 au 25/12/12

RORO THE HERO

  • 05- Junior Suite

In my adolescent jungle, I had machetes, weapons, ceremonial feathers, and a little stone elephant from the Gabon… In short, my room was a depository of ethnical African objects brought back in the fifties by my grand-uncle, a family legend. He joined a cargo ship as telegraph operator at the age of sixteen, lived in the savannah, and came face to face with a real lion…

When he came back to France, he brought a leopard along that had to be handed over to the Jardin des Plantes and a totally mute parrot with astonishing longevity as it outlived my grand-uncle. Obviously, I found all of this fascinating and it fuelled my dreams of adventure.

I started speed-reading the «Bob Morane» series, my childhood hero with his faithful «alcoholyte», Bill Ballantine the Whisky sponge. These two officially mandated travellers following the yellow shadow all over the world really had only one serious competitor: Bond, James Bond. I saw myself as Roro the hero. 
However, on the announcement of an addition to the family, unwelcome as far as I was concerned, my room became the theatre for warrior adventures and punitive expeditions resulting in the a flooded carpet due to a radiator perforated by a harpoon. This was followed by the destruction of the foam frame on my seventies-style bed using a Matakam weapon. Only the walls survived my arrow, nail, thumbtack and spear attacks. Later on, the collection of adventure novels was relegated to the cellar, my enthusiasm shifted to African statues hunted down at the flea market early on Saturday mornings. Then to exchanges with other collectors… Until I finally got to travel myself to Tanzania, India, and Sri Lanka… Adventure from all sides !

Today, I’m still ready to travel anywhere. But I’ll never be an ex-test pilot, or an Aston Martin driver. Still, I’m pretty good with a scalpel, I grew up to be a surgeon ! 

Bruno Lancelot. From an interview with R.S.
 
Numéro 4 28/11 au 11/12/12

ROLE AND ROCK

  • 04- junior Suite

I touched it for the first time in 1961. It was in a store. I was fifteen. It was blue, beautiful, and electric. It let me try out my first chord: «Apache» by the Shadows. The next day, it moved into my room. My guitar. It marked the first steps in my rock and roll life. We became a duo. I introduced it to all of my friends. It taught me everything: to play each chord and to pull on the rope. At home I practiced, set up a group, rehearsed, and perfected each tune. Outside I smoked, drank, fell in love and dropped out of school. My fingers got blisters, my body vibrated, my spirits soared. It was crazy. I even nearly signed a deal with Barclay. But it fell through at the last minute. That didn’t mean the guitar was put away. We needed one another. 

I started working but I kept up the concerts in my town. 100% pleasure. I met the woman who has shared my life for forty four years. We had our children of love... All rock and roll in their own way. Apples don’t fall far from the tree. And I am so proud! I have never lost the mindset. Of course, the first guitar has been replaced over the years. Not through infidelity, just wear and tear. But I still have it. It keeps an eye on me and makes sure I’m still enjoying music.

I never gave up. I always had a band. Today I compose, sing, and play gigs with my buddies, a saxophonist, bassist, guitarist, drummer… I have the life I want. A balance that has never stopped surprising me, pushing me to take risks and bloom. My latest thing? To take my guitars on to the stage of a theatre this time, to tell my story in a small venue for 70 people, so that friends, strangers and new generations can (re) live this whirlwind. Unbeatable.

B.A. From an interview with Denis R.

Ma vie Rock'n Roll by Denis Rodi.
Last representation : 02 december - 17h. 
L'Échange, 26 rue sommeiller, 74000 Annecy


Numéro 3 14/11 au 27/11/12

STUCK !

  • 03- Junior Suite

It was everything at once. A sign of belonging and at the same time a sign of differentiation. A fashion accessory and at the same time a unique accessory. It made you dream and travel. The magic of the sticker.

