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East Side: a breath of fresh air in Belleville
by James Loks


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 comes alive?

On the eve of FIAC I asked the directors of three of the most significant galleries in the area for their thoughts...

Denis Gaudel of Galerie Gaudel de Stampa

- What does this area bring to the Parisian art scene?

We are something people can identify, like in New York or in Berlin, like in east London, we have a new generation of artists, we can bring something new, outside the more established galleries of the Marais, a new step.

- How would you characterise the interests or focus of your gallery?

I try to promote artists of a certain generation. Most of the artists in my gallery had their first shows here and I'm very proud of this. I don't have a specific aesthetic line, just artists who are distinct.

- What can we expect at this year's FIAC?

It's good for the French galleries that FIAC exists and it's becoming a very good fair. It's good for us as it lets peope from abroad understand that we are trying to make something, trying to experiment with something. It gives us some recognition and some informed viewers.

- How do you feel about Paris as a centre for contemporary art?

I'm not pessimistic, but I don't think we are. Maybe that's why it's good, because of the market, because of Paris, the Grand Palais, lalala. It's good that the people come and pay attention to our city. But I don't know, the people are still conservative and that's why I really pay attention to projects abroad, like the Sunday Art Fair [where we spoke] for example. It's a young fair; I can speak to other people, I can travel, try to make connection with other artists. Paris Paris Paris, I wish Paris would look at itself. I don't think it's the best place to understand art today. (That's not too negative is it?)

Derek Sullivan, 007: Wright, rite, write, right, Installation view, Galerie Emmanuel Hervé, September 13 - November 11 2012; Courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Hervé.

Emmanuel Hervé of Galerie Emmanuel Hervé

- How would you characterise the interests or focus of your gallery?

The gallery presents the work of international artists in France and a barely visible breadcrumb trail that could be a shared interest in the same economy of means in/of production in their works.

- What does this area bring to the Parisian art scene?

This area is a breath of fresh air for the Parisian art scene; we are almost all from the same generation of gallerists.

- What can we expect at this year's FIAC?

I will present at the booth works by Brazilian artist Fernanda Gomes and by French artist Roxane Borujerdi. It will be a dialogue between two generations of women artists plus works by Sophie Nys: in the Outdoor Projects with a film in the Cinéphémère section; and a sculptural monument at the Museum d'histoire naturelle in memory of the People's Library destroyed last year in New York.

- How do you feel about Paris as a centre for contemporary art?

I am feeling really good about Paris and the possibility of it being a centre for this art week.

Valérie Favre, Fragment 3, 2012, ink, acrylic and oil on canvas, 140 x 140cm; Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff.

Jocelyn Wolff of Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

- How would you characterise the interests or focus of your gallery?

conceptual art, experimental film, and singular positions

- What does this area bring to the Parisian art scene?

fresh air and an idealist view that Paris is not a museum city

- What can we expect at this year's FIAC?

the dynamics we always look for in prestigious international art fairs : great collectors, art amateurs, visibility for our artists.

- How do you feel about Paris as a centre for contemporary art?

an ambivalent feeling : it is a key moment, we have all the ingredients to develop again a great cuisine, but we are lacking real contre-pouvoirs. We have great artists, great gallerists, curators and critics...

 

James Thompson

(Image on top: Jessica Warboys, Panther Print, Installation view, Galerie Gaudel de Stampa, September 15 – October 27, 2012; Courtesy Galerie Gaudel de Stampa.)



Posted by James Loks on 10/18/12

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