Hotel La Louisiane
Design Week in Paris
As in ” The Shining”
Amsterdam, Sept 30 2021–The contemporary art gallery owner Olivier Robert created the Bienvenue Art fair in 2018, the first edition of which took place at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. The third edition, which was scheduled for 2020 having been canceled, he took the opportunity to launch a new show, devoted to international design, coinciding with the period of the Parisian shows Maison et Objet and Parcours des mondes.
This first edition of the Bienvenue Design Art Fair claims an innovative concept, more accessible than major international exhibitions, exhibiting a limited choice of galleries and a selection of works that give pride of place to experimentation.
This is the first time that the event will take place in La Louisiane: the chosen theme is linked to the place and the very name of the show, Bienvenue, underlines the notion of welcoming in an international fashion, by presenting artists. from Brazil, Italy, France, Africa and Belgium.
Twenty-five hotel rooms will be taken over by 19 different gallery owners or designers. “The salon aspires to perpetuate the artistic spirit of the place. We wanted to tell a story, ”explains Jean-François Declercq, curator of the event. “Each room will have a different atmosphere, we will find both historical exhibitors and young gallery owners from all walks of life. It was important to show the plurality and diversity of the origins of the exhibitors, as a parallel with the comings and goings of hotel residents. Beyond the imagined stories, the bohemian spirit of the place is deliberately preserved.
We have left the wallpaper in the rooms from the 1980s intact. What matters is to create the event, that people can have an experience and become the actors of the history that we propose. Thanks to the very narrow corridors, you have the impression of finding yourself in a labyrinth like in the movie “The Shining”: we would like visitors to get lost in it! “
Belgians in the spotlight
The music will resonate there as at the beginning of the hotel’s history, with jam sessions organized by gallery owners and artists in the rooms and hallways. It is therefore a hybrid event, between exhibition and sale, where we can find Paul Bourdet, a French gallery owner who will present design from the 1980s and 1990s, or Philippe S (aka Philippe Starck), who will take possession of a room as if he had lived there, with some of his rare furniture from the 1980s and 1990s and sketches strewn on the floor, as if, in the middle of his creation, he had just left it to go for a coffee.
Full screen view
The exhibitors will deliver an original and very personal scenography, evocative of our private interiors. “The colors will be very present: the ‘white cube’ is over,” announces the curator.
The gallery becomes a place of life, of exchange. A ‘white cube’ is too sanitized: it suits connoisseurs, but is too impressive for young collectors.
The market has changed a lot in recent years, fairs have multiplied and become accessible through Instagram. Today, we go more to salons, which are more intimate, than to galleries, because we need to be able to imagine objects at home. “
Besides the theme of travel, there will be an important Belgian focus. Half of the exhibitors will come from our country, with the participation of the Belgian art and design agency One Town Agency (founded by Kunty Moureau and Pascale Dedoncker) which has selected the galleries which will occupy six rooms.
Among them, the Brussels-based Nomad Gallery will present the American photographer Hector Acebes (1921-2017) who would have been 100 years old this year. It will be an opportunity to show, for the first time, 25 of his photos taken during his travels in Africa in the 1940s and 1950s, imbued with beauty and energy. Atelier Jespers will present Liège designer Arnaud Eubelen (1991) and French visual artist Benoît Maire (1978).
This fair allows us to see that the border between art and design is getting thinner and thinner. We offer a rather formal design, in a living room that we want to be more independent and accessible as possible. And we wish everyone a “Welcome”, of course! ”
Jacinthe Gigou is a Paris based journalist