Backstage at Opera Garnier

The day I made peace with academic dance thanks to William Forsythe

I am not a fan of classical ballet. I had not been to the Opera since Maguy Marin in April. At the beginning of the season I had nonetheless interviewed Dorothée Gilbert, an absolute darling. I finally went to see the William Forsythe everyone is talking about.

Of Any If And puts me to sleep. Snobbish, narrow unfruitful words appear back-to-back on moveable borads: « Body of texture rare all in nothing ». Even with Léonore Baulac and Adrien Couvez it’s deadly.

Approximate Sonata swipes me off my feet. Bombastic Alice Renavand turns up in a black leotard justaucorps teasing Adrien Couvez. Marie-Agnès Gillot comes up dancing like a goddess with her long limbs.

It is with Blake Works I, a creation by William Forsythe on James Blake’s music that the shock happens. Beauty alert, chills. It’s sensual, sexy as hell, with voguing and hip-hop-like freestyle. And (astonishingly) the dancers are having fun !

Those last 25 minutes have changed my view on academic ballet forever. Would it be only for this it’d still be worth the while.


William Forsythe, ballet, 2h
At Opéra Garnier Until July 16th
Available seats online start at 25 euros on the day

Images © Reserved

TOILETPAPER x GL: these italians are crazy!

Sometimes marketing is for the best, like when Galeries Lafayette in Paris invite the crazy pair from Toiletpaper, aka Maurizio Cattelan whom we just looooove and his friend photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari.

Toiletpaper is this crazy art magazine and a non-less crazy website -designed by Milan-based branding agency Apart, and they are so talented it’s irritating. So naturally there were a few beautiful people yesterday night at the opening -oh, hello Orlan! attending Cassius’ DJ set.

In practice, this happy menagerie translates into an exhibition space on the 1st floor that’s literally been turned into a Toiletpaper apartment and it just looks real. The magazine’s codes are everywhere: the lifted finger/desk statuette, the lipstick hands/mirror, the jail bars/dried sausages. Naturally, some of the artefacts are offered in a variety of merchandizing, because yes, Toiletpaper also stands for art + commerce. The store’s windows and a bespoke dome installation are also part of the game so don’t forget to look up on your way in. This is all pretty cool and definitely worth seeing -and it’s free.

Toiletpaper x GL

Aux Galeries Lafayette Paris – Haussmann du 6 Juillet au 10 Septembre 2016

«To Stay Alive» at Palais de Tokyo: welcome to Michel Houellebecq's

«You don’t stand a chance. Continue?» Here are pixelised words to welcome us from a desolated image into a maze of photographs in the dark.

French writer and movie director Michel Houellebecq is also a photographer and curator of an exhibition showcasing his mental palace. In his own world, fiction meets biography, essay meets anticipation. He creates like no other those vivid images of our time with its angst, its vice and the head-on hypothesis of a no-future.

Here are Daniel and Esther from The Possibility of an Island in a liquid format next to Houellebecq’s dog, ex-wife and friends. Between a room dedicated to Clément (the dog) and Robert Combas’ erratic and fascinating installation La Pièce de Vie, an intimate film with Iggy Pop’s voice is set opposite a backroom showing porn. Floors covered in postcard echo to Paltform’s heavy satire of mass tourism while extracts from Houellebecq directed movie The Possibility of an Island draw a red thread.

For aficionados, shrinks and insiders only.

Illustration © Araso

Rester Vivant une exposition de Michel Houellebecq, au Palais de Tokyo du 23 Juin au 11 Septembre 2016.

Cai Guo-Qiang à la Fondation Cartier présente une fresque inédite à la poudre de canon

Animals take over the Cartier Foundation

This morning the Cartier Foundation in Paris unveiled its upcoming exhibition, an ambitious, protean and compelling project entitled The Great Animal Orchestra. A handpicked art selection as we love them at the Foundation, inspired by the work of musician and bio acoustician Bernie Krause, whose name may not be on everybody’s lips but who’s collaborated with the greatest such as the Doors, Van Morrison, Polanski, Coppola and their likes.

At the crossroads of music and science, Bernie records the voices of animals and micro-organisms. A dive into the darkness of the Foundation’s will give you a better grasp of his work, whilst the groundfloor showcases a agrarian atmosphere thanks to a combination of wooden panels and terra cotta bricks.

There, a giant gunpowder fresco by Cai Guo-Qiang revists cave art. The Wild becomes the curator in the exhibited paintings, photographs, videos and it is just fabulous. In the gardens, French Nouvelle Vague filmmaker Agnes Varda creates a very intimate theatre in a cabin. We highly recommend this show to all audiences.  

Pictures © Araso

Practical details:

The Great Animal Orchestra
Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, 261 Boulevard Raspail, Paris
2 July 2016 > 8 January 2017
Tuesday-Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Tuesdays until 10pm

Metallica for Brioni

Breaking news: Brioni rocks

Italian luxury menswear brand Brioni (Kering group) unveiled yesterday its new campaign starring Metallica in highly curated black & white photos, but with a touch of humour.

Here’s to the marketing genius of Justin O’Shea, the man the fashion sphere adores : with his hipster rocker look,  showing tatoos and a model for a girlfriend, Justin is on top of his game. A star buyer for german e-commerce business, he’s been appointed artistic director of Brioni last March, rocking the world of the traditional, uber-classical  mensuit brand.

Before Justin, Brioni’s campaigns used to look like this or even that in a desperate attempt to appeal to Asia. With this new positioning directly aimed at its core clientele and a strong disruptive idea rather than an army of so-called social campaign, Justin nailed it.

Visuals © Brioni website, Mettallica Instagram

Julien-Henri Vu Van Dung pour Thomas Lebrun

Thomas Lebrun brings Paris Conciergerie back to life

The former jail of Conciergerie de Paris is where the magic happened on the night of June 16th. French choreographer Thomas Lebrun recreated his sublime show for 12 dancers, Où chaque souffle danse nos mémoires (literally meaning: «Where every breath dances our memoirs») originally thought of for Monuments en Mouvement’s 2015 edition.

After a quick blink at Clément Dazin‘s unforgettable juggling on Mont Saint-Michel in March, we were already totally excited by Monuments en Mouvement’s 2016 batch. THAT, was the apotheosis.

A mind-blown, very moved American spectator came up to me at the end of the show. She’s from Philadelphia where her son, who specializes in post-traumatic architecture, is building a memorial.  What amazed her in the choreography was «the intensity in the dancers eyes; it tells so much about this place’s history». She further comments: «I don’t have all the references and there are some moves that I didn’t understand. But it was beautiful, so compelling… I will never forget what I saw.»

Video © Araso