Deer 1

Walking along the Rue St Maur with my head bowed down against the freezing sleet, I look up and suddenly find myself eye to eye with a deer. In this modern, concrete environment next to an Atac supermarket, the deer is of course not a real one, but the effect is as the artist would have wished. Who is the more surprised at this instant – me or the deer? The mysterious artist who wheatpasted this image up on the wall late at night, has captured the deer at the moment just before flight, when it freezes at the crack of my footstep before skipping off into the surrounding forest of buildings.

The surprise is one of juxtaposition. City inhabitants are just not used to encountering nature in their safe streets where wolves, snakes and bears would never dare to venture. We worry about dangers of our own creation, but the city has long since won the battle with the natural world. In Paris, this was not an involuntary, organic development, but a planned evolution to protect the city from ignorance.


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