the contemporary gallery strip of rue Louise Weiss in the 13th is a great idea--invigorate an under-served corner of the city with art--but since it first appeared at the end of the 90s, the art has never really worked for me. maybe i've missed the best shows or maybe i'm too fussy about what kind of video art i want to watch. but i keep going back, because i'm intrigued by how well Paris urban planners have managed to bring new energy into the previously lackluster area near the very large Mitterrand library.
And FINALLY my enthusiasm for the gallery row has been rewarded: this weekend, i dropped by a fantastic party thrown by Sara Guedj to celebrate the opening of her new (self-named) space at 11 rue Louise Weiss...lots of champagne, lots of nibblies, lots of people crammed in the gallery looking at the art & spilling into the street talking about the art. Two very different artists' works generating this energy: Genevieve Gauckler, known for her weirdly cuddly critters, as in the t-shirt above, in this show gets away from graphic design without losing her sense of social commentary. the first room of the gallery shows her new series of manipulated photographs--which i can only describe as digitally-composed piles of stuff that make you think. And in the second room, black & white graffiti-inspired work from Italian artist Stefano Pedrini (who challenges viewers by working not in Italian, or English, but in Latin.)