« Vélo Vintage - Ride in Style, On the Cheap! | Main | David Lynch Appearing at Publicisdrugstore »

Espace Louis Vuitton

Shakespeare_44 Orients Sans Frontières: sur les traces de la Croisière Jaune

One lucky Louis Vuitton employee at the brand's flagship Paris boutique rides up and down in a velvet-padded, pitch black elevator all day long. Her unobtrusive black capsule is designed to filter in-the-know visitors from hordes of tourists, and to prepare them for the contemporary art experience that awaits on the top floor in the store's new gallery, Espace Louis Vuitton. "It's a concept," explains the girl, before guiding the elevator upward with a remote control. Well, in that case, let's go. I'm all for strange encounters in the dark.

The elevator "concept" might be a little cozier than most people are comfortable with, but it helps with what would otherwise be a jarring transition, from one of the city's most chaotic luxury shopping experiences to a quiet, comparatively dignified art space. The current exhibit, "Orients sans Frontières" (Orients without borders) is inspired by the Yellow Journey, an epic road trip made by legendary car manufacturer André Citroën across Central Asia in 1931. (What's the Vuitton connection? Louis designed the car's custom trunk.)

The exhibition includes work by 10 contemporary artists from Baghdad to Beijing. Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige's History of a Photograph sums up the exhibition's general approach: a series of 1960's picture postcards in technicolor hues are lined along the walls. But their vivid surfaces are burnt -- each burn marking a spot that was harmed during the Lebanese civil war, beginning in 1975. Evoking Citroën's original grand adventure, the exhibit also shows the less romantic contemporary reality of the region. The comparison of hedonism and thoughtfulness is echoed in the contrast between the consumer chaos downstairs and the quiet art exhibit upstairs -- two poles in an LV universe, connected by a single elevator.

- Sarah-Neel Smith

(Image - Hadjithomas and Joreige, History of a Photograph - CRG Gallery, New York)

Bonapart Paris apartments


Post a comment

Search the site

Paris Resources

Picture 12     360fashionLOGO1
More sites to explore...


Site notices

  •  Subscribe in a reader

    Add to My AOL

    Subscribe in Bloglines

    Add to Google

    Copyright © Susie Hollands.