It all started when I got my BMX. The brand gave out stickers to customise the cross bar. It was like an extra present. It didn’t stop after that. With every spare part from the maker or from the competition to customise your bike, you got more stickers. The same went for skateboards, trainers… They were all designed to flatter our eyes and our egos. They told our story, spoke to our passion, expressed our style. They gave us our own identity, the holy grail of any adolescent. But, most of all, they came from far away. That’s what I loved. For the most part, they smelt of California, they tasted like the promised land, the land of sun and pop culture! They had crossed the Atlantic to end up on my helmet or my schoolbooks. That meant so much. I chose each one carefully, drawn to the limited editions but also by the ones with the truly singular shapes, colours and graphics.

I remember using them for everything: to decorate my room, my office, my wardrobe doors… Up until the point when the companies realised how popular they were and starting charging. My interest waned but I had already caught the bug. I started making my own. Then I thought, I could earn a living doing this. So today I design logos and am I still in love with stickers. Maybe not to the same extent. They are easy to find on eBay and the whole country of origin fantasy has gone. Having said that, California is still a dream, but not just to go there, to move there. 

B. A. From an interview with Pierre B.


Numéro 2 31/10 au 13/11

TIM FOR EVER

  • 02- Junior Suite

I first met Tim Burton at the age of eight. Well, I met "Beetlejuice". I found a VHS my uncle had left behind and watched it in secret. My parents would never have let me watch it if they had known. That was the first thrill! The second thrill was even better. For the first time ever, a scary character was also funny. For the first time, death was amusing and not a weird subject that adults skirted around with embarrassment. The boogie man under the bed was suddenly likeable. Fear and the unknown became less dark.

I must have watched the film two or three times before my father taped over it with Formula One racing. The worst. I had to wait until it was on TV to see it again. In the meantime, my imagination took over. Without the pictures, I reworked the film in my head. I also took an interest in the director. What if he had made other films, just as scary and just as funny ?

So Tim Burton and I became friends. I wait impatiently for him. Every film reveals a universe that is fantastic before it turns macabre. As Tim Burton introduces us to so many strange characters: a scarecrow skeleton, a man with scissors for hands, a murderous barber, a dead bride… Both nothing is dismal. On the contrary, the poetry wins out every time. And I find that soothing. I love Tim the filmmaker as much as Burton the artist. The simplicity of the lines he draws renders them majestic. I even fall for the charms of certain heroes without knowing he is the auteur like with Vincent Price. It has been a revelation: Tim Burton’s tales are my religion, my belief system. The vision I have adopted for life after death. And I even wear the uniform: since I was sixteen years old, I have worn black and white striped tee-shirts. Obviously for the clownish aspect of the stripes. It’s no harm to laugh in the face of death!

M.V. From an interview with Justine L.


Numéro 1 17/10 au 30/10

FLUO RESCENT

  • 01-quotibien

I’ve lived through fluorescent at its best and its worst. I lived through the fluorescent trend of the eighties. The best because it was explosive, out of control, thrilling. The worst because when I look at the photos now I see myself in a bright orange swimsuit with flashy yellow earrings, all crowned with a fluorescent pink scarf on my head. A blinding cocktail. Totally out of control! I’d love to hide the photos away but can’t help smiling when I see them. Not just for their comic side, but for the carefree insouciance and transgression they evoke.

We may have been ridiculous, but we didn’t care. We put up with the mocking looks and incomprehension from around us but we didn’t care. It was the fashion, but quite a complicated fashion and far from widespread. But we didn’t care. We kept it up, we were on board. Our wardrobes overflowed, it was our little revolution. 

Obviously, it didn’t last forever, like everything, the backlash followed. In one felled swoop, wearing fluorescent clothes was a sign of immaturity. It was time to look grown-up, more serious, adult. So, we put it all away and replaced it with black.

But fluorescent is hard to forget. It is hard to leave aside. It tends to reappear, discreetly. When I need to get away. It remains a symbol of freedom for me. I don’t wear it in the same way: in small doses in clothes, a piece of jewellery, maybe a notebook. But all the time, to keep adulthood at bay. It represents a touch of acceptable madness, reminds me of what I am capable of.

But most of all, it puts me in a good mood. I don’t go «green with envy», «red with shame» or «white as a sheet». Just a few «luminous radiations», even the dictionary agrees… You can thank the eighties.

B.A.  From an interview with Sandrine R.