The contemporary art fair Art Paris opens today in a very unique context. At the beginning of January, the world of contemporary art was shaken by an earthquake. After almost half a century of existence, the FIAC disappeared from the panorama of contemporary art fairs in Paris. Next year in the fall, Paris+ will be organized by the MCH group, responsible for Art Basel. There will therefore be two meetings for galleries, artists and collectors to find their happiness and their investments.
Art Paris has become this second unmissable event. For Guillaume Piens, General Commissioner of Art Paris, the arrival of Paris+ is good news. “I never welcome the disappearance of an event, especially since I worked there, but it means that the rating of Paris is on the rise. Art Basel is an international brand, its arrival means that Paris is the place to be and this is a signal to international collectors. In 2000, Paris was a museum city, today Paris is at the center of the eyes of the world of contemporary art.” And to differentiate itself, Art Paris will be “the meeting place for modern and contemporary art is the regional and cosmopolitan fair, which supports the French scene” facing Art+, which will be the international fair.
For this 2022 edition, Art Paris declines the essential theme: art and environment. We walked the aisles of the Grand Palais Éphémère in search of the different views of artists on this climate change that is shaking the world. To each his own message and his way. For Alice Audouin, curator of “Art and environment” (a selection of 17 artists who work on this theme) this generation imagines the world in which ecology will have its place. “This generation was born with this crisis, it is their time so it tells their time. They cannot separate this question from their life and their works.”
The staging of urgency by Sarah Trouche
She is naked under a waterfall of ice in minus 20 degrees, or at the stern of a rusty ship on the dry Aral Sea. The photographs of Sarah Trouche, performer and committed messenger, on the stand of the Marguerite Milin galleryare poetic punches. Sarah goes to these places with extreme climates and brings back artistic testimonies, witness to these radical performances, sometimes.
His performances are endangerments in response to the emergency. These images would like to recall the harmony of the living world. To the question of climate concern, Sarah answers: “artists must be the link, with their words and their colors between scientists, politicians and the public. (…) I chose not to shock because it breaks the debate. I want to create debate. I am one of those artists who like to bring poetry and encounters. A small story can make the big one, I hope.”
The memory of the sea by Elsa Guillaume
At Backslash, it is white and blood red ceramics that challenge. Elsa Guillaume travels the seaside and the seabed. She boarded Tara, the boat of the Agnès B. foundation, or even aboard the Polarfront. Intensive fishing and the disasters it causes make him say: “We are Earthlings who must remember that we were sailors”.
From these reflections against the pollution of the seas are born these harmless ceramics at first sight. Buthe red is that of industrial fishing and these cut tunas or sharks transform the gallery stand at Art Paris into a stall for fishmongers that have become mass graves for endangered species.
The monkey is in the cage by Gilles Aillaud
It’s not just the younger generation to raise awareness about the lives of endangered animals. In the 1960s and 70s, Gilles Aillaud painted animals in cages. he is one of the members of Narrative Figuration. At the time, long before the legal status of the animal was discussed, he said: “The man is not in the cage in the form of the monkey, but the monkey was put in the cage by the man (…) It is the strangeness of the places where this silent sequestration takes place and go unpunished”.
Straw, canvas by Gilles Aillaud, shows the gaze of the monkey hidden like a background behind the fence. And in his look, one could already read, in 1966, a mistrust towards those who, 50 years later, realize that these animals were not intended to be watched behind a grid.
Fabrice Hyber: “I draw like plants grow”
If there is one artist whose concern for nature and the forest has been present for a long time, it is Fabrice Hyber. The idea germinated thirty years ago and he planted trees. In real life, in Vendée. Its forest, the largest private forest in France, brings together redwoods, ash trees, chestnut trees and oaks.
Fabrice Hyber sowed, well before the concerns of the environmental alert. And like an inner dialogue, this desire for nature is found on his canvases which tell of biodiversity as the rescue of man. It’s at Nathalie Obadiah.
Another forest lover, Vincent Laval at the Sound Gallery. He defines himself as an “artist-walker-gatherer”, Vincent Laval travels through the woods and forests. His favorite adventure playground is the Carnelle forest 60 kilometers from Paris, where he grew up. From sacrificed nature, he identifies the changes in this forest of childhood. Vincent Laval picks there, during his walks, bark, chestnut bugs and transforms them into sculptures, sometimes in bronze.
Thus are born delicate pieces such as these chestnut wood cabins. Its approach responds to deforestation and endangered biodiversity. “I am captivated by the balance in the forest and these sculptures also serve to open a dialogue. We are talking about art but also about the forest. It is not a raised fist work, I am not a standard bearer but it has meaning through the dissemination of the wonder of these forest territories which, in my opinion, are mistreated. I attempt the transference of wonder”, said Vincent Laval nicely.
Islands in Levitation by La Fratrie
At Olivier Castaing’s Team Scholl Gallery, we notice miniatures under glass of Karim and Luc, two brothers who sign under the name of La Fratrie. These are decorations under a bell, worthy of model making or animated cinema. Islands in levitation except that the basement has collapsed like after the passage of cyclones or in disaster films. It’s funny and tragic. The IPCC reports have made us aware of the dangers. “It woke us up but we wanted to have a message without guilt and with humor. Humor is a great lever. It’s made with recycled materials, wood, cardboard, it’s a bit of a hack. These little bubbles is a way for us to continue playing Lego while paying taxes”. Urgency can also trigger a smile…sometimes.
Art Paris from April 7 to 10 at the Grand Palais Ephemere on the Champ-de-Mars in Paris
Source: France TV Info