Scene - Latino Takes Over

photo: bikes on beaumarchais

The weather is not right for it, but bike season is not far off.

Dance, Art, Films, Cows, Colors and Bongo!

Paris:- Saturday, 20. February 1999:- This town, which lies between the Mediterranean and northern Europe, appears to be trying to become more 'Latino' by the day, as if this somehow suits its identity in this central location.

Social and cultural relations between Paris and Latin America seem to be on the increase. Latin film festivals are starting to compete with Tango marathons, and socially, several sets of barricades are being erected - for and against Dr. Fidel Castro, 'for' the Indians in Mexico, 'for' the Amazonian jungles: for the music, for the films, art, painting - in short - 'for' the colors.

'Vivre Paris' is an exhibition featuring 30 artists from Latin America who live and work in Paris. From the description, 'grand masters' are placed beside upcoming 'young Turks' and varying styles are placed edge to edge.

On show are paintings, sculpture, installations, video and 'lights.' The variety is also reflected in three currents that have affected Latin American art from the 1930's to the 1960's - surrealism, abstraction and 'cinétisme.'

In the 1970's, art became socio-ecolo-techno and elements of this - these - are featured too. The '80's and '90's are represented as well, and these years show a tendency to go back to the roots.

Roots in Latin America are not only native and African but also European - Basque, Polish, Italian - so artists of these extractions have found Paris to be more agreeable than New York or Berlin; according to the press release.

'Vivre Paris' can be seen at the Fondation Electricité de France's Espace Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone. (This is a little closed street off the Rue de Sèvres.) Until Sunday, 18. April. Info. Tel.: 01 53 63 23 45.

Pièce Pour un Rhinocéros et Autres Morceaux Choisis is a minimalist spin-off from the 'Festival Musiques en Scène,' which is actually on show at the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Lyon, until Sunday, 11. April.

In Lyon, five Canadians are among this year's North American artists with 'installations sonores,' and one of these, Ian Carr-Harris, also has this minimalist exhibition featuring a rhinoceros at the Centre Culturel Canadien in Paris.

This is worth noting because of the upcoming Festival de la Météo in Québec, which is mentioned in this issue's feature, 'A Good Day In a Good Way.' If this reason seems a bit illogical, let's just say I have never mentioned the Centre Culturel Canadien in Paris before now.

One reason for not doing so is because Canada is a quiet country, although quite a large one. The other reason, is this is the first time I've received an invitation to a vernissage from the Centre Culturel Canadien. Too bad it was for two weeks ago.

Before I fire myself for this oversight, one last thing: Ian Carr-Harris' rhinoceros can be seen until Wednesday, 24. March, at the Centre Culturel Canadien, 5. Rue de Constantine, Paris 7. Métro: Invalides. Open from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 to 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 44 43 21 90.

Historical Irons? - Yes, ma'am. Run, do not walk to see this, because it almost slipped by me like so much else does. Here's the scoop: an exhibition called 'Vingt Siècles de Tradition, Lavage et Repassage' is no less than an extraordinary collection of more than 100 irons for unwrinkling clothing; dating from prehistory to this century.

The reason for running, is this exhibition's last day is Saturday, 6. March. This might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see something really different! At the Bibliothèque Forney, in the Hôtel de Sens, 1. Rue du Figuier, Paris 4. Métro: Pont Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 42 78 14 60.

The huge Salon International de l'Agriculture - also known as the 'Famous Cow Show,' starts next Sunday. A reader enquired about this a week ago, and a Web-search turned up last year's information. A call to the organizers during the week did not result in a press info package arriving - but I find it mentioned opposite the item for the clothing irons. How lucky!

The 36th edition of this event just about takes over all of Paris-Expo's many halls, and as usual it will feature the judging to choose the most beautiful cows in the world. France Farms Corp. SA will field 1,300 exhibitors who will show off 580 cows, 550 sheep or goats, thousands of chickens and rabbits, 30 breeds of horses and a bunch of donkeys and ponies, plus lots of pigs and fish; and many different kinds of ham sandwiches. Cheese and wine will not be absent either.

