Dazed Digital

Paris

Divine Comedy FIAC

October 25, 2012

Free poems and art fairs are back in the city

  • Text by Satellite Voices

By Ingrid Melano

Leaving the metro station Champs Elysees Clemenceau, usually only frequented by tourists, the first mythological figure we encountered was that of the public poet, an elegant young man, placed with his desk and typewriter in front of the artistic epicenter of the week, FIAC. Given its strong sense of marketing, we decided to approach this modern Dante him asking for explanations of the concept behind his courageous performance: writing free poems for passersby. In this way the season of contemporary art fairs opened again in Paris. 

39-years-old, FIAC has become one of the most institutional events in town. It is worthy of note that the exceptional number of prestigious international galleries presented in the main hall, looked more like a finance meeting that an art fair, the crowd of bizarre people and the heat at the opening reminded of hell. Anyway, in this walk we had the time to identify the most iconic booth, David Zwirner gallery, from New York, truly representative of FIAC state of mind. Presenting several large-scale works, featuring artists like Thomas Ruff and John Mccracken, our shot also include an amazing typical visitor, in harmony with the atmosphere of the opening.

In these conditions, climbing the stairs to the Salon d'Honneur, seemed almost like accessing to a purgatory, a cathartic rise where the fair could not be worst. Still being a space dedicated to the best galleries of the world, we managed to find an attracting installation: Lara Favaretto moving carwash brushes, called Gummo V, presented by Franco Noero gallery, from Turin.

After one hour we were already desperately looking for Level 1 galleries, jumping on the Escalier des Arts, like like the damned of Divine Comedy seeking the access for paradise. This area every year hosts galleries specialized in contemporary art and emerging trends. It also give a small space to leading young galleries presented for the first time. 

Our favorite booth last year was definitely Cherry and Martin gallery, presenting an exhibition of works by American artist Robert Heinecken, but this year we were more attracted by the booths Mary Mary, Glasgow, presenting the disorganized space created by artists Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Alexis Marguerite Teplin, and Kisterem, Budapest, presenting the schematic installation of Tamas Kaszas. We finally walked through Schleicher+Lange booth, Paris, attracted by the giant "rock" called Parsec and created by Timo Nasseri in polished stainless steel. 

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