reviews

  • Jean Dubuffet

    Centre Pompidou

    Jean Dubuffet (1901–85) was a big deal to an adolescent art lover in Chicago in the ‘70s. His monumental black-and-white civic sculptures were the epitome of bland buoyancy, a kind of European Pop-old master gold standard. His championing of art brut and children's art, not to mention his own funky dirt-, gravel-, and cement-filled canvases, looked to be the very lodestars of the local Hairy Whos’ obsessions. Chicago collectors of Picasso and Ivan Albright took to Dubuffet like one of their own, just as their forebears had embraced French Impressionism, to which Dubuffet's work provided many

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  • Des territoires

    École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts

    The blind men would have had quite a time with this elephant called “Des territoires.” Among its salient features: an iconoclastic interdisciplinary seminar on the impact of globalization, which has been meeting at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris every week for the past seven years; a journal reporting on same (five issues to date);a student photography workshop initiated in 2000 to put the theories of the seminar into practice; and most recently—the tip of the elephant, so to speak—a public exhibition and film program. All of which, cumulatively aimed at exploring

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  • “Are We There Yet?”

    Glass Box

    That nomadism is a characteristic condition of life in the age of globalization has become something of a cliché. And some of our assumptions regarding the ever-increasing ease of international travel and the porousness of cultural boundaries have taken a severe battering over the past few months. This exhibition's title suggested the plaintive cry of a jaded traveler yearning for some sort of conclusion to a seemingly endless journey. Yet the assembled works combined to emphasize the illusory nature of any such sense of closure and the unlikely prospect of any definitive arrival. Spearheaded

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  • Eric Rondepierre

    Galerie Michèle Chomette

    Like many photographers, Eric Rondepierre travels to find his images. And yet he is not a reporter—and hardly even a photographer in the traditional sense of the term. His journeys of exploration, the first step in his creative process, are forays into the deepest nooks and crannies of film libraries—in Washington, Montreal, Lausanne, Bologna. For months on end, eight hours a day, he holes up in the most obscure theaters, eyes riveted to worn-out or decomposing film, looking at loops corroded by time or poor storage conditions. A sort of miner, Rondepierre tries to extract from these

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  • Geoffrey James

    Centre Culturel Canadien

    Who hasn't wanted, just once, to be alone with Paris? One of the great laboratories of modem sociability, the City of Light also awakens, at least in certain foreigners' hearts, the intermittent desire to merge, unaccompanied, with the weight of its past. Canadian photographer Geoffrey James seems to have felt something of the sort. The far-from-picturesque images he shot there in 2000 suggest that, if he worked in the pale light of early morning when no one else was around, it wasn't only because he wanted to capture the pure forms of architecture without human obstruction. One can't even speak

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