Paris Sojourn: Père Lachaise / Cityscapes
August 18, 2023 to September 23, 2023
Chicago to Paris and Back…
Paris Sojourn: Père Lachaise / Cityscapes references photographer Mark Ballogg’s fourteen-year relationship with Paris.
In 1981, shortly after graduating from Columbia College, Chicago, Ballogg began a yearlong scholarship in Paris. During this time, he wandered the Parisian streets with a 4×5 view camera capturing city views. While exploring Paris on foot, he discovered Père Lachaise, the largest cemetery in Paris and the most visited necropolis in the world. At the time, it was forbidden to photograph the cemetery with a tripod and an attempt to procure access documents was unsuccessful. Ballogg returned to Chicago, started a family, and established a flourishing commercial architectural photography studio.
Twelve years later, Ballogg’s interest in Père Lachaise was rekindled when he read an article in the Chicago Tribune about plans to move the buried remains in the historically rich oldest section of the cemetery, where the decaying architecture was part of the visual charm. Fearing the photographic impact of that change, he returned in 1994 for three weeks and shot over 200 photographs. The color dye transfers and black and white carbon prints in this exhibition are evidence of Ballogg’s fascination with Paris and its most iconic cemetery.
Reflecting on his Paris sojourn, Ballogg states: “During this period, my approach to photography was largely intuitive, driven by my interest in architecture. I looked for a way to go beyond documentation, elevating the image to a new level of emotional and intellectual vibrancy by arranging and distilling complex disparate elements into a dynamic whole.” Paris Sojourn: Père Lachaise / Cityscapes reveals a new and surprising reimagining that transcends mere photo-documentation of Ballogg’s captured subjects.
For more information or to schedule a viewing appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.