I have thought long and hard before posting this. I did not want to embody the very thing that I hate when it comes to travel. Excluding the net, there are many affordable publications on Paris’ best addresses (supposedly a secret known only to Parisian blablabla), where the french eat, what the french do, where they go, what to see. I don’t want to be a slave to another to-do list when I’m supposedly on holiday. I also do not want to impose what happened to me onto others, when someone said to me “What’s the point of you going to (insert city/ country) if you did not see (insert key attractions) ?”
However, I wanted to post this because I spent a good three hour in Le Grand Palais with one thousand other people (there’s a counter on the wall so I’m not exaggerating) and I barely heard any non-french conversation. Don’t the tourists know about Le Grand Palais?
For a first time visitor, among other things to see is La Joconde (this is how the french calls Mona Lisa), Van Gogh, Monet etc. I personally like Matisse, but that’s beside the point. Louvre, Musee d’Orsay or Pompidou indeed have great collections and a big portion of them are permanent collections (i.e. it will be there for a long, long time). The difference with Le Grand Palais is that Grand Palais has no permanent collection. It isn’t even classified under museum, otherwise it would have to conform to the decree of free museum visit on first Sunday of the month. Hence by my french deductive reasoning, their exhibitions must be really worth watching. Otherwise the french would have protested. Le Grand Palais a national monument, located just right the end of the shopping avenue Champs Elysee, offering exhibitions that would probably never appear anywhere else in France.
What I want to say is that.. if you only have one time to visit an exhibition in Paris, do include Le Grand Palais inside your pool of considerations. Do check out their website on what’s currently showing. Their exhibitions rarely disappoint.
Till July 22, Le Grand Palais is offering an exhibition on Contemporary Art in the last 100 years, titled Dynamo. No longer art means still painting or sculptures. The past 100 years have seen artists engaging audience more and more into active enjoyment of art using movement, be it by having the audience moving or using motor to redefine space, abstract, manipulation of lighting and optical sensory.
In the above photo, the same 3D art seen from the left and from the right offer two very different views. Below is how fluorescent light manipulates an otherwise white palate.
Above, redefining abstract and space, giving it form. Below is the manipulation of mirrors to create moving arts using motor.
There is also a small room where it is blanketed with heavy white smoke, rendering you blind and you’re challenged to rethink about the concept of space and then colors.
Probably the most fun exhibition I’ve ever visited. If you happen to be in town, do consider to visit Le Grand Palais.