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James Loks

20140828081538-photo_2_-_1986-paris_4199 Simple Pleasures   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Daniel Buren at Palais Royal August 1st, 1986 - December 31st
Posted 8/28/14

Given that we are in the zombie month of August when most galleries are closed, your faithful correspondent decided that it was time to go and check out some permanent public art: Daniel Buren’s 1986 installation Les Deux Plateau, apparently more commonly known as Colonnes de Buren. I’m assuming that for such a worldly audience as ArtSlant’s, these titles need no translation. But what is it? Well, it’s a grid of 260 candy-stripped columns, in a grid of candy-stripped lines in... [more]

20140708121829-file1 Getting It   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Colin Snapp at Galerie Allen June 27th - July 27th
Posted 7/7/14

Galerie Allen is a run by the Australian team of independent curator Joseph Allen Shea and artist Mel O'Callaghan, and is situated just west of Gare du Nord, in the tentatively gentrifying ninth arrondissement. These things are a departure from standard Paris format; they’ve eschewed the Marais, the (admittedly awful) left bank, and the more obvious cluster of new galleries centered in Belleville. Plus, there’s the involvement of an artist. The space itself is also something of a hyb... [more]

20140519064350-hirschhorn8 Watch DVDs, Eat Hot Dogs, and Swing on Tires   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Thomas Hirschhorn at Palais de Tokyo April 24th - June 23rd
Posted 5/19/14

To enter this exhibition is to descend into an anarchic post-apocalyptic maze where mankind has come to rely on parcel tape as never before and small children run around like fuzzy static magnets for polystyrene debris. Yes, we are entering the world of Thomas Hirschhorn on a quite unprecedented scale, and as ever the Swiss artist presents us with an immersive vision. This is an exhibition where you can spend time, and after contemplating disruptions in doxical praxis you can watch DVDs, eat ho... [more]

20140421080747-rm4 Mapplethorpe: Very Eighties   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Robert Mapplethorpe at Grand Palais March 26th - July 13th
Posted 4/21/14

At a certain point as I was walking around the Mapplethorpe exhibition I thought, “You know something? I really don’t like Robert Mapplethorpe.” This was during the first half of the show where most of the work was in his "nude portraiture" mode. I mean, I can appreciate the formality of it all—the lines and triangles, neat, original compositions, the sculptural references. But there’s just something in the gelatin-silver-shininess of it; it all seems too slick,... [more]

20140312061209-sheila_hicks Into The Fold   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Tauba Auerbach, davide balula, Alain Biltereyst, Tom Burr, César, John Chamberlain, William Daniels, Simon Hantai, Sheila Hicks, Olaf Holzapfel, Sol LeWitt, Piero Manzoni, Steven Parrino, Jack Pierson, Diogo Pimentão, Charlotte Posenenske, Robert Rauschenberg, Blake Rayne, Anselm Reyle, Dorothea Rockburne, Rudolf Stingel, Tatiana Trouvé, Daniel Turner, Rachel Whiteread at Gagosian - Paris February 28th - April 19th
Posted 3/12/14

I don’t know if anyone else has seen the YouTube animation that explains the ten dimensions of the physical world, as predicted by the theoretical framework of M- or String theory. It’s quite confusing. However, one of the ideas it introduces is that at certain points the shift from one dimension to the next is achieved by folding that dimension through into the next (in similar fashion to how one would fold a piece of paper into a Mobius strip). This is the process that allows a bei... [more]

Figure + Landscape: An Interview with Elina Brotherus  
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2/16/14

Helsinki / Paris, Feb. 2014: It's quite strange meeting someone for the first time via Skype; I think it's something to do with the intimacy of being suddenly projected into a stranger's kitchen and they into your living room. This was how I met Elina Brotherus: we sat in Paris/Helsinki and shared a cup of tea. My intention was obviously for this to be an interview, however it seems like a conversation broke out, the outcome of which being that the questions aren't particularly well phrased. I'm sur... [more]

20140121182108-ac_jamie_reid_affiche_god_save_the_queen_1977_-__sex_pistols_residuals Punk is Dead (again)   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Cité de la musique October 15th, 2013 - January 19th
Posted 1/21/14

"Yes that's right punk is dead, it's just another cheap product for the consumer’s head Bubble gum rock on plastic transistors, school boy sedition backed by big time promoters" So sang Crass in their 1978 track Punk is Dead... And the big time promoter in this instance is the French state via Cité de la Musique, where, from a certain perspective, Punk suffers the final ignominy of transferring from cultural reference or product for sale to vitrine protected cultural artefact to be pe... [more]

20131217170453-dan_beudean_sir_richard_francis_burton Where are we?: Cognitive Dissonance at the LV Espace Culturel   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Ioana Bătrânu, DAN BEUDEAN, Geta Bratescu, Oana Farcas, Adrian Ghenie, ION GRIGORESCU, Simon Cantemir Hausì, Mihut Boscu Kafchin, Ciprian Muresan, Serban Savu, Mircea Suciu, SERGIU TOMA, Bogdan Vladuta at LV Espace Culturel October 11th, 2013 - January 12th
Posted 12/17/13

You know if you asked me honestly why I went to the LV cultural space I hope I'd be honest enough to tell you something about a certain sardonic sensation, and the presentiment that somewhere in the whole experience I'd find some kind of grist for the mill of this review. Just something about the gallery that sits above what I believe – and I may well be wrong – is the most profitable store in Paris, if not the world. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I have heard that the LV store on C... [more]

20131210073645-ecal-romain-hu_gli What Do Kim and Kanye Have to Do with the New Photography Aesthetic?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Jeremy Ayer, Emile Barret, Olga Cafiero, Alexia Cayre, Philippe Fragnière, Nicolas Haeni, Romain Hügli, Romain Mader, Tiphanie Mall, Douglas Mandry, Cyril Porchet, Jimmy Rachez, Maya Rochat, Priscillia Saada, Tristan Savoy, Jean-Vincent Simonet, Armand Yerly at Galerie Azzedine Alaïa November 15th, 2013 - December 15th, 2013
Posted 12/10/13

I'm a bit late on the whole Kanye craziness, but have, after a couple of hours of jaw dropping internet research, finally arrived in apocalypto ego-mania land. Wow. It is a special place to be. It's like there's the purest form of intoxication in what he's saying and in a sense at a certain point his inner sense of being a god-ness almost becomes logical, like it's the pinnacle of self enactment, and like the next-big-thing motivational seminars. The interesting thing though, besides the wonder a... [more]

20131119045357-jun-ahn-self-portrait-2011 Auto Interview: Paris Photo 2013   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Grand Palais November 14th, 2013 - November 17th, 2013
Posted 11/19/13

James Loks is a Paris-based staff writer for ArtSlant. On the occasion of Paris Photo he thought it would be worth taking the time to ask himself some questions concerning the nature of art fairs, photography, and lack of real world Lynchian characters. Initial impressions of Paris Photo? Very cold. If you post on the website that press registration begins at two pm, it's a really good idea not to then decide that it starts at five. The ensuing confrontation between a bunch of disgruntled journa... [more]

20131023003645-peresprojects Berlin vs. Paris: We Ask The Galleries   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at FIAC October 24th, 2013 - October 27th, 2013
Posted 10/23/13

Over the past fifteen years Berlin has carved itself a niche as the most vibrant artistic city in Europe, a place to find both galleries and working artists of all ilk. It has become synonymous with the type of creative energy that seems to push forward, always seeking new boundaries and forms. As such it makes an interesting contrast with Paris, a city that has previously taken this role but is now perhaps too stable, too comfortable, and maybe too expensive, to compete. In a way, within this context,... [more]

20131022123637-1 Prix Marcel Duchamp: Favourites and Outsiders   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Farah Atassi, Latifa Echakhch, Claire Fontaine, Raphaël Zarka at FIAC October 26th, 2013 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Posted 10/22/13

As a corollary to FIAC the Prix Marcel Duchamp has had some pretty impressive winners in its time and is, as with all of these types of prizes, a great way for an artist to get some recognition, funding and actual cash. Not as old as the Swiss Art Awards, as prestigious as a Gold or Silver Lion, or as lucrative as some of the big private awards, it is still sufficient to spur on the career of any artist, not least in that it comes with a well funded exhibition at the Pompidou, and allows you to jo... [more]

Saying What You See, Knowing What You See: An Interview with Marianne Paul-Boncour  
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10/21/13

Paris, Oct. 2013: On the eve of FIAC I managed to catch Marianne Paul-Boncour for a chat in what was probably the loudest workers cafe in eastern Paris. We struggled to be heard over the radio, the rattling of cups and glasses and the shrillest of barmaids, while simultaneously squinting into a setting sun. Despite these challenges we managed to talk about painting, New York City, France and FIAC. James Loks: Can you describe your work in brief? Marianne Paul-Boncour: I always come at things from two directions, but I'm working on a... [more]

20130903181920-ev06 Digital Disappointment   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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GRÉGORY CHATONSKY, DuroSport Electronics, Benjamin Gaulon aka Recyclism, Jonathan Puckey (Moniker), Do it yourself book scanner (Daniel Reetz), Julian Oliver et Danja Vasiliev at Jeu de Paume October 23rd, 2012 - March 11th
Posted 9/3/13

I guess the title kind of gives it away? But you know, you've got to have expectations to be disappointed and here's the problem: when you put together the two words 'online' and 'exhibition' you can imagine wandering through this vast and surprising digital world where new and previously unimagined forms of artistic stimulation are assailing your senses from every quarter; or you can see the two antithetical things, an exhibition being that immersive, fully realised, interactive, texturally correlat... [more]

20130813125658-30922_1335823318_382_30922 Proximity to Tourists: 59 Rivoli   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 8/13/13

59 Rivoli- Squart Collective[1]59 Rue de RivoliParisOngoing Number 59 Rivoli was abandoned for fifteen years before it was squatted by a group of artists in 1999. After a couple of years of wrangling and campaigning the building was bought by the municipal government of Paris[2], renovated to make it safe, and passed over to the collective, who had now formalised their existence under the name '59 Rivoli'. I visited it as it seems to be an example of the kind of progressive attitude to suppo... [more]

20130729214836-bertstern_marilynmonroe_pearlmouth No Temple BS   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Bert Stern at La Galerie de l'Instant July 11th, 2013 - September 25th, 2013
Posted 7/23/13

This is a terrible show and I loved it. By any of the criteria by which most of the galleries I normally visit judge themselves it was, what, I don't know what to say, a joke? A disaster? A farce? As appears to be my normal approach I'm going to talk about two things, the gallery first, then I'll get on to the artist… The gallery was a mess! There was Bert Stern's work on the walls, with one or two other random photos thrown in, as well as lots of other pictures from other photographe... [more]

20130709081203-schabahzi_shirana__komposition-46-2012_ A very very big show in a relatively small room   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Lewis Baltz, Uta Barth, Lothar Baumgarten, Walead Beshty, Lucas Blalock, Mark Borthwick, Josh Brand, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Talia Chetrit, Anne Collier, Sarah Conaway, Luc Delahaye, Thomas Demand, Liz Deschenes, Rineke Dijkstra, Saul Fletcher, Lee Friedlander, Amy Granat, John Houck, Barbara Kasten, Annette Kelm, Josh Kolbo, Luisa Lambri, Elad Lassry, Leigh Ledare, Tim Lee, Jochen Lempert, Hanna Liden, Armin Linke, Sharon Lockhart, Jean-Luc Moulène, Catherine Opie, Eileen Quinlain, Alison Rossiter, Melanie Schiff, Collier Schorr, Bruno Serralongue, Shirana Shahbazi, Erin Shirreff, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, James Welling, Chris Wiley at Galerie Marian Goodman - Paris June 28th, 2013 - August 2nd, 2013
Posted 7/9/13

I've become increasingly aware of how people find negative reviews so much more entertaining than positive reviews, and so I'm about to let everyone down. This is a really great show, and an unusual one, and interesting for lots of different reasons; but really one main one. It's also worth saying that the title/name of the exhibition really is fitting for the experience of seeing the show. The big main thing to say is it's a curated show, although Jens Hoffmann prefers the tag 'exhibition maker' t... [more]

20130507172520-slavs_and_tartars_-_the_assistants Frieze New York: Literature and Art Fairs   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Lydia Davis at Frieze New York May 11th, 2013 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Posted 5/7/13

The art fair as cultural event is pretty well established now. It makes sense to use the pretext of the weird art supermarket that forms the body of the fair as an excuse for a wider programme; it adds interest and tempers the slightly distasteful frenzy that makes it so difficult to actually see the art everyone's here for. As part of this year's Frieze New York we have the opportunity to attend a reading and Q&A session with Lydia Davis. For those of you who aren't familiar with her, as well as b... [more]

20130502154101-0745 It's in a gallery but you can't have everything   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Joan Jonas at Galerie Yvon Lambert April 27th, 2013 - May 30th, 2013
Posted 5/2/13

Similarity and difference seems to be the theme of the current exhibition at Yvon Lambert. In one room we have Joan Jonas, presenting a video installation Reanimation II, a reworking of a piece originally shown at dOCUMENTA (13), and in the other we have a wall piece by Lawrence Weiner. The similarities are that both artists are very well respected (although Jonas isn't celebrated quite as much as Weiner), both came to prominence in the sixties and have something like a forty-year body of work, b... [more]

20130417103108-image Tumbling Blocks / Stumbling Blocks   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Victor Costales, Julia Rometti at Jousse Enterprise-Saint Claude April 6th, 2013 - May 18th, 2013
Posted 4/17/13

As is my way, I didn't do any research on Julia Rometti and Victor Costales before I went to see the show. I knew that they'd won a prize at the last edition of ARCO Madrid (the illy SustainArt prize) and I knew they were young and pretty successful. That was it. I'm also a fan of Jousse Entreprise as a gallery; they're definitely one of the most interesting smaller galleries in Paris and they represent a few artists of whom I'm a fan (Superflex, Matthew Derbyshire, and Philippe Meste if you wa... [more]

20130228074855-2177-19 Hypnosis   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Julio Le Parc at Palais de Tokyo February 25th, 2013 - May 13th, 2013
Posted 2/28/13

There's part of this job that involves trying to use words to conjure the experience of an artwork or an exhibition for the reader. From the second I entered this show I realised that with the work of Julio le Parc – no chance. There's no way that I can tell you even a fraction of what the experience of being in this show is like. Not least because just finding your way through the first immersive sculpture – a small fully mirrored room full of tightly packed full length hanging mirrors that are sl... [more]

20130128115249-chloe_tallot A Negative Review   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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CHLOE TALLOT at Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève January 10th, 2013 - February 9th, 2013
Posted 1/28/13

I really like Suzanne Tarasiève's Loft 19 space. Tucked away on a dead-end street behind Belleville it has the feel of a genuinely alternative art space, something different and away from the rest of the galleries. There's nothing like it in Paris. I always look forward to openings there as you get to see some good art and there's normally an interesting crowd and something nice to drink. This wasn't the case yesterday. ‘Forcément on pense au rouge’ by Chloé Tallot is based around a convers... [more]

20130124122501-120907_er_009 Ceci N'est Pas: An Interview with Aude Pariset   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Aude Pariset at Favorite Goods March 23rd, 2013 - April 27th, 2013
Posted 1/24/13

Aude Pariset isn't taking part in Art Los Angeles Contemporary, and most likely none of her work will be on display at any stall throughout it. She does however have a show at Favourite Goods gallery supported by Ceci N'est Pas. As an integral part of programming around ALAC this programme shows how an art fair isn't simply a commercially driven sharkfest but can also be a powerful driver of internationalism and offer the opportunity for young artists to both show their work and broaden their exp... [more]

