As a former wood merchant in Rennes, François Pinault, is particularly sensitive to forests burning and agricultural disasters. The new exhibition at Bourse du Commerce, “Before the Storm“, is devoted to nature and climate, a general theme chosen among his huge collection of contemporary art. And when you walk into the central nave, you are immediately confronted to a very political work: Danh Vo‘s “Tropeaolum”, an installation made with trees from the Office national des Forêts and walnut trees from Craig McNamara‘s farm in California. He is the son of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara who dramatically contributed to Danh Vo’s exile from Vietnam with the boat people. The artist was a refugee in Denmark and now holds dual citizenship.
Tacita Dean‘s work “Foreign policy”, was conceived for Simon McDonald’s office at the British Foreign office. “The challenge of capturing the ever-changing shape of clouds echoes the deep instability of the moment”… This one is particularly fragile since it is drawn with chalk on slate.
Lucas Arruda, Hicham Berrada, Edith Dekyndt et Benoît Piéron, four former residents in Lens where François Pinault offers a space and a monthly stipend to young artists are exhibiting their work. Lens is the mining city where the Louvre has established a very pretty museum and, except for its strong football team, it is very desolate. Close to Paris by train it offers huge spaces abandoned by the former mining activities and is starting to develop an artistic community.
A few videos and diorama by Hicham Berrada, of an aquarium are dreamlike. A sound piece “Raining” by Dominique Gonzalez Foerster follows you in the stairs. The room devoted to Cy Twombly’s polyptych, a digression on the mystical journey of a pharaoh related to the sun god is superb. On the second level, Anicka Yi, an American artist of South Korean origins, occupies a whole room with her lantern like yellow suspensions.
Robert Gober’s “Waterfall” reveals a cascade running within the back of a normal grey suit. It is a sign of the environment in a man’s daily life and is ann allusion to Marcel Duchamp’s “Etant Donnés”.
Visiting the Bourse du Commerce is like wandering in an enchanted forest. You don’t like everything but you can dream and let your mind go in all directions. Especially if the sun is shining… “Avant l’Orage” before the storm, is curated by Emma Lavigne. Until September 11.
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