Around 104

My project has two objectives: firstly, it is about portraying people who are not usually portrayed and imposing their presence, and their beauty, in the museum space. Secondly, I am trying to unite the long-time residents of the buildings on Archereau, Mathis and Riquet streets, a working-class neighbourhood in the midst of gentrification, around an empowering project. I arrived in the neighbourhood in 1999, when my family left the 13th arrondissement and its high rents. As such, and although I have lived there for a long time, I am part of the first wave of gentrifiers. At the time, the MK2 quai de Seine had just opened and the neighbourhood was already beginning its transformation. Since the 2000s, and especially since the opening of the 104 museum in 2008, these transformations have accelerated.

The 19th arrondissement remains the cheapest area in Paris with a very high density of social housing, but the arrival of organic supermarkets and trendy stores is the most obvious sign of major demographic changes over which the residents of social housing have no control. Although they are protected from eviction and rising rents, these residents must deal with a changing neighbourhood, disappearing businesses, and places that remain alien to them. The project seeks to impose their presence in the neighbourhood through the portrait and, by including short life stories, present their point of views on these changes. Our encounters, and the resulting exhibition, become an opportunity for dialogue between new, old and «old-new» inhabitants of the neighbourhood. By integrating them, literally, through an exhibition of portraits, I want to reconcile the 104 museum and its neighbourhood. 


Yakuba’s portrait – 116 par 89 cm Acrylic on canvas

bruce clemence devienne

Bruce’s portrait – 80 x 60 cm  Acrylic on canvas

lassana clemence devienne

Lassana’s portrait – 50 x 65 cm  Charcoal on paper

christopher clemence devienne

Christopher’s portrait – 50 x 65 cm Charcoal on paper

christopher-clemence devienne

Christopher’s portrait – 80 x 60 cm  Acrylic on canvas

bruce-fusain-clemence devienne

Bruce’s portrait – 50 x 65 cm  Charcoal on paper