HAPPENINGText: Julien Villaret

The second part of the exhibition set in a room in “Le Jardin des Doms” just beside the palace attempts to show “Beauty” in the rough. It presents elements and objects of nature with amazing aesthetic caracteristics.

First mysterious and interesting, the show soon becomes quite boring, amounting to a curiosity cabinet. Nevertheless, there are a few very attractive things such as the Aurelia Aurita, tiny gelly fish evolving graciously in an aquarium plunged in darkness, as well as a few minerals “quartz” and “sepiolite” or insects with unusual shapes “membracidae”…

© Michel Boulard

The third and last part of the “La Beaute” exhibition is set in the “Transfo” site, a former electric plant rehabilited for the occasion and gathering together various artists keen on new technologies and current fashion,music and video movements. More amusing and casual, it is in my opinion the best part of an exhibition that felt a lot like “deja vu”.

François Roche

As from the start, visitors discover an amazing and refreshing space. An entrance gate created by François Roche and made out of thousands of mineral water bottles, arranged as a tank truck.

Behind this huge piece lays the site, made of several large buildings and pieces of graffiti. An event around specific disciplines has been organized in each building (photo/video, fashion, multimedia…)

Franck Scurti, Chicago Flipper, 1997, Digital video, Duration: 7 min.

In the first one, the photo/video building, Franck Scurti presents a few films. One of them, “Chicago flipper” (1997) makes you feel like a pin-ball touring around Chicago. Violent camera movements, an intentionally jerky paste-up and the noise of the pin-ball machine bumpers in the background makes the experience very impressive and realistic.

Steve McQueen’s “DrumRoll” (1998) was shot as a triptyc in New York. The artist put 3 cameras in a barrel (one on each side and one in the middle) and rolled it around the city. Watching the three screens horizontaly displayed for five minutes made me feel quite nauseated.

On the upper level, five European photographers were asked to take pictures of a Japanese province. These reveal a country in constant movement and a culture and esthetic that most Europeans are ignorant about.

Leaving this building, I found myself in front of an “Invader mosaic” representing the very famous video game “Space Invaders” . The artist who is French placed dozens of little icons from the game in every town of France.

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