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 las 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.


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