Guest-post: See the unseen

I have great pleasure to offer my blog to a guest writer, Anna Riedel, who – upon reading a press release on the newest exhibition at Louis Vuitton Espace Culturel in Paris – decided to plan her weekend around the theme of art. Here is the account of her stay in the capital of France. Hope you enjoy reading this post just as much as I have. Anna, thank you for a great write-up!
imageMural street art at Centre Pompidou, Paris
Not often do you decide to spend your money to do something that is strictly connected to your work. It’s obviously much more probable if you love your job (which is my case) but still… When you do decide to take some time off, you tend to look for places and attractions that don’t scream: ASAP or URGENT on every corner. But not me… not this time. What many people do not know about Louis Vuitton is that it has exhibition venues called Espaces in different cities around the world: Paris, Tokio, Venice, Singapur and (recently added) Munich. The Espaces are art galleries with fully autonomous art curators who put together spectacular contemporary art exhibitions.
The moment I received information concerning upcoming exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Espace in Paris I knew I had to be there. So, as soon as the idea got my boss’s blessing, I booked a plane ticket for my 4 day trip to Paris. I love the city to bits, so as far as I’m concerned, Paris IS actually always a good idea… I guess I was also longing for a delicious croissant and coffee breakfast anyway, and I just needed a proper excuse to go and get it. One of the things I love most about Paris is the blooming street art. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you can see many different forms of art, from “off the wall” wisdom like “L’amour est mort” quotes to mesmerizing graffiti and intriguing pop-art murals. All you have to do is keep your eyes wide open and then, when you least expect it, you may just find an inconspicuous little piece of art.
imagePortrait of Serge Gainsbourg – mural fan art on the wall of his house in Paris
photo 3Random street art – Montmartre

I am not a big fan of the so called high end modern art, but funnily enough, what has brought me to Paris this particular time was in fact – art at its finest. The exhibition that has pushed my “OK let’s do this!” button was Astralis, which is another term for invisible and was said to “conjure up celestial, elusive, and otherworldly themes.” From that line on I was sold. I am a big fan of Discovery Science programs, so as long as it says “stars”, ‘universe”, or “imperceptible” I’m in. And such was the case with Astralis. Inspired by the poem of Novalis (German author from the19th century) the exhibition presents the journey of the soul. It questions our being and presents us with an artistic outlook on human beliefs and emotions concerning life and death. It takes on the matter of passing by, showing all our pitiful attempts of understanding life and overcoming the limitations of our existence.

If you decide to go see it, you will come across (above many other stunning pieces) some of my favorites, such as:

Four vertical oil paintings on canvas named: life, death, time and le sud de paradis (literally “south of heaven” or hell on earth) by Damien Deroubaix (presented in a room with a centerpiece sculpture in the middle of a black carpet floor and a trompe l’oeil ceiling painting). Taxidermisted Japanese nightingale with keys, golden chains and glass ornaments in the shape of tears – an installation named Des rires, des larmes, des etoiles by Miriam Mechita. Charley Case Cosmic Lodge Installation inspired by the native American Inipi – sacred ceremony of the Lakota people.

Affiche_60x80_FINALAstralis exhibition poster

Charley Case
Cosmic Lodge by Charley Case
I could go on forever explaining what the exhibition is all about, or copy-paste many memorable quotes from the beautiful album I kept as a souvenir of my trip, but I am a firm believer of the concept that art should be, above all, felt – not explained. So I will let you google the facts, and just tell you this – The most amazing thing about Astralis is that it leaves you with a certain unease and calmness at the same time. It does something amazing, what art should be doing but sadly – rarely does. It will not shock you, it is not provocative in any way, it doesn’t scare you or disgust you… it does none of the above, yet it triggers off all your emotions and leaves you spiritually haunted, in a truly magical way…
Go see it. It’s worth it.
Astralis
Artists: ART ORIENTE OBJET (Marion LAVAL JEANTET and Benoit MANGIN), David ALTMEJD, Rina BANERJEE, BASSERODE, Charley CASE, Damien DEROUBAIX, Jean-Luc FAVERO, Vidya GASTALDON, Siobhŕn HAPASKA, Myriam MECHITA, Chloé PIENE, Břrre SAETHRE.Curator: Pascal Pique for Musée de l’Invisible.
Cool fact: You can visit all exhibitions at Espace Louis Vuitton free of charge and leave with a wonderfully published album, presenting the featured art pieces and information on their authors.
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A rare find: Central Park Warsaw

