The Long Hot Summer 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Paris is reputed for its month of August, which serves as a symbol of human emptiness when the heat becomes too overwhelming to ignore and city dwellers decide to migrate en masse outside its inclement walls, now a trap for summer stragglers and people, who for one reason or another cannot escape the confines of the city...
In 2019, because the weather has become persistently crazed, it might be cold at times in August in Paris, but still,the habit remains of leaving the keys on the many doors of the capital city and turning one's back to August, collectively. It's a mysterious phenomenon of seasonal migration prompted less by natural rhythms than social ones.
The flux starts at the end of July really, in readiness for the upcoming mythical chunk of time. You observe that Paris is emptying, but it is not empty yet.
But you also know in advance that after the 15th of August, the day of the Feast of Assumption of the Virgin Mary, people will start slowly trickling back in, filling the void they left behind; the new deadline seems to be the 26th of August, as the religious calendar is perhaps less followed.
For a good part of summer though, Paris is yours, that is, its buildings, roomy streets, and ghost-town-like vibration, which makes you almost want to exclaim: "Hello, is there anyone home?" at one point or another. You're not sure there is any living being on the corner of the street on which you stand, prompting you to inquire about human life.
Here is a series of photographs desultory and empty, almost, which capture some of the atmosphere of a city left to people who mostly do not want to be there, tourists who want to be there - and ravens.
The sun is merciless, so you hide from it and others do that too leaving walls to speak for themselves.
The result is a street photography of signs and traces of human presence, rather than of crowds.
Light and Shadows - Walking in the Sun 2019 ©Chant Wagner
To Love 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Sleek Empty Street 2019 © Chant Wagner
Plant with Monster Shadow 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Birds - Don't be Shy 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Improvised and Askew 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Danger on the Left 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Lonesome Leaf 2019 ©Chant Wagner
August Macadam 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Before the Fall 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Parking of the School of Medicine 2019 ©Chant Wagner
René-Descartes University - School of Medicine 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Les Thermes de Cluny - Ruins of a Roman Era Spa ©Chant Wagner
The Dog Knows 2019 ©Chant Wagner
No Escaping the Sunlight(s) 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Adoring Crowd on the Day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary 2019 ©Chant Wagner
Ice-Cream Seller by the Procope 2019 ©Chant Wagner