Bonjour mes amis,
One of the tributes I must give to the French is the artistic vision of repurposing the old, as opposed to tearing it down. Such is the case with the former stock exchange building called La Bourse de Commerce. The Bilbros and Bernie and I have had tix to this before we ever left Huntsville. The French are ga-ga over this place, and now after yesterday, we can see why. Though I am not a contemporary art aficionado, I did thoroughly enjoy our time here.
The structure is completely circular and sits on the edge of Les Halles where the largest food market used to be. It was once the home of Catherine de Medici who insisted on the beautiful exterior column. We have seen this building in the distance for years, and now the opportunity to step inside history was awesome.
I’ve included some commentary first about the museum itself which I patched together from their brochure and then some about a few of the artists. These are not the famous masters whose names we all know, but if you’re interested in this element, you will enjoy reading the information. Otherwise, just move along.
The collection inside which consumes you upon entry is from Francois Pinault for which he chose each artist, each project and each work with extreme attention. It is called Ouverture (opening) to sum up the spirit of the inaugural season of the Bourse de Commerce. It includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, sound and light works and performance. It represents over 30 artists.
The dazzling rotunda houses works by Urs Fischer. Each element is made of pigmented wax which is amazingly true to life. The large marble-like structure is an exact replica of “The Abduction of the Sabine Women” (1579–1582) — a masterpiece by Giambologna. Each element has a candle wick which is part of the exhibit. The wicks were lit at the start of the exhibit and will last until everything has melted away! As the wax liquefies, what seemed long-lasting turns out to be fragile, otherwise known as creative destruction. Luckily, we saw the exhibition in the early stages where much of it remains. The only thing missing from the center structure was the fallen head which is on the floor. Really a fascinating display. The panorama of the rotunda has been restored, the cupola, and was part of the original building. It represents various areas of the world.
The rotunda and surrounding galleries contained other works of wax and creations by David Hammons. I liked some more than others but all intriguing.
Today is nothing but laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping…punishment for such a great time yesterday.
À toute à l’heure
L & B