Paris

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Design History

In 1848 A French Commune Built an Interconnected Treehouse Cabaret Based on Swiss Family Robinson

February 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

For over a century, Parisians were drawn out of the city and into the neighboring village of Le Plessis-Piquet to experience charming summer evenings among the township’s tall trees. What started as open air dancehalls called “guinguettes,” turned into treehouse cabarets after restaurant proprietor Joseph Gueusquin built Le Grand Robinson in 1848.

Inspired by the treehouse described in The Swiss Family Robinson, the unique establishment hoisted visitors to the top branches of a thick chestnut tree to dine dozens of feet above their fellow revelers. Over the next few decades copycat restaurants began popping up in trees across town, hosting donkey races and building tall tree swings to persuade diners away from their numerous competitors. This crop of new treetop guinguettes forced Gueusquin to rename his lounge “Le Vrai de Arbre Robinson” (The Real Robinson Tree) in 1888, which ensured customers knew they were dining at the original treehouse of Le Plessis-Piquet.

In 1909, after 60 years of booming success with the popular treehouses, the town changed its name to Le Plessis-Robinson. Today none of the Parisian suburb’s treetop bars remain (the last shut its doors in 1976), however the memory of treetop revelry remains in the few forgotten boards tacked to the town’s tall trees. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Design Photography

New Charming Mosaic and Tile Floors Captured by Photographer Sebastian Erras

January 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Sebastian Erras (previously here and here) captures diverse and fanciful mosaic floors throughout Europe and Cuba, placing all of his downward-facing finds on his Instagram @parisianfloors. Erras began his project focused on tiled patterns throughout Paris, but began expanding outward as he noticed equally breathtaking floors in cities such as Barcelona and London. Included here are two perspectives of the sea-themed floor of the restaurant Le Bon Pecheur in Paris, a shot of a friendly looking crab and a fantastically rendered conical shell.

You can see a wider range of Erras’s interior photography and other mosaic-covered floors on his portfolio site.

 

 



Art Dance

Hundreds of Swinging Pendulums Subtly Choreograph Visitors’ Movements at the Paris Autumn Festival

December 27, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Hundreds of pendulums swing through Paris’ Grande halle de la Villette for choreographer and artist William Forsythe‘s installation Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No. 2. The hanging plumbobs sway together in a series of timed sequences, which force visitors into choreographed movements as they avoid the ceiling-mounted works.

“The spectators are free to attempt a navigation of this statistically unpredictable environment, but are requested to avoid coming in contact with any of the swinging pendulums,” says an artist statement regarding Forsythe’s choreographic object. “This task, which automatically intimates and alerts the spectators innate predictive faculties, produces a lively choreography of manifold and intricate avoidance strategies.”

The work has previously been installed at the Circus Street Market as part of the Brighton Festival, the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, the Arsenale of the Venice Biennale, and will be displayed at la Grande halle de La Villette for le Festival d’Automne à Paris through December 31, 2017. You can see footage from an iteration of the installation at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany in the video above. (via The Kid Should See This)

@audre.l

Image via @audre.l

Image via @tam_qubiqstudio

Image via @tam_qubiqstudio

Image via @_cedric_v

Image via @_cedric_v

Image via @ziyue_j

Image via @ziyue_j

Image via @studiomm_paris

Image via @studiomm_paris

 

 



Art Design

A Technicolor Basketball Court Emerges in Paris

June 26, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Photo © Sébastien Michelini

In a unique collaboration between French fashion brand Pigalle and design agency Ill-Studio, the Paris Duperré basketball court was recently redesigned and repainted with a vibrant new color scheme. The narrow basketball court is nestled between two apartment buildings in the 9th arrondissement and has become a backdrop of sorts for unconventional color schemes, the first of which appeared in 2015. Photos courtesy Alex Penfornis and Sébastien Michelini. (via It’s Nice That)

Photo © Penfornis Alex

Photo © Penfornis Alex

Photo © Penfornis Alex

Photo © Penfornis Alex

Photo © Penfornis Alex

Photo © Penfornis Alex

Photo © Penfornis Alex

Photo © Penfornis Alex

 

 



Art Photography

New Flying Houses Hover Above Paris by Laurent Chéhère

March 27, 2017

Christopher Jobson

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.

 

 



Art

A New Large-Scale Installation of Boats and Tangled Thread by Artist Chiharu Shiota

January 20, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

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)

 

 



Art

Quirky Site-Specific Wheatpastes by ‘Levalet’ Bring Humor to the Streets of Paris

November 2, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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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.

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