As a reachable form of a lost Eden within everyone’s grasp, everybody comes to the Bois de Vincennes to seek refuge in nature. People from all walks of life have the right to be here: rich, poor, French, foreign, gay, straight, alone or accompanied, old-school or hip. The woods are an island surrounded by the towns that encircle it: a mirage dreamed up by a fatigued city-dweller. The difficulty of living in the city is left behind. Here we heal, we play, we have fun, and we dream. Throughout the seasons, this series of exchanges speaks of this utopia that everyone imagines for him or herself.
In his 1983 novel Crystal Boys 《孽子》Pai Hsien-Yong 白先勇 described Taipei’s New Park as “our hidden kingdom in darkness” 「我們黑暗王國」— at night, with the gates shut, this real space behind walls somehow became a fantasy land of imagined freedoms that could not be entertained, let alone realized, in daylight. Claire Simon’s The Woods Dreams…
Born in London and raised in the Var, France, Claire Simon studied ethnology as well as classical Arab and Berber. While establishing herself in the film industry as an editor, she directed short films, including the 1992 French television series “Scènes de ménage” starring Miou Miou.