LOOKING FOR "STUNT BICYCLIST" WHO RIDES FOR MY PROJECT:
Bicycling Boulevard Haussmann, Meditating 1848, Paris ....
WHAT IS TO BE DONE ?
YOU NEED TO RIDE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREETA BICYLCE UP THE ENTIRE BOULEVARD HAUSSMAN IN PARIS AGAINST THE ONCOMING ONE WAY TRAFFIC WITHOUT HOLDING THE HANDLE BAR FILMING WITH A DIGIAL HD CAMERA WHICH YOU HOLD IN YOUR HAND.
I pay you 250 Euros; all responsibilities are yours. you also need to use your bike and your camera
Needless to say, Boulevard Haussmann is home to some of the most powerfull institutions in the world - like the Royal Bank of Scottland which needed a state bail out in 2008 and nearly sank Britain's banking industry.
See how I used to do it :
I am filming the oncoming traffic, holdling the camera in my hand - so you can see the handlebar moving. This style I have cultivated over many years performing and filming in many cities: see for example: Bicycling from Karl-Marx-Allee through the Brandenburger Gate - Meditating Berlin 1989, 2007:
Baron Haussman and his city planning consisted of breaking up the middle age narrow rhizome of streets and inserting big avenues (les grands boulevaards) thus enabling the army to better and more swiftly access and control the working classes that revolted some years earlier in 1849 with barricades and violent street protests. Haussmann worked under Napoléon Bonaparte III and stood for a conservative proto-fashist regime that pushed through modernisation in an autocratic way. The coup d'etat and the establishment of the emperor's dictatorship is the subject of a great analysis by Karl Marx entitled The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, written in 1852. Napoleon III commissioned Haussmann already in 1852 to "modernize" Paris and create wide streets that could not be easily blocked by barricades. Haussmannisation definitely can be credited for breaking up the 1871 communes in a very short time since the army overran the protesting Communards without much physical resistance. The linear destruction of pieces of the antique Paris accomplished thus the destruction of a social Paris and accellerated the alienation of it's population as well the the disintegration of a feeling of social and political autonomy.
Alone the name of one of these grande avenunes, the Avenue de la Grande Armée, (the Avenue of the Big Army) is telling you quite a bit. No wonder why the last communist "emporer" Ceausescu had large parts of Bucharest destroyed for building his own Chausse-Elysées. The Apprentice in the Sun - Bicycling Bucharest, 2006, is a piece that consists of just pedalling against the on coming traffic, in the middle of the streets, against the stream, filming. I ride the full extend of this big boulevards modeled after one of Haussmann's projects.
Marcel Proust lived between 1906 to 1919 on Boulvard Haussmann. Beaudelaire complained about the loss through Haussmannisation in many of his writings. The Situationists under Guy Debord accentuated their critique by calling urbanism as such a "state science," a "captialist science." (see wikipedia) - In case of Haussmann, I prefer to call it even a "Police Science" since it moved the eyes and arms (tentacles) of the police very quickly across the entire city.
Bicylcing Boulevard Haussman would be bicycling the second of Hausmann's twelve radiating avenues which I have so far used for my bicycle projects. The first one, entitled Bicycling Les Champs-Elysées, Paris 2008 was significantly ended by the police. This is the only non-law abiding project where the police was able to catch me during my ride since is not an easy to catch me while riding against the traffic. It says a lot about the motorcycle equipped police force of Paris.
In the spirit of contemporary capitalist practice I now opt to OUTSOURCE THE DANGEROUS PERFORMATIVE ASPECT OF THIS WORK for 250 Euros since I have retired my work related semi-suicidal tendencies.
UPON DELIVERY OF A TAPE OR A QUICKTIME FILE (HD FORMAT) OF THIS RIDE ACCORDING TO MY INSTURCTIONS, YOU WILL BE PAID IMMEDIATLY IN FULL.
I WILL CREDIT YOU AS "STUNT BICYCLIST."
ALL RIGHTS FOR THE IDEA, THE FILM AND THE STILL IMAGES REMAIN WITH ME.
PLEASE, CONTACT ME: rainerganahl ( at ) yahoo.com
Please, accept this offer and work only if you know what you are gettting into. It is inherently dangerous like most of my bike projects and to be seen as a small act of civil revolt. Danger is an important aspect of our life and provocations are important getting a poins across. Thus, it mimics some of the violence inherent in our daily order. Bicycling Boulevard Haussmann is also a distant mirror of the crazy historical aspects of Napoleon Bonapart III's time, his aggressive urbanism replicated throughout Europe and the repressions of the so-called Holly Alliance.
This non-law abiding action has to also be seen as some kind of coup or stroke against the order of our urban status quo, in which car traffic dominates nearly everything.
In my bicycle manifesto I ask for the redistribution of urban space and demand a 50 % partition of all urban streets for bike traffic only. This is a demand that reflects today's realities and technologies (e-mobility; high fuel prices; pollution; obeisity of people due to minimal movement; redistribution of urban space as some kind of anti-urbanism) and is ment to be an activist pamphlet for urban renewal and urban justice that takes bicycling as full partners.
a brief sentence about my bicycle projects in general:
With my BICYCLE WORKS I see myself as someone continuing the tradition of the 19th century flaneur and the dérive projects of the Situationist's but on a bicycle while riding and connecting significant points within a city - see more here: www.useabicylce.com