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Musée Carnavalet - La Révolution Française, Trésors Cachés

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Text by Brendan Seibel 

Louis XIV stands alone in a barren courtyard surrounded by evidence of renovation. A stark introduction to the Musée Carnavalet is fitting preparation for the special exhibition La Révolution Française, Trésors Cachés. This rarely shown collection of over 200 pieces follows the chronology of the French Revolution as presented in three acts: The Fall of the Monarchy; Republic Jacobine; The Directory.

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INTERVIEW Léa Rinaldi's Behind Jim Jarmusch

Behind Jarmusch afficheText by Brendan Seibel 

"I think I can have a new look (at) him, not as a mythological figure 'underground', 'punk'," says young Parisian director Léa Rinaldi, discussing her new feature length documentary Behind Jim Jarmusch with VINGT PARIS. "I didn't know anything (about the film). When I came I learned and I saw his movie but I didn't have any preconceived ideas to put him on a pedestal." Barred from seeing a script or schedule Rinaldi was granted three days to film on the set of The Limits of Control. The results are a surprisingly intimate and ethereal portrait of one of America's most idiosyncratic auteurs.

If the film is imbued with a sense of isolation and melancholy found in many of Jarmusch's films.   "Against my will his rhythm takes my film," Rinaldi explains. "His voice, the quiet on the set." However this atmosphere allows the camera to delve into moments shared by cast and crew. Rinaldi focuses on the minutiae of staging shots and running takes from the perspective of a production assistant. Her effortless assimilation into the ranks allows for unguarded moments with the film's stars: Issach de Bankolé, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

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Gospel according to Dorian Wood this Saturday

Images Text by Brendan Seibel image demolisten

Electoclash Eurotrash and disco revivalists better get out of town this weekend. The gospel according to true believer Dorian Wood is descending upon this city and heretics cannot hide behind their forked tongues. "I am confident that anyone who breathes", he states, "will fully be enraptured by the virtual exorcism I have in store, regardless of the lyrics" (which are in English and Bulgarian).

Lording over the keys, the living ghost of deep delta bluesmen, Wood's rapturous songs marry the fevered spirituality of Southern gospel to the virtuosity of golden era Tin Pan Alley composers. Stories swirling in apocalyptic imagery waltz through the looking glass, confronting Alice's hallucinatory wonderland. It's the blood and gore of Brothers Grimm undercut with Bertolt Brecht's savage social criticisms, tightly wound and careening around the corners without losing control.

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Pop Your Xmas - on the Champs with Castelbajac




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Text by Philippa Brangam image Coolhunter

Understated is certainly not a word you could ever use when talking about fashion designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac. This holiday season he is putting the pop into xmas with an installation at Publicis drugstore. From November 20th Publicis will be covered with jewel colored glass panels creating a stain glass window effect.

This Thursday, 26th November Publicis is hosting a special event to celebrate the installation Pop Your Xmas. With music from DJ Greg Boust, JC will be Present when the lights are switched on at 7pm and a book signing in-shop will follow. He has also designed a series of exclusive gifts available on the ground floor of the store.  A great chance to meet the charismatic designer and get a head start on Christmas shopping.

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Point Ephémère on Canal St Martin

-2Text and image by Will Best

If you allow yourself to meander down the Canal St Martin, you’ll stumble upon the industrial outer body of artistic haven Point Ephémère.  Once a factory, Point Ephémère now buzzes to a bohemian vibe thanks to the foresight and community based initiative from Usines Ephémère, the non-profit organisation overseeing the goings-on. The space includes 5 music studios, one dance studio, a fabric workshop, a multimedia platform and four visual art studios for artistic residence activities.  Professional and amateur artists, dancers, musicians or even large installation specialists are invited to apply for in-house residencies of up to six months, where hard to acquire materials and specialist tools are at hand to render the careful process of developing an oeuvre

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Jean-Michel Frank at Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent

Affiche_JeanMichelFrankText by Christopher Holt

The little-known Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent was created to preserve the 40-year legacy of YSL’s iconic couture house, which closed in 2002. The most recent show highlights the work of interior designer Jean-Michel Frank.

The exhibition consists of five separate furniture sets with pieces from the early 1920s to late 1930s. Three of these sets are featured in a single room and stand out for their sleek, minimal styling and striking use of materials such as of shagreen (sting ray leather), intricate straw marquetry and mica tiling. He used rich leather upholstery from Hermés, creating an affect that is both modest yet luxurious. Although his work clearly echoes the art-deco aesthetic of the period, it transcends the era through it's understated simplicity, appearing just as modern and relevant today.

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Shakespeare & Company Bookstore

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Text by Philippa Brangam, photo courtesy of Christina Douzmanian

Henry Miller aptly described Shakespeare & Co as a Wonderland of books. On stepping through the door out of the hustle and bustle of the busy Latin Quarter it is easy to see what he meant. The piles of books over two floors almost insulate the outside noise from coming through, and provide a literary sanctuary. The manner in which a particular book may catch your eye seems to come from an almost cosmic destiny. Many a love affair between author and reader has begun inside these walls. Here books are king. Painted over the doorway at the top of the staircase is the slogan ‘Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise’. For those who have visited will know that Shakespeare & Co is much more than just a bookshop, it is an institution which has been upheld for almost a hundred years. 

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ARBOR 2 - Conférences electronic music, abstract video, poetry and science

Images Text by David Britain

This week a group of artists will be coming together to celebrate the double anniversary of the illustrious scientists Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin. Arbor 2-Conférences is a remarkable melange of electronic music, abstract video, poetry and interviews with scientists. All of this is rolled into two holistic 40-minute spectacles, the first being dedicated to Lamarck and the second to Darwin.


VINGT paris spoke with two of the contributors to the project Gino Favotti, responsible for the music and video, and Patrice Cazelles, a poet. They explained that Arbor as an idea arose eight years ago partly as a reaction to the homogenisation of work in their fields and partly as a result of conversations Favotti had had with scientists. Conceived with the intention of being innovative and experimental, the project aims to present a dialogue between art and science in the form of a socially relevant multi-disciplinary work.

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WIN tickets to Diptyque's 'Wycinanki' Candle Launch

Wycinanki Text by Eva Krysiak

Candle and perfume retailer Diptyque are launching three special Wycinanki candles for their winter Christmas collection. 'Wycinanki' are traditional Polish cut-outs, whose delicate motifs depict the animals and plants of the local region. The Wycinanki were used as decorations at home during celebrations and festive seasons, and especially during Christmas.

The Diptyque candles will come in three festive scents of Christmas: Sapin, Benjoin and Marrons grillés. The launch party of these candles will take place on November 26th, and VINGT paris have two invitations (each admitting 2 guests) to give away to readers.

For a chance to win send your top 20 festive suggestions for Paris to news (@) vingtparis.com.

Conversation with photographer Matthias Schaller - Purple Desk

21_17-48-2-2 Text by Kay Roberts -

Opening tomorrow evening, Thursday 19th November

PURPLE DESK is a 30 part work, a series of 30 photographs, the offices of the cardinals in the Roman Curia, the Vatican City. Matthias Schaller was given access to these rooms, making portraits of place, but without the presence of each cardinal. The series was realised between 2004 and 2008 and is now a book published by Editions Steidl, this will be shown at the chapel, along with 2 other books by the artist published by Steidl. On Thursday at 16h there will be a book signing of PURPLE DESK at Paris Photo, just a few minutes from Église Saint-Roche, where the installation is shown.

Any installation is site specific, a synergy of work and space, relating to its immediate particular environment;  here PURPLE DESK reveals itself from the moment the church is entered, the perspective down the nave gives, in several positions, glimpses of the installation, which is placed in the chapel behind the altar. There, in the back chapel, a constructed 12m x 14m purple painted wall has the photographic series, 5 across by 6 down, hung 3m above floor level, echoing the placement of paintings in the church, visible but not really viewable in detail. Behind the scaffolding of the wall is a statue of Christ on the cross. From the church nave the cross on the alter matches Christ's position exactly. Nothing in this installation is by chance.

More on: Conversation with photographer Matthias Schaller - Purple Desk

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