The Salon de la Pèche de Loisir runs concurrently at Paris-Expo from Thursday, 4. March until Sunday, 7. March, and features everything about fishing for fun. The entry paid for the Salon de l'Agriculture is good for this too.

36th Salon International de l'Agriculture, at Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles. Paris 15. From Sunday, 28. February until Sunday, 7. March; from 9:00 to 19:00 daily and until 22:00 on Friday, 5. March. Entry: 55 francs for adults and 35 francs for children over six. Kids under six: free entry.

'April in Paris' - is not only in February, itposter: play, april in paris is almost over. The On Stage Theatre Company, playing this 'hilarious and affectionate picture of the English abroad' by John Godber, is at the Théâtre de Nesle, 8. Rue de Nesle, Paris 6. Métro: Odéon. On at 21:00, until Saturday, 27. February.

Two Shorties: - both start Friday, 12. March. One is the 21st 'Festival International Films de Femmes, which will be onscreen at the Maison des Arts in Créteil until Sunday, 21. March. Info. Tel.: 01 49 80 38 98.

The other is 'Chorus des Hauts-de-Seine' - part of the 12th Festival de la Chanson - which continues until Wednesday, 31. March. Info. Tel.: 01 47 74 51 11.

Banlieues Bleues '99 - If you like the Blues and you don't mind the 'Burbs, then you'll want to take in all or some of the 16th edition of Banlieues Bleues which takes off in various locations in Seine-Saint-Denis starting Tuesday, 9. March.

If you live in some place where you are blue but there are no Blues around, you may as well get yourself over here because this festival features 57 groups and lasts for six weeks, until Friday, 16. April. This is a lota Blues and a lota Banlieues!

Mal Waldron is coming with his new 'New York Trio' to add some Jazz to the Blues, and Archie Shepp will be here too along with Cecil Taylor. Other 'names' are Ali Farka Touré, Ahmad Djamal, Eddy Louiss, Dianne Reeves, and a whole lot of other good people.

Besides individual entries, there are combo tickets available. For reservations or more information, Info. Tel.: 01 49 22 10 10, or Fax.: 33 1 49 22 10 11.

'18 Heures - 18 Francs' - is how the poster, which looks like it's a rerun from last year, puts it. Paris film houses, in cooperation with the city, will be offering 18 hours' worth of movies for only 18 francs. All yours, from Wednesday,10. March to Thursday, 18. March. At a cinema near you, if you happen to be in Paris.

The 7th Paris Semi-Marathon: - The Semi-Marathon de Paris - isposter: marathon de paris 99 to be run on Sunday, 7. March 1999. To register, try the fax number 33 -1 41 33 15 69, or give the Web site a hit.

This marathon is a mini one for those who don't like the mobs of the big one in April. (Take a look at 'Scene' from two weeks ago for details.) It starts and ends in the 13th arrondissement, west of Chinatown, goes through the lower 12th and around the Bois de Vincennes. The three catering locations are run by Chinatown's Tang Frères, so you may want to go along just for the food.

Un Ami de Cézanne et Van Gogh; le Docteur Gachet. The poster all over Paris features the Van Gogh portrait of the good Dr. Gachet, with whom Van Gogh stayed for the last 70 days of his life, at Auvers-sur-Oise. What might have been better, is Dr. Gachet's death portrait of Van Gogh; one of the best paintings he did.

Dr. Paul Gachet was probably the first 'fan' of the Impressionists. He urged Pissarro to organize sales of the 'co-operative' members paintings, to aid Daumier. Dr. Gachet suggested offering the paintings of Manet, Monet, Sisley, Piette, Gautier, Degas, Guillaumin, Cézanne... the whole co-operative. Before the first show of the 'Impressionists,' someposter: carte sesame 99 of them were nearly starving; and Daumier was nearly blind as well.

