On March 10, the forward-looking Lafayette Anticipations art centre opened its doors in the Marais district of Paris. A much-talked-about project of the Galeries Lafayette Foundation, the art space set the tone with the inaugural exhibition ‘Silence of the Sea’ by artist Lutz Bacher, showing until April 30. In her first solo show in Paris, Bacher confronts the viewer with the stigmata of history through photographs, sculptural arrangements, videos, sound pieces and installations and objects inscribed in our collective consciousness, as an invitation for the spectator to ‘look inwards’ and perhaps question the line between what is private and what is public.
At home in a handsome former industrial building, now classed as a historical monument, the art hub includes 2,200 square metres of exhibition space plus a restaurant and shop and is designed to become a platform for the foundation’s pioneering support of contemporary art production. Aiming to become a crossroads for creative exchange, the centre is led by Guillaume Houzé, great-great-grandson of the founder of Galeries Lafayette, who wishes to perpetuate the founding ethos of always remaining close to the public.
This is the first Paris building for Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, who boldly placed an exhibition ‘tower’ in glass and steel with two platforms that can interact and move along a rack and pinion mechanism. This flexibility offers an exciting potential for imaginative configurations, and it will be exciting to see how successive artists and curators make the space their own.
Next time you are strolling along the charming Marais or visiting an exhibition at the Pompidou, make a beeline for Lafayette Anticipations to discover what is new and exciting in contemporary creation. There is a fun passageway connecting the rue du
Plâtre and the rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, where you can find the trendy and bright Wild and the Moon restaurant for a healthy snack, juice or light lunch, and À Rebours boutique filled to the brim with interesting and out-of-the-ordinary gifts.
9 rue de Plâtre (Paris 4th)