gaëlle and alyssa - "catacombes de paris" - catacombs of paris (off-limit area)


Gaëlle and Alyssa - "Catacombes de Paris" - Catacombs of Paris (off-limit area)

Alyssa is a San Francisco video artist and musician.­

Catacombs of Paris, about 20 meters (60 feet) underground, under Paris city center.­ This is a part of the 200 Km network of ancient tunnels not opened to the public, but regularly visited by trespassing urban cavers called "cataphiles".­ See more information in the album description.

alyssa androgynous candles catacombs of paris cataphile cave couple gaëlle new year's eve 2008 underground quarry women

Photos by Tristan Savatier

Catacombs of Paris ("Catacombes de Paris"), about 20 meters (60 feet) underground, under Paris city center.­

This is a part of the 200 Km (130 Miles) network of ancient tunnels not opened to the public, but regularly visited by trespassing urban cavers called "cataphiles".­

This is one of my favorite playgrounds, but it's also a dangerous and forbidden place where you can easily get lost.­

You can look at several interresting videos of the Catacombs here (videos are in french).­

Read this excellent article (in english) on National Geographic about this amazing off-limit underground world.­

Those interconnected caves and tunnels are the remnent of antique limestone quarries were the stone was extracted to build the houses of Paris.­ Part of them are now used to store human bones moved from various old cemeteries around 1790, hence the (incorrect) name "Catacombs".­

Only a small section of the Catacombs, called the Ossuary, is opened to the public near Place Denfer-Rochereau in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.­ Visitors can see the the bones of about 6 millions people filling up large underground chambers.­ See Les "Catacombes de Paris" (official website) for more infos.­

Information about the off-limit Catacombs of Paris can be found on the following websites:
ckzone.­org/­
catashow.­free.­fr/­forum/­index.­php
www.­urbanexplorationparis.­com/­

Photos of San Francisco video artist and musician Alyssa aka "FiveStar".­

I met Alyssa at the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair in October 2007.­ We have become friends, and she joined me and my friends for a 2008 NYE party in the underground catacombs of Paris.­ She is one of the most fascinating, inspiring and talented persons that I know.­

She likes to shoot, edit and produce videos.­ Her interests include gender issues, sexuality, women, music, art, race/­ethnicity and the roles and reclaimations of technology.­ I like her sense of visual composition and of cinematic rhythm with the musical tracks that she uses.­ She is also a talented musician, composer, writer and singer.­

It's very hard to take photos of Alyssa that actually look like her, because she is continually morphing and her expression changes completely depending on her feelings, But I think I have been able to capture some glimpses of her persona.­

This series include a set that we shot in the Catacombs of Paris on New Years Eve 2007-2008.­ You can read more about this series in its album description.