More Van Gogh; More Everything

photo: panorama terrace, samaritaine

A clear and breezy view from Samaritaine's
panorama lookout.

Including the Man Who Said 'No'

Paris:- Saturday, 9. October 1999:- The newly reopened Palais des Congrés is hosting a super-show known locally as 'De Gaulle, Celui Qui a Dit Non' in a production that lasts two hours and fifteen minutes and has been promoted around Paris for the past six months.

It is directed by Robert Hossein, with script assistance from the well-known historians Alain Decaux and Alain Peyrefitte - both members of the Académie Française. Alain Decaux used to be pretty good at making history dramatic on TV.

In 1940 the newly promoted General Charles De Gaulle was not in a stupor like the government. When Marshal Pétain requested an armistice on 17. June 1940, De Gaulle immediately quit his post and flew to London with 100,000 francs and the key to Paul Reynaud's London flat.

The next day, he hectored Churchill into letting him loose with a BBC microphone; with which he made his famous four-minute 'Non' speech to no more than 10,000 listeners in France.

This epic re-enactment reproduces little of the high drama of the time according to Le Parisien. It isphoto: palais des congres also not a musical like 'Starmania!' and apparently it has no memorable songs to whistle while leaving. Palais de Congrés.

The new front of the Palais des Congrés would be stunningly boring if it were a shoebox with tin staircases.

The 40 year-old De Gaulle, nearly friendless, nearly penniless, an official enemy of the state, stuck his sizeable nose into history and it stayed there through his sheer force of willpower. Rather than brooding about his situation, he considered it an 'adventure' which has seemed to elude the authors of the present epic. From Tuesday to Saturday, at 20:30; also at 15:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. At the Palais des Congrés, Paris 16. Métro: Porte Maillot. Info. Tel.: 01 40 68 00 35.

Théo Van Gogh, Dealer, Collector - and brother of Vincent Van Gogh, put all his resources into his family, his collection and to promoting the 'unsalable' production of his brother. Théo followed all the 'isms' of the day and this varied show reflects many of them, from Camille Corot to Camille Pissarro - as well as his brother, Vincent. Until Sunday, 9. January. Except Monday, daily from 10:00 to 18:00; Sundays from 9:00 to 18:00. Musée d'Orsay, 1. Rue de la Légion-d'Honneur, Paris 7. Métro: Solférino or RER 'C' Musée d'Orsay. Info. Tel.: 01 40 49 48 84.

Le Coup d'Etat du 18 Brumaire, An VIII - is a exhibition-dossier of the original text ofbrochure: bonapartre proclamation a proclamation by the General-in-Chief Bonaparte, issued at 11 o'clock in the evening of 10. November 1799. It begins, "On my return to Paris, I found the authorities divided and that the Constitution was half destroyed, unable to save liberty." This is accompanied by a decree, issued the day before - ordering the legislature to Saint-Cloud.

On view, except Tuesdays, from Monday to Friday, 12:00 to 17:45; on Saturday and Sunday, from 13:45 to 17:45; until Friday, 31. December. Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Musée d'Historie de France, Hôtel de Soubise, 60. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Info. Tel.: 01 40 27 62 18. And at the Musée Municipal de Saint-Cloud, 60. Rue Gounod, Saint-Cloud. Info. Tel.: 01 46 02 67 18.

Le Geste d'Art 99 - Until Sunday, 7. November. 30 sculptures: on the street, from 1. to 129. Avenue Daumesnil, beside the Viaduc des Arts; info office at 87. Avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: Gare de Lyon. Info. Tel.: 01 44 75 80 66.

Flèche d'Or Café - is also called a 'Gare Scenique' because it has a daytime view of abandoned rails, once known as the Petite Ceinture. Next weekend features Lazzi, with 'Apérorock' followed by Grave de Grave with 'Java Rock.' Saturday evening opens with Naab's trip-hop drum'n bass, together with Charlie, Doll and Mr. Aul doing 'jungle.' On Sunday, there is live salsa from 17:00 until Jim Cuomo comes on at 21:00. In short, something daily, starting at 19:30, with the live salsa on Sundays starting at 17:00. Entries vary from free to 30 francs. The Flèche d'Or Café, 103 bis, Rue de Bagnolet, Paris 20. Métro: Alexandre Dumas or Porte de Bagnolet. Info. Tel.: 01 43 72 04 23.

Coming Soon

Atget & Abbott - is two exhibitions. One is Berenice Abbott's 'Changing New York, 1935 - 1939' which wasposter: atget and abbott organized by the New York City Museum and the other is 'Itnéraires Parisiens' by Eugène Atget - with the invitation illustration featuring triangle buildings in New York and Paris. This exhibition starts Wednesday, 13. October and continues until Sunday, 16. January. Except Mondays and holidays, daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris, 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

Frédéric Chopin - on the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death, 10 concerts of his music will be performed by major artists, from 11:00 to 21:30 at Paris' Hôtel de Ville, on Saturday, 16. October and Sunday, 17. October. Free entry; first come, first seated. Métro: Hôtel de Ville.

