La Force de l’Art – Supported by COMING SOON - Focus on Didier Marcel

Covered in white cloth, casted molds of palm tree’s trunks lie across metal supports, while some molded soil hangs on the walls as if they are paintings. The viewer feels troubled by what they are seeing: the “palm tree” has a realistic shape but is white and horizontal; soil looks like soil but is not on the floor but on the walls. Everything is turned upside down. You are at La Force de l’Art, in front of a work of Didier Marcel -“Phoenix Canariensis”- who is present at this major French exhibition of contemporary art for his second year.

Are you upset in front of his work? Do you feel as though you are loosing your wits? This is precisely the goal of Didier Marcel’s work, which leads to the viewer’s a reflection on their perception of his/her environment and also on the construction and regulation of nature. Didier Marcel leads people to build a new relationship with what surrounds them. He has an original interpretation of space: the public no longer just walks around the sculpture, the sculpture occupies the space and takes over the viewer. The audience has a new experience with art, where one’s perception is disturbed, and the world, as one knows, it is overthrown.

Didier Marcel plays with real and unreal, making the two contradicting themes combine into the same object, building a new landscape, which rocks from nature to art.

La Force de l’Art 02

From April 24th to June 1st

Grand Palais

Avenue Winston Churchill 75008 Paris


La Force de l’Art 02, Paris. Supported by Coming Soon

A triennial event, La Force de l’Art, aims at presenting a new era of contemporary art in a different way, in new locations, with the goal of targeting the public at large. It has a didactic ambition, a will to provoke meetings/debates and to lead people to get the most out of their visit.

 The room -called “Géologie Blanche”- was conceived in relation to this idea: the architect-scenographer, Philippe Rahm, designed a space that allows the visitor to enjoy total freedom: you can wander around the space, allowing one to build his/her own way to emerge from the mercy of the coincidences and have a very personal relation to each work. This is a natural landscape, completely white, bathed in the light coming from the nave; it aims to provide objective landscape that adapts to the specific eccentricities of each work, as an “inverted museographic display” says Philippe Rahm.

 In the “Géologie Blanche” location, some works are selected for their role in the artist’s history and their relevance to current topics. You will encounter among others works, the work of Boris Achour, Wang Du, Frédérique Loutz, Dominique Blais, Anita Molinero, Mircea Cantor, etc.

 Apart from the “Géologie Blanche”, outside the Grand Palais, La Force de L’Art is presenting a selection of work by established artists in another innovative way. Thus, Paris’ historical venues welcome the dreams of internationally renown artists: Daniel Buren besieges the Grand Palais, Gérard Collin Thiébaut the Musée du Louvre, Bertrand Lavier the Eiffel Tower, Annette Messager the Palais de la Découverte, ORLAN the Musée Grévin, and Pierre et Gilles the Saint Eustache Church. There is an encounter of myth, symbol, and aesthetics, with Paris’ mainstays; La Force de l’Art successfully sheds new light on Paris’ public places.

 And to complete this original vision of art, the event has an “Invités” part, which is based on “live art”: performances of music, dance, dialogues, and theatre that question the traditional idea of art, assert its diversity, and definitely astonish and entertain the audience.


La Force de l’Art 02

From April 24th to June 1st

Grand Palais

Avenue Winston Churchill 75008 Paris


Le Bete (Walerian Borowczyk, 1975)

Now this film is nuts, it was banned for 25 year, its a fav of the 70's gothic and over the top it is. The son of a French aristocrat is engaged to be married to an innocent American heiress. He has an awful secret, linked to rumours of a "beast" rampaging around the estate. Notorious at the time for its close-ups of horse erections, the film also features scenes showing a young woman enjoying congress with someone in a big hairy Beast costume.This would be another piece of eurotrash soft porn if not for the bizarre flourishes and a perverse sense of humor that make the movie unique and subtly, deeply wrong.


Paul Boudens, graphic designer and actor for " The Man With The Suitcase "

   Self-portrait by Paul

“The first time they asked me, I said NO, NO, NO!” Paul Boudens says, laughing, referring to his role in the COMING SOON film “The Man with the Suitcase”. Indeed, he was supposed to participate only as the graphic designer for the poster and the top and tails, “and then, suddenly, I was the butler…No, no!”. Paul is shy. However…He had this idea of a Bob Dylan inspired top and tails, and accepted the role to be the one who turns the pages at the end of the video; then, he became the butler in the film, to announce his presence on the tails. He took the role very serious, and at the end of the shooting, he eventually thought it was “quite a good experience”.

His story with Yohji Yamamoto began in 2003. That year he had designed the catalogue for an exhibition at the Fashion Museum of Antwerp which drew the attention at Yohji: he was asked to design a Yohji Yamamoto postcard, the first step in a collaboration that has continued. Maybe because it began with a sign: the same year, 2003, he was publishing a monographic book of his work with a linen cover absorbing the red ink of the text, reminiscent of the Winter 2003 Y’s fashion show that Yohji Yamamoto was doing at the same time in Paris.

