Saturday, November 29, 2008

Salon Light #5

Beginning yesterday through tomorrow is a great little book fair featuring artists editions and small press publications...mainly art related. The salon is located at the Point Ephemere, in the 10th and includes about thirty indie publishers of books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, journals and editions. We went last year and really enjoyed it. Because it is such an intimate space and setting, you get a chance to talk to people and learn about the various projects involved. The salon is sponsored by CNEAI, an arts space located just outside Paris that is dedicated to artists' editions. Check it out:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Just a rant

I have noticed something unusual...or maybe not, about the French and their use of old names to countries or cities and not the said country's desired change of name. For example: I know in the USA, we now refer to the large Indian capital city as Mumbai, not Bombay, which it was called for hundreds of years. According to trusty wikipedia, Mumbai officially changed its name to Mumbai in 1996...In fact Bombay was a name imposed upon by the Portugese in the 16th Century, and Mumbai has deep Indian roots as a word. Yet the French still, up to today's paper reporting the atrocious killings there this week, as Bombay.

Another example: Peking or Pekin--now known as Beijing. Throughout the entire olympics it Pekin this and Pekin that. No, I thought...Beijing! On a quick wiki search I see that in fact the name Peking originated from French missionaries in the country 400 years that could be one reason for the holdover, and also that Peking is still recognized by Chinese postal authorities, but that Beijing is otherwise the new name..apparently this capital has changed names frequently.

The last one I noticed is Burma or the French Birmanie...since 1989 (wiki) has asked to be called Myanmar. Now I realize this name change is military imposed and this country has series government issues but, if they want to change it...? I know that US papers refer to it now as Myanmar...
I do think at least the French refer properly to Istanbul and not Constantinople, but I am now curious if there are other geographical name-based holdovers and also, why?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Emerging Fashion Designers at Le 104

I received this email flyer from a young designer and wanted to pass it along. Looks promising!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eileen Quinlan

An exhibition of photographs by New York artist Eileen Quinlan is now on view at Sutton Lane Gallery, 6, rue de Braque.
A small show of nine photographs, all but one of which is from her body of work that is developed out a unique, self-made system that uses mirrors, smoke, fabric and lighting to create an abstract, of the moment image. She doesn't manipulate the photographs post production, but achieves quite interesting and complex imagery that looks very painterly. It is impossible to know what you are looking at without any references to the "real world," which makes you appreciate her creative methods even more.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Collaborative Efforts

I am stealing this blog idea from a favorite blog, fibercopia. I was really impressed by this project, which looks like some wild folk art piece, but is actually the results of a unique and successful collaboration. Jennifer Marsh, an artist based in NY, started the International Fiber Collaborative and invited people to submit panels of fabrics, as she stated on the website, "stitch, crochet, knit, patch a 3-foot square panel, and help point out the extreme dependency of our country on oil for energy. Simply by designing and creating these panels and participating in the project they are showing their concern [for this issue]." She received hundreds of crazy, beautiful, multi-colored panels, which she then used to cover the whole of an abandoned gas station in central New York State. The website documents everything, including all the artists and community groups involved.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Maison Rouge

"Mexico:Expected/Unexpected. The collection of Isabel and Agustin Coppel," is on view now at the Maison Rouge. The exhibition is a small selection of this vast contemporary art collection, and consists of some interesting pieces by contemporary artists from Latin America including Jorge Mendez Blake, Pablo Reyes,Maruch Sàntis Gomez and Miguel Calderon, while also highlighting some artists from a generation earlier including Gabriel Orozco, a few great films by Ana Mendieta, strange paintings by Francis Alys, and works by Helio Oticica. There is also work by US artists John Baldessari, Pae White, Gordon Matta Clark and Ed Ruscha. Well, this is just a selection. It is a nice exhibition of good work by leading artists--nothing beyond this, but that is fine. The Coppel's are great collectors and this gives us a chance to see that. The real treat here is to see some good work by Mexican and South American based artists who are not often shown in Paris. Maison Rouge, 10, boulevard bastille, 75012

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Le Laboratoire

About a year ago I visited Le Laboratoire, a new art space which opened in October 2007. The space was still undergoing construction but the concept of Le Labo was immediately intriging--as a place where science art would converge in installations and multi-media projects. I finally got back there last week. The space is beautifully finished, staff welcoming and helpful with information (and free coffee). The current exhibition is between Japanese electronic composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda, and Benedict Gross, professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. As in this case, the founder of Le Labo, American novelist and scientist, David Edwards, brings artist and scientist together to develop an idea, which is then featured in the museum.