Brésil Baroque - Between Earth and Sky - 500 years ago next 22. April, Alvarès Cabrai found an unknown land, which is known as Brazil today. Apparently unlike Peru or Mexico, Brazil was a blank slate, to be filled in by Indians, Africans and Europeans. The resulting art is little known in Europe and this exhibition will change our 'blank slate.'

This exhibition begins on Thursday, 4. November and continues until 6. February. Next spring, 30 centuries of Mexican art will take over, also in the Petit Palais, Avenue du Winston Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Champs-Elysées Clemenceau. Except Monday, open from 10:00 to 17:40; to 20:00 on Thursdays. Catalogue available. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

Portrait of Mexico - as part of the '2000 in Paris' salute to the new world of the Americas, a film history of Mexico is a current attraction at the Forum des Images-Vidéothèque. This is in the Forum des Halles, by the Porte Saint-Eustache entry, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

Other New Stuff:

La Femme, Mode d'Emploi - 'Balzac - Superstar' is a phrase making the rounds at the moment, due in part to waves he made 170 years ago with the publication of 'Méditation de Philosophie Electique Sur le Bonheur et Malheur Conjugal' - or, 'Physiologie du Mariage' for short.

The heavy name of the work is a smokescreen for an ironic parody, intended as a 'Guide for Bachelors.' It was dropped like a bomb into a society which held the customs of marriage to be politically and morally untouchable.

Balzac had 'scientific' aid, provided by the experiences of two of his mistresses, to lend authenticity and authority to the work, and even provided interesting 'statistics,' worthy of later work by Masters and Johnson. Contemporary cartoons by Monnier, Gavarni and Daumier round out the picture. This exhibition continues until Tuesday, 4. January.

At the 'Maison de Balzac.' Its library reopened in mid-September and the Web has swung into gear for the bi-centenary of Balzac's birth. In addition to the Web site above you mayphoto: poster for viaduc des arts want to take a look at another one, to see complete texts and illustrations. These amounted to, at his death, 10,816 pages in 97 volumes. Open daily except Monday, from 10:00 to 17:40. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Métro: La Muette or Passy. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

La Mort n'en Saura Rien - is an exhibition of 74 pieces or sets depicting how man faces death, from two widely separated civilizations; Europe and the islands of the oceans - selected for their aesthetic qualities from public and private collections. This exhibition begins Wednesday, 13. October and continues until 24. January 2000. Two other single-artist exhibitions begin on Friday, 29. October; featuring the Moroccan artist Farid Belkahia and the little-known Clovis Trouville.

At the Musée National des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, 293. Avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: Porte Dorée and bus 46. Open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 17:30. Entry fee for the temporary exhibitions includes access to the permanent collection of art from Africa and the islands of the oceans. Info. Tel.: 01 43 46 51 61.

Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme - has two shows: the first is entitled 'Regards - Sur la Vie Juive au Maroc' and the second, in the 'Chambre du Duc,' will present the works of Jean-Pierre Bertrand with the title 'Ethrog, 1999.' Both exhibitions continue until Sunday, 2. January 2000.

The museum 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. Since it is a new museum, there is also an Internet address you can write to for information. Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme, in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. This is 'in' the Marais, at 71. Rue du Temple, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau.

Salon d'Automne - almost a century old, this is a showcase for 'contemporary' art in France. Painters, sculptors, engravers and other artists will be on display until Sunday, 17. October, at the Espace Eiffel-Branly. From 11:00 to 19:00; and until 22:00 on 8, 12, and 15. October. Address: 29-55. Quai Branly, Paris 7. Near RER 'C' station Pont de l'Alma, or bus 42, 60 or 63.

Jean-Sans-Peur's Tower Reopens - 'John-Without-Fear' was scared witless by the potential revenge of the Armagnacs, so he built himself a early 15th century fortified towerposter: halloween at the zenith as a 'security-blanket.' Renovated over the past 13 years, its six floors are now open to the public on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, from 13:30 to 18:00. During school holidays, open every day except Monday. At 20. Rue Etienne Marcel, Paris 2. Métro: Etienne Marcel. Info. Tel.: 01 42 61 55 02.

Halloween at the Zenith - you know the date.

Hadrian's 'Hôtel' - was actually a villa, because he was a Roman; one known to prefer walls to towers. His Villa Adriana, rediscovered at the end of the 18th century, has yielded treasures which are now on display at the Mairie of the 5th; assembled as a set for the first time. On view until Sunday, 19. December; from 11:00 to 17:45 during the week and from 14:00 to 17:45 on Sundays. Mairie of the 5th, 21. Place de la Panthéon, Paris 5.

