/ Exhibition place
François Prost is a Parisian photographer and graphic designer, born in Lyon in 1980. He produces photographic series in the form of an inventory, sometimes travelling through France to document the facades of nightclubs, sometimes through America for its strip club facades, or even China for its disturbing replicas of European heritage cities. His work has been published in international magazines such as The Sunday Times Magazine, Wired, Wallpaper, M le monde, AD, Süddeutschzeitung, Domus, National Geographic, City Lab and Slate and exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, Galerie du jour Agnès B, Villa Noailles, Les rencontres d’Arles, Paris Photo. His work has also been the subject of three monographic books (After Party by Headbangers Publishing in 2018, Paris China by Hoxton Mini Press in 2020, and Gentlemen’s Club by Fisheye in 2021). In 2015, his project After Party was awarded the Fidal Youth Photography Award.
Approach and works on display
After Party (2011-2018)
After Party features a large number of French and Belgian nightclub facades photographed in daylight. These nightclubs in suburban or rural areas are presented in a new light: the neon lights and other components of the nightlife atmosphere are replaced by a more standard and less glittery reality. A larger context, hidden and unknown to the party-goers, suddenly and bizarrely appears. The series also pays tribute, with humour and a touch of nostalgia, to the sometimes overdecorated designs and visual codes evoked by these places. François Prost offers an in-depth look at a typography and its contextualization, where a sign, a simple name or even an ornament, transforms the perception, the meaning and the spirit of an ordinary and unimaginative construction. Form and function are dissociated.
According to Brown, Izenour and Venturi, the authors of the cult book Learning from Las Vegas (1977), which advocates a return to ornamentation and complexity in architecture, the sign is more the form than the building. The punctual and incomplete decoration of these buildings is like the party: an ephemeral, artificial and sometimes frivolous moment, offering the possibility of a momentary escape from everyday reality.