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Recap: Jean-Philippe Basello at Bétonsalon

Araceli Salgado Pintor writing for VINGT ParisFinal03

After finding the hidden space in the urban jungle of the ZAC Rive Gauche , we (VINGT and guests) were welcomed by Bétonsalon’s staff. In fact, Bétonsalon is an association supported by the university, Paris 7. We were briefed about Bétonsalon's main project: to become a melting pot for university students, scientists, artists and actors proposing different experimental programs. The idea is to involve everyone present at the location. 

In the framework of the Playtime Festival, organized by Bétonsalon, Jean-Philippe Basello was painting every day on a bridge. Think of the classical painter : easel, oils -- and even the clichéd painter hat! 

Basello painted his impressions of the urban landscape. Since he was on the bridge every day, different people came by and had various reactions. For the university students, the questions were more directed at the painter and the reasons why he was seemingly always there. He was asked if he had a “real job”. Older people spent more time watching him as he created, noting that the paintings were a bit “bizarre” before giving their opinions: “not really beautiful”, “you still need to work more”, “it doesn’t really seem like a landscape”. With children, Jean-Philippe let them paint and play with the oils. In this sense, these performances became more of a social study. When Playtime Festival ends next week, Jean-Philippe's paintings will be exposed at Bétonsalon and will include comments collected from passers-by.

Other projects present at Playtime Festival include a reading of a curator’s email exchange with artists. Even without attending the reading, the visitor can find the book containing all the emails. There's also Radio Topo, a mobile radio cabin created by Marcello & Fils; the shows are diffused as podcast. Students and visitors are welcome to propose a topic and perform. Public School lets people propose the classes they would like to take, and Bétonsalon provides a qualified teacher. These classes are free.

Keep an eye out for upcoming projects coming to Bétonsalon, such as be the Parties Prenantes in November, created with Paris 7 students and artists. 

Write in to news@vingtparis.com to win a signed copy of Jean-Philippe Basello's book, Peinture XIXème, with the artist's name in the subject line.

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