Before it was referred to as “The Sad Mute” by locals, Victor Hugo celebrated his 70th birthday there and it was where some of the world’s most famous dance troupes graced the stages when in Paris. No longer the eyesore of Paris’s 10th Arrondissement, the newly renovated Gaîté Lyrique is a pulsating centre of digital art, music and electronics. The original building was constructed in 1862 and was a visual declaration of Napoleon Bonaparte’s showy extravagance. Over the next 100 years it fell into a slow decline. In the 70’s it housed a circus school, it was gutted for a poor imitation of Disneyland, “Planète Magique,” in the 1980’s, after which it fell into a general state of disrepair.
In the early 2000’s Manuelle Gautrand was given free reign to salvage what he could and create a theatre and design centre of the future with the rest. What remains of the old theatre, namely the meticulously restored grand marble lobby and the café with towering arched windows, contrasts spectacularly with the futuristic interactive sound and light installations and the arcade where visitors are invited to play, read and work.
The renovation of 7 floors and over 100,000 square feet cost an extraordinary 61 million Euros. The space anticipates holding at least 3 concerts a week and over 120 live multi-media exhibitions and shows per year. With so much space that is completely up to date technologically, it’s not hard to imagine the Gaîté Lyrique becoming one of Paris’s artistic hubs. The space houses galleries, concert halls, sound studios, a library, lecture halls, screening rooms, you name it. This is really the beauty of the space, it was designed not to be a specific type of venue, rather to readily evolve to the need of the function. Perhaps Paris’s deputy mayor in charge of cultural affairs put it best when he said that it is “a place of interactive multi-sensory experiences, a place of experimentation and exchange, a place accessible to all generations. Without a doubt, a joyful effervescence waits for you there.”
Paris and the arts is an age-old combination, which has never gone out of style. If you’re looking for something a bit more intimate than a 100,000 square foot arts centre stay with the charming Hotel des Académies et des Arts, as chosen by White Line Hotels. Might we suggest the 2-night French Cuisine offer they have at the moment? Included is dinner for two at the newly Michelin Guide selected Le Timbre.
Check the programme and the pretty fantastic gift shop: www.gaite-lyrique.net
Contributing writer: Alicia Reuter
In 2008 Lisa Kirk launched her art-perfume Revolution, which included smoke, gasoline, tear gas, burnt rubber, and decaying flesh among its notes. This past January the news broke that Lady Gaga will finally be releasing her first signature scent in 2012, reportedly based around the aromas of blood and semen. It would seem that our olfactory sophistication has reached some sort of pinnacle, conceptually, but at the least we can say that those who’ve said that a fragrance like Robert Piguet’s Bandit is hard to wear had no idea what was coming. So, until Lisa Kirk releases Power as a follow up to Revolution, or maybe Lady Gaga surprises us by taking that title for her own, for now we can still speak poetically about the fragrance of power rather than Power: the Fragrance.
If you’re looking for somewhere to have that conversation while you still can, look no further than Stockholm’s Bonniers konsthall where this year’s guest artist, Norwegian Gardar Eide Einarsson, reminds us that the sense of smell is a powerful aphrodisiac, and power itself, as they say, is the greatest of all. Using everyday and sub-cultural symbols, Einarsson juxtaposes authority, power, and rebellion in the very reduced visual language of black and white. The lack of color unsettles, especially on familiar objects, and this creates the atmosphere that permeates the exhibition space. With this tension in the air you might just be tempted to raise a fist and cry out for revolution, but in any case, if you bought Lisa Kirk’s perfume, this is certainly the occasion to give it a spritz.
Until June 12th at Bonniers konsthall, Torsgatan 19, Stockholm. Opening hours: Wednesday through Friday 12noon – 7pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm.
Need a place you won’t be crying out for revolution at? Check out the Nobis Hotel, our place picked out by the White Line Hotels crew in easy reach of Bonniers konsthall.
All images courtesy Bonniers konsthall.
Contributing writer: Melissa Frost
Have you ever seen the workout schedule for a triathlete? If not, rest assured it’s intense hours of dedicated training every single day. That said, it’s an exceptionally rewarding sport, even more so when you consider some of the stunning locations of the triathlons.
That’s why we want to introduce you to the Marco Polo Challenge in Korčula on April 30th. Professional and non-professional competitors over 16 (there’s a special series of events for triathletes under the age of 15) will line up to swim 750m, bike 20 km, and run 5 km. What makes it original are the completely unique and stunning Adriatic locations. Pine forests, the historic city centre, and the deep clear waters of the sea will be the backdrop to the spirited, buff and brave athletes.
