Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Art at the French Embassy

Last week was the closing of a temporary art installation at the former French Embassy. Sometime in the recent past, the French whosits moved to much schnazzier digs next door, leaving behind this rather quirky building with its inverted V entrance and 70s style architecture. Local artists decided to use this big empty space, a "No Man's Land" if you will, before it got bulldozed. For several months, they each used a room of the old embassy (some still featuring built-in filing cabinets and other bureaucratic details) to display their work. For the closing party, there was a dj spinning and red wine and french cheese. Also this robot rolled around the lobby like a roomba, bumping into people, changing course, bumping into other people.

The rooms showed a great variety of styles from sketches to found-art sculptures to interactive art to even a few performance pieces.
Plus, the hallways between rooms were covered with graffiti, some of which were really the highlights of the whole show.

At the very rear of the building, we found the Ambassador's office, which we decided to use as our own lounge. The Ambassador seemed to have rather interesting taste. His office door had beige leather quilted covering and, inside, every flat space --walls, floors, closet doors (including the one hiding the safe), cupboard faces, chairs-- was covered in beige suede.

This was the final night of the show, so there was a fun, celebratory feeling to the event, but the art was a bit tired and tattered. It was clear that all of the pieces had seen better days. But still it was really a blast to see all the local artists and hear so much French spoken.

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