The Musée de la Poupée - this small museum is showing Bécassine, Bluette and the dolls that were featured in the 'Semaine de Suzette,' a weekly magazine for girls that was published from 1905 to 1960. These will be shown along with dolls made under the 'Corolle' name. Musée de la Poupée, Impasse Berthaud, Paris 3. Opposite the métro exit at Rambuteau. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Current Big Exhibitions:

Les Champs de la Sculpture 2000 - this open-air sculpture show was mounted for the first time in 1996 and this year's new edition gets the '2000' label too. Of the 52 pieces to on view, most have never been shown in France before. One reason for this is that about half of the works have been executed especially for this free exhibition.

The artists represent five continents and 25 of the pieces I saw on my visit were dated 1999. In addition, only the works of living artists are on show -with works dating from 1960 to the '90's. Photos of the works are appearing in Metropole; in this column and in the '2000 In Paris' column.

On the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, from the Rond-Point to the Place de la Concorde, Paris 8. Métros: Franklin Roosevelt, Champs-Elysées Clemenceau and Concorde. Continues until Sunday, 14. November.

Chardin's Still Lifes - are called 'Natures Mortes' in French, which sort of means 'dead nature' which is not what is meant at all. Jean Siméon Chardin didn't finishposter: save men, kookai men fund paintings until they were finished in his eyes - which he kept open for 80 years until his death in 1779.

There were a series of billboard ads like this one all around Paris last week. 'Save men, indeed!'

In pre-photographic times, interior light was also inferior, so Chardin's production of 200 exquisitely detailed still lifes is something of a record. For this major exhibition, 95 of them are on display at the Grand Palais until Monday, 22. November. Except Tuesdays, daily from 10:00 to 20:00 and on Wednesdays until 22:00. Reservations are required for morning visits. At the Square Jean-Perrin, Paris 8. Métro: Clemenceau. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 47.

India Ink - is behind an exhibition titled 'Le Parfum de l'Encre, Peintures Chinoises de la Collection Roy et Marilyn Papp.' I liked india ink, but I think what this exhibition of 53 works will show is Chinese artists from the Ming Period -1349-1644 - and the Qing Period - 1644-1911 - were absolute masters of it. Starting Friday, 24. September, this exhibition continues until Thursday, 30. December. To be at the Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers or Monceau. Info. Tel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

Jean Béraud et le Paris de la Belle Epoque - While the impressionists were all the rage a century ago, Jean Béaud recorded in paint the streets and byways of the City of Light, capturing the charm and the spirit of it. With the publication of the first critical catalogue of Béaud's works by Patrick Offenstadt, this exhibition presents 60 representative works. Runs until 2. February 2000, at the Musée Carnavalet, 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin Vert. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

Ulysses's Europe - was also known as the Bronze Age, which lasted from 2000 to 750 BC. Archaeologists have found that people travelled from Scandinavia to the Aegean and the near-east. This coming exhibition presents 200 pieces from the time. This exhibition continues until 10. January 2000. At the Grand Palais, 3. Avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris 8. Métro: Clemenceau. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 47 47.

Patchwork, Quilts and Textiles - 50 of the best contemporary French works have been chosen for this exhibition, which will later go on tour in Germany and the United States. See these modern - modern art - needle-and-thread works, until Saturday, 20. November. At the Bibliothèque Forney, 1. Rue de Figuier, Paris 4. Métro: Pont Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 42 78 14 60.

Le Jardin Planétaire - is a huge exhibition about plants and people, about earth, vegetation, animals and climate; about what we know and about what we should do to keep the world fit for habitation as we pass into the third millennium. This veggie workshop takes up 8500 square metres of the Grand Halle at La Villette. It continues until 23. January 2000. Fromposter: cirque plume, la villette 10:00 to 18:00 Tuesdays to Fridays; from 11:00 to 19:00 on weekends. Grand Halle, La Villette, 211. Avenue Jean-Jaurés, Paris 19. Advance reservation tickets available at fnac, Bon Marché and Carrefour. Métro: Porte de Pantin.

Also check La Villette's Web site for the 'Cirque Plume.' Playing until 29. December.

Jean Moulin, 1899-1943 - This is a special exhibition, on the occasion of the anniversary of Jean Moulin's birth. At the Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc Hauteclocque et de la Libération de Paris et Musée Jean Moulin, Jardin Atlantique, above the Gare Montparnasse. Until Sunday, 2. January 2000, daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40. Catalogue available, 80 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 64 39 44.

Sand - Musset: 'Les Enfants du Siècle' - this exhibition displays all the background involved with the making of the film 'Les Enfants du Si&erave;cle' by Diane Kurys. The story is about the legendary passion between George Sand and the young Alfred de Mussat.


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