From 18 to 22 March 2010 at the Parisian Grand Palais, ARTPARIS+GUESTS will offer a new art fair experience with 107 exhibitors showcasing paintings, sculptures, drawings, videos, performances, or installations. The modern and contemporary art fair gathers collectors, professionals and art lovers around galleries whose exhibition projects show how contemporary art is becoming increasingly permeable to fields such as architecture, design, fashion, gastronomy, literature, cinema, etc.
PLATEFORME UTOPIA- DYSTOPIA /
Galerie Patricia Dorfmann
Galerie Chez Valentin
Galerie Franck Elbaz
Galerie Anne Barrault
Galerie Odile Ouizman
Everyone knows the word “utopia” and has a vague idea of what it means. In fact, looking back in history, it was a literary genre invented by the English diplomat, political figure and philosopher, Sir Thomas More. The word “utopia” comes from the title of the book he wrote in 1516 but, above all, is the name given by the author to the island where the action of the second part of the book takes place. The book starts with a pamphlet on English society at that time and continues with the tale of a sailor – Raphael - home from travels to distant lands. He relates landing on an island situated “nowhere”, not on any maps! Throughout the story, the description of an ideal world takes shape. After first reading it, the feeling of “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds” as Voltaire’s Pangloss thought, takes a different turn! In fact, life on the island is highly regulated: no divorce, a specified number of children to be brought into the world, etc.; a whole host of constraints is established for the happiness of everyone.
This little reminder of the origins of a term that has truly become a mark of liberty and hope in a radiant future, shows that, behind any idea of utopia lurks its opposite. “Dystopia” or “counter-utopia” embodies this obscure side. No need to enumerate the numerous “isms” of the 20th century to realise how true this is: every time man sought happiness for man, a catastrophe occurred.
For a long while now, artists have been fascinated by this ability of mankind to transform its dreams into nightmares. They often draw elements from the most commonplace reality, blending and assembling them in such a manner that their works reflect this fascination with or repulsion towards this human schizophrenia. As a metaphor, homeopathy would seem to correspond to the stance of the works presented in the context of this platform, the general atmosphere of which should be perused like a dystopic landscape where drawings, paintings, photographs, videos, volumes and installations form one corner.
Christophe Le Gac Curator of the Utopia - Dystopia Platform