Scene - Rare Chinese Ceramics

photo: musee du montparnasse

The Musée du Montparnasse looks
just about as it did in 1915.

Russians: Saint Pétersbourg / Vavin

Paris:- Saturday, 5. March 1999:- The first lot of 'Russians' are being exhibited at the new Musée du Montparnasse in a show entitled 'Saint- Pétersbourg/Vavin, les Russes à Montparnasse.' From Vasilieff, Chagall, Soutine, Orloff, Zadkine and all the others, here are 40 of their works.

The Russians - who were not all Russians - arrived in waves from the turbulent east. They came at the turn of the century, before the War and the Revolution, and after them. Many came from Saint Petersbourg and stayed first at the atelier-village of La Ruche, to form the first 'Ecole de Paris.'

Then they followed the internal immigration of the Montmartre artists to Montparnasse; taking over the Rue Champagne-Première and when finance allowed, danced at the Bal Bullier.

Ambiance: 23. February 1923; the Bal Transmental, organized by the Russians in honor of Illiazd and Terentiev, initiators of the 'Zaoum' poetry. Thisbrochure: russians at vavin 'Bal' is remembered for the quality of the public, which rivaled the costumes.

Remembered also for Kiki's entrance. At each step down the grand staircase, she discarded a piece of her costume. At the floor she was wearing only a diadem of Ostrich feathers. A year later on 14. March 1924, the Bal Banal was no less a success.

A parallel exhibition at the same time and in the same place, features the little-known Slovenian artist and photographer, Veno Pilon. After a rough and tumble war, he began at the Beaux-Arts in Florence and washed up in Paris in 1926. From the remains of the eastern empires, he settled into the Montparno melting pot with ease - and recorded it in line, portraits and photographic halftones - the terraces and the artists.

There's a story to go with this, yet to be written. Doing Foujita or Pascin kept Montparnasse under book-length - with the mob from the east, there are dozens of new stories.

Musée du Montparnasse, 21. Avenue du Maine, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse. The Russian show continues until 1. August. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 13:00 to 19:00. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 22 91 96.

Today's Russians in Issy - this is how the announcement begins about our second lot of Russians - which is about the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Alexandr Pushkin's birth, which Issy intends to do in a big way from next Saturday, 13. March until Sunday, 11. April.

Issy-les-Moulineaux gets this honor because of the many Russians who settled in the area after the Revolution. The show will be a double one: rare books illustrated by Russian artists and a hundred portraits by 36 painters. Just as the French spellings of the names need translation, I also need to clear up what will be where - between Issy's Médiathèque and the Musée Française de la Carte à Jouer.

Le Premier Techno-Mariage On-Line de l'Histoire Numerique.' (Hit 'Technomariage') Whether it is a 'first' or not, I don't know.

Mr. André Santini is the mayor of Issy - as well as deputy in the national assembly - and he will officiate at the online marriage ceremony of Fred Forest and Sophie Lavaud, on Thursday, 18. March, starting at 16:30 at the Hôtel de Ville in Issy. You are invited to assist with the ceremony too.

All of the above, except for the Russians in Montparnasse, has something to do with France's coming 'Fête de l'Internet.' This year, with current online events the way they are, there may be more sparks. For beginners, there are two 'official' organizers are they are not talking to each other. For their different viewpoints, see the AFI site and the AFUU site. And no, I have no idea what the initials stand for or against.

Les Rues de Paris au XVIIIe Siècle - 'As seen by Louis Sébastien Mercier.' A few years before the Revolution, the writer Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814) ploughed the streets of Paris, threaded his way through the crowds, looked in shop windows, observed the work of artisans, heard the cries of street vendors - 'for 30 years.'

Not content with this, he set it all down in his 'Tableau de Paris,' written between 1781 and 1789. In 12 volumes with 1,050 chapters. He knows whether Parisians were eating cakes, bread or nothing. He went on the write a science-fiction novel, set in the year 2,440.

Paris' history museum, the Musée Carnavalet, is going to be showing a selection of Mercier's works - reduced to 8,000 pages - along with a whole assembly of paintings, household objects and even pots and bones dug up by the Vieux Paris commission.

Daily life in Paris has not been the centre of historian's attention in the past. This show should do much to upset this imbalance - and should do much to show us Paris as it was, in the streets of the 18th century.

Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris - from Thursday, 18. March until Sunday, 20. June. 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:40. Entry: 35 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

L'Age d'Or de la Céramique Chinoise - is a big show that has recently started. This is a public exhibition of the private collection known as the Meiyintang Collection, and it features 99 selectedinvitation: ceramique chinoise pieces from the beginning of the Sui dynasty in 581 to the period of the Yuan dynasty, or about 1368.

This show is a concentrated version of a wider show of the collection, mounted in London in 1994. It also follows the Cernuschi museum's recent exhibitions of Chinese art objects in 1997 and 1998. The show's catalogue has been written by the well-known authority, Regina Krahl.

Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily except Mondays. Info. Tel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

Autour de l'Ordonnence de Villers-Cotterêts - In August of 1539, the Chancellor of François 1st composed a general order concerning justice and the police. For good measure, two articles of this order - the 110th and 111th - also laid down the rules for the writing and editing of administrative, judicial and notarial laws or decrees.