For non-athletes many events, beyond just enjoying the landscape are taking place, including a talk with Croatian Stipe Bozic. If you haven’t heard of him, prepare to feel a twinge of jealousy. He’s climbed the seven summits twice (yes, Everest too), skied the North Pole, and recently crossed the world’s 7 deserts. Don’t pass up the hike and BBQ on Mount Ilija on the Peljesac peninsula or the chance to sample truffles and regional wines.
If you’re not quite ready to take on the challenges of a triathlon alone, teams are welcome to enter. The Marco Polo Challenge is working with three major charities: heart foundation Korculansko Peljesko Srce, poverty fighters Action Aid, and project funders the Dallaglio Foundation, so you can feel good about more than just your athletic prowess.
You can contact the Lesic Dimitri Palace, as chosen by the White Line Hotels crew, directly about the triathlon. It’s in the centre of the old town, putting you right on the path of the runners, and only minutes from the race start. Hint: They’ve got a special offer going for 3, 5, and 7 night stays.
Contributing writer: Alicia Reuter
The concept of dining has changed drastically in the last few years. In Chicago you can experience over 20 bite-sized courses of extraordinary flavour combinations and textures. In the Maldives you can eat under the Indian Ocean and in Paris, Dubai and Brussels you can dine at the location of your choice sitting at a table hovering 50 meters over the city and let’s not get started on the possibilities molecular gastronomy offers.
But let’s take it down a notch, to a concept that is much more home grown and temporary than your typical restaurant. That would be John Fraser’s “What Happen When” in SoHo, New York. The building is set for demolition sometime after July, meaning that by the end of the year it will be as though the restaurant installation was never there. The concept is clever, every 30 days the entire design, sound and menu of the restaurant changes. Fraser, a Michelin-starred chef known in culinary circles for his dedication to artisanal products and farm fresh produce, teamed up with designers Emilie Baltz, Elle Kunnos de Voss and The Metrics, as well as composer Micah Silver and filmmaker Jeff Larson to create themes and to design the monthly changes.
The idea includes keeping it simple and diners are expected to have an open mind, or at least to expect the unexpected. By abandoning restaurant concepts and opening himself to the world beyond food, Fraser and his team are able to inspire each other, and in turn, the guests. Simplicity is also appreciated, take the bar for example: it is stocked with only one brand of each spirit, and every night there’s only one red, one white, and one sparkling on the menu. Diners can trust the chef’s creations and instead focus on just enjoying the experience.
What Happens When will change to Movement 3 on March 29th. The current menu, Movement 2, finds its unique inspiration in a “combination of “Where the Wild Things Are” and a cabinet of curiosities.” The menu is earthy, wintery, and has a hint of spring on the horizon.
Where’s it going down? Here: www.whathappenswhennyc.com
Sources of inspiration in NYC are abundant, but you should treat yourself to a stay in an inspiring space too. In White Line Hotels edit the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca you’ll find hints of Tibet, Sweden, Morocco, and Italy. It’s said that the incredible Shibui Japanese spa is a vacation in and of itself.
Contributing writer: Alicia Reuter
Personally, I kind of like literal interpretations that border on the ridiculous or just plain stupid. It always feels like someone is wrapping up the punch line of a joke, and then punches you in the shoulder at the end of the sentence. It’s so ludicrous, if not outright farcical, that you find yourself taken off guard before you even have time to decide if it’s worth a laugh or not. With this kind of strategy, laughs aren’t the point; the point is the act of being knocked off guard. Once you let your guard down you can see something differently, maybe even see a humor you didn’t know existed, and in It’s a Circus! Jonathan Monk turns that strategy on the Art World.
There are certainly enough jokes about contemporary art that involve monochromatic painting (or any number of other jabs at 20th century modernism) and if you attend gallery openings sometimes you’ve probably thought, or heard someone say out loud, that it’s a circus. If you go a little more often, you might consider the whole art world a circus. Here’s where Jonathan Monk is going to deliver the punch line and then punch you in the shoulder. For his new exhibition at Yvon Lambert Monk is presenting 23 monochromatic paintings that were installed by a circus troop following a precise choreography dictated by the artist, and you’re not going to see the performance or the paintings. Instead, you will see 23 photographs in the first room of the gallery that document what happened in the main room. Also included are some of Monk’s neons spelling out types of circus performers. Now that you’ve been knocked off guard, however, are they types of players in the circus, or types of players in the Art World?
Until April 8th at Yvon Lambert, 108 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 75003 Paris. Opening hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10am – 7pm.
Going to see It’s a Circus! ? Be caught off guard again at White Line Hotels edit Hotel des Academies et des Arts. More than just another hotel in Paris, it’s an artistic experience of its own.
All images courtesy Yvon Lambert Gallery
Contributing writer: Melissa Frost