By Danielle Cohen
Looking for new things to do and see in Paris? Here, we’ve gathered a selection of our favorite exhibits, books, and movies to fill your days. Two exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, plus a book and movie that will provide you with a complete gastronomical education. Enjoy!
Une expo: Eva & Adele
Artistic duo EVA & ADELE, the self-proclaimed Hermaphrodite Twins in Art, have been challenging gender boundaries for the past 25 years with various art projects that feature their identically shaved heads and exaggerated makeup. In a new exhibit entitled “Futuring,” the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris showcases the pair’s artistic history, featuring a series of 1,500 Polaroid selfies taken every day between 1991 and 2005; a multi-screen video installation that records the couple’s artistic and sexual evolution; and depictions of the outlandish and futuristic costumes in which the two have appeared throughout their time in the public eye.
Un expo: Benjamin Katz
Also at the Museum of Modern Art is a small exhibit that showcases the works of Benjamin Katz, a Belgian photographer who captured the greats of modern and avant-garde art at work, at play, and everything in between. Here, find serene shots of Cindy Sherman, an in-profile close-up of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein posing in front of one of his own works, and a wide-eyed Gerhard Richter. Plus, Niele Toroni covering the walls of a studio in Cologne with the very squares that appear in his paintings in the next room.
Un livre: Sweetbitter
Inr’s debut novel, we get a peek into the back-breaking, hard-partying, drama-filled lifestyle of the waiters at the infamous Union Square Café in New York City. Loosely based on the author’s experience as a waitress there (though the story itself is fictional), Sweetbitter is told from the point of view of Tess, an anonymous newcomer to the big city who becomes ensconced in (and, arguably, a bit carried away with) life at the restaurant. Plotline aside, the book’s ultimate strength lies in its intricate and thorough meditations on food, taste, and wine, all relayed in a style that floats between scientific and poetic. Come for the gastronomic education, stay for the drama.
Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 24, 2016
Un film: Romantics Anonymous (or Les Émotifs Anonymes)
During a quest for a comfort film to watch on French Netflix, I stumbled across Romantics Anonymous, an utterly charming movie that follows the love story of socially dysfunctional chocolate makers Jean-René and Angélique. Highlights include Jean-René sweating through multiple shirts as he blunders through their first date, Angélique instructing a bustling room full of chocolatiers with unparalleled expertise, and, as indicated by the film’s title, several humorous group therapy sessions where individuals addicted to love share their triumphs and pitfalls.
Make sure to have a box of chocolates ready while you watch –
it will give you some irresistible cravings!
- Nuit Blanche
Every year on the first Saturday of October, the city of Paris opens up dozens of completely free art instillations in historic buildings and public spaces in an event known as “Nuit Blanche” (all-nighter). The event – hence its name – goes on all night, and participants are invited to make their way around the city, stopping wherever their hearts desire. This year, the night’s main attractions will take place on the Seine and are listed in the official program under the category of “ON” while events happening elsewhere are categorized as “OFF.” The theme this year is an early Renaissance Italian novel called “Hypnerotomachia Poliphilli.” Here, we’ve presented some highlights you should make sure to get to on this can’t-miss night.
Alain Séchas at Gare de Lyon (Hall Principal)
In the main hall of Gare de Lyon, Alain Sechas has painted charming, doodle-like figures of cats dressed in human clothes, welcoming viewers to this year’s festivities.
Erwin Olaf at Hôtel de Ville
On the façade of this government building in the fourth, Erwin Olaf has installed a series of slow-motion videos that picture women’s faces, which slowly morph and change during the course of the night.
Thomas Teurlai at Voie Georges Pompidou
In Thomas Teurlai’s dream-like fountain, jets of water collide with discs to create a series of ethereal, uneven sounds. Strobe lights add to the surreal scene, echoing the movement and sound of the water hitting the discs.
Crazy Horse at the Petit Palais gardens
The renowned Parisian cabaret group Crazy Horse will be performing in the gardens next to the Petit Palais.
Zad Moultaka at the Institut du Monde Arabe
In a multisensory installation by Zad Moultaka, the museum and garden of the Institut de Monde Arabe will be transformed into an immersive jungle environment, including performers who narrate intricate tales about exile, migration, and the memory of the body.
Mel O’Callaghan at Place Dauphine
Inspired by Nietzsche’a Zarathoustra, artist Mel O’Callaghan has constructed a series of posts with attached pulleys, which performers push and pull in rhythmic choreography that’s meant to symbolize the human condition.
WE LOVE ART on the Pont des Invalides
In a futuristic, high-tech light installation entitled OX, various DJs will perform on the Pont Des Invalides against a backdrop of LED lights that acknowledges and moves according to the sounds of the turntable.
Cleon Peterson at the Eiffel Tower
American artist Cleon Peterson has installed an enormous painting at the foot of the Eiffel Tower that extends all the way up to the first floor of the tower and depicts a bird’s-eye view of a shamanic dance in simplistic black and white.
Tobias Rehberger & Thylacine at Île Saint-Germain
Visual art by Tobias Rehberger and music by Thylacine come together in this immense installation on the railway between Pont-de-Sèvres and Issy, where a network of fluorescent tubes and LED lights move to the rhythm of the music.