Click on the image to discover in preview the new exhibition "CULTURE CHANEL" in Seoul,
and see 10 new pinhole movies that I made for this new journey around places of Gabrielle Chanel ...
Presentation of the exhibition by Jean-Louis Froment, curator.
The Sense of Places, an exhibition
As inspirational subjects that go beyond mere geographical locations, Gabrielle Chanel’s places especially marvel for some intangible radiance, which for an instant unravels the way they are perceived in reality, and makes them uncannily hers.
Still today, these same sensations enliven the creations of the House of CHANEL.
Often linked to romantic liaisons, the places visited within the latest CULTURE CHANEL exhibition in Seoul, draft out a “Map of Tendre”, a promenade through this great couturière’s secret twists and turns, to settle momentarily in yet another place enamoured of modernity: the Dongdaemun Design Plaza with its architecture designed by Zaha Hadid.
Saumur, Brive, Aubazine, Moulins, Royallieu, Paris, Deauville, Venice, Biarritz, Roquebrune, Eaton Hall, Hollywood and New York are figments of which she retained just the outlines, her unique experience of each would then be transposed into her work.
However, there is one special place, one where a life draws to a close, and one which embraces all the others: Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31 rue Cambon, Paris.
Here unfolds the setting for her innermost intrigues.
Here the spirit of places is embodied.
This apartment is a storybook account of her friendships and her loves, broken up and then reconstructed in the same octagonal mirrors - a memento of the impression the church tower at the abbey in Aubazine left - that reflect all the great moments in her life.
It is the place that expresses the intuitive science of Gabrielle Chanel’s poetic, imaginary world.
Chinese ballades in the Coromandel screens, old Venetian gold on the walls, Korean glazed stoneware, animals escaped from the forest of Compiègne encounter sacred deer from Japanese temples, the bust of a canon and a virgin from Bourgogne make eyes at Egyptian death masks, bestiaries from the four continents where the lion is king, and then the ears of wheat; so many intimate connections from within her diffracted memory, so many fragments from her continually re-invented biographical journey.
Then, there is that permanent place of thought, a place of endless resonances that unite the great couturière and the books found in her library, and it is needless to say how much the thrum of her reading whispers to her the invisible life of things.
From these she would form her own perspectives.
It is here at 31 rue Cambon that she secretly held communion with the ghostly messages from these clandestine occupants she shared her life with, and where she travelled through the architecture of cities she had never visited or where she dreamt of the landscapes depicted in the books of her library.
It is here, on the other side of a mirror, in a secret place of private fascination that all journeys and all the moments spent, imaginary or real, end up and mingle.
Gabrielle Chanel would know how to intercept these; to unravel and give them a form which would become the spirit of CHANEL reactivated each day under the living light of contemporary creation.