Basically the two articles ordered the usage of the French language, which was not in universal use throughout thebrochure: ordonnance de villers cotterets country at the time. Basically, the new orders said Latin was no longer considered to be one of France's official languages.

One of the first orders of business, was to define country - 'pays' - as a place where everybody spoke the same language most of the time. Thus, 'pays' in a familiar sense meant, 'C'est mon pays: il est du même village, du même canton que moi...' A long time later, Albert Camus wrote, "Oui, j'ai une patrie, la langue française."

The original of this document is on show at the Archives Nationales, Musée de l'Histoire de France, Hôtel de Soubise, 60. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Closed Tuesdays; open Monday to Friday, from 12:00 to 17:45; and weekends from 13:45 to 17:45. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 27 62 18.

Short Takes: - See the Federico Garcia Lorca play 'La Casa de Bernarda Alba' at the Théâtre de l'Est Parisien, 159. Avenueposter: lorca, la casa de bernarda alba Gambetta, Paris 20. Métro: Saint-Fargeau. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 20:30; Wednesday and Thursday at 19:00; and on Sundays at 15:00. Until 21. March. Info. Tel.: 01 43 64 80 80.

'Les Acteurs à l'Ecran' is a modest festival celebrating film actors by showing them in about 100 films. Some of the actors will be present after the screening and two prizes will be awarded. From 19. to 28. March, at the Ciné 104 at Pantin and the G. Méliès in Montreuil. For the program, write to Les Acteurs à l'Ecran, 61. Boulevard Jules Guesde, 93200 Saint-Denis. Info. Tel.: 01 48 20 99 20.

The '10th Biennale de Danse' goes on in 20 towns with 50 performances, in the Val-de-Marne. Starting on Wednesday, 10. March, it runs until Friday, 16. April. For the complete program, dates and locations, Info. Tel.: 01 46 86 70 70, or hit the Web site.

'Journée de Noces Chez les Cromagnons' by Wajdi Mouawad and directed by Jacques David, is playing until the end of the month at L'Etoile du Nord theatre, 16. Rue Georgette Agutte, Paris 18. Métro: Guy Môquet. Info. Tel.: 01 42 26 47 47. This production is part of the Printemps du Québec en France 1999.

Laves Emaillées - Prolongation - made for the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul church in the 19th century by Jules Jollivet, and stashed for decades in obscurity because they were judged 'immodest,' these works have be restored and can be seen in an exhibition that has been prolonged until Sunday, 2. May. On view in the atelier of Ary Scheffer, at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16. Rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Pigalle. Except Mondays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

Que la Lumière Soit! - is how the Samaritaine department store describes a display that will begin on Thursday - of lamps by contemporary designers. These lamps are of two types: 'Earth and Nature' and 'Contempory Design' and they will be on view in Magazin 2 on the third floor for two weeks. Samaritaine is, of course, at the north end of the Pont Neuf.

Rue Louise Weiss: - Normally this would be about the modern art galleries grouped in the rue Louise Weiss. However, this exhibition is not in Paris; not in the 13th nor in any other arrondissement.

The galleries from Louis Weiss are on exhibition in the Abbaye Saint-André, in Meymac, which is near no place in particular, in Corrèze. If you take the N 89/E 70 between Clermont-Ferrand and Brive-la-Gaillard and start asking around in Ussel - Meymac is about eight kilometres off the main road, to the northwest.

If you get lost, call Caroline Bissière or Jean-Paul Blanchet at 05 55 95 23 30. This exhibition is open daily except on Tuesdays, from 14:00 to 18:00. Tell them you heard about it in Metropole and they'll think you are from the moon.

The Centre Culturel Suisse: - is a small but busy establishment in the Marais, which promotes Swiss culture. It also has temporary exhibitions and the next one will be of Michel Huelin's 'paintings and vidéo.' This starts on Saturday, 6. March and runs until 6. June. In parallel, there is also an exhibition at the Galerie Zürcher, which runs until 8. April.

Centre Culturel Suisse, 38. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul. Open Wednesday to Sunday, from 14:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 42 71 38 38. Galerie Zürcher, 56. Rue Chapon, Paris 3. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 11:00 to 19:00.

La Second Surprise de l'Amour - is by Marivaux and is directed by Daniel Mesguich. This is running at the Grande Salle of the Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet, located in the Square de l'Opéra Louis-Jouvet, 7. Rue Boudreau, Paris 9. On Tuesdays at 19:00, Wednesdays to Saturdays at 20:00, and at 16:00 on Sundays. Until Saturday, 20. March. Info and Resa Tel.: 01 53 05 19 19, plus at fnac, Virgin and Crous.

Rimbaud, Dernière Escale... - a play based on the correspondence of the Rimbaud family, written by Michel Rachline with Laurent Malet. Nada Strancar directed and the principle actors are Laurent Malet, Madeleine Marion and Ophélie Orecchia. At the Théâtre Molière Maison de la Poésie, in the Passage Molière, 157. Rue Saint-Martin, Paris 3. Performances continue until Sunday, 21. March; Wednesdays to Saturdays at 21:00 and at 17:00 on Sundays. Info and Resa Tel.: 01 44 54 53 00, plus at fnac.

'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 Wednesday I paid a quick visit and found the Espace Electra to be an attractive gallery, and a glimpse around a corner wall revealed some visitors inside a sort of pink shower; so I think you may find some amusing as well as interesting works here.

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

Pi`ce 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.

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