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photos © caroline rabourdin

dates : 02.10.08 - 01.03.09


Du lundi au samedi de 12h à 19h

Le dimanche de 11h à 19h

prix: gratuit


60 rue de Bassano

75008 Paris

tel: + 33 1 53 57 52 03

site: www.louisvuitton.com/espaceculturel

plan: www.mappy.fr

As I set off for  the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysées, my motvations are twofold. Firstly, I’d like to see one of those shop/gallery hybrid where high end retail turns into art. Sponsorship? Charity? I can’t help but think about the Marfa Prada, in the middle of the American desert
, where the shop building itself can be read as art, raising questions of location. This piece in turn reminds me of Rachel Whiteread, but the subject would be too long to develop here.

The second motivation was to see Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s work. I had seen his fabric staircase at the Hayward Gallery in London last year and wanted to see more.

On arrival I was struck by the variety of pieces presented. Of course War is one of the main preoccupation in most of the work, but it doesn’t stop there. Do Ho Suh uses figurines and Jeon Joonho’s powerful and somehow very disturbing valse of the statue of brothers uses soldiers and barbwire, but Sookyung Yee’s Translated Vases show a more positive side to reconstruction bringing broken ceramics back to life with gold seams.




Alors que je m’apprête à partir pour l’Espace Louis Vuitton sur les Champs Elysées, mes motivations sont doubles. D’une part il y a la curiosité de voir comment fonctionnent ces espaces ‘hybrides’ commerciaux-culturels où tout d’un coup les magasins de luxe se transforment en galeries d’art. Mécénat? Image de marque? Je ne peux m’empêcher de penser à la démarche de Prada, avec sa boutique-oeuvre d’art à Marfa dans le désert américain
, et qui à son tour me fait penser aux oeuvres de Rachel Whiteread, mais là, c’est tout un sujet que je ne développerai pas ici.

Ma seconde motivation était de voir l’oeuvre de l’artiste coréen Do Ho Suh, dont l’escalier en tissu était exposé à la Hayward Gallery à Londres l’année dernière.

Mais ici, j’ai été surprise par la diversité des oeuvres présentées. D’abord il y a le thème sous-jacent ou carrément omniprésent de la guerre. Mais pas seulement, car les pratiques artistiques présentées sont très variées, et si l’on retrouve soldats et figurines dans les oeuvres de Do Ho Suh, ou encore la saisissante valse de soldats de Jeon Joonho, les Translated Vases de Sookyung Yee quant à eux opèrent un travail de reconstruction.

I’ve also noted Beom Kim’s narrative work, as shown here, in english,
where he sets up a manual on how to turn a human body into grass, stone or door as in this example.

Hyungkoo Lee’s skeletons  incorporate the american culture in which he’s lived for a while, with a degree of sarcasm. These pieces , a hybrid of his own body and that of famous cartoon characters, are the result of the inferiority complex he developed towards his size while in the US. Culture chock again with Ham-Jin’s City on a bombshell, where big retail names have been miniaturized. A Louis Vuitton sign is indeed amongst them, but spelt ‘Loui Vitton’...

I have to admit that here, the brand is actually serving the art by putting up this exhibition. There is a separate entrance rue Bassano to the Espace Culturel so you don’t need to cross the shop to get there. Which is indeed how I got in. Then Olafur Eliasson’s intervention is still there and you get up to the 7th floor in a completely dark and sound-insulated lift. The difference here lays in the service. An hostess takes you to the exhibition space while someone greets you at the top with a free copy of the exhibition catalogue. Not any catalogue though. This is a bound book. Do I need to mention that the entrance is absolutely free? Hurry while stocks last...