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Sunset over La Defense © Paris Update

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris

English-language theater festival

ParisUpdate-ParisFringe-Geometrika300

> Paris Fringe returns for its second year of English-language theater and comedy. Various venues, Paris, May 18-28.

Pre-Edinburgh play
> Sugar Baby, by Anne Penketh and starring Holly-Rose Clegg, will play in Paris before moving on to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  La Chapelle des Lombards, Paris, May 20.

Annie in English
> The International Players present the musical Annie. Le Quai 3, Le Pecq, May 18-21.

Late-night art
> Museums stay open into the night for free and hold special events for the Nuit Européenne des Musées. Various locations. Paris, May 16.

Left Bank gallery crawl
> Open house at 50 galleries for Art Saint Germain des Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Gold in galleries
> The Carré Rive Gauche, an association of Left Bank galleries celebrates its 40th anniversary with an event called ExtrORdinaire, featuring gold in works of art. Opening night: May 18. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

All that jazz...
> Jazz acts ranging from amateurs to big names at the Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 11-22.

Literary Latin Quarter
> Readings, book signings, storytelling, concerts and more at the Quartier du Livre festival. Various venues, Paris, May 17-24.

Emerging artists
> The Salon de Montrougehas been exhibiting the work of young artists every year for 62 years. Le Beffroi, Montrouge, through May 24.

Plays from all over Europe
> The Chantiers d'Europe festival presents theatrical performances from Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Croatia and the United Kingdom. Théâtre de la Ville–Espace Pierre Cardin, May 2-24

Hollywood glam
> Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and more in classic films from Hollywood's Golden Age for the Glamour cycle. Forum des Images, Paris, May 3-31

Photo shows galore
> Le Mois de la Photo has been moved from autumn to spring, with 96 exhibitions taking place all over the greater Paris area. See Web site for locations and dates.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Emmanuelle Cuau’s Pris de Court, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, May 19.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, through May 28.

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Hot Topics - Flash News

 

Bureaucracy wins out over anarchy

Squart Goes Legit

Art for sale amid the chain stores on the Rue de Rivoli.

March 30, 2005: Paris doesn’t have a lot of empty buildings, but when certain activists spot one, they quickly find a way to enter it and move right in, often staying for long periods before being evicted by the police. Many of these squats are turned into artists’ studios (becoming “squarts”) or venues for cultural events. One of them, on the Rue de Rivoli, a busy, chain-store-lined artery in the heart of Paris, was taken over in 1999 by a group of artists calling themselves“Chez Robert, Electron Libre,” who have opened up their studios to the public every weekend since then. In 2000, the city began proceedings to evict them, but the ensuing sympathetic media coverage led to a very different outcome: the city (which has an employee whose job consists of dealing with squats) ended up buying the building for 9 million euros, with the intention of turning it into a “collective space for