Dr. Gachet tried to copy the styles of his friends. This has caused a problem, because most of the works in this exhibition from Gachet's collection of his friends' paintings and it is a bit unclear who painted what.

Today's International Herald Tribune carries and appreciation of this show, written by the ever-astute Souren Melikian. If you can find it online, it is worth a read.

Exhibition at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, until Monday, 26. April. Open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 20:00; on Wednesdays until 22:00. Reservations required for visits before 13:00. Tickets available at fnac, Virgin and Carrefour. Resa Info. Tel.: 08 03 80 88 03.

David Hockney's 'Espace / Paysage' at Beaubourg - This is Hockney's first reappearance in Paris since 1974. Since then a lot of new water has been run through his ever blue pool; which now includes a hole no less than the Grand Canyon represented here with a panoramic collage of panels, 12 metres wide by three high. This show continues until Monday, 26. April; from 10:00 to 22:00. Closed Tuesdays. This is in Beaubourg's Galerie Sud. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 46 25.

The The Pompidou Centre - AKA Beaubourg: is open from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00. Info Tel.: 01 53 01 86 53 and Fax.: 33 1 42 72 97 47.

There is also an exhibition of David Hockey's photographs, taken from 1968 to 1997, at the Maison Européenne de la Photo. Until Sunday, 14. March. Until Sunday, 30. May, you can also see the 'Courant Continu' show by Ralph Gibson as well as the 'Portraits - Réel/Virtuel' exhibition by Catherine Ikam and Louis Fléri. The address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

Cent Ans d'Histoire de Paris - Is not just about the past 100 years, but about the efforts of the 'Commission du Vieux Paris' to save old Paris before the bulldozers turn it into first rubble, then into designer-plastic. Along the way, the Commission pushes Paris' history back 5,000 years, by showing a 7,000-year-old pot, found in a local building site. Great stuff!

Hôtel de Ville, Salle Saint-Jean, 5. Rue de Lobau, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. Until Tuesday, 31. March. From 11:00 to 19:00 daily, except Mondays. No entry charge. Exhibition catalogue available.

Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme - this museum opened for the first time in its new incarnation on 6. December of last year, in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. This is 'in' the Marais, in the rue du Temple at number 71; Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Since it is a new museum, there is also an Internet address you can write to for information.

Closed - Temporarily - The Maison de Balzac is currently closed for renovations. It will reopen on Thursday, 20. May, for the exhibition, 'La Toise du Savant et de Vertige du Fou - Figures de l'Artiste Chez Balzac,' which will mark the bicentennial of Balzac's birth. This exhibition will continue until 5. September. The museum's library remains open until Saturday, 3. April; then it will close until 18. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

Oskar Kokoschka, 1906 - 1931 - North-Central Europe's master of the modern - no friend of Adolf Hitler, a failed fellow-Austrian - hmm, well, Oskar was IT! Oskar's times were tough and he painted them tougher. See this show. At the Musée-Galerie de la Seita, 12. Rue Surcouf, Paris 7. Métro: Invalides. Closed Mondays and holidays; open from 11:00 to 19:00. Entry: 25 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 45 56 60 17.

Mark Rothko at the Museum of Modern Art: 70 works are on display, done between 1935 and 1969. This amounts to a span of work covering 34 years and it is arranged in chronological order; so you can see either where the artist was going or where he came from. Until Sunday, 18. April.

Rosemarie Trockel and Casten Höller live and work in Köln and they have ten installations called 'Maisons' at the Musée d'Art Moderne until Sunday, 28. March. Also, until the same date, see the works of Peter Fischli and David Weisse, from Zurich. Focused on flowers, their work is made up of superimposed photographic projections.

