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This looks to be an interesting starlit trail around the galleries of Aix, perfect for an after-dinner stroll.  All 15 are open until 22:00hrs on Friday night. 

More details on: https://www.facebook.com/LaNuitdesGaleriesAix/

 

 

 

 

 

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  1.  The newly-created arts and cultural centre , LUMA, based in the old railway sheds, has a handful of shows starting tomorrow.  Headlining them is Gilbert & George : THE GREAT EXHIBITION (1971-2016), an 80-work retrospective which will be taking place until 6th January. http://www.arles-agenda.fr/index.php?id=19685.  I also like the sound of ‘Une Histoire Avec Vincent’.  Young photographer Lily Gavin has been given access to the set of a new film ‘At Eternity’s Gate’, based on 8 weeks in the life of Van Gogh. Shot at Saint-Rémy by Julian Schnabel, her photos show the daily evolution of the story.
  2. The massive ‘Rencontres d’Arles’ photographic show enters its 49th year.  There are exhibitions all over town. The best starting point is the tourist office who will sell you a large map with details of every one of them – and go where your fancy takes you.
  3. Moisson en Provence, by Vincent Van Gogh

    SOLEIL CHAUD, SOLEIL TARDIF. LES MODERNES INDOMPTÉS (HOT SUN, LATE SUN. UNTAMED MODERNISM) can be seen at the Fondation Van Gogh until 28th October.  It includes work by Van Gogh, plus of course Picasso who is everywhere this summer, and, Adolphe Monticelli, Sigmar Polke, Giorgio De Chirico, Germaine Richier, Alexander Calder, Joan Mitchell, Etel Adnan, Sun Ra.

 

So much to see in Arles right now.  Lunch will of course be necessary.  We enjoyed the medieval ambiance at Le Jardin des Arts ( details here: https://aixcentric.com/2014/04/13/lunch-in-arles/ or you could try the restaurant who served a meal to Daniel Craig aka James Bond, and family, when he had been turned away elsewhere! – great story here: https://aixcentric.com/2018/01/07/when-james-bond-visited-provence/

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French fashion designer Christian Lacroix can be relied on to bring a stylish rather Baroque flourish to everything he does.  A proud Arlésien, he has transitioned to Avignon to curate their new show, Mirabilis, for which he has chosen 350 to 400 works, documents and collections, from prehistory to ethnic collections to modern art, all from five Avignon museums. ‘Je suis comme un enfant le jour de Noel,’ he said. (more…)

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There seems to have been a deluge of work by Picasso recently, in Marseille, in Aix, in Les Baux, in Cannes….but the small exhibition at Aix’s Pavillon Vendome, ‘Villers Picasso – Coup de Soleil’ really is worth investigating. (more…)

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The Musée Cantini has recently re-opened and is hosting an exhibition of paintings from Glasgow’s Burrell Collection, itself now closed for renovation. (more…)

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Perhaps you saw the engrossing film ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ in Aix back in 2014?

It was the story of the young man who bought some boxes of prints and negatives in a Chicago market and set out to find the photographer. This turned out to be an enigmatic lady who had worked as a nanny in the city for 40 years and spent her free time, Rolleiflex in hand, taking extraordinary photos of people and the street-life around her.  A bequest also financed a solitary round-world trip in 1960.  She was to take 100,000 pictures in all.

Now some of them will be on show  in Marseille, from 22nd June-8 July.

The organisers, Phocal, will also be showing the film and holding a weekend photography stage.

At Les Docks Village, space 200.

Daily 10-19hrs.

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Ai Weiwei at MuCEM

This is a highly political show – highly personal too.  Much is about the artist’s relationship with his father whose ship from Shanghai back in 1929 docked right next to where MuCEM is today. Indeed it was France that inspired him to become a poet, a dangerous occupation back in China where he was later forced into internal exile for 20 years; which underlies the political theme of his son’s exhibition, that of the refugee.

Colored House 2015

Ai Weiwei has made items specifically for Marseille, in the first large-scale exhibition of his work in France.  In the first room, visitors see one-tonne cubes of Marseille soap, one inscribed with the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the other with a Chinese Declaration of the Rights of Women.  The centre-piece of the first room however is a recreation of a Chinese house from the Ming Dynasty, strikingly colourful in the cool white geometry of the gallery. But its covering in modern industrial paint is a comment on China’s modern rush to economic progress.

‘A small act is worth a million thoughts,’ Ai Weiwei

This theme carries through into the second room where the centre-piece is an installation of 61 chandeliers mounted on a traditional bottle rack. It evokes the type of lighting in international hotels in Chinese megacities, contrasted to the humble support of the bottle rack.  It’s dazzling.

‘Creativity is part of human nature.  It can only be untaught’, Ai Weiwei

The destruction of these blue and white dragon bowls symbolises the effects of the Cultural Revolution

Elsewhere in the room, there’s an installation of pots from 5000BC slopped with industrial paint (you may have seen these at the RA in London), plus a 2016 series of portraits of the artist made from lego.

‘A refugee could be anybody.  It could be you or me. The refugee is a crisis, a human crisis’, Ai Weiwei.

  • Info-boards in French and English
  • Exhibition opens tomorrow; but from 16:00 hrs today, it’s ‘portes ouvertes’, free entry, with DJs performing  on MuCEM’s wonderful terrace.
  • MuCEM closed on Tuesdays except during August when it is open every day….good!
  • Entry 9,5 euros for over 18s.  Free first Sunday of the month.

‘My conclusion is we are one humanity.  If anyone is being hurt, we are all being hurt. If anyone has joy, that’s our joy’, Ai Weiwei.

THE EXHIBITION RUNS UNTIL 12 NOVEMBER 2018

 

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