The Studios of Paradise

Un film en temps réel de Pierre Joseph / Philippe Parreno / Philippe Perrin
Creator: 
Pierre Joseph
Philippe Perrin
Philippe Parreno
Performer: 
Pierre Joseph
Philippe Perrin
Philippe Parreno
Theoretical background: 
The return of the laughing cow

Les Ateliers du Paradise, Galerie Air de Paris, Nice, 1990

Les Ateliers du Paradise (‘The studios of paradise’) changed the order of representation, while introducing elements of game-playing, irresponsibility and pleasure. Yet all of this was framed within a critical structure that was apparent rather than coy, calling to account the potential of a reframed model of exhibition making. While each artist who worked together on the show has found their own path subsequently, the moment of « Les Ateliers du paradise » was the culmination of a number of temporary excursions into renewed collaborative strategies by all involved. All this alongside the reordered contextualization that was a product of the curator school at Le Magasin in Grenoble, which had produced Florence Bonnefous and Edouard Merino (Air de Paris), Esther Schipper (Schipper und Krome), Louise Neri (Parkett) and Dominique Gonzalez-Fœrster. What they did has become normalized within the relative re-structuring that has accompanied new attempts to find ways to pass (art)time, but at that point, some time in 1990, « Les ateliers du paradise » introduced an element of excess, function and just hanging around that was stark yet convivial.

Memory of the recent past is always shaky, and for a magazine issue such as this, it might be good to try and retain the shimmering mind faults that play with the amnesiast.

Cut back nine years. Sitting in London, it seemed a good moment to leave the city. And someone said « Let's drive to Nice ». Or this version. There had been a card, and the card was the same size as a credit card. It was blue with some artist's names: Philippe Parreno, Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin and maybe Bernard Joisten. Or maybe not Bernard Joisten.

A car arrived at the apartment. So then the build up begins. Not like turning a corner on leaving the underground and heading straight into a gallery, but more like driving for two days to arrive unannounced and see if there is anything behind the card.

Cross France, north to south via the mountains instead of the quicker autoroute du soleil. Over the top and down the other side, maybe in high summer. Burning arms. Then as the pretty direct route makes the last final left turn into the old town, the driver looks the wrong way. I am the passenger and just reach for the hand-brake. To my surprise it works and stops us short of a side-swipe.

The back streets of Nice are cool and stinky. Cool relative to the rest of the place in summer. The gallery, Air de Paris, has no clear designated zones. It is not immediately apparent who are the artists and who are the dealers and who are the critics and who are the curators. Small cameras are free and allow you to record your own images. A few shots on each role have already been taken by the artists. There must have been a list shortly before the opening. Some things required to spend a holiday/exhibition in the sun and cool stink. Japanese lessons; credit cards; some Gautier (hmmm); computer games (ah); precisely chosen furniture (an early appearance of a Panton-esque aesthetic in a gallery context); and some art by others to add to the pleasure. Sofas and drinks and precise instructions from expert chefs. A climbing wall. A year before Matthew Barney, some artists in Nice were spending time carefully pulling themselves around the gallery without ever touching the floor, but without the pedestrian earnestness of performance timing, just in order to stave off boredom and find new ways to entertain each other. A re-ordered social space. A sense in which time is becoming an issue without the use of time based media. There is no video documenting the artists. This is something to take part in. And you could take part just by turning up and doing nothing.

Sitting later in a nearby house, people ate tripe. There would be the whole trip back to re-consider the potential of potential. A film in real time had been created, through the application of theory that only existed elsewhere as a way to justify another re-worked formalism. There was a line that I remembered which had come with a smile in response to a report from London. « Why would you want to do that? We already know what it would produce. » A situation where text on film, social structure and politics would be required in order to de-code a set of new behavioral strategies that up-ended the lumpen predictability of the way artists are normally placed in relation to their multiple audiences. And then again, you didn't need any of that to back anything up. In Nice everything was blurred yet the result was an extreme clarity. Now as we are used to taking part in the products of other people's renewed social games, «Les ateliers du paradise« remains engaging. It was a moment of commencement that felt like you were joining something half-way through.

Berlin, October 1999
The Galerie Air de Paris began with a hair-brained idea. Philippe Parreno, Pierre Joseph, and Philippe Perrin conceived Les Ateliers du Paradise: they had the simple idea of inhabiting the gallery for one month and decorated their habitat with works of contemporary art. The ambiance was playful, with the positively innovative idea of using artwork as a living environment and not as something sacred to be worshiped without touching. Les Ateliers du Paradise has real historic value for me.

Éric Troncy, “Le spectateur et l’accident: participation and accident.” Art Press No. 226, July-August 1997. p. 43-47. French-English.
According to Philippe Perrin, the idea behind Les Ateliers du Paradise came from a discussion he had with Pierre Joseph in a train going from Grenoble to Nice.
Occurence: 

Les enfants gâtés de l'art

Georges Rey
Synopsis / Description: 
Film de l'action.
Performances: 

Film du vernissage.

