Exhibit: L’esprit du Bauhaus [The Bauhaus Spirit] at the Musée des Arts décoratifs
Rounded corners, intricate wall paper designs, and simplistic silver tea sets are just a few of the facets that characterize the Bauhaus school, a European avant-garde movement that originated in Germany. The Bauhaus’ existence was unfortunately short-lived – it was founded in 1919, moved three times due to government persecution, and finally shut down in 1933 after falling victim to Nazi censorship. Nonetheless, the plethora of products produced in the school’s tightly structured workshops range from table décor to tapestries to photography to interior design and architecture. In a wide-ranged exhibit, the Musée des Arts décoratifs is showcasing the Bauhaus comprehensive collection of wares and fine art. Don’t forget to take a peek at the nine stunning floors of this museum’s permanent collection, which begins in the Middle Ages and traces interior design and decoration all the way up to contemporary times.
Who knew that a scalpel could create such a peaceful, artistic vision? With this signature working tool, Georgia Russell creates masterpieces that are simultaneously confounding and pleasing, splicing canvases into shaggy, three-dimensional abstract landscapes. As the lines of the cuts overpower the original lines painted onto the canvas, Russell plays with form and space, revolutionizing the cut-out method. One piece is undeniably sculptural, hanging from the ceiling as a mass of thin canvas strips, while others are more relief-like, dimensional only due to the protruding post-cut folds. It’s the type of work that changes with every angle you view it from, so the best way to visit is to invest some time circumambulating each piece.
In the wake of the American election, a large number of U.S. inhabitants greet the next four years with fear in their hearts. In a sobering film released a mere few months before the country elected its new president, a less explicit but arguably more dangerous type of persecution is explored: mass incarceration. Its title is taken from the thirteenth amendment of the American Constitution, which outlawed de jure slavery. This documentary is an exploration of the way that the “land of the free” has been enacting a new type of slavery for the past few decades by imprisoning people of color and making it virtually impossible to escape the prison industrial complex. While it’s not the most uplifting watch, it’s a crucial one, especially for those previously unaware of the ways the United States hides and disguises oppression.
Book: Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever by Justin Taylor
In this collection of short stories, Justin Taylor combines humor, gloom, sarcasm, and biting honesty in an eclectic series of realistic fiction. His settings range from down-trodden Florida suburbs to uptown Manhattan, and his characters are at times exceedingly flawed and at others complete mysteries. Throughout the contradictions, though, he weaves his own signature prose, which focuses on the scrutinizing specifics of bands, brands, street names, and burger joints.
Café: Café Oberkamf
Are you searching for the perfect Sunday brunch in Paris? Look no further than Café Oberkamf, which is probably situated on the street you wandered around drunk the night before and is the perfectly cozy environment for consuming spicy shakshuka and green eggs and feta. Make sure to try their chai latte (hot or iced), and if you’re not into eggs go for an open-faced avocado tartine. Bon appétit!
Danielle Cohen, Wesleyan University 2018, Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris Autumn 2016