Y a de la joie…it’s a chorus that comes back, a refrain that repeats, and one that will last for an entire week! Joy: we see it in Sarah Doraghi’s one-woman show, in the pop colors of Andy Warhol, in the sculptures by Georges Rousse at the Conciergerie, and in a charming memoir by former New York Times food critic Ruth Reichl. I tip my hat to all of the artists who share their joy with us!
- Exhibition: Warhol Unlimited
Warhol to infinity! Omnipresence is in every case the impression given by “Shadows.” It’s also a vision that we find by visiting the exhibition “Co-Workers”: the idea for the Campbell’s soup prints, the diffusion of images, the repetition, the speed of information…
We can still, and always, be excited about Warhol, but that’s because we are his long-time followers. Future generations might not be as inspired by this Pope of Pop Art as we are. We do not forget that his exhibitions were similar to rock concerts in their ability to provoke riots.
And so a very Warhol promenade begins with painted paper affixed to the walls of the museum, reproducing flowers, Mao Zedong, and cows to infinity, serving to create a lighthearted, playful ambiance. The subjects depicted are often morbid, like some electric chairs that I initially forget to see! Farther along, the Jackie portraits produced in 1964, not long after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, casually mingle with his flowers.
Hervé Vanel, co-curator of the exhibition alongside Sébastien Gokalp, tells me something Warhol had once done: during a 1964 exhibition in a gallery, he had put his flower series front and center, and he had relegated Jackie into a backroom, as if this tragic event were out of fashion, and the colored flowers had taken her place.
Andy Warhol remarked flippantly : « May be I should have made the whole show just Jackie, it’s terrific » Newsweek, december 1964.
Andy Warhol does not dwell on the past; for him, everything happens quickly, at the Factory and at his house as people pass through, and he can make or break any artist’s career.
It is this white-wigged character, insolent and contemptuous, an influencer that can nevertheless be found alone in his room drinking champagne…
Before reaching the sky, or rather the astonishing Shadows, I attend an underground concert. I fly into a silver cloud with the idea of balloons as an ephemeral work, and the fact that this cannot be found within the museum is quite strange…
And here I am blown away, a series of 102 panels hung one after the other that unfold like a movie, an installation that creates both a space by the grandiosity of the work as well as an environment…these are Warhol’s decorations.
With black and colored shadows, Warhol has revolutionized the concept of art, and his initial order of 100 paintings transformed into 108. For the first time, Shadows is shown in its entirety in a French museum, where one can usually see them at the Dia Art Foundation.
« You see, the opening party had disco. I guess that makes them disco décor. » Andy Warhol
I would also like to mention the work of Parker Ito, also known as Parker Cheeto, presented at Co-Workers : The Net Artist (America Online Made Me Hardcore) wraps 24 panels around the first two walls of the exhibition. Superimposed images of historical paintings, flowers, personal camera reel snapshots, and ASCII art lend the work an immediate sense of information overload.
It’s anxious, like the internet-provoked desensitization implied by the its title. Using a 3M reflective material, Ito evokes the practice of museums using x-ray technology to study their artists’ painting processes by view the submerged layers a work’s submerged layers, its different stages of completion. Taking a flash photo of the Parker Cheeto will engage this reflective material and leave you with a ghostly, monochrome photo of a previously invisible layer of the work. You can explode the meaning of the work with your phone, all the while diving into the headspace of the artist. It’s a heady but highly accessible mix of art-theory conceptual and emotional introspection that plays compellingly with the selfie-reality of today’s museum experience.
- One book : Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl, published by Broadway Books
Written by a former food critic of The New York Times, Tender at the Bone is a truly poetic memoir, as well as an ode to good eating. Ruth Reichl describes the way her passion for food developed—ironically beginning with her mother who was infamous for her awful cooking—while injecting humor and wit into the anecdotes she tells. Reichl also provides the reader with some of her favorites recipes throughout the book…so get ready for some culinary inspiration!
- Installation: Georges Rousse at the Conciergerie
A first for Georges Rousse, he displays his screens at the Conciergerie. His white-painted wooden structures occupy the space in the grand Gens d’Armes room. The architecture of the Middle Ages goes surprisingly well with this contemporary installation. Generally, Georges Rousse does not reveal his installation secrets before the final result; for example, he does with his photographs where he proves that his shots have not been touched up (Photoshop is out of the question for him). For us to discover a new point of view of the artist is fascinating…he impresses us with his ideas regarding the assembly of things, and for certain shots we see the way he manipulates his materials, painting them and re-covering them with pencil. Each image becomes a mystery, leaving us to find the solution…and sometimes the truth seems unfathomable!
- Theater: Sarah Doraghi’s “Je change de file”
In her one-woman show, Sarah Doraghi depicts her arrival in France at the age of ten, as well as her love for the country. It’s quite funny: she recounts how she, a young Persian, is welcomed, by describing the confusion of the people around her. A bit more than an hour-long show, it is certainly not devoid of entertainment: Sarah Doraghi speaks, dances, and describes the administrative difficulties with which she is faced. Not only that, but certain complications she encounters are simply due to misconceptions…
If you would also like a Jackson, a Salvador, or why not an Andy, head over to ESTRËE on December 5 or 6…
61 avenue de Breteuil – 75007 Paris – 11AM – 8 PM (Up to 50% off)
- Exhibition in Geneva: Tomas Saraceno
Before presenting a major work under the glass roof of the Grand Palais in Paris at the request of COP21 (November 30-December 11), the artist fills the space with fifteen representative works of his ideal world, as well as his vision of a perfect, humane society that respects the nature that surrounds us. Truly a wonder!
Florence Briat Soulie
Translated by Erica DeMichel, Wesleyan University, Vassar Wesleyan Program in Paris Fall 2015