Photo of the Week


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

"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.




Art - Temporary Exhibitions


Machines à Dessiner

Dream Machines and
Obscure Cities

Paris-Update-Machines-a-Dessiner-MuseeArtsetMetier-33 dessin_machine

“Les Naufrageurs.” Poster for the 2005 Festival Etonnants Voyageurs de Saint-Malo. © Schuiten/Casterman

The unusual exhibition “Drawing Machines” at the Musée des Arts et Métiers interprets its title in a variety of ways in an effort “to portray the timeless magic of drawing.” There are machines designed to help artists draw. There


Joseph Bramah’s 18th-century fire engine. © Musée des Arts et Métiers-Cnam/Photo Studio Cnam

are beautiful technical drawings of many of the machines owned by this museum of marvels. And then there is the work of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, the curators of the show, who might be described as drawing machines themselves.

These prolific artists are known for their graphic novels, notably the 15 volumes of The Obscure Cities series, which portray a kind of “previous future” in imaginary metropolises. Schuiten and Peeters have spent innumerable

Paris-Update-Machines-a-Dessiner-MuseeArtsetMetier-17 dessin_machine

Ship of the Desert from the Schuiten-Peeters’ “Encyclopédie des Transports Présents et à Venir, par Axel Wappendorf” (Casterman, 1988). © Schuiten-Peeters

hours in the museum over the years and used its collection as both inspiration and models for the fantastic machines in their books.

Schuiten, whose parents were both architects, also designed what is probably Paris’s most fabulous Métro station, Arts et Métiers, which gives passengers the impression that Captain Nemo might show up at any second in this version of Jules Verne’s Nautilus submarine.

The show starts with an exhibit that also evokes Verne’s world: a diving suit borrowed from another little-visited museum of marvels, the Musée de la Marine. Made and patented in the 1880s by the Carmagnolle brothers, this amazing suit of undersea armor was probably never used because of leakage problems.

Among the magnificent machines from the

Paris-Update-Machines-a-Dessiner-MuseeArtsetMetier-tricycle a_vapeur_de_dion_bouton_trepardoux_1888

A Dion-Bouton steam tricycle (1888), an early motor vehicle. © Musée des Arts et Métiers-Cnam/photo Pascal Faligot

museum’s own collection are a fire engine from the late 18th century; an early 19th-century instrument for measuring the height of trees; models of steam locomotives; a model of one of aviation pioneer Louis Blériot’s planes (the original is in the museum’s chapel); and a forerunner of the motocycle, a tricycle with a steam engine, built in 1888. All of these machines and instruments are beautiful objects in their own right, made of iron, steel, brass, and wood.

Interspersed throughout the exhibition are drawing boards covered with artwork from Schuiten and Peeters’s books. The show ends with the original artwork for many pages from their latest work, Revoir Paris, about a young woman from a distant human space colony visiting Paris, the city of her dreams, now preserved under a glass bubble. With her guide, she is taken to a number of monuments, including, of course, the Musée des Arts et Métiers.

Then it is time for visitors to sit down at the drawing boards provided, take a piece of paper and the pencil they were given when they bought their tickets and sit down to draw pictures of their own obscure cities of the mind.

Heidi Ellison

Musée des Arts et Métiers: 60, rue Réaumur, 75003 Paris. Métro: Arts et Métiers. Tel.: 01 53 01 82 00. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm (until 9:30pm on Thursday). Admission: €6. Through March 26, 2017.

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