I shouldn’t really be sharing this, in fear of having too many people crashing ‘my’ restaurant. But then, life is about sharing, so here it is, enjoy! Central Park Warsaw is a little gem neatly tucked in between a few other inconspicuous places. You won’t stumble across it. You have to know where it is. We read about it somewhere and instantly decided to check it out. It just seemed like our kind of place. It is. It’s small, cosy, friendly, has a short menu, nice decor and … is round the corner from where we live. There is no box it doesn’t tick. Simples.

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The food (daily updates on facebook) is invented by the lovely owner Anna – it is fresh, simple, healthy, no fuss. The prices won’t break the bank. The service is very helpful, chatty but does not cross the line. If you happen to be served by Ola, she’ll make your day. The only complaint you might sometimes have is about the heat coming from the tiny kitchen. Unfortunately this has something to do with the admin of the building. Maybe the owners will be able to fix it over time. I take it as part of the package but if you are a fussy person with a tendency to complain, you might want to steer clear of this, otherwise wonderful, place. May I just say, you won’t be missed;)

Address: Belwederska 13, Warsaw. Mokotów. Opposite a park. Naturally.

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Zapachami wiosna się zaczyna, czyli premiera Le Petit Marseillais

Nareszcie mogę się z Wami podzielić projektem, nad którym pracuję już od kilku miesięcy. To wiosenna premiera Le Petit Marseillais. Filozofia tej marki od razu mi się spodobała, kryją się pod nią bowiem kosmetyki oparte na składnikach pochodzenia naturalnego, pozyskiwanych w Prowansji. Prowansja chyba wszystkim kojarzy się dobrze. Kiedy zamknę oczy, od razu wyobrażam sobie sięgające po horyzont pola lawendy, dojrzewające w słońcu oliwki i sady kwitnących wiśni… I to niesamowite światło, zwłaszcza po południu… Lawenda, oliwki i kwiaty wiśni to tylko niektóre ze składników, jakie wykorzystano przy produkcji Le Petit Marseillais. Mleczka do ciała, żele pod prysznic i płyny do kąpieli zawierają też takie skladniki jak biała brzoskwinia, nektarynka, morela, orzech laskowy, masło shea, aloes, mandarynka, limonka, czy kwiat pomarańczy. A jak pachną!

IMG_0770Na pierwszym planie żel pod prysznic Miód lawendowy – pachnie po prostu pysznie!

Ostrzegam – urzekające zapachy tych kosmetyków uzależniają! Powąchacie raz i przepadniecie:) Przekonały się o tym blogerki, które zaprosiliśmy na warsztaty w Warsztacie Woni – wyjątkowej kwiaciarni, gdzie na rośliny i kwiaty patrzy się inaczej. Tutaj właśnie, pod czujnym, ale też bardzo motywującym okiem Marty Gessler, odkryłyśmy w sobie niezwykły talent, komponując osłonkę dla kwitnącej lawendy, którą specjalnie dla nas Marta sprowadziła z Neapolu. Towarzyszyła temu pewna zabawna historia o niejakim Emanuelu. Dla dobra Emanuela pozostawię ją w gronie osób, które ją słyszały…

IMG_0473Marta Gessler podgląda pracę Weroniki, czyli Raspberry and Red

Cudownie było obserwować, jak kilkanaście osób w skupieniu pracuje przy swoim małym lawendowym warsztacie. Choć miałyśmy do dyspozycji te same doniczki z lawendą, liście, gałęzie oraz różne ‘głupotki’ (to określenie Marty – pożyczam!), czyli wstążki, rafię, kamyki, druciki etc. – powstało kilkanaście różnych kompozycji. Efekty naszych prac możecie zobaczyć na zdjęciach.

