Arthouse visits Paris’ 2016 art fairs
DAY ONE, FIAC
The ‘Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain’ (FIAC)—one of the three most important art fairs in the world—did not disappoint international art lovers with its 2016 edition.
189 galleries from all corners of the world converged under the breathtaking iron, steel and glass barrel-vaulted dome of the Grand Palais.
We wandered through the busy halls and entered an art journey for over 3 ours. Although at an art fair we normally spend more time talking about art and looking at it, we took a few shots for you to feel like you were there too.
The Sadie Coles stand was a big sensation due to its scenography and new works by Swiss artist Urs Fischer.
The wavy and thin sculpture appeared so fragile yet so inviting to cross under it because of its playful shape and colors.
Behind, we spotted two grey sofa chairs that at first glance seemed to be made from a cold rock material but were actually made of foam and very comfortable to sit on!
Like all shiny objects do, Damien Hirst’s ‘Pill Cabinet’—displayed by the White Cube gallery—attracted tours and many passers-by, us included.
What from afar seemed like a mirror, the closer we approached, it became a carefully constructed installation.
Up-front, we distinguished the pebble-looking forms meticulously placed on thin shelves. ‘What is the value of this artwork’ we overheard a collector ask the gallerist.
‘Two million euros’ She replied whilst time paused for every attentive person overhearing. Suddenly, our perception around this artwork changed while overhearing at the same time a tour guide mentioning how this pill cabinet had been exhibited previously at the Tate.
Hirt’s pill cabinets, invite us to analyze an object by removing it from its conventional context.
The premeditated arrangement and display of the handmade colored pills, recalls the curiosity cabinets popularized by the Victorians in Europe.
Here, the aesthetic allure of the pills is rendered useless in the face of their unknown medical purpose; Hirst’s suggestion being that their power relies on an unquestioning belief that somehow our ills will be cured.
But as it happens with every artwork, the viewer’s interpretation will be different depending on their context.
In the same way that we were attracted to this modern-day cabinet de curiosité, Chun Kwang Young’s sculpture made us stop, look from afar, from up close, from the sides and we just had to take another video for you to admire the hours and attention to detail that must have been placed to compose this sculpture from Young’s circular aggregation series.