Purple Magazine
— F/W 2006 issue 6

A View On The French Art Scene

curated by OLIVIER ZAHM in La Force de l’art, Grand Palais, Paris, Spring 2006

photographed by PIERRE EVEN


When I was asked to participate in a show devoted to French art at the Grand Palais, I said to Bernard Blistène, who brillantly piloted this mega-show at the Grand Palais : “I no longer want to curate artshows in an institutionnal context.” But he conviced me, because of his open and modern vision of what France can bring to the artworld. I decided to show how the French Art scene is coupled to the fashion world. My participation in the « Force de l’Art » has been knocked by the French media, and largely misunderstood by so-called art critics. This is why I use the pages of this magazine to present to an international public some images from the installations and art-works combined in the show.

It’s not for promotional reasons, but to explain what I did in collaboration with six Paris based fashion designers. I named the show “Rose Poussière” (Dusty Pink, an old cosmetic color) after a cult book written by the novelist Jean-Jacques Schuhl in 1972. I hope this exhibition, which explores the relationship between art and fashion —that is, between the world of forms and the attitudes of a generation­—on the French art scene, evokes and perpetuates the spirit of Rose Poussière. It is a subjective stroll through a underground, glamorous Paris, a city which escapes today’s fears and dreariness, slipping into the background but never disappearing, hovering on the verge of its own suppression. Designers Chanel, Maison Martin Margiela, Haider Ackerman, Rick Owens, Hedi Slimane and Yves Saint Laurent have each signed a room, dividing up French art into different aesthetic territories in which the distinction between young and recognised artists, the avant-garde and academicism blurs in an overview of the French scene.

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F/W 2006 issue 6

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