Musée d'Art Moderne, 11; Avenue du Président-Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Place de l'Alma. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:30 and on weekends from 10:00 to 18:45. Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

The Musée Zadkine - Strange Beds; I am goingposter: exhibition nos lits to take a look at this. Pierre-Claude de Castro and Alain Sonneville want me to see theirs. These two nighttime museum guards have some sort of exhibition which features their after-work fold-up or down beds, mixed with administrative notes about their jobs, against a background of Ossip Zadkine's 'Odalisque' and 'Dormeuse,' all under the subhead of 'Inactions Interpassives.' In short, it's all Dada!

Musée Zadkine, 100. bis, Rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Métro: Vavin or RER, Port Royal. Except Mondays, open from 10:00 to 17:30. After 17:30, Pierre-Claude de Castro and Alain Sonneville need the museum to guard.

Lettre d'Une Inconnue - is a play by Stefan Zweig that alternates with his 'Souvenirs d'Un Européen-Fragments,' until Saturday, 13. March. The first is on stage Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 19:00; and the latter plays on Mondays and Fridays, also at 19:00. At Le Guichet - Montparnasse, 15. Avenue du Maine, Paris 14. Métro: Gaité. Info. Tel.: 01 43 27 88 61, or get tickets at fnac, Kiosques or Crous.

Who Are The French? - This exhibition - called 'Toute la France' - is about all the people who immigrated to France from 1880 to the present, and there are around 700 items on view - quite a lot of them 'arty.' The names in a 'Who's Who' in France would look like they've come from the world's edition of a telephone directory.

Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, 129. Rue de Grenelle, Paris 7. Métro: Varenne or Solférino. From Tuesday to Friday, from 10:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:30; Thursdays to 19:00. On Saturday from 12:30 to 17:30 and on Sundays from 14:00 to 17:30.

Paris 'Winter Bus' Public Tours: - Some of these are to sites in Paris and some are further away; many tours cost about 200 francs, but there are some for less and some for more. All of this can be found at a little RATP office, just to the right side of the Madeleine.

At the same kiosk, there are also a series of attractive brochures for the RATP's regular Paris bus lines. If in need, but sure to check out the nearby public toilet; as it is a jewel and may be classed as a historical, but rather rare monument.

The 'Winter Bus' season continues until 30. March 1999. The kiosk is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The 'Summer Bus' season has longer opening hours and is open on weekends.

La Poste Goes Into Heavy Rotation - Soon to be, or already severed from the cash-cow of France Telecom, the French postal service is expanding its business activities. One traditional area, philatelic services, have cranked up their marketing machine by putting out new catalogues at a rapid rate.

'La Poste's' services for philatelists are accessible by the Web to interested collectors. Although it is not explicit that La Poste takes foreign orders, it does offer information about its subscription service in English, German, Spanish and Italian, in addition to French. La Poste also accepts payments made with Visa or Mastercard.

Paris' Bike Days - are coming around again and the RATP has opened up a new(?) centre in the centre of the city where bikes can be rented and tours can be joined. Bikes can also be parked andposter: films de femmes, creteil they can do small repairs too. So make a note of it: La Maison Roue Libre is at 95. bis, Rue Rambuteau, Paris 1. This is on the north side of the Forum des Halles. Open all the time from 9:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 53 46 43 77.

'Carnets' for Euros - if you have Euro cheques or Euro plastic, the RATP will start accepting the new currency on Monday, 15. March for payment when you buy métro tickets, carnets, weekly or monthly tickets, or any of the combo passes they sell. Apparently you can do this already, but on 15. March all prices will be posted in Euros and francs.

Richard Galliano - takes his trio for a concert trip for two shows nightly at the Sunset, 60. Rue des Lombards, Paris 1. Until next Sunday, 28. February; except on Monday. Tickets available at fnac, Virgin and Billetel. Info. Tel.: 01 40 26 46 60.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

Painters At the Marine Museum - For a pleasant museum full of many wonders. For the 36th time, the Musée de la Marine is presenting its ever-growing collection of marine paintings. Many of these are done by 'official' navy painters, but the exhibition also shows works by independent artists.

