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.
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)
Just days before the start of the UN COP21 Climate Conference held in Paris and during the French state of emergency following terrorist attacks earlier this November, 600 posters were covertly distributed and hung within the city. The posters were not taped to poles or distributed in public grounds, but secured behind glass at bus stops around the city. The large-scale posters were advertisement replacements, fake corporate ads designed by 82 artists across 19 countries to satirize messaging found throughout the Parisian streets.
Organized by the Brandalism project, the citywide sweep is meant to challenge the corporate takeover of the Paris climate talks, forming ads that target the link between corporations’ advertising with consumerism, global warming, and fossil fuel consumption. The posters reference many of the climate talks’ corporate sponsors including Air France, Dow Chemicals, GDF Suez (Engie). Many of the Photoshopped images use the same branding and voice as the original advertisement, forcing the audience to take a deeper look at the content of the hundreds of posters dotting their daily commute.
“By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselves as part of the solution – when actually they are part of the problem,” said Brandalism’s Joe Elan.