The first part of the ambitious project of Christian Beaux, director of the Monnaie de Paris, is finally going to see the light.
One of the town’s oldest institutions, founded in the ninth century on the Ile de la Cité and now since 1774 located on the Quai de Conti dialoguing with the Louvre’s facade, the Monnaie has been subjected to a enhancement and restoration, following an idea dating 2009. In that year the competition “Metalmorhposes” (the reference to the metal fastens the activity of coins issued by the institution) that rewarded the urban architect Philippe Prost ; in 2011 the works’ begin with a self-financed budget of 70 million euro; the grand opening this October 25th. Historical strongbox, a symbol of security and power, the Monnaie wants to open its doors to the the French and international public, giving him the possibility the site of some of the most ancient ateliers artisanales, treasures preserving the oldest craft and luxury practices of the country. The old workshop will be restored and will be open to the public from 2016 together with the Musée de la Monnaie with approximately 140,000 pieces of his collection. This openness will be symbolically represented by Prost’s project which provides to that the premises of the palace are traversable from side to side , also with access to inner courtyards and gardens.
But from the past weekend contemporary art is the real protagonist, according to the other main point of this cultural project which aims to offer to the public a captivating proposal, in a clever blend of tradition and innovation. Under the direction of Chiara Parisi in fact a dense program of activities related to contemporary art began, focusing primarily on exhibitions, of which she forecasts to be four per year. We hope that the artist’s choice for the opening won’t be a bad omen: the first personal exhibition is in fact consecrated to the American artist Paul McCarthy, recently victim of vandalism on his work “Tree” located in the Place Vendome as a side event of FIAC !. The artist, following the desecration and a physical attack suffered by a pedestrian who slapped him during the artwork installation, decided that this would not have been reinstalled.
The exhibition presented at the Monnaie, Chocolate Factory, welcomes the audience with a series of inflatable works just similar to the ” Tree”, whose forms recall the Christmas tree, but also sex toys. Afterwards, in the opulent Guillaume Dupré room, we find a real factory: Paul McCrtahy has in fact engaged a whole French patisserie, which produces continuously small chocolate statues, that can be purchased at the entrance or at the bookshop. The artist puts in a room that recalls the ancient luxury craft’s splendor, a more brutal type of craft, industrial, mechanical, but that also leads to the creation of a fine product such as chocolate. This comparison, strident but successful, is just the beginning of what seems to announce to be a prolific activity of the new Monnaie. For next months, the direction has already revealed some of next artistsi name: Marcel Broodthaers, Tatiana Trouvé , Pawel Althamer , Thomas Schütte and Chris Burden. From 2015 it will start also “Factory”, the residency program for emerging artists.
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