As part of his ongoing series titled Flying Houses, French artist Laurent Chéhère (previously) imagines a world without gravity where unusual architectural structures seem to float midair, tethered only by loose strands of power lines. Each house seems dense with details, telling the story of fictional inhabitants through purposeful details that allude to much deeper stories behind each image. Chéhère draws influence from Jules Verne to Hayao Miyazaki, but most poignantly brings attention to marginalized communities found in Paris, specifically Gypsies and immigrants. By uprooting the houses he hopes the viewer focuses more clearly on them, an act he refers to as “releasing them from the anonymity of the street.”
Each house is actually an extremely detailed photomontage and begins life as a series of sketches. Chéhère then photographs hundreds of elements like antennas, walls, roofs, graffiti, and birds which he then assembles digitally into the pieces you see here.
Several recent artworks by Chéhère are currently on view at Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York along with miniature buildings by Joshua Smith. You can see more of his photographic work on Instagram.
All images, “Where are we going?” Installation by Chiharu Shiota at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, copyright Gabriel de la Chapelle
The newest installation by Chiharu Shiota (previously here and here) is composed of nearly 300,000 yards of white yarn, woven to encapsulate the center, ground floor, and ten windows of Le Bon Marché. The exhibition, titled Where are we going?, will feature 150 boats within the French department store’s center, and the ground-floor exhibition will house a giant threaded wave that visitors are encouraged to walk through. Despite boats being a common theme in Shiota’s work, this installation will mark the first time she has used white yarn, previously creating installations with only black or red thread.
The title of the exhibition, Where are we going?, refers to the mysterious destinations that pinpoint each of our individual and collective lives. Therefore the boats in this installation represent vessels sailing towards unknown locations, the works expressing both a sense of poetry and a sense of unease over what is to come.
“I am struck by the multiplicity of interactions that we experience every day, by their connections with the past and the future,” said Shiota in an interview with Le Bon Marché. “The creation of this indecipherable mesh and its plasticity are a mystery, just like our brain, the universe, and of course, life. I have no answers, only questions. These questions are the foundations of my work.”
Last year Le Bon Marché organized a large exhibition of Ai WeiWei's work which featured a 65-foot bamboo and silk dragon in the store’s atrium. Shiota’s Where are we going? will be displayed at Le Bon Marché through February 18, 2017. (via Fubiz)
Artist Levalet (aka Charles Leval) has been extremely busy this year, bringing his unique brand of nonsensical wheatpastes to locations all over Paris. His temporary interventions show a wide range of disheveled characters caught in a world of mischief and misfortune, as they appear to interact with the building facades onto which they are pasted. Levalet’s artworks first began to appear outdoors in 2012, but he’s since begun to produce entire shows of paintings, sculptures, and various assemblage pieces for display indoors that are no less enchanting.
Levalet’s latest solo show titled Little Boxes opens tomorrow at OPEN WALLS in Berlin, and some of his best work was recently gathered into the book Des illusions comiques.
Projected onto the ceiling of Saint-Eustache Church in Paris, Voûtes Célestes is a work by Miguel Chevalier that turned the ancient chapel into the backdrop for a constantly morphing sky chart produced in real time. Cycling through 35 different colored networks, the ceiling glowed with each successive pattern, highlighting the grand architecture that laid below the swirling universes above.
The work, accompanied by musical improvisations played by Baptiste-Florian Marle-Ouvrard on the organ, was produced for Nuit Blanche 2016 on the first of October. Visitors to the virtual reality artwork were invited to wander or lie down beneath the false sky above, aesthetically immersed in a wash of sonic and visual splendor.
Chevalier was born in Mexico City in 1959 and has lived in Paris since 1985. His work has focused almost exclusively on the digital since the late 1970s, often combining themes such as nature and artifice. You can see a more of his work on his website, and a video of his Paris installation below. (via designboom)
German photographer Sebastian Erras (previously) made his mosaic-focused Instagram @parisianfloors famous by capturing the detailed floors beneath the feet of Parisians, one perspective shots that featured his feet transposed against colorful tiles. Now Erras does not limit himself to capturing only Paris’s tiles, and has been capturing some beautiful patterns found in the buildings of London. The above shot from London’s Royal College of Art is one of our personal favorites.
You can see more of Erras’s photography projects on his portfolio site. (via Culture N Lifestyle)
Ai Weiwei‘s (previously here and here) first exhibition in France is not staged at the Centre Pompidou nor the Palais de Tokyo, but within Paris’s Le Bon Marché, the city’s oldest department store founded in 1852. At its center the exhibition includes 20 illuminated silk and bamboo creatures that float above the cosmetics department, a contradiction of subject matter that Ai embraces as he allows the two vastly different worlds to collide momentarily during his store-bound exhibition.
The show, titled “Er Xi” or “Child’s Play,” is in many ways tied to the artist’s family and childhood. His father, the Chinese poet Ai Qing, passed on stories to Ai of his time spent living and studying art in Paris in the 30s. Thinking about his father’s history within the city, Ai also contemplated his own background with the art of kite making, enlisting 12 kite makers from the Shandong Province in China to build the sculptures from similar materials he used to make his first kite at the age of ten.
In addition to these hanging sculptures, Ai also installed work in the department store’s front windows and throughout the store, including a 65-foot dragon on Le Bon Marché’s ground floor. Weaving together 2D and 3D works, Ai illuminate’s the mythology found in the 2,000 year-old “Shan Hai Jing” (Classic of Mountains and Seas), a series of traditional Chinese children’s fables that reference birds, fish, and dragons.
“Introducing the fantastic within a retail space strikes the imagination of customers, visitors, passersby,” said Ai in a statement. “We all lead parallel lives in this other world of dreams, fantasies and feats. We must learn to coexist with them as they are an integral part of our humanity; to embrace our mythology. Children know how to do this naturally. This exhibition speaks to our inner child,” the artist said in a statement.
“Er Xi” runs at Le Bon Marché in Paris through February 20, 2016. (via Designboom)