19 July de 2010FIAC this year took place once again at the majestic Grand Palais and Cour CarrÈe du Louvre here in Paris. The world reknown contemporary art fair presented a prestigious 210 galleries from 21 different countries. Among them, the big names such as Gagosian from New York, and the Paris based usuals Emmanuel Perrotin, and Yvon Lambert among others.
Over the weekend, herds of visitors lined up along the length of the Grand Palais all the way down to the Champs-Elysees ClÈmenceau metro stop. A number of 80,000 collectors, artists, photographers, dreamers and admirers came over a 4-day period, pushing and shoving to get through the palace's golden gates.
Once inside, spectators would find an immense selection of works ranging from Modern Art to today's household names. Of the many, Pierre Soulages was a major conversation piece at the Applicat Prazan and Karsten Greve Gallery. If you haven't had the chance to see him, his works are currently on show at the Centre Pompidou now through March 8, 2010.
On the photographic front there was some new Sophie Calle, "Pole nord" (2009) at Perrotin and recent cibachrome portraits by Nan Goldin, notably "Charlotte Gainsbourg against the Wall" (2008) at Galerie Guy Bartschi.
Aside from the view blocking and crowd avoiding gymnastics at both locales, a couple highlights were displays by French artists Bernard Borgeaud and Philippe Cazal at Galerie Art Attitude HervÈ Bize whose compositions were real standouts.
Philippe Cazal's "Un dimanche ‡ Paris" (1974) humors us with a touch of irony, as the main figure is blindfolded throughout his silver images. Cazal interrogates the Contemporary artist's position within an architectural context through the nearly dyptical pairs of photos, reminiscent of a weekend holiday in Paris.
In contrast, Bernard Borgeaud's "Feu III" (1945), a series of silver captured the movement of a performance not only through his blunt frontal shots but also by creating a photomontage that plays on the shiny texture of the print grain.
Other photographic work included "Copan 1 y 2" (2007) by JosÈ Manuel Ballester represented by Gallery Distrito 4 based in Madrid, and Vasco Ara·jo at Galeria Filomena Soares from Lisbonne, in a series entitled "All that Fall" (2009).
The FIAC's second venue at the Cour CarrÈe du Louvre exhibited today's emerging creations and lesser-known names, along with the nominations for this year's Marcel Duchamp prize, an annual award given to an upcoming artist.
This year it has been awarded to Berlin based Sa‚dane Afif with "Vice de forme: in search of melodies" (2009), for which Alfred Pacquement, director of the Centre Pompidou has said, "allows one to consider new forms of receiving art." The artist has been known to incorporate light, sound and movement to his installations, where music occupies a larger part of his influences.
On an overall impression, the FIAC was yet again an overwhelming experience, more a show for galleries and less for the artists themselves. Of course the few discovered gems amongst the circus of art made them all that more excitable.
As an alternative approach to the Contemporary Art fair, Slick 09, located at the CENTQUATRE, the city's new dynamic arts center in the heart of the 19th district has proved to be a panorama of today's artistic works open to all kinds of disciplines.
The "off" fair proved to be quite "on" introducing 61 local and international galleries, the majority from Belgium, Spain, Poland, Russia Germany, Denmark, and Italy. The layout for the exhibitors was spread out over two floors making the overall atmosphere less tense and concentrated. Visitors also had a chance to talk with the gallery owners and discuss the artists' work.
The artwork in itself was all recent. Well known French street artists included Miss.tic, AlÎxone Olivia Kosta-ThÈfaine present at Galerie W and Galerie L.J respectively.
Note that the latter two are on its last days of showing at the Fondation Cartier's must-see exhibition "NÈ dans la Rue" (Born in the Streets), now ongoing 'till November 29th 2009.
Of the photographers, Carlos Aires had a photographic installation setup at ADN Galeria with images from his series "Happily Ever After" (2004-2009). Playing with the concept of reality, Aires questions the notions of truth and history, seeking to play out other possibilities in his portraits; "Who says Snow White can’t be an old crone in a vegetative coma, still waiting for the kiss that will awaken her from the eternal sleep?"
Breathtakers were color images from Tami Notsani's series " Comme beaucoup de choses dans ce pays" at Hagalleria Gallery, where the artist captures delicate angles of landscapes, in a relationship between nature and concrete figures.
Agares Graber at Pascal Vanhoecke, also evoked a soft grain of poetry through a series of imaginative photomontages suggesting that wild beasts have taken control of the city streets.
Other notable mentions are photographer FrÈdÈric Nakache whose work questions memory and action in time at Galerie Sycomore Art, and Patrick Guns' "My Last Meals" at Galerie Polaris.
At a global view, Slick compared to FIAC was more stimulating for aspiring artists seeking a true injection and understanding of what is being created today, at this time.
Writte by: Ana Lee - Karkar
( Published: 30/10/09 )