Photo of the Week

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Left to right: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Pyramid, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and Ferris Wheel. © Paris Update

 

Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

Drawing through the ages

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"Apples" (1944), by Henri Matisse. Eric Coatalem Gallery.

> Salon du Dessin: 39 galleries showing works on paper, from Old Masters to contemporary. Palais Brogniart, Paris, March 22-27.

Contemporary drawing fair
> Drawing Now: 73 galleries, Carreau du Temple, Paris, March 23-26.

More contemporary drawings
>Ddessin: 20 galleries. Atelier Richelieu, Paris, March 24-26.

Art and design fair
> PAD (Paris Art + Design),
67 galleries, Tuileries Garden, Paris, March 22-26.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, March 23-May 28.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Audrey Dana's Si j'Étais un Homme, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, Feb. 24.

Documentary film festival
> Cinéma du Réel showcases documentaries from around the world. Various venues, Paris, March 24-April 2.

Suburban blues
> The Banlieues Bleues festival brings major French and international jazz acts to the Paris suburbs. Various venues, through March 31.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

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Art - Temporary Exhibitions

 

Typo en Mouvement

Movable Type
Comes to Life Onscreen

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Peter Bilak Tänzerin, “Dance Writer,” Valentina Scaglia, 2009 © Peter Bilak Tänzerin

Gutenberg’s invention of mechanical movable type in 1450 made printing possible, but the term has an entirely different meaning in the exhibition “Type in Motion” at the Lieu du Design in Paris. This is movable type for the digital age, not the kind of type that bites letters into paper but the kind that dances across screens in ways limited only by the imagination of the designer.

One of the earliest examples in the show, however, long predates the digital era: the famous scene from D.A. Pennebaker’s 1967 documentary Don’t Look Back in which Bob Dylan performs “Subterranean Homesick Blues” not by singing it (the recorded version plays on the soundtrack), but by flipping over cards on which selected words from the song’s lyrics have been handwritten. This iconic scene inspired three other videos shown in the exhibition, including “Wall Street Rap,” by Bob and Tim Robbins, from the film Bob Roberts.

In other early music videos, like Prince’s 1988 “Alphabet Street,” letters pave the road on which he drives his Thunderbird and float randomly across the background. In the clever “zZz Is Playing: Grip,” the video of the performance that opened the exhibition “Nederclips” at the Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch in 2007, a live trampoline performance imitated a video clip, complete with error messages and a playback bar being hand-painted in real time by a performer at the bottom of the “screen.”

Aside from music videos, the show covers advertising (“IHI Logo World,” in which a world is built of the Japanese manufacturer’s logo), public spaces (Electric Shadow’s “media façade” on the Turbulences FRAC Centre building in Orléans, France, designed by Jakob + MacFarlane), animation (Issey Miyake’s designs come to life in letters in the stylish 2007 video “A-POC Inside”), short films (the

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“Logorama,” by H5 (2009). © Autour de Minuit, Paris

amusing “Logorama,” by H5, in which the city of Los Angeles is built entirely of animated corporate logos [used without permission, a real feat in a lawsuit-crazed world]), title sequences (the text receding into space at the beginning of Star Wars) and design (an interactive piece by Peter Bilak Tänzerin in which onscreen dancers obey visitors’ typed command to form a letter; pictured at the top of this page). Altogether, the exhibition presents 120 onscreen exhibits.

Many of the works in this interesting show can be found online, but it is worth going to the Lieu du Design to see its setting in a complex of converted factories next to the Canal de Saint Denis in northeastern Paris’s redevelopment area and also for the handsome scenography of diagonal black-and-white slats designed for the exhibition by Vincent Blouin and Julien Legras of the agency Elément Commun.

Heidi Ellison

Lieu du Design: 11, rue de Cambrai, 75019 Paris. Métro: Corentin Cariou. Tel.: 01 40 41 51 02. Open Monday-Saturday, noon-6pm. Admission: free. www.lelieududesign.com

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