IMG_0639Lawendowy konkurs piękności, czyli pokaż mi swoją lawendę, a powiem ci, kim jesteś…

Cieszę się, że nasi goście spędzili z nami miło czas. Tak, jak różne były lawendowe kompozycje, tak różnorodne są relacje z tego spotkania. Bo przecież każda z blogerek patrzyła na nie swoim okiem – i obiektywem – przez pryzmat swojego bloga. One litte smile dzieli się wrażeniami ze swojego pierwszego pobytu w Warszawie i przełamuje lody towarzyskie. Agata ma nosa zdradza marzenie o kwiaciarni i ma nosa do kosmetyków Le Petit Marseillais. Design your life zabiera nas w podróż z Katowic do Warszawy i z powrotem (koniecznie zajrzyjcie na blog, choćby po to, by zobaczyć zdjęcie zachodzącego słońca zrobione z pociągu). Piękność dnia zamieszcza obszerny opis kosmetyków, a Smieti raczy nas pięknym fotoreportażem ze spotkania. Aha, jest jeszcze wisienka (a w zasadzie malinka) na torcie – video z 24-godzinnego wyjazdu do Warszawy autorstwa Raspberry and Red. Bardzo serdecznie polecam Wam te wpisy, a tymczasem oddalam się w kierunku łazienki – mam pilną potrzebę powąchania żółtego mleczka nawilżającego Le Petit Marseillais – to mój absolutny faworyt!

IMG_0723Uczestniczki warsztatów w komplecie

IMG_0768Karolina aka Charlize Mystery odkrywa tajemnice zapachów Le Petit Marseillais

LPM_packshot_foto_PL_02Moje nowe uzależnienie – mleczko nawilżające do suchej skory z masłem shea, słodkim migdałem i olejkiem arganowym

Wszystkie zdjęcia z warsztatów – Rafał Maciąga.

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The Spirit of Travel by Louis Vuitton

The new Louis Vuitton campaign, The Spirit of Travel, is being unveiled across various media as you are reading this post. I had the chance to see the film (watch the trailer here), which will soon be unveiled – back in January, at a meeting in Paris. The very memory of it is giving me goose bumps… It is mesmerizing. It is unbelievably beautiful. It sets you on a journey straight away. First in your head, then you start looking for a destination, but above all – you just want to set foot on the unknown, where you haven’t yet been… I happened to have been to South Africa, where the campaign was shot, and although the beautiful shots were taken around Cape Town, whereas I visited the northern parts near Johannesburg, the country – wherever you go – is truly a unique and amazing location to tell a story about travelling. You can read about my love for Africa in the post from last year.

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Back to the campaign though. The allure of the unknown and the thrill of exploration – are captured in a series of stunning images, shot by Peter Lindbergh, styled by Carine Roitfeld, and starring models Karen Elson and Edie Campbell. The photographer gives us an insight into the captivating spirit of the campaign – We travelled to South Africa with almost complete creative license and a wonderful cast. Karen Elson and Edie Campbell are two young women travelling in a very personal, but not necessarily narrative way. Working without any layouts or prefixed ideas allowed us to create spontaneous and real situations. The result is charming and natural.

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Apart from the models, and the iconic Louis Vuitton bags, you will also see beautiful animals in the pictures – wild giraffes, as well as cheetahs and a pair of lion cubs – these majestic cats were obviously taken care of by professionals. So fear not, nobody from the crew got eaten for breakfast, although Edie Campbell revealed in an exclusive for British Grazia that – The cheetahs were a bit scary. Even though they had been photographed and filmed a lot, they were still quite wild – they behaved as long as you had a chunk of steak for them. – read more here.

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The journey is the destination… Getting there is not as important as the experience of going… – the new Louis Vuitton advertising campaign conjures the original spirit of travel. I’m definitely sold and … searching my diary for a good time to go on a journey. To travel is to live…

All photography by Peter Lindbergh, copyright Louis Vuitton.

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