Five years later, apart from several graphic projects that he is still doing for Yohji, he has created the COMING SOON poster for “The Man with the Suitcase”, that he wanted to embody “Antwerp”: the inspiration for the black aged letters were the worn signage painted on harbor buildings in Antwerp; for the top and tails, he chose handwriting because he is “sort of in transition; since the New Year Eve, I am back to craftsmanship, the hand-made, and using less of the computer”, he says laughing.

Paul has been a graphic designer for 17 years now. He studied in a graphic academy in Antwerp before working for Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackerman and many others. Paul Boudens is definitely part of the Antwerp fashion world: he works for the most important Belgian fashion designers and he talks about fashion with passion, saying for example that he does not like logos, “except these four small seams on the back of sweaters, so Antwerp !”. He loved wearing COMING SOON as the butler in the film, a brand that he describes as “apparently classic but always with a little twist”. But he does not want to be contained by the boundaries of the fashion world. He explains smartly that he needs diversity –fashion, culture, dance: apart from fashion shows invitations etc, he designs programs and graphic work for a theater in Brussels, the Museum of Photography of Antwerp, and he also designs children books!

Paul’s description of COMING SOON could perfectly suit him as well: classical at first sight, but definitely with a little twist.


Movies to see before you die! BADLANDS 1973 Terrence Malick

This film by Terence Malick , I remember was very dark but held attention the dialogue says one thing and the visuals say another thing,elevating this simple tale to the profound.


Still Walking by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, supported by Coming Soon

Kore-Eda Hirokazu returns to his favorite theme, family. After Nobody Knows, his previous film where he followed a fatherless family of children abandoned by their mother, he explores, with his new film Still Walking, another kind of family drama.

Still Walking begins on a bright summer day in Yokohama, Japan. An apparently common family is brought together at the parent’s house to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the eldest son’s death. Like a documentary, you follow the different members of the family and the powerful links that bind them together: the sister cooks with her mother, the brother has a dead-end discussion with his father, the children try to break a watermelon, and the short moment of the meal where everybody comes together around the table.

 There is also this relevant boy, son of the widow who married the younger brother, Ryoto, who observes everything carefully; his interpretation draws the metaphor of the film, a delicate mix of melancholy, humour and poesy. Through the eyes of this young boy, Hirokazu looks at each character in a subtle way. Thus, you feel as though you are strolling round the house and meeting the rough father, a former respected doctor, who makes you smile when he tries to find someone to inherit the family practice; his wife, who hints at her true feelings while always remaining in the boundaries of courtesy. Hirokazu captures the intimate exchanges between these two mainstays of the family and their children. Ryoto does not look forward to visiting his parents and you easily understand why when the mother is angry with him marrying a widow, a “second-hand” woman. His father criticizes his art restoration job, whereas his sister Chinami appears beyond reach of the family conflicts and does not receive any criticism. The deceased brother, Junpei, is always among them through the sadness of the mother who refreshes his grave with water, the regrets of the father who wanted him inherit the family business, the sister who speaks of him with detachment, and the visit of the child which he saved from drowning, the cause of his death -the child as a lightness to the sad story by making everybody laugh because of his corpulence and dirty socks…

Hirokazu began this film right after his mother’s death, and the main themes of Still Walking -death, memory, time, family, and conflicts- are definitely melancholic. He handles the tough subject matter with simplicity and lightness, cleverly blending deeply serious considerations with light and frivolous images. Still Walking is a beautiful film, a simple and subtle poem.     


            Still Walking is supported by Coming Soon

                            More information on the film on : http://www.pyramidefilms.com/pyramide.html


Alice (Jan Svankmajer, 1988)

Alice (Jan Svankmajer, 1988)

This is a surrealist's film and i saw it 15 years ago and was very intrigued by the stop motion mixed in with dark disturbing undercurrent of menace.This is a superb adaptation of Lewis Carrol's Wonderland .


Inge Grognard

Self-portrait by Inge

Inge Grognard, Make-up Artist on “The Man with the Suitcase”

Inge Grognard is a real character.  She talks a lot, not only with words but with her whole body.  The movement of her arms and hands support the ideas in her sentences.

Inge is a make-up artist, one of the few in this job who deserve to be called an “artist”.  She researches extensively and specifically for each project and the truly thrives when she is given artistic freedom, so that she can fully release her creativity.

For instance, on the Coming Soon film “The Man with the Suitcase”, she imagined the make-up while hearing the story of the film of dolls coming out of a suitcase.  She wanted to dirty the “dolls’” faces as though they had been stored for some time in the suitcase.

She also works on non-fashion projects, especially on an upcoming “big thing”, as she says, which she is preparing with her husband Ronald Stoops who is a photographer.

Inge has been a makeup artist for 23 years now.  She is a link in the chain of the Antwerp fashion scene.  She comes from the same village of the respected fashion designer, Martin Margiela, who she met at 14, when she already knew she wanted to be a make-up artist. Then she studied make-up in Antwerp and make her first steps along side Margiela.

When you ask her about her fashion preferences, she quotes Margiela, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, AF Vandervoorst, Haider Ackermann, “they are friends of mine, so I cannot be very objective.” She also cites H&M and Cos, her lovely Stan Smith, and of course, Coming Soon, “I love this Coming Soon collection, even if I could not wear it as a full look, I like the comfortable and affordable aspect of the clothes, as well as the timeless concept.”