UN APRES-MIDI A L'ORANGERIE | 17 minutes | Essay | HDV | France | 2009
Inspired by an August 2nd 2009 article in the The New York Times, Un Après-Midi à L'Orangerie
shows how spectators interact -and don't interact- with the works of art around them.
The camera observes as hundreds of tourists stop to look, take a picture or pose for one, move on, sit to think,
stop to scratch an itch, or merely walk past Monet's Les Nymphéas at the Orangerie.
Tourné dans le musée parisien, Un Après-Midi à L'Orangerie
nous fait découvrir les rapports des visiteurs avec les oeuvres et l'espace du musée.
NEW Article: "When Camera Takes Over the Eye" published September 4th, 2011 about topic. Read here.
Neighborhood Watch, started in the United States in 2006 by Chelsea Goodwin and Jaime Carrejo, is an artistic movement that temporarily turns a street/neighborhood into an exhibition space. In 2009, via Haydee Alonso who had participated in the project in Texas before, a group of artists, including myself, brought Neighborhood Watch to Paris.
Our street: Rue Muller in the 18th Arrondissement.
Situated between the bobo (bourgeois-bohème) streets of Montmartre and the immigrant neighborhood by Chateau Rouge, Rue Muller was an interesting choice for a public art event. As the setting for the ateliers and hang-outs of Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Dali, and Modigliani, (to name a few), Montmartre has an important place in art history. Even today, it is remarkable how open the residents of Montmartre, and those in Paris in general, are to supporting artists and fostering an artistic community.
On September 11th, 2009 fourteen artists showed their work on the windows, walls, sidewalks, courtyards, and homes of Rue Muller.
We had to interact with the residents of the community, discuss where and how to display the works, understand how the exhibition space would affect our work and in some cases make new works to fit the nature of the event, and publicize our event -all without financial assistance of any kind. We used our personal resources and our relationships within the community to gather the materiales hat we needed to make the event possible.
In the end, the event was a success.
The bar Muller situated in the milieu of all our works was alive with passerbys. At one moment, the screen on which I was projecting my video fell down and the images came alive on the surrounding buildings - needless to say, I waited some time before fixing the screen. In Philip Tonda's gallery Thierry Micouin performed a dance interpretation of Philip's paintings in a white empty room as spectators -the voyeurs- watched from behind glass. In Pauline Borca's piece, a video of an older woman eating alone in her kitchen was projected through a window in a little quiet house, again giving the spectator the impression of looking in on a private moment. Pauline Haller made a video about the "sans-papiers", or the undocumented, Lana Kljucaric showed a drawing which was inspired by graffiti and street art, Amine Mamadou Kébé had a (real) bird show with (made in china) golden cats, and Haydee showed her "jewellery" - more like sculptures made from undecipherable materials in vibrant shapes and colors. Amber Lauletta showed an installation of jars, some partly filled with honey, surrounded by little candles, half of which were lit - you ask yourself if they were this way on purpose or was it the wind? The question sends you into poetry.
On a chilly Autumn night in Paris, fourteen artists came together for the first time to give Rue Muller an evening of public art. We were so pleased with the result that the next evening at another artist's vernissage we were already discussing our next project together. Where will it be? We have not yet decided. If you would like to propose a street, a gallery, a house, a park, a carousel - whatever it may be - please send me an email with your idea. And if you would like to participate at our next event, please do!