Claude Parent, Dessiner la mode, Azzedine Alaïa Gallery, Paris

Azzedine Alaïa celebrates Claude Parent in a moving exhibition

Friendship, the love of fashion, of an evanescent presence, have left their marks in the heart of Azzedine Alaïa and on the walls of his very own art gallery in the heart of Paris. An encounter: one is a renowned architect who passed away in February 2016 one month after his national service companion, André Courrèges. The other is the greatest couturier alive.

What brings them together? What makes this man, a man of straight lines and silver obliques to hide a trembling hand, a « drawer of fashion » like the exhibition title suggests? Nothing. Or rather everything: a sensitivity and an eye.

Inside small black frames in a nearly military line, one can see jet-deep black shapes. Ghostly silhouettes, barely suggested yet sublime like Azzedine Alaïa’s creations, so disconcerting. On can see tracing papers and preparatory works to unveil, thanks to grandson Laszlo Parent, the emotion and breath behind a flickering pencil.

Image © Araso

Dessiner la mode
An exhibition of ink paintings by Claude Parent
September 2nd-25th
Galerie Azzedine Alaïa, 18 rue de la Verrerie 75004 Paris

The Broad: Cindy Sherman, Imitation of Life © Araso

First in class: The Broad, L.A.

It seems that the Broad has gotten off to a flying start. Los Angeles’ brand new museum of contemporary art invites two leading female artists, Cindy Sherman and Yayoi Kusama inside one of the most impressive contemporary art collections in the world.

About 2000 works by stars of pop ‘art and post-war painting: Koons, Hirst, Johns, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Basquiat, Haring, Ruscha, Beuys and his mentee Kiefer pave the way. And an entire room is dedicated to Cy Twombly.

Architecture studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro gave birth to a genius alveolar roof structure, the « veil », whilst smart windows on level 2 give the visitor a low-angle peeks on the storage unit.

The Broad couple holds the largest collection of works by Cindy Sherman. Imitation of Life, the museum’s first special exhibition, is an homage to her entire career. The artist’s sharp eye debunks misconceptions with her exquisite taste for scandalizing dressing ups. Her 1997 feature film Office Killer is screened inside the show and it’s a must-see -for whom can stomach it.

Images © Araso

General admission to the museum is Free.

Exhibition: Cindy Sherman, Imitation of Life, until October 2: 12$
Most dates are sold out, buy your tickets here.

Installation Yayoi Kusama: upon reservation but it’s not really clear how.
You can use their Ipads onsite though.

Address: 221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012


Monday  |  CLOSED
Tuesday  |  11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday  |  11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday  |  11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday  |  11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday  |  10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday  |  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Made in L.A.: Kenzi Shiokava won the Mohn Public Recognition Prize

Hammer Museum, L.A.: and our (true) winner is…

Upon visiting the Hammer’s exhibition unmusically labelled Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, we’d voted for the Mohn Public Recognition Award. Kenzi Shiokava has since won the $25,000 prize with an archaic-looking totem installation.

But it’s the Untitled series by cinematographer Arthur Jafa that blew our minds. The 55 year-old has been clipping images of all sorts since 1990, placing them in binders. The result is a striking collection of powerful images apparently random but that together make sense of the whole world.

The Lost City by David R. Small is an entire room dedicated the «archaeological» search of the set of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 The Ten Commandments. An amazing work on the thirdspace, as Edward W. Soja calls the place where imagination meets materiality. It also gives a perspective on how American culture relates to its History, on a continent just a few centuries old.

Rafa Esparza’s moving brick installation on the terrace gives a view of desolation, with the remains of a civilization after it’s been burnt to the ground.

Photographs © Araso


Exhibition Made in L.A. until August 28th
Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 443-7000

Admission free


Monday Closed
Tuesday to Friday 11 am-8 pm
Saturday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm

Don’t miss the Hammer Museum’s boutique: it’s one of the bests in the world, with a curated selection of carefully handpicked products. 

The Bagdad Café, California, July 2016 © Araso

Meet us at the Bagdad Café

Driving through California on route 66, we bump into the Bagdad Café, where the eponymous movie was filmed. A mythical film, a legendary Café. But the Bagdad Café is not the «real» Bagdad Café.

The film is set in Bagdad, California, San Bernardino county. Bagdad is now one of the many ghost villages around route 66, and there never was a café in Bagdad.

In order to be able to shoot the scenes of the 1987 movie, the team had to find a place. They went to the Sidewinder Café, located in Newberry Springs, 52 miles East on route 66, still inside San Bernardino’s county.

Sidewinder is the name of the desert’s snake. Since the movie, the Sidewinder café has been renamed the «Bagdad Café». Andrée, who runs the place, greets us in French.  75% of her visitors are French because of the film’s popularity amongst the French audience. On the wall, a hallucinating quantity of ID signed pictures, public transportations cards and souvenirs.

Images © Araso

GK Collective, Proust. Illustration Araso

Drama over the telephone, anyone?

What if theatre was just a phone call away?

Proust, a show by GK Collective, questions our relationship to manipulation, to obedience, and our passion for this smart connected thing that literally rules our lives.

Through an SMS written like a SPAM, we’re invited to a meeting where we have to go alone, one hand to the heart. On D-day, here we are standing on the spot, scrutinizing each and every passer-by, wondering where, how and when the show will happen.

A young woman comes close to us. She’s loud on the telephone. At first we don’t even notice her, she seems to have popped out of nowhere. Then we figure: this is it.

In the next few minutes, we will be the guinea pig in a telephone test. We will go to a meeting in a nearby café, sitting down with strangers, loosing ourselves in a synecdoque scenario.

We will play a role that’s been written for us, becoming the heroes of our own film. And when it’s over, we will find ourselves played like fools, feeling manipulated and not understanding what happened.

And what’s worse: we’ve enjoyed it.

Image © Araso

Proust, by GK Collective
For one, 45 minutes per session.

Festival de Chalon dans la Rue
Every year in July, in Chalon-sur-Saône, Burgundy, Festival a transnational festival dedicated to street artists.

Chalon Dans la Rue, The 7 Minutes by Compagnie Volubilis © Araso

Chalon Dans la Rue Festival, we were there: 7 minutes with Volubilis

Attention please: this is a gem. At Chalon Dans La Rue Festival, the OFF Festival, we attended the 7 minutes, a dance stroll by Compagnie Volubilis.

At a crossroads, a woman with a suitcase is waiting. For something, for someone. She hails cars and passers-by. Using her natural environement as her set, she starts to dance. 7 minutes later, the public is taken into a dead-end where they don’t even notice the tramp seated on his bench, a beer in his hand. A woman walks by and he assaults her. Shock. They start a crazy ballet and the attacked takes over the attackant.

The coming scenes are delirious: a loony cityhall, two best men straight out the 1970s, chases, more dance. The actors and dancers are incredibly gifted. The whole show is exceptional.

The 7 minutes is all we love about street theatre: we never know where it begins, where it ends. We scrutinize every passer-by as they may be part of the show. We learn to look again.

Images © Araso

Compagnie Volubilis, the 7 minutes
Duration: approx 1h30

Chalon dans la Rue Festival
Every year in July, in Chalon-sur-Saône, a festival dedicated to street artists.