Marion Vernoux
Synopsis / Description: 
Film du vernissage.
Performances: 
Objets: 

Carte de figurant des Ateliers du Paradise, plastifiée, format carte de crédit, recto

Technique description référence: 
Carte de figurant des Ateliers du Paradise, plastifiée, format carte de crédit, recto
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | trace de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris

Carte de figurant des Ateliers du Paradise, plastifiée, format carte de crédit, verso

Technique description référence: 
Carte de figurant des Ateliers du Paradise, plastifiée, format carte de crédit, verso
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | trace de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Documents: 

Protocole, lexique et résultat du scénario rédigé en temps réel par Marion Vernoux le soir du vernissage sur l'ordinateur de la galerie.

Type: 
Imprimé
Technique description référence: 
Protocole, lexique et résultat du scénario rédigé en temps réel par Marion Vernoux le soir du vernissage sur l'ordinateur de la galerie.
AIR_PA
Fichier pdf: 
ARTISTES/JOSEPH/PERF/JOSEPARRPERR1990_PARA_PERF/JOSEPARRPERR1990_PARA_AIRP_DOCI_02.pdf

Listes des objets désirés par les artistes pour venir peupler la galerie pendant le temps de leur expérience.

Type: 
Imprimé
Technique description référence: 
Listes des objets désirés par les artistes pour venir peupler la galerie pendant le temps de leur expérience.
AIR_PA
Fichier pdf: 
ARTISTES/JOSEPH/PERF/JOSEPARRPERR1990_PARA_PERF/JOSEPARRPERR1990_PARA_AIRP_DOCI_01.pdf

Philippe Perrin/Philippe Parreno/Pierre Jospeh, Air de Paris

Type: 
Presse
Technique description référence: 
Article de Liam Gillick in Artscribe, november-december 1990
AIR_PA

Art contemporain : c'est l'escalade !

Type: 
Presse
Technique description référence: 
Article de René Cenni in Nice Matin, mercedi 15 août 1990
AIR_PA
Description: 
Neither film, nor theater, nor performance, Les Ateliers du Paradise inaugurates a new genre to be discovered this summer in Nice. The action unfolds in a new contemporary art gallery, Air de Paris, at 18 rue Barillerie.

Three artists, Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, and Philippe Perrin, have met here to spend their vacation during the scheduled exhibit.

At their insistence, the gallery has become a living and recreational space in which they play out their lives and fantasies in “real time.”

To crystallize the 100-square-meter stage, the artists have imposed a décor as grand as their ambitions: giant toys, works of art, technological comfort, luxury furniture; it’s a sort of game for “spoiled” grown-ups. Like specialized moms and dads, a battalion of service providers requisitioned for the event: doctors, language and sports coaches, psychiatrists, chefs, etc. Scenes that don’t seem completely improvised unfold: Philippe Perrin has a go at diving in a steaming jacuzzi, Pierre Joseph pursues experiments that he had begun when he was nine, and Philippe Parreno listens tirelessly to the first ten measure of “Comment te dire adieu,” like J. L. Godard in Sous le signe du lion. Also present are outside participants, hand-picked by the artists who are particularly fond of introducing them like living news stories. Seeming to grant their every whim, the gallery owner provides anything they desire, so that we are tempted to call it a painless birth of art. The visitors themselves are like editors of a filmless movie (evolving in a photogenic space), viewers who favor certain points of view and choose their time of visit. They are also actors as soon as they participate. It’s a sort of actor’s studio.

Press release for the exhibit, Galerie Air de Paris, Nice.
Le Paradise was a night club in Monaco where Philippe Perrin and Edouard Mérino liked to go with their friends the Giacomoni brothers, performers in the group Mission Totale. The evening would usually end in scandal. Out of that experience came the name Les Ateliers du Paradise.
The Ateliers du Paradise t-shirt, multiple designs (Édition GDL, Nice).

500 copies, each with the exhibit credits printed on the back and with a different gold word embroidered on the front.

500 different words, which generate a role play of the order: 1. If “le hasard” meets “la roulette russe”...

50 of these t-shirts were handed out to visitors at the opening, while Marion Vernoux typed a script “in real time” on the gallery computer.
Some information provided by Florence Bonnefous, owner of the Galerie Air de Paris:

“The gallery space was organized as follows: the entrance served as the opening credits to the “film,” the first room as an office and exercise room, the room to the right as a living room, and the upstairs as a bedroom.

There were rock climbing holds installed throughout the exhibit, as requested by Philippe Parreno.

For the duration of the exhibit, the 500 t-shirts embroidered with the 500 different words were worn at random, with no system of distribution other than that dictated by the laundry.

We see in several photographs a well-stocked bookcase with volumes of all colors, the Bibliothèque du Paradise by Philippe Parreno.”
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris
Pierre Joseph, Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno | photographie de la performance "Les Ateliers du Paradise", 1990 | © Pierre Joseph, Philippe Parreno, Philippe Perrin | photographie : © DR | courtesy Galerie Air de Paris