December 19th, 2005


Paris weekend

I spent the weekend in Paris. Here's a little round-up of what / who I saw / did.


Said hello to Hypo at the St Michel branch of Gibert Jeune, the record store where he works. Headed straight for "Japanese Paris", visiting Opera bookstore Junku and Book Off. Saw the Simon Henwood exhibition at Colette, where I spent a lot of time admiring the new Mick Rock book of photos of Ziggy Stardust. Up to Gilles and Flo's place on the Rue des Martyrs in Pigalle. To the Indian arcade, Passage Brady, for a vegetarian curry lunch. To the Pompidou Centre. The big Dada show was somewhat over-familiar and exhaustive / exhausting (the best thing I saw in there was a folkie beardy fellow dressed up as a Peruvian, a fellow visitor, blurry snap below). Also saw a flashy William Klein photo show and a shadows show for kids, but the best thing at Beaubourg was the Charlotte Perriand show. Perriand was a Modernist interior and furniture designer who worked with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, and was profoundly influenced by Japanese style. One of her last works (when she was 90!) was a tea house. Met with Xavier, my future publisher. Good meeting, we will now proceed to contracts. Missed an Active Suspension party at o.lamm's place because of a headache (I often get these after flying).


To Tang Freres on the Avenue D'Ivry, and the Olympiades Oslo shopping centre, where I looked at Cambodian record sleeves, vowing to incorporate their cliched breezy blossom ambience into my album. To Rue Louise Weiss to see the commercial art shows. Nicest gallery, as usual, was Air de Paris, and the "marshmallow aesthetics" of Lily van der Stokker. To the Rue Mouffetard, then the tea room of the Paris mosque, where sparrows fly around the tiled, heavily ornamented room as you sip sugary tea. To the very dim and grand Natural History Museum, established in the second year of the Revolution. Down with aristocrats, up with animals! Wander through the Jardin des Plantes at dusk. Back to Gilles and Flo's place, where I see a top secret project they're working on. To the Palais de Tokyo for a snack dinner. The art is rather poor at the moment, with some horrible Robert Malaval paintings, Artur Barrio's slippery room full of coffee grounds, and some silly babies in tea cups by Shu Lea Cheang. Spend a lot of time with Brigitte Cornand's films of New York art, though (land art, etc). A quick glimpse of the Champs Elysees Christmas lights.


Had hoped to see the Indian Summer show at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, a survey of 24 young Indian artists. But it's shut, so we head up through the Louvre, the Palais Royale and Passage des Panoramas then take a train to the Canal St Martin and attend David F's Circuit Bending Workshop at Point Ephemere. The idea is that, starting from scratch, people construct instruments from junk, bang on them, give a concert, record the results, and release a CD complete with sleeve design the same evening. I couldn't hang around long enough to hear what it sounded like, but it was jolly nice to see o.lamm, Kumi, Johann, Mehdi, Kahn Linh La, David Fenech, and the rest before I had to rush from Jaures to Orly (from one late Brel song to another).