Mirror artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, a 86-year-old Covid survivor

PORTRAIT – This Arte povera figure even gave an interview from his hospital bed in Biella, his hometown in Piedmont. Utopia always nailed to the body.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, a figure of Arte povera, is the patriarch of the Cittadellarte he founded in Biella, his hometown of Piedmont.
Michelangelo Pistoletto, a figure of Arte povera, is the patriarch of the Cittadellarte he founded in Biella, his hometown of Piedmont. Courtesy Gallery Continue

Who met Michelangelo Pistoletto, 87 on June 25, remains struck by the commanding force emanating from this Italian patriarch, one of the last great figures in the current of “Arte povera” (Poor Art).

Until recently, this handsome man with a medal profile, blue eyes, gentle Italian elegance, assertive speech and no sharing, was skiing in his mountains in northern Italy. The “Maestro” is currently being cared for at the Hospital in his hometown of Biella where, at the age of 86, he survived the coronavirus. A miracle.

The Cittadellarte Journal interviewed him, exclusively, from his hospital bed where his verve as a committed speaker and utopian remained intact. “The role of art in this pandemic is sensitivityHe thus said to his countrymen and to all the peoples of art.

Social renaissance after coronavirus

The artist highlights his personal experience and wonders how a social renaissance can emerge after the Coronavirus. What, according to him, is the key

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Magic, circus, virtual exhibitions … All of La Villette at home

Protect artists and keep the relationship they can have with their audience. This is the axis along which Didier Fusilier, patron of the public establishment of La Villette, designed with his teams the containment program. So he first ordered capsules for them.

Thierry Collet, a magician permanently installed at the Magic Wip, reveals a magic trick every Tuesday. He sometimes passes the ball to his accomplice Frédéric Ferrer. No need to panic: the kitchen equipment is enough. On Wednesday, children’s day, we go to Little Villette: we learn to make a table football in a box of matches, to tinker with a kite. On Thursday, students of art schools who were to present their works in the 100% expo do so virtually. On Friday, the park’s gardeners and wardens, who have stayed behind, post visual and sound vignettes of the deserted place: spring bloom and the roar of birds who no longer have to contend with the rumor of the ring road.

At weekends, make way for the show! The programmed artists put on their show on the Facebook page of La Villette: in the circus, Les 7 Doigts de la Main give Sequence 8. Cth weekend, Cris Blanco performs Bad translation May 2nd, Mourad Merzouki dances his extraordinary Correria Agwa on May 9 and 16, Delavallet Bidiefono sign Monsters / We don’t dance for nothing.

Bringing the public back to public spaces

Lonely surfers can also dive into the digital content entrusted to them by major French museums and public establishments (paintings, sculptures, dance, music) and by the very closed club of royal residences in the Micro Folies collection. And tap into the other offers on the Villette site: humorous conferences, Bollywood dance lessons, etc.

We are a park, not a theater or a museum even if we also practice entertainment and exhibition activities. No doubt we will have special possibilities to play at the time of deconfinement“Says Didier Fusilier, who points out that in Germany and Austria, parks were the first deconfigured places. And to dream of the future, with new proposals, closer to the artists.

I would like to transform the Great Hall into a place where artists, such as Bartabas, will settle and create as they go, he adds. Their work will be relayed online, from morning to evening, and we can connect to see where they are, or even, if the deconfinement allows, go see on the spot. The idea is of course to bring the public back to public spaces, as close as possible to the artists. Certain visual artists could thus be invited to create in the park. And artists who would like to can do interventions in schools or high schools.

Fusilier also plans for the open air film festival which takes place every summer to install small fun spheres where one would settle down to watch films as in a drive-in.

Some links

-The Villette at home: https://bit.ly/CultureChezVillette
-Have fun with Little Villette: https://bit.ly/PlaywithLaVillette
-Learn how to dance like in Bollywood: https://youtu.be/8sqG7WTeEyg
– YouTube channel La Villette: https://bit.ly/LaVilletteYT
-100% The exhibition / School trips: http://bit.ly/100ExpoSortiesEcoles


Headphones, fitness elastic, yogurt maker … Mucem de Marseille wants to create a containment museum

Closed since March 13, the establishment calls for contributions and invites everyone to send their proposals by email. “Of objects or documents which symbolize, embody, translate your confined daily life”. The objects collected will be used to keep track of this exceptional situation.

If the proposal is accepted, the team will return to the owner of the object at the end of the confinement in order to organize his arrival at the museum.
If the proposal is accepted, the team will return to the owner of the object at the end of the confinement in order to organize his arrival at the museum. ANDBZ / ABACA

Your home may be home to historical evidence of the current era … To complete its archives, the Mucem, Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean in Marseille, yesterday launched a call for contributions around objects from the confinement.

The Covid-19 pandemic has indeed plunged many countries in the last few months into a completely new situation. Social distancing, confinement, teleworking and home courses: for many, these are habits and daily life that have been completely disrupted.

Create a containment museum

So, what will be the objects that will have marked this period in the future collective memory of the French? A fitness elastic? Headphones for teleconferencing? A yogurt maker? Closed since March 13 after the measures put in place by the government, the Mucem invites everyone to participate by helping it to collect traces of this confinement.

This may be “Objects or documents which for you, symbolize, embody, translate your confined daily life”, explains the Marseille establishment on his website. To participate, simply send one or more photographs of the object and a short text to explain the context of its use and justify its entry into the future catalog of the exhibition. Proposals should be sent by email to confinement@mucem.org.

The collection will end on May 31, 2020. The museum indicates that all the proposals received will be studied by the conservation team. If the object is retained, the team will return to its owner at the end of confinement in order to organize his arrival at the museum.

The Vosges archives had the idea of collect testimonies from the inhabitants of the department, in order to “archive for eternity “. In a press release published on March 19, the executive of the departmental council invites each Vosgien to participate: “Anyone can send their testimony (s) to the departmental archives and can thus tell their daily lives: how each person changes their lifestyle, how to successfully comply with state directives, how to do school at home, how telecommute … “ The testimonials are to be sent to vosges-archives@vosges.fr in writing, audio or video.


Choose your cinema from the catalog

Confinement obliges, the Cinémathèque française and the Forum of the images, in Paris, leave rarities and curiosities of their collections And make them available on Internet.

A silent film restored by the Cinémathèque, “The Fall of the Usher House” was seen by 25,000 people in eight days.
A silent film restored by the Cinémathèque, “The Fall of the Usher House” was seen by 25,000 people in eight days. The French Cinematheque

Eager to keep in touch with their audience, the Cinémathèque française (12e) and the Forum des images, in the heart of Les Halles, hear the“to accompany” during containment. The first has just launched a free space on the site cinematheque.fr, baptized Henri, in homage to Henri Langlois, its founder, pioneer in the conservation of cinematographic works. The second for its part, since the place closed for work before reopening in 2008, gives access to various formats.

I completely assume the elitist side. The minority has the right to exist. Just because people don’t know the movies doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy them

Frédéric Bonnaud, director of the Cinémathèque

“We design online and indoor programming all year round, but it is true that on the internet, it takes on a particular dimension at the moment, observes the program director of the Forum des images, Fabien Gaffez. We offer more critical and playful equipment, such as film lessons and meetings, recently with Paul Schrader and Melvil Poupaud, than films. ”

Films and confined people have the opportunity to watch or discover them every evening at 8:30 p.m. on Henri. The fall

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Check out Damien Hirst’s self-interview on Instagram

Between April 11 and 14, Damien hirst held the show in its own way, direct, corrosive, funny, inflated, once again anticipating the news, upsetting habits. From that Psychiatrist’s Couch is a self-interview on his Instagram which has 680,000 subscribers.

The king of the contemporary British scene has stood in front of his computer screen and calmly answers his “fans” who ask him 98 questions. Frequently admiring, rarely vacant or basely material questions about the recent dismissal of part of his teams, almost always questions from fans. Little aggression on their part, no annoyance on his part. The questions are read in full, the Instagram account of their authors is displayed at the same time. Damien Hirst’s answers burst out, at his usual machine gun rate.

This brilliant exercise in communication is played – in English – in four chapters. Four videos with a single character, from 10 to 14 minutes, whose audience exploded first (154,000 views, 535 comments, for chapter 1), before decreasing (72,254 views and 258 comments for chapter 2) for stay around an honorable cruising speed (46,874 and 40,342 views for chapters 3 and 4).

The paint shop where Damien Hirst’s return has been preparing for months. VD / Le Figaro

This interview is above all an invitation to Damien Hirst’s workshop. Or rather in one of his workshops, on the London Walk near Hammersmith. Covered in fresh stains, from sneakers to T-shirt, this is where he received Le Figaro last November to present his unexpected return to impressionism but with a very contemporary engine that still resembles the father of “Spot Paintings”. He looked radiant like a student at the Beaux-Arts. Rich “wonder boy” of the YBA generation (Young British Artist), he changed course at 54 and launched into painting, almost on his own.

Warholian celebrity fractions

Today, looking more tired, but still lively, Damien Hirst takes control again. The world, confined, lives outside through its computer screens. So this is where this strategist is posted, both close and despite everything inaccessible, then he reads one by one and, no doubt, chooses the questions to which he will answer. All its invisible interlocutors thus have their Warholian celebrity fractions. There is a great intelligence in this artist who has managed to divert the boom of the contemporary art market to his advantage, to avoid that his avant-garde talent enriches only the others, to make sure that always the news treats him like rock star, phenomenon or king.

Question 1 refers to one of his pieces of bravery: “How many diamonds in the Diamond Skull? Are they authentic?“(For the Love of God is a sculpture by Damien Hirst made in 2007, the platinum molding of an 18th century skull encrusted with diamonds, editor’s note). “There are 8621 diamonds, all of very good quality“, Replies the artist. What relationship does he have with cinema? “Dead Ringers ((False pretenses, 1988) by the Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg gave me the idea of ​​my Medicine Cabinets, especially the surgical objects invented by the doctor played by Jeremy Irons ”. Is boredom the friend of creativity? “Probably yes. But inaction is his enemy. Boredom is something else. As soon as I get bored, I’m full of ideas ”.

Damien Hirst in his studio (details). It really is like that, we can attest! Damien Hirst in the studio, 2019 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2020Damien Hirst, Renewal Blossom, 2018. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2020Damien Hirst,

The interview sometimes slips into the exercise of improbable style. “If you were your own shrink, what question would you ask yourself?”. A slight emptiness, then a single word in the form of a gag: “WHY ????Laughs. What advice would he give to a young artist? “Make larger pictures, to have this distance, this look. Believe in. Everything is a question of self-confidence, of faith. If you believe in yourself, it makes others believe in you. Never pretend to know something, if you don’t know it. It always shows “. All Damien Hirst is in this answer, in this raw formula of “Working class hero”, as honest as sincere, who drew, poor child, on the back of the envelopes.

The naked body as a clown

It takes anecdotes to dress a legend. These four videos are full of them. “What surprises people the most about you?” “I don’t drink, more alcohol, it often disappoints a lot of people”, replies the ex Bad Boy from London’s red light districts. We always prefer bad boys. He tells of his friendship for Leigh Bowery, Australian performer of London nights, died of AIDS on December 31, 1994 at 33 years old – “God bless him!”– of which Lucian Freud painted the powerful body. And how, with him, he painted his naked body like a clown, sex included “Spot painting” blue (The Spot paintings form one of his most famous series, Editor’s note).

He tells without pretense, in chapter 2, his friendship sketched with Alexander McQueen, the brilliant English fashion designer who committed suicide on February 11, 2010, at the age of 40 and to whom the Victoria & Albert Museum devoted the most extraordinary posthumous retrospective that was in the summer of 2015. “Yes, I was friends with Alexander McQueen. But when I met him, I was drinking like a hole, I was in coke like crazy, he was starting his career. Then he entered this coke and alcohol period. While I was out of it. So we missed it like that. A lovely guy, total sweetheart

The artist’s sofa in his painting studio. VD / Le Figaro

Because it is time for his return to painting, that it stains his T-shirt, his jeans, his sneakers, his shrink couch, he responds with pleasure to the technical questions of palette. “I like all the colors. I’ve had a problem with purple for a long time, I don’t know why. I love oil paint, more malleable, the colors are brighter ”said this fan ofRembrandt which he much prefers to Dalí.

the departure to the desert of Saint Jerome

He likes “The rainbows in the sky, not in the painting” So he didn’t. “Weird that these paintings (spring flowering, intended for the Cartier Foundation, note) go so well when the world is on fire. I don’t want to be forgotten, I don’t know why. But I’m not a fan of the cursed side of Van Gogh “, says Damien Hirst who, after his very turbulent young years, with all-out artistic choices,discovered minimalism at Goldsmith College London “.

“How much for the sofa?Asked a fetishist or a collector. “It is not for sale. Find one and drop some paint on it!” End of online auctions. At the Cartier Foundation in Paris, Damien Hirst was to reveal to the world, in mid-June, this series of very large formats invaded by pink spots. They combine the celebration of spring, the “Sakura” of the Japanese and their cherry blossoms, and his own return to the brush. After twenty years of studio work, it is, for this prolific artist and entrepreneur, almost the departure to the desert of Saint Jerome.

When will we see them? The exhibition “Damien Hirst, Cherry blossomsWas announced from June 14 to November 8. “We are in full discussions with Damien Hirst, but it is obvious, due to the confinement, then the progressive deconfinement, that his exhibition will be postponed, perhaps to the fall, or even to the next year “, confirms Hervé Chandès, director of Cartier Foundation.

Damien will decide shortly. In the meantime, we will extend the exhibition “Claudia Andujar” this summer. The deaths of two Yanomani Indians contaminated by whites, gold hunters and other adventurers, make it terribly current. All the questions posed by our contemporary world are already there, in this wonderful work carried out for over fifteen years by the great Brazilian artist Claudia Andujar. The artists sense the importance of things …


An Assyrian palace discovered under the ruins of a mosque destroyed by Daesh in Mosul

It is in this palace that the king of Assyria Assarhaddon assembled his court, almost three millennia ago. Long hidden and inaccessible, construction has emerged, sadly ironic from history, from the ruins of a mosque in Mosul, destroyed in 2014 by the Islamic State.

Erected on the tell (artificial hill) of Nebi Yunus, the religious building was demolished by explosives by Daesh fighters, like many other archaeological sites in the Iraqi city. But the destruction of the mosque was not in vain: scientists from the University of Heidelberg in Germany were able to discover the remains of an underground palace dating from the time of the Assyrian Empire.

The pedestal of the throne in the room where the king received his visitors. Courtesy of the Nineveh excavation project, University of Heidelberg

In the footsteps of the Islamists, who tried to recover many artefacts in order to resell them, archaeologists made their way through underground galleries, sometimes 70 cm high. An effort largely rewarded when they finally led to the door of the palace, guarded by four large reliefs of winged bulls. The tunnels then brought them into a 55-meter long hall in which Assarhaddon received its visitors, perched on a platform five meters high. “It is the largest throne room in the Assyrian Empire to date”explains to the newspaper Die Welt Peter Miglus, professor of archeology at Heidelberg.

One of the winged bulls guarding the front door. Courtesy of the Nineveh excavation project, University of Heidelberg

A palace 450 meters long

According to archaeologists, the palace is partly preserved, which is all the more surprising since the ancient Assyrian city Nineveh, today covered by the outskirts of Mosul, was founded in 612 BCE, then largely destroyed by the allied armies of the Babylonians and the Medes. The existence of the royal residence had already been known for decades, but no one had been able to access it so far.

Originally a simple arsenal built by King Sennacherib to preserve the treasures brought back from wars and allow horses to train, the place became a real palace during the reign of his son Assarhaddon, from -680 to -669. His successful campaigns subsequently provided the king with the means to enlarge it, and to make it a building of impressive dimensions. The building was thus approximately 450 in length and between 200 and 300 meters in width. Assyrian texts report that Assarhaddon had the palace decorated with exotic stones, wood, ivory and precious metals.

Inscription of King Assarhaddon (680-669 BC) on a wall panel of the palace. Courtesy of the Nineveh excavation project, University of Heidelberg

German scientists now have five years to do all of their research at the archaeological site. But the coronavirus, which has infected a little more than a thousand people in the country, has stopped for an indefinite period any search project. Peter Miglus hopes to be able to resume research in the fall of 2020: “We have a lot to do, but we don’t have much time”he said to Die Welt.

The mosque razed by the fighters of the Islamic State must indeed soon be rebuilt. “Our idea is to bring the mosque and the Assyrian royal palace together, creating a visible link between the Ancient East and Islam”explains to the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel Stefan Maul, professor of assyriology at the University of Heidelberg. Thus, the residence of King Assarhaddon will be preserved, while allowing the population to find this highly prized place of worship.


Margaret Atwood warns of epidemic of conspiracies

Has our world become a place where religious fanaticism dominates politics in a totalitarian regime and where women are devalued to enslavement? Will Humanity disappear, leaving the blue planet to genetically modified animals and Snowman? Some readers of Margaret Atwood’s novels, who have certainly read the stories very poorly The Scarlet Maid and The Last Man, think that our confined world is like a dystopian universe, where the darkness of souls and the cynicism of politicians have definitely taken over.

The Canadian author, interviewed by the BBC Radio 5 Live, spoke on the issue. His verdict? Our confined world may be “an unpleasant and scary place where you don’t want to be“, But it is not dystopian. By definition, a dystopia is “a society intentionally ordered to be disagreeable and in which one does not want to live“, She explains. But the current situation “was not thought out, not intentional. People may be subject to rules that are not very pleasant, but that has nothing to do with totalitarianism. It is not a deliberate program

The containment situation is considered by Margaret Atwood as a “emergency crisisLeading, as with every epidemic, to a feeling of panic, conducive to the development of conspiracy theories. The very latest involves 5G and its mysterious ability to spread the coronavirus. “When there is panic, people want to blame something. Because if you can find something to blame, you can eliminate the threat

The novelist takes a historical example to support her point: the black plague. “During the black plague, people blamed successively or almost: lepers, because they went from city to city; the Gypsies, because they were traveling; Jews, for all the usual reasons. And witches, do you remember witches? They caused plagues everywhere. So if you could destroy all these people, then maybe you would escape the plague. Well I guess the reflex today is always to look for something to burn.The author takes this as proof that the harmless 5G theory led conspirators to attack and burn down telephone antennas. “At least they don’t burn people yetSaid the double winner of the Booker Prize, one of the most important literary prizes.

Margaret Atwood also took the opportunity to criticize the use of a warrior language by the policies of different countries, including France. “SIf you have a good immune system and a good health system with proper care, you are in luck, she explains. But if someone doesn’t make it, it’s not because they fought badly. “It is not a war”, she adds, refusing to blame the victims.

One thing is certain, this health crisis will fuel the imagination of many authors. Thing done for Margaret Atwood and her sister Ruth, who have already put on a confined puppet show on The Mask of Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, for the show Front Row Late from the BBC. Art does not wait.


At sea with Joseph Conrad, between the open sea and the cramped

CONTAINMENT, WHAT ADVENTURE – In Typhoon de Conrad, a falot captain, hardly prepared to face the worst, finds himself facing a terrible storm.

From the depths of his mediocrity, Captain Mac Whirr, the hero of Typhon, held the shock and helm.
From the depths of his mediocrity, Captain Mac Whirr, the hero of Typhoon, holds the shock and the bar. lassedesignen / Shutterstock / lassedesignen

An island, a boat, a fort, etc. From closed places, the writers were able to make formidable escape novels.

Embraced from the bridge of a boat, the horizon delivers its double message, alternately a promise of infinity and crossed by a shadow line. The ships themselves are ambiguous. They are wide and cramped, they open onto the immense and enclose at the same time. These are small worlds that travel the world. Men travel there without taking many steps. They toil, dream or grieve. Sometimes they meet the Test.

Nothing great about Captain Mac Whirr predisposed him to face excess. On the contrary, Conrad makes it from the very first lines Typhoon a portrait of magnificent cruelty. “Captain Mac Whirr’s appearance, as far as one could tell, was exact to his mind and offered no characteristic of stupidity, nor firmness; it had no characteristic. Mac Whirr looked ordinary, apathetic and indifferent.

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The Louvre offers tales to children to discover its gems

Mona Lisa, the Venus of Milo, the fabulous diamond says The Regent… The institution offers young people five fascinating stories on video around its most emblematic works.

Through Le Figaro

Image from the tale The Flight of the Mona Lisa.
Image from the tale The Flight of the Mona Lisa. 2007, François Place / Emmanuelle and Benoît de Saint-Chamas / les Armateurs / Louvre Museum.

Theft of Mona Lisa in 1911, Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt, the discovery of Venus of Milo… The Louvre museum offers the youngest five video tales based on his most emblematic works. They are visible on the site dedicated to the initiative named Little Louvre.

With its delicate graphics, the illustrator François Place elegantly enhances these animated stories imagined by Emmanuelle and Benoît de Saint-Chamas. The three children’s authors offer short stories allowing children to combine business with pleasure. Both uplifting and playful, these nuggets of a few minutes will enchant our dear little blond heads eager for fascinating stories.

The flight of the Mona Lisa

This project is part of a larger panel of museum initiatives to help the French escape from the confines imposed by the covid-19 pandemic. Virtual visits, video discs, comments on the table, daily presentation of a treasure from the Islamic arts department or free online conferences are made available to the public by the institution.

Many museums are following suit. Like the Grand Palais and its virtual tour of the Pompeii exhibition, the departmental cultural space Lympia in Nice, which has built a 360 ° virtual tour of its “Soulages” exhibition, or Quai Branly, who is turning his “anthropological minute” on YouTube.

The stranger is not outdone. The Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, then the J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles have launched a challenge that has gone viral around the world. The internet user must reproduce a work, alone or with the family, in their bedroom or living room. With often inventive and fun results.

See also – Paris, a sleepy city: the Louvre and the Tuileries seen from the sky


Ai Weiwei denounces Chinese government misinformation on coronavirus

China is going through a tumultuous media period. Suspected of lying about the actual Covid-19 figures, the government of Xi Jinping has revised the balance sheet upwards and an additional 1,290 deaths have been recorded in Wuhan. This strange management challenged the Beijing artist in exile Ai Weiwei, who widely castigated his country.

See also – China explains the charges of “concealment” in the balance sheet of the Covid-19

At a digital conference organized by the Oslo Freedom Forum, the father of the “Coca-Cola vase” expressed his feelings about the situation, pointing to censorship and misinformation. “During this whole coronavirus crisis, there was a lot of anger and concern about the Communist Party. The pandemic has claimed the lives of thousands of people and has been subversive for the modern establishment. ”, estimated the artist. “People just want global businesses to get back to normal as quickly as possible [mais la campagne] does not speak of a clear truth or argument. It is only the sign of a new failure for the Chinese government “, he said again.

This “campaign”, it is the one carried out to congratulate and thank Chinese President Xi JinPing for his management and his efforts and in the fight against the virus. “Propaganda” he said, strongly criticized by Chinese public opinion. “For a long time people had no idea what was going on and this gave the virus a chance to spread. People wonder about the real situation, and first wonder where this disease comes from and how it spread. ”said Weiwei, highlighting how the media is controlled so as not to alter the image of the government.

According to him, the WHO who one did not give a “Clear overview of the seriousness of the problem” also has its share of responsibilities. He also denounces this censorship in the art world, his field. “Art plays a crucial role in societies, but in China it never works the way it should because of the current strict censorship laws”, he regrets.

Exiled in Berlin since 2015, Ai Weiwei continues to exercise his activity freely. His latest performance, Safe Passage, in Minneapolis. To denounce the plight of migrants in Europe, he completely covered the neoclassical columns of the Minneapolis Institute of Art with life vests. The city of Minnesota with the highest number of refugees per capita of all the American states. The work is presented as part of the traveling exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration.

Safe Passage to Minneapolis. Charles Walbridge / Minneapolis Institute of Art.