Free Quirk No.15 ~ "Watching You Watching Me..."


"Watching You Watching Me..."

Paris is, for me, indeed the dead centre of my known universe; this is where it's at, and forever more shall be so.

And as far as the dead are concerned, there are quite a few of them wanting too be taken into account, if not quite able to stand up and be counted any more.
We remember them principally through what was created after they left, in the form of monuments, tombstones, statues, plaques and the like. Luckily, in Paris, a fair number of these testimonials to lives are worthy of attention in their own right.

The fellow represented here was apparently a doctor, and resides more or less permanently in the Montmartre cemetery just a couple of graves along from my very own tomb (kind of), but that's another story...
"How appropriate for a psychiatrist, that his
monument should be just a little... odd"

He was, in fact, a doctor Guy Pitchel, who died in 1989, and was a well-known psychoanalyst who worked with French celebrities, including the singer Dalida who's way over-the-top monument (think nipply bust, huge marble arch, screaming golden sun.. delusions of grandeur?) is just down the way a little.

How appropriate then, for someone whose profession was to delve profoundly into the depths of the human condition, that his memoral should be just a little.. odd.

How so? Well unfortunately it's difficult to tell the whole story in a photograph. Maybe a video could do so. But as you walk past this elegant piece, the eyes seem to follow you. No, they do follow you, there's no 'seem to' about it.

This series is about the curiosities of Paris and not biographies so I won't go into the Docteur's life history, even if I could find it; it's all about the face!

The effect is not new. The face has actually been created as though the person actually stuck their head into the plaster, took it out and we are now looking at the result.

In other words the face image we are looking at now is actually concave, i.e. it goes into the stone as opposed to coming out. It's hollow. Sorry, I guess you've got it by now.

And what happens is that as you pass by, the light changes and gives the uncanny impression that the face turns to follow your progress. I'm understating this a bit too much I think. Let me say that the effect is absolutely astounding, and you can spend many amusing minutes walking to and fro watching the good Doctor watching you doing your thing like a yo-yo!

What's funny too is that as you do this people will wander up, not aware of the effect, and think you are completely mad. They sense there is something going on, but until they see for themselves, and some of them never do spot it, they couldn't possibly imagine and just start looking around for a doct.. - oh, that's kinda funny...

Some paintings are said to possess this characteristic too, and maybe it's also due to tricks of the light, but in this case it's perfectly executed, fun to experience and works every time. So forget Euro Disney and get the kids down to the Montmartre Cemetery today - there's fun for all the family in the dead centre of town (well, one of them).


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