20121220180823-laure_ A Night Out   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Alex Cecchetti, Laure Prouvost at Shanaynay December 3rd, 2012 - December 31st, 2012
Posted 12/17/12

In previous articles I've complained about certain aspects of the Parisian art scene, one of which being that it lacks the spark and energy of new things. It's difficult in a conservative country that holds fine art and culture so close to its sense of identity. Last night was fortuitous. The PRs all spoke about Miami. It was very cold and grey in Paris. There was nothing to catch the eye. I walked into Shanaynay to find, among other artworks, a bicycle upturned and surrounded by tools. I took... [more]

20121111130831-anselm_kiefer_1 Big Galleries [Part Two]   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Anselm Kiefer at Gagosian - Le Bourget October 19th, 2012 - January 26th, 2013
Posted 11/12/12

The journey to Gagosian's new Le Bourget gallery made last week’s trip to the suburbs look like child's play. While the Pantin space of Thaddeaus Ropac is conveniently situated a short walk from the metro, this involved travelling to the end of the metro line and then taking a bus for twenty-five minutes to reach the outskirts of the airfield on which it is situated.[1] Not for the first time I rued the absence of a private jet in my life, or a car for that matter. By the time I arrived I was ques... [more]

20121104165153-009_anselm_kiefer_fu_r_rabbi_lo_w_2010_2012 Big Galleries [Part One]   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Anselm Kiefer at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Pantin October 14th, 2012 - February 23rd, 2013
Posted 11/5/12

In general people who live in Paris, stay in Paris. And the big news of the moment in the art scene is that we can no longer do this. The reason being that both Galerie Ropac and Gagosian have taken it upon themselves to open new, large-scale, galleries outside the city (although by the standards of anywhere else in the world they are hardly in the nether and beyond, Pantin is still on the Metro, and the Gagosian gallery at Bourget is about twenty minutes from Gare du Nord by RER[1], however, thi... [more]

20121018201104-gaudeldestampa East Side: a breath of fresh air in Belleville   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/18/12

There is a lot of talk that things are changing in Paris, and it seems to be change in both directions. In one way we have big international galleries opening monumental spaces outside of the city, and in the other there's a collection of smaller galleries opening in the eastern arrondissements, centred around Belleville. Both movements seem to indicate an important shift, and will perhaps usher in a new period in the artistic life of the city. Could this be the moment when the East Side of Paris... [more]

20121016161201-untitled__paris_street_map__ii Perhaps Paris   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/16/12

Listen, there is no way around it. In the article that follows I'm going to be forced to wield sweeping generalisations, peddle the occasional stereotype, and generally piss off the people of my adopted home. However. It needs to be done. It's like one of those difficult talks that normally take place in the kitchen and are basically painful for one party. Home truths might be what we are dealing with here. I would also like to say that this is not a negative article and I don't want anyone to get n... [more]

20121014203538-1 Grumpy Sunday   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Roman Ondák at Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris / ARC September 28th, 2012 - December 16th, 2012
Posted 10/14/12

I was in a bad mood when I entered the Musée D'Art Moderne. It was ten o'clock on a Sunday morning, and I'd just paid six euros for a completely average coffee – with bad service – when my fatigue and the hour would've already been enough. Entering the Roman Ondák exhibition, I had the distinct feeling that this was not the time to look at art, and immediately my suspicions were confirmed. After climbing the stairs I was in a dim space with two video installations running and lots of glass vi... [more]

Interview with Elodie Seguin  
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10/14/12

Paris, Oct, 2012: There is a problem with trying to write this introduction. In it I feel like I should tell you about why and how you should read on, I should list the achievements and recognition that Elodie Seguin has already received, her success. I should mention that she is only twenty-eight years old. I could call her one of the hottest upcoming artists in France at the moment. But none of this seems quite right. It would seem a bit too much like hype. And this suits neither her nor her... [more]

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