December 4, 2013

When contemporary meets Marie Antoinette

For two years I have been wondering how to get into the Conciergerie - a former royal palace converted into a prison during the French Revolution - without having to queue for hours! Those destined for the guillotine would languish here, as Marie Antoinette did. Today was my chance to step back in history. An invitation to a private guided visit through Pinault's contemporary art collection was plain simply irresistible. Especially when offered after hours which means no people. This is a luxury in overcrowed touristy Paris.

Mr Pinault had the Ile Segur in mind to create a home for his immense collection but had made his plans without the French bureaucracy. Ironically, we had just been to Ile Segur on Sunday night which now houses the impressive Cirque du Soleil. Small world!

The exhibition, "À Triple Tour" (Triple Locked), brought together some 50 paintings, photographs, and installations pertaining to captivity, whether criminal, political, mental, or emotional. I had never heard of the 22 artists, mostly being exhibited for the first time, but you learn every day. I had booked the ticket as a treat for my hubby who loves contemporary art. Needless to say he was away on a buisness trip therefore a keen girlfriend jumped in and joined me on my adventure.

The Hall of the Guards, one of the largest surviving medieval parts of the Conciergerie presented a fascinating Gothic backdrop for the ecclectic mix of modern vs antique.

I wonder what Marie Antoinette would have made of it?

Pistoletto's La Gabbia

Chernobyl's new inhabitants

Boris Mikhailov's unhappy girl

Mona Hatoum's bunker

Julie Mehretu's Chimera

Unsettling work of two Chinese artists Yuan & Yu

Halloween in Iraq???

The most disturbing piece of art by Australian Kristian Burford: "Last night you brought a man up to your room after having a late drink at the hotel room. Knowing that you are HIV positive you had sex which caused him to bleed. After a day of meetings you now return to your room."

Damien Hirst's pharmacy. Just hope the cleaning lady doesn't take to the cabinets.

Chinese art meets French gothic

Justin Matherly lost in time and space

Friedrich Kunath's "Past is a foreign country"

A stunning collection with a magnificent backdrop

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