Up | Side | Down | Town PARIS, Completed Project & Grand Opening


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In Paris, as in numerous cities worldwide, gay bars and other urban spaces dedicated to LGBTQ + communities are increasingly being forced to shutdown. These are places of freedom, celebration, and refuge, which have created positive and liberating experiences within our cities. Added to this same-sex activity still remains, contra to belief, illegal - 'punishable' by imprisonment, corporeal and even capital punishment - in some 72 countries. It only made sense that in this district of Paris the mural should connect as intimately as possible with its community; and celebrate with a full heart . On a global scale, our hope was also that this would turn heads from all parts of the world awakening ever more number of people to the simple fact that it is a fundamental human right to exercise ones sexual identity however they want; let alone having to fear life-taking repercussions from a nation-state! Answering a call from the City of Paris to “Embellir Paris” (beautify Paris), The Street Society, a Paris-based urban innovation agency, and artist Daniel van der Noon, proposed UP/SIDE/DOWN/TOWN, an immersive and interactive artistic intervention right in the heart of Paris’s renowned Marais district. Working with LGBTQ+ communities from around the world, UP/SIDE/DOWN/TOWN pays tribute to their iconic urban places and preserve their memory under the covered gallery of 95 rue du Temple. Adding to the atmosphere of the Marais, one of Paris’s liveliest neighborhoods, UP/SIDE/DOWN/TOWN transformed this surprisingly dark and forgotten corner of rue du Temple into a colorful and exciting meeting place. Passersby are still able to immerse themselves within this city-in-the-city: a bright, utopian scenery fitting seamlessly alongside the Marais’s museums, historical monuments and street-art. Giving it absolutely everything we had there were some many different hands involved in an entirely enlightening international collaboration. Added to this, Street Society also worked hard to create a digital layer to the work - available through an app, QR code and instagram page @upsidedowntownparis - which gives pedestrians the opportunity to hear the history and personal stories behind the LGBTQ + movements and places represented on the walls, pillars, floor and ceiling of the site at 95 rue du Temple. To that end UPSIDEDOWNTOWN connected the stories, dates, places, and characters that have and continue to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals across the world; itself becoming something of a hotspot with instagram posts appearing almost weekly during the artworks lifetime!

95 Rue Du Temple, Le Marais, Paris
Embellir Paris Project 2019
Embellir Paris Project 2019
Chris Saunders‍‍
Chris Saunders‍‍
2nd Photographer:
Press mention:
Timeout Paris
Timeout Paris