Dimitri Tolstoï :
The Molitor Pool
Viens. 87x140cm, 2/7 © Dimitri Tolstoi
Sortez de l'ombre © Dimitri Tolstoi
Rotilom. 80x120 cm. 2/9 © Dimitri Tolstoi
A moitié sauvé © Dimitri Tolstoi
Feu vert © Dimitri Tolstoi
Cellule 291. 120x 80 cm.1/7 © Dimitri Tolstoi
La cité interdite. 72x160cm. 1/7 © Dimitri Tolstoi
Le ciel peut attendre. 80x120 cm. 3/9 © Dimitri Tolstoi
The Molitor Pool, once a magnificent Art Deco-style leisure complex nicknamed the «Paquebot Blanc» ''the white ocean liner'', was decorated top to bottom with graffiti after it closed in 1989, and was demolished this year for redevelopment.
The place was part of Dimitri Tolstoy’s childhood. «A year and a half ago I was invited to a party at the «Paquebot Blanc», a work of art from the Art Deco period in the 1930s, and I rediscovered the magic place where I would come to skate in winter,» he said. «So I asked for permission. I was given one day. It was pure happiness. I was to be the last person to photograph it. Dimitri Tolstoy’s eagle eye seeks out and reveals what no-one else sees in quite the way he does, and preserves it for posterity. His photographs dive into the various pools, play with perspectives from the footbridges, zoom in on the graffiti and shoot the hidden corners in the changing cabins.
He likens the place to a comic book, with its signatures, messages and array of colours. So after his day of shooting he compiled the pictures into a comic strip, mixing the geometry of the architecture with the graphic images of street art.
He also recorded the stages of the pool’s demolition, producing fabulous shots that reveal details no one else would notice. He teaches us to look into the graffiti and see a faded flower, a drop of water, the inside of a fruit or the hairs in a beard. During the development process he discovers things that were not apparent when the photograph was taken, and so offers up a whole world for our contemplation.
Dimitri Tolstoy began taking photographs at age 14, snapping family portraits but also still-life shots of the simplest objects, like an egg or a potato, using his bedroom as a studio and his bathroom as his lab. His passion for photography may be inherited from his great grandmother, Sophia Tolstoy, the wife of Leo Tolstoy, who was herself an artist and famously photographed the Russian author.
Dimitri Tolstoï: La piscine Molitor dans tous ses états
From november 6th to december 1st, 2012
Galerie Caplain Matignon
9 avenue Matignon
75008 Paris - France
Tél. +33 (0)1 42 65 04 63
Tuesday - Saturday 2.30pm - 7pm and by appointement.
E-mail : email@example.com