REPORT FROM PARISBy Chris Sharp
The fall art season in Paris got under way this year on Oct. 7, 2006, with something called "La Nuit Blanche" (which is French for "all-nighter"). An ephemeral night among ephemeral Parisian nights, "La Nuit Blanche" features, at least on the artistic end of things, a variety of artist projects presented in various quarters around Paris.
The event is so dispersed and the crowds so maddening that attempting to see everything seemed pure hubris. Instead, I simply stuck with the La Goutte d'Or in the 18th arrondissement, where my goal was Indian artist Subodh Gupta's much-talked-about sculpture in the Eglise Saint-Bernard church.
La Goutte d'Or (The Drop of Gold) is famously one of Paris most "ethnic" and underprivileged neighborhoods -- the neighborhood around the metro at, say, the Chateau Rouge stop seems transplanted from sub-Saharan Africa. That Gupta's sculpture should be located in a church in this quarter was ntait pas anodin, as the French would say -- not harmless (in terms of significance).
At any rate, after a good hour of wading through the crowds, puzzling over the city-provided map and stumbling upon other pieces, such as Franck Scurti's Commerce -- a kind of neon Pop version of Robert Smithson's partially buried woodshed, i.e. a trio of glowing shop awnings arranged in a vacant lot -- I finally reached my goal and was ushered into the nave of the church where the work was majestically located.
Entitled Very Hungry God (2006), Gupta's sculpture was impressive and thoroughly worth the pilgrimage. Constructed expressly for the event, the monumental skull is finely crafted out of aluminum pots and pans and weighs in at 1,000 kilos. A prodigious momento mori and then some, the sheer spectacle of this work with its dazzling vacancy all but blinds you to its essentially morbid content. Read the entire article hereSource: