- Title: French street artist given free rein to play with Paris castle
- Date: 7th October 2016
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (OCTOBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF CHATEAU DE VINCENNES CASTLE VISITORS WALKING OVER DRAWBRIDGE PHOTO-VIDEO MONTAGE ENTITLED "SAINT-LOUIS - BLAZING", A 1906 SCULPTURE BY MONY, ON WHICH ZEVS HAS USED VISUAL EFFECTS TO MAKE IT SEEM AS THOUGH IT HAS BEEN SET LIGHT TO SERIES OF FLASHED PHOTOGRAPHS OF REPRODUCTIONS ENTITLED "VISUAL RAPES", WITH FACES OF FRENCH HISTORY BLURRED OUT USING BRIGHT LIGHT TO MASK IDENTITY OIL PAINTING ENTITLED "SUPPER", APPEARING TO SUPERIMPOSE "THE LAST SUPPER" BY LEONARDO DA VINCI AND A REWORKED PHOTOGRAPH OF A 2011 DINNER AT THE WHITEHOUSE, PRESENTING U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA RAISING A TOAST WITH SILICON VALLEY COMPANY DIRECTORS, INCLUDING THE LATE APPLE CEO, STEVE JOBS, AND FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG, CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH COPYISTS MICHEL, EUGENE AND SEMJON POSIN EXTERIOR OF CASTLE'S DUNGEON ARTWORK PRINTED ON TARPAULIN ENTITLED "LIQUIDATED LOGO FERRARI" WITH FERRARI LOGO WHICH HAS BEEN RENDERED INTO A LIQUID FORM SCULPTURE OF THREE WOODEN TURRETS ENTITLED "TARGETS" VISITORS LOOKING AT EXHIBIT VARIOUS OF "CLEAN" GRAFFITI ON KEEP'S MOAT ENTITLED "FLAMING", USING A HIGH-PRESSURE STEAM CLEANER TO REMOVE AND REVEAL DIRT ON WALL FRENCH STREET ARTIST "ZEVS", PSEUDONYM OF ARTIST AGUIRRE SCHWARZ, WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH STREET ARTIST "ZEVS", PSEUDONYM OF ARTIST AGUIRRE SCHWARZ, SAYING: "It seems to me that this encounter between such an ancient place and such contemporary works can work and, I hope, in the end allow visitors to discover this place through another angle, another light." SIGN FOR ZEVS' EXHIBIT ENTITLED (French/English) "NOIR ECLAIR/ BLACK LIGHTNING" (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH STREET ARTIST "ZEVS", PSEUDONYM OF ARTIST AGUIRRE SCHWARZ, SAYING: "The Chateau de Vincennes is a place of the past, like a sleeping giant. And all of a sudden, the possibility of coming to light up, with fluorescent lights, to come set up works - it's not an electroshock, but in any case it's a sort of awakening, of renewal." VARIOUS OF VENDING MACHINE WITH CHINA PLATES SHOWING FACES OF HISTORIC FIGURES WHO WERE GUILLOTINED ENTITLED "MACHINATION" VARIOUS OF INSTALLATION ENTITLED "VISUAL KIDNAPPING, PAY NOW !!!" - A POSTER OF A WOMAN AS MUSE FOR COFFEE BRAND LAVAZZA, PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVID LACHAPELLE WHICH ZEVS TOOK FROM ALEXANDERPLATZ IN BERLIN AND DEMANDED A RANSOM FROM LAVAZZA FOR ITS RETURN (SOUNDBITE) (English) VISITOR FROM CANADA, PAULINE CHOMYSZYN, SAYING: "I understand where the artist is coming from, but I don't think it's appropriate here. It's taking away from being away to being able to immerse yourself in that history, and bringing you back to modern times." DOOR OPENING ON INSTALLATION ENTITLED "PERPETUAL ENDING" INSIDE CHAPEL, WITH LIVE IMAGES OF NEWS PROJECTED ON FLOATING SCULPTURE, REPRESENTING THEME OF APOCALYPSE INSTALLATION "PERPETUAL ENDING" CASTLE'S ORIGINAL STAINED GLASS WINDOWS WITH SCENES FROM APOCALYPSE FRENCH VISITOR, PATRICIA DOUELLE, LOOKING AT ROOF OF CHAPEL CHAPEL INTERIOR (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH VISITOR, PATRICIA DOUELLE, SAYING: "I think contemporary art should have its place and leave a mark, leave a mark in people's minds and in memory. And in castles, too - why not, it doesn't shock me. Although with this (POINTING AT INSTALLATION "PERPETUAL ENDING"), I admit that I do not understand it. Though that's something else." VARIOUS OF ZEVS' BRONZE BUST, SET ON A MIRROR BASE ENTITLED "SELF-PORTRAIT LOUIS XIV" REPRESENTING BUST OF LOUIS XIV, ALSO KNOWN AS THE SUN KING. BUST IS A COPY OF MARBLE BUST BY BERNINI WHICH HAS BEEN MELTED BY A SOLAR COOKER
- Embargoed: 22nd October 2016 16:00
- Keywords: Chateau de Vincennes Paris castle street art Zevs
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA001530CAJD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A French street artist was given carte blanche to exhibit at the historic Chateau de Vincennes, a royal castle on the eastern edge of Paris, displaying his urban installations, graffiti, videos, paintings, sculptures and photographs.
Artist "ZEVS", whose pseudonym is the same as the name of a train which almost crushed him in 1992 while he was graffiti painting, plays with humour to bring the castle to life with his works of art which have been given a historic twist.
The "Black Lightning" exhibit sees the fortress' moat set ablaze using a technique called "clean graffiti" - where a steam-cleaner is used to remove dirt - as well as a vending machine full of plates imprinted with the faces of guillotined French figures.
The Vincennes castle, which was at the heart of the French monarchy until Louis XIV chose to settle in Versailles, was used as a prison from the 16th to the 19th century. Figures including Fouquet, the Marquis de Sade and Mirabeau were held there.
"It seems to me that this encounter between such an ancient place and such contemporary works can work and, I hope, will allow visitors to discover this place through another angle, another light," ZEVS, whose real name is Aguirre Schwarz, told Reuters Television on Wednesday (October 5).
ZEVS plays with light throughout his exhibit, with flames, brightness, flashes, electric lights and strobes present throughout and described by the artist as an "electroshock" intended to wake up the history of the castle.
The clash of history and modern art was met with mixed reaction by visitors to the castle.
"I understand where the artist is coming from, but I don't think it's appropriate here. It's taking away from being away to immerse yourself in that history, and bringing you back to modern times," Canadian tourist Pauline Chomyszyn said.
"I think contemporary art should have its place and leave a mark, leave a mark in people's minds and in memory. And in castles, too - why not," French visitor Patricia Douelle said, although she was baffled by a giant sculpture floating from the roof of the castle's chapel reading "The End", intended to represent the apocalypse.
The exhibition aims at reflecting themes which include the castle's complicated history, as well as the precariousness of the world and its worship of immediacy and media.
ZEVS was invited to exhibit at the castle by France's National monuments centre, with hopes that his works will bring more visitors to the castle. His exhibition will be at the site until January 29, 2017.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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