Wine Bottle Garden Borders: Pounding wine bottles into the ground as a garden boarder, pathway liner or edger is a great way to use old bottles. They’re durable, and look unique. See some inspiration here: Creative Reuse: Wine Bottle Borders.
Wine Cork Trivet: The Spanish design company Ciclus recycles waste products into things of beauty. Their Wine Cork Trivet begins as an aluminum tray that you fill with your old wine corks to create a hot plate or trivet.
Homemade Wine Rack: This just requires spray paint, some very large empty cans, test before constructing, and some superglue.
No one knows exactly who swings from building to building perilously landscaping Paris’ walls. Not unlike a masked superhero, the artist goes by an alias ‘Bonom’, wears a mask and never reveals his true identity. Working at night, on these large but dangerous open spaces, Paris’ most respected ‘clandestine’ artists, is also one of the most prolific.
If on the lookout while walking through Paris, you are likely to recognize his monumental works of intricate animal skeletons and other creatures floating close to the sky on grey façades. Bonom’s graffiti is dashed with an eerie quality making it instantly recognizable. To boost your chances of encountering a Bonom, look in the 11th district or look up at 123, rue Vielle du Temple in the Marais and you will see his enormous, somewhat gory, boar on a spit. For his minotaur you’ll have to go to rue de la Traversière towards Ledru Rollin. The artist is also very present in Brussels and Luxembourg but little else is know about him. Footage filmed by a Belgian television channel, shows him at work on a ten storey building – the scale of the piece alone makes it one of the most impressive of his works.
Art institutions the Palais de Tokyo (one of my favorite museums in Paris with a must go cafe and deadly library) has joined forces with the recently burgled Musée d’Art Moderne to present a massive exhibit of the up-and-coming artists (must be under 35) who are currently working in France. The 40 chosen artists each display a piece (of every technique and style, including painting, video and sculpture). Opens June 11th, stay tuned for photos!
This exhibit, which focuses on the development of urban planning as futuristic-fantasy aptly opens with New York’s Coney Island and the famous World Fair held in Paris 100 years after the storming of the Bastille. A wall mural of the many multicultural pavilions depicts the hope in globalization held by those attending the Exposition Universelle of 1889. The main sentiment of the initial three dreamlands (Coney Island and the Paris and New York World Fairs) is that of openness and curiosity. Leaving the first stage of the exhibit, one tinted with hope and whimsy and featuring the likes of Dali and Eiffel, visitors enter a portrayal of Las Vegas in the 60s and 70s. Although still a portrayal of fantasy, with unlikely large signs, photos of the Vegas Eiffel Tower, and Vegas Vienne this later phase of the exhibit is notably marked with tinges of greed, capitalism and a uneasy surrealism. Wandering further visitors see a bizarre exhibit of dancing (exercising?) skyscrapers moving to a workout soundtrack remixed into a commentary on the problem of terrorism. This exhibit, representing perhaps a simplified view of New York of today, plays loudly next to a drowned out screening of the final dancing and singing number from the film 42nd Street (1933) a much more idyllic view of the city.
Wandering further into the exhibit visitors see blueprint’s of Disney’s Epcot the environmentally sound is not somewhat creepily homogenous city that never was in Florida. Here stop to see the video explaining the system of people movers and monorails with carefully divided places for commerce, parks, and schools which intended to make problems or traffic and pollution a thing of the past. Wander further still to see photos of today’s dreamlands, Dubai and Shanghai, which in contrast to the whimsy and art of part one of the exhibit reek of capitalist greed injected with steroids. A few months before his death in 2008 J. G. Ballard, an observer of contemporary urban change famously said ‘I am of a generation for whom the big city meant a centre of cultural influence (London, Paris, New York) or economic power (London, New York); now it has become a theme park (Las Vegas, Dubai), a vast camp (the cities of China) or an architectural aberration and utter social hotchpotch (Tokyo)’. The exhibition Dreamlands at Pompidou seems to go a step further and through stark contrast between stages seems to suggest the dreamlands of today are no longer about curiosity in one another’s culture and in what is possible architecturally but more about creating a fake reality (Epcot and Dubai’s World and Palm Islands) based more on greed and profitability then curiosity. Exhibit open unti August 9th, tell me what you think and if your not in Paris you can at least judge the trailer
The incredible London art, fashion, design and film publisher Phaidon is installing its wears at Artazart Design Bookstore on the Canal St Martin. Books include English and French editions, plus limited-edition signed artist box sets. Stephen Shore will even be there in person signing books on May 28th and the librariette will be open for the next 5 weeks!
On Saturday, the Nuit des Musées, Museums all over France will be up late (1am or later for the super trendy ones) with special exhibits, lighting and DJs. Although lines can be painful on such nights it’s usually worth waiting, and best to expect the lines and plan ahead with a few drinks and a swat team of good friends to keep you entertained in attendance.
This year the exhibitions I over enthusiastically plan to cram into one night start with Tadashi Kawamata’s Carton workshop at the Center Pompidou. The exhibit starts at 8pm and is hosted by famous Japanese artist Kawamata and geared towards children and their family. Next up is the Musée Rodin’s’ garden projection of Mircea Cantor’s video Deeparture. Then I hope to hope to pull off a stealth entry at ‘Grand Palais Noctambulle’ where perfumer Francis Kurkdjian decks the place out with bubble machines, whimsical decor, and music by Béatrice Ardisson. Before finishing the night off at the Palais de Tokyo (open till 2am) for drinks, music, cabaret and perhaps to restock my overcrowded bookshelves in their amazing library.
If your still picking a museum for Saturday night click for more information, or go to http://nuitdesmusees.culture.fr/
American conceptual artist Elaine Sturtevant has had her way with the likes of Warhol, Stella, Duchamp, and Haring. Known for her recreations Sturtevant interrogates notions of authorship and originality in a modern world where images are so endlessly (and easily) duplicated.
The Musée d’Art Moderne is hosting Sturtevant’s first monographic show ‘The Razzle Dazzle of Thinking’ in Paris (where the artist lives and works), presenting works spanning her 40-year career. Included in the exhibition are two new works, a video and an interactive installation. The instilation, House of Horrors, is styleized as a haunted house ride where museum goes ride carts through a dark tunnel of art.
Exhibit showing until 25 April.
Hors Pistes 2010 opens today at the Centre Pompidou. This cutting-edge film and narrative festival focuses on new ways of using images, taking into account new methods of production and circulation of contemporary images and placing itself at the intersection of cinema and events, mixing elements from contemporary art, cinema, music fashion and cooking. And artist in residence Andrea Crews presides over a recycling workshop, installed inside the festival ‘Maison’ located in the downstairs foyer, transforming stocks of old clothes into cutting-edge fashion in a sustainable development process. Her collective will present a fashion show of the unique pieces created on Sun 28 at 6pm.