Except for Tuesdays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:50. Musée de la Marine, Palais de Chaillot, 17. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro.

Royal Paintings: - actually in the Ile-de-France, at Fountainbleau, there is an exhibition of a collection of 48 paintings grouped together for the first time. Some of these are decor for royal surroundings, and Rubens was among the 'decorators,' which will give you an idea of the class of the act.

The Musée du Château de Fontainbleau, is in Fontainbleau with a lot of other sights to see, and is 65 km by road from Paris. Trains go there too, but my Michelin map does not sayposter: chorus hauts de seine from where - except that I can see the tracks run along the Seine past Melun - I guess from the Gare de Lyon, since the RER line 'D' runs to Melun from there. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and open from 9:30 to 12:30, and from 14:00 to 17:00 all other days. Info. Tel.: 01 60 71 50 70. On account of the International peace talks - possibly not yet over - in Fontainbleau, but sure to phone first.

Tropiques Métis: - is a program of plays and Carnival workshops for the young, on Wednesdays in January and March. Toss in a bit - 400 years - of history, and you can find it all in one place until 12. April.

For this week, because of school holidays, there are two extra events. 'Le Petit Cabaret' will have a musical comedy called 'Babils,' which is followed by an atelier session. At these, costumes are to be created, for 'Le Carnaval, next Sunday, 28. February, between 14:00 and 16:00, with the last hour being a costume ball. Info. Tel.: 01 40 67 90 32.

The Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires, 6. avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris 6. This is inside the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Métro: Sablons, in Neuilly, plus a seven-minute walk. Open daily except Tuesday, from 9:30 to 17:15. Entry: 12 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 60 00.

Paris' Exceedingly 'Long' Mois de la Photo - 10th Edition: - This annual 'one-month' event kicked off late last October and is continuing well into the new year. Luckily we have the Web and the very long 'Mois de la Photo' has its own site, where there should be a complete program; possibly with dates running right up to the beginning of the 11th edition, in October.

The street name of the Web site mentioned above is Maison Européenne de la Photo and its address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

Another Photo-Web sites worth a visit is Centre National de la Photo, which is located in the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 11. rue Berryer, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 53 76 12 32.

Cashemires Parisiens: - Exhibition at the Musée Galliera - Musée de la Mode et du Costume de la Ville de Paris. Final day is next Sunday, 28. February.

Hôtel de Ville Skating Rink - Patinoire - Eisbahn:: Place de la Hôtel de Ville: the official Christmas decor is gone but the skaters keep twirling around; with two extra twirl-go-rounds at either end of ice-skating rink. Also currently on view: the winning works of a city-wide kid's drawing competition. No charge for the rink. Ice-skate rentals. Until Sunday, 7. March 1999. Open from 9:00 to 22:00 daily.

Circus Alexis Gruss: - is Gruss senior and he goes in for 'classic' circus, elegant circus, circus with non-stop costumes and the main acts are done by dancing horses and lesser acts have lots of trained animals too. Until Sunday, 7. March; on the Pelouse de Madrid, in the Bois de Boulogne. Métro: Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 96 22.

Scheduled Eclipse Still On: - Make a careful note of this and keep it where you can find it. Do more than tie a string to your finger. Thereposter: sncf ile de france will be an eclipse of the sun by the moon, on Wednesday, 11. August, between 12:16 and 12:32. In Rouen and Reims and 4,998 other towns and villages, it will be total; in Paris only 90 percent, which is not too shabby

Baring heavy overcast, this will be very visible - or is it nearly invisible? - in the Paris region. This sort of celestial event has not occurred since 1724 when Louis XV was a young lad of 14. If you can't make up your mind, the next eclipse is programmed for 2081. If eclipses are your bag, book your flight today!

Some of the above items have been carried over for many issues of this magazine. If you require more information - such as addresses or phone numbers - check 'All Past Issues' either from here, or from the top or bottom of any page in the magazine.

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