Paris, 3rd Arrondissement, Le Marais, Rue de Sévigné, is the perfect location for holding the exhibition “Lost in Paradise, Du Spirituel Dans L’Art Actuel”. Curated by the Franco-British team, Arianne Levene and Eglantine de Ganay, this exhibition is their third collaboration under A&E projects following the very successful Rashid Rana’s solo show at the Musée Guimet in 2010.
The five artists who participate in this exhibition are all internationally recognised, with works regularly shown in galleries and museums around the world. They come from very different cultural and religious backgrounds, leading to “cultural clashes”. They are preoccupied by religious and spiritual themes and explore ideas that repeatedly go from secular to spiritual.
We were already familiar with the works of two of the artists, as we have previously organised visits of their London studios. It was fascinating to see some of their works in Paris in a very different environment and in dialogue with the other artists’ works on display.
Ariadhitya Pramuhendra was born in Indonesia, where he currently lives. As a Christian, he belongs to a minority in his country and he expresses his identity in the three charcoal self-portraits exhibited. “The Faith In My Hand” shows him as a doctor with the bible in his hand. In the exhibition’s catalogue, he writes: “Even a doctor would say his prayer before conducting an operation. To believe or to deny, I would never know….”
Michal Rovner is an Israeli artist who currently lives in New York. She is exploring the theme of writing , memory and history by using raw materials such as ancient stones. In “Coin”, she projects images on a volcanic stone with biblical connotations creating a remarkable peaceful and meditative work.
Idris Khan was born in the UK from Pakistani and Welsh parents, and currently lives in London. He uses texts such as the Quran to create complex calligraphic compositions. One of the exhibited works, “In Paradise Lost”, which inspired the name for the exhibition, is a series of prints mounted on aluminium, based on John Milton’ s epic poem.
Reza Aramesh was born in Iran and lives in London. In his work, he explores scenes of war and violence represented in the media with an emphasis on the body language of the victims. In the series of photographs displayed, he places his models in distressed situations amongst Rodin sculptures. The juxtaposition is very powerful.
The fifth artist, Shezad Dawood, was born in London to Pakistani and Indian parents. We wrote a blog entry on him last year: click here. One of the works on display is “Black Sun”, a white neon in the form of the sun on a black background deepening the contemplative effect of the work.
In “Religion for Atheists”, philosopher Alain de Botton wrote: “It may be that we are asking too much of our own secular artists, requiring them not only to impress our senses but also to be the originators of profound psychological and moral insights.” This is what Contemporary Art is about.
Our recommendation for lunch or dinner after the exhibition is Le Petit Marché at 9, rue de Bearn in Notre Dame / Marais (ph +33 (0)1 42 72 06 67).
Lost In Paradise
Du Spirituel Dans l’Art Actuel
14-24 November 2012
46 rue de Sévigné