The exhibition is visually minimal. In the first room, the space is darkened and two long, rectangular photographs are suspended about a foot above the ground. At first glance it appears to be just black and white tiny checkerboard print but when looked at with magnifying glass or really close up, you see that in fact it is a long series of random numbers. The other photograph consists of prime numbers. Mathematical minimalism. In the next room, also dark, is a very brightly florescent lit chamber of sorts that has a humming vibration. It felt like a UV sun bed and on the foggy day helped brigten my mood, though not sure if that is the point. Ikeda states that he has here conceived a work where the definition of the sublime blends with the immateriality of infinity.

When you leave the exhibition rooms, you are invited to browse the media center filled with books and a couple of videos related to the installation. Coffee is offered and it is a really nice, comfortable space to take few extra minutes to learn about the show and Le Labo's mission. Definitely worth keeping on the radar. 4, rue Bouloi, 75001. Open Friday-Monday 12-19h.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wild Salmon

I don't ususally do this but I was inspired by this article in the The New York Times and on election day it seemed appropriate to focus on the future, in some way...I hope this link works, if not, go to and Science Times--Her name is Alexandra Morton
Watch the video as well.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Berliner

Just back from four days in the hipster haven of Berlin. For some time now I have been curious and intrigued to visit this city so frequently praised and cited in terms of art/fashion/cutting edge bars and so on. With all the hype I was bound to be somewhat disappointed by the real thing, but I wasn't. I was surprised by how large of a city it was and realized 4 days is too short-though I did get a flavor for it. W

We arrived late afternoon on Tuesday and M went off to finish his installation at Art Forum Berlin- so I was left to wander for a few hours by myself. I was psyched to hit the Berlin pavement, but it was already pitch black at 5:30, so I kept my stroll to a small circumference around our groovy pension, the Weltempfaenger. (Carry the card with you should you need a taxi to take you back as there is no way of trying to pronounce this if not German). This small pension is located a little up from the Mitte. Rooms are sparse and concierge type service basically nil, but the bar/resto is a great hangout with good food. I was immediately enamored with the Mitte--i felt like I kept hitting cool, little galleries followed by young designer shops-often with workshops onsite. It was exactly what I imagined. Some cool highlights from this were Fiona, a fabulous hat shop; JA, whose konzepte is vintage and new fabrics transformed into beautiful scarves/eye shades/pillows/decorative items, etc.; Wolfen-, a lovely boutique, simple clothing, but simple in the sense of elegant designs done just right. kind of like APC does it; and Swert,, another fabric based concept store tho this time with an architectural//kind of retro look to the designed fabrics used as curtains, pillows, and also on clothing.

We ate (too) well in Berlin. I love the German or Dutch style cafe with the big bar, soft lighting and great coffee served with cookies. In the cold/wet weather we had for a couple of days this is essential to keep up tourist stamina. One night we had Russian food at Gorki Park and another night ate at an old-school restaurant called Einstein’s that had big, high ceilings and kind of a German-1920s vibe to it. We also had the requisite hotdogs or currywurst-(hotdog with curry spices) which left me semi-nauseous but satisfied. The weirdest thing about Berlin is how fast it can change to become a wasteland of strange (bad) architecture and void of sentiment. At the same time this also reminds one of the newness of this city and the scars that are still apparent.

Art highlights were seeing the Neue Nationalgalerie (a Mies van der Rohe building)at night; KW Institute of Contemporary Art; the Casper David Friedrich paintings on the top floor of the Alte Pinacotheque, the new Capitain Petzel Galerie located on Karl-Marx Allee-which was the long route to Moscow out of East Berlin, once upon a time, and of course, M's installation at Artforum Berlin.

Here are some pics. M took better one's so I have to wait until gets around to downloading....