In Pictures: ACTA Protests in Europe, 16/02/2012

“On February 11 tens of thousands of people in towns and cities throughout Europe took to the streets to voice their opposition to ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement currently awaiting ratification by the European parliament. Braving sub-zero temperatures, protesters unleashed a powerful weapon: homemade Internet meme-based protest signs. A second day of demonstrations is planned for February 25.”

The Gaîté Lyrique Swaps The 19th For The 21st Century

Vingt Paris Magazine, 16/02/2011

The Théâtre de la Gaîté Lyrique first opened in it’s current location on the rue Papin in 1862. That incarnation was itself a reconstruction of the original Théâtre de la Gaîté, which had opened on the boulevard du Temple in 1808, but was destroyed in the construction of the boulevard Voltaire. That itself had been what would nowadays be termed a “rebranding” of the first theatre to be erected on that spot, the Théâtre des Grands-Danseurs du Roi, which first opened in 1792. Which, we can all agree, is a very long time ago.

Over the years the Gaîté played host to numerous premieres, from the first operettas of cellist Jacques Offenbach to the ballets russes of Serge Diaghilev, as well as productions by Willy Thunis, Patrice Chéreau and concerts by the tenor Luis Mariano. In 1974 the actress Silvia Monfort turned the Gaîté into Paris’ first centre for street theatre. In 1989 it briefly became an ill-fated, science-themed amusement park, following which, bankrupt and in near-fatal disrepair, it lay dormant for 20 years. Continue reading “The Gaîté Lyrique Swaps The 19th For The 21st Century”

Two Kentridge Shows Come to Paris

Image: John Hodgkiss; courtesy of William Kentridge

The New York Times: Globespotters, 10/08/2010

“The past is never dead,” wrote William Faulkner, “it is not even past.” At “William Kentridge — Five Themes,” which runs until Sept. 5 at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the past is a constant and ambiguous presence. Arriving in Paris after a well-received run at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the exhibition is a brief overview of the South African artist’s career, featuring 40 works completed in a variety of mediums — animated films, drawings, prints and models.

At the museum (1, place de la Concorde; 33-1-47-03-12-50;, the exhibition unfolds chronologically, an ironic if welcome hint of structure amid the temporal uncertainty of the work. Early pieces feature fictional characters and are marked by a political tone, while in recent work, like Mr. Kentridge’s production of the Shostakovich opera “The Nose,” there’s a lighter approach, with the focus switching to the artist and the creative process itself. Continue reading “Two Kentridge Shows Come to Paris”