Le Centquatre – Artistic Establishment of the City of Paris

104edouard-caupeil Text by Tiffany Tang
Photo by Edouard Caupeil

Developed as one of the cultural projects by the Mairie de Paris with the vision of reviving the city’s contemporary art scene, Le Centquatre – its name taken from the street number 104, Rue d'Aubervilliers - is an artistic hub for up-and-coming artists sharing creation space and synergy, under the glass ceiling of recently restored unique nineteenth century architecture. Situated in a humble neighborhood of the nineteenth arrondisement the former funeral parlour, was re-opened in October 2008 after its 100 million euro renovation. Currently led by the two directors Robert Cantarella and Frédéric Fisbach, Le Centquatre aims to provide a space where art and culture interact with the public without barriers.

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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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Groundzero: The Best Independent Record Store In Paris

Will Hutchins writing for I V Y paris

GroundzeroGroundzero2 If you’ve failed in your bid to find that Senegalese 1969-1972 funk rarities compilation you’ve been searching for in your local Fnac, or the Virgin Megastore on the Champs Elysées didn’t have a vinyl copy of the new Au Revoir Simone album in stock, then you’ll have better luck at 23 rue Saint Marthe in Belleville.

This hidden treasure of a record store has a superb stash of independent music on vinyl and cd from around the world to get the taste buds of any discerning pop music fan watering.

Catering for the album loving anorak, Groundzero don’t bother with stocking the classics and instead just keep it to a well chosen selection of the latest and most interesting indie, reggae, soul, funk, African, hip-hop, jazz, blues and electro releases and re-editions. From compilations of West African music in 1920’s Britain to the latest SoMe designed Ed Banger picture disc single the shop keeps their collection intriguingly diverse but always high quality. 

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Les soirées Rayon Frais

Rayon Frais is a place where film, video and sound installation come alive. This Friday, November 13th, 2008, come see and hear disco by Eva Peel, electropop by Sportsday Megaphone (featured below), and rock disco by JD Twitch.

Elysée Biarritz
22, 24 rue Quentin Brochan
Paris 75008

L'inauguration du CENT QUATRE

Cent4 The 104, or Cent Quatre, is one of Paris' major cultural projects promoting art and creativity. Located in the 19th arrondissement, this new establishment will offer residencies, exhibitions, and festivals as well as a restaurant and several shops.

Their grand opening will be taking place this Saturday, October 11th, 2008.

For the occasion, this new dynamic arts center will introduce a full day of artwork coming from all angles: architecture and visual art with Berger & Berger's "Une île paradisiaque est un spectacle artificiel," landscape design by Atelier Le Balto, video installations by Alain Bernardini and Melik Ohanian... and more.

The night will continue on with trip-hop, pop décalée, and electro DJs Tricky, Epplay/Takahashi, and FNNNN.

Don't miss out on the fun - all of Paris will be there, or at least the cool people.

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Une Douche ou Un Bain?


Unsure of whether I was going to get clean or dirty on the dance floor, I slipped into Les Bains Douches club on Saturday night.

A venue with a history -- Bains Douches was originally a municipal bathhouse turned bar, notably a home for Parisian new wave.

Andy Warhol would come to see the Dead Kennedys and Psychedelic Furs perform. Not to mention, Joy Division recorded an album of the same name, right here in 1979.

At the present day, Bains Douches has taken on a sound system (the club is the first to be equipped with Funktion-one, the same sound and installation concept you'd find at the Space in Ibiza).

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Venue Review: La Maroquinerie


Parisnormale's Jayson Harsin writing for I V Y paris

From the vantage point of Pere Lachaise in the 20th, in the closing pages of Balzac’s delicious Pere Goriot, the hero Rastignac looks down into the mudpit of Paris, seething with moneylust threatening to devour the grand monuments and traditions of an overgrown bourg. Refusing to let it tame him, he vows to don his galoshes and wrestle it to submission.

True to its past, the 20th (along with the 18th and 19th, and a few holdouts in the 11th) is now the arrondissement that peers down on the rest of the city and resists its formidable pull toward disneyesque tourism and suffocating plutocracy, the basin below where many of the once wild jazz caves and cabarets are now full of plump track-suited Americans perusing their Lonely Planet’s and Let’s Go’s.

It’s in the 20th/11th neighborhoods that one still finds a host of little no-name jazz and torch singer joints, squeezed into the communards’ corners around the metro stations of Gambetta, Pyrenees, Menilmontant and Alexandre Dumas. These are the same scruffy sidewalks where Edith Piaf was born on a policeman’s cape and commenced her warbling for a few paltry sous, and from whose hills Guy Debord tumbled down to beller from the bowels of The Spectacle. It is also where one finds the most thriving indie rock, pop, folk, electro clubs in the City of Light: Le Nouveau Casino, La Fleche D’Or, La Feline, Le Studio de L’hermitage, the Bellevilloise—and La Maroquinerie.

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The Social Club

Shakespeare_16 The Social Club, formerly the Triptyque, formerly L'Aurore printing house, is open for business and as I write Laurent Garnier is spinning away there. The line up for the next few weeks looks promising, see the myspace, no website yet.

142 rue Montmartre
Paris 75002
Tel +33 (0)1 40 28 05 55

The Centre Musical Fleury-Goutte d’Or-Barbara

Shakespeare Paris' amazing cultural life takes a new twist, it's a full time job keeping up with it all! 

Under construction since September 2007, the Centre musical Fleury-Goutte d’Or-Barbara aims to accompany artists, and schedule, coordinate and broadcast slam, rock, pop, reggae, rap, funk, R&B, gospel, electronic music, popular French music and blues.  With a surface area of 1,500 m2, the centre boasts a recording studio, a concert hall and seven rehearsal studios.

It welcomes young musicians, both amateurs and rising talents, professional musicians, local associations, the locals of the Goutte d’Or quarter and the 18th arrondissement, and everywhere else.

It’s a lively place, open to the diversity of musical cultures; a place for creating music and giving visibility to artists and their projects. The centre offers an eclectic programme at affordable prices so that everyone can go along to the performances.

As its name suggests the centre pays tribute to the famous singer Barbara but it does seem a rather incongruous pairing...but there you go.

1 rue Fleury
75018 Paris

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