If you have visited any of the public gardens of Paris, you have seen the chairs scattered hither and yon about the jardins.
Green-painted and moveable, some have arms, others recline slightly to better arrange oneself to catch the fleeting rays of the Parisian winter sun.
I am particularly fond of the chairs in the Jardin des Tuileries. Situated between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, Tuileries is a favorite of both tourists and Parisians. Its central location and proximity to the photography exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume ensure that I pass through Tuileries on almost every visit to Paris.
The chairs are scattered in small groups, ready to be reconfigured by the day’s visitors. But in the morning, before the tourists and residents arrive en masse, the chairs are sitting much as they were the night before. Absent humans, a curious thing happens — the chairs seem to be talking to each other. They have an air of implied conversation and intimacy as if they had absorbed the souls of the last conversations they witnessed and continued them over night.
Over here we see the closeness of lovers; over there, a klatch of friends discussing the night before; next to them, a lone chair, staring at a wall; above them, a very serious conversation…
The stories are endless and ever-changing — a game of chairs — all told with just a glance in the right direction.