Artist Spotlight: LOVE? François-Xavier Courrèges and Jesper Just

Last summer, while in Paris, my photographer friend Marie Docher took me to a show entitled “Emporte-Moi” or “Sweep Me Off My Feet” at the fabulous contemporary art space just outside of Paris called MacVal. The show, originating from Canada, featured mixed media art around the very loose theme of love. One critic described the concept this way: “… in a society (and an art world) that leans more heavily on cynical savvy than it does on romantic innocence, the idea of focusing on love’s pleasures just as much as on its pains feels downright revolutionary…” and I have to agree. The works in the show were sad, lovely and confusing all at the same time. Much like love. As a big fan of sad things (and let’s face it – colorful birds) – the video above Another Paradise by french artist François-Xavier Courrèges was deeply moving in its installation format. Other artists featured included  Sophie Calle, Tracey Emin, Douglas Gordon, Melanie Manchot, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Ange Leccia and Cerith Wyn Evans.

Another film (below) was equally mesmerizing and sad – but in an Off-Broadway homoerotic kind of way. Imagine it projected in a dark theater rather than on your small laptop and youtube.  “No Man is an Island II, by Jesper Just, leads us away from the couple to the realm of the lonely or lovesick.  In a Lynchian interior – a dark velvety bar – lonely men start up a spontaneous barber shop quartet-style rendition of Roy Orbison’s Crying. The scene is unexpected and slightly ridiculous, which is perhaps how it manages to be poignant without being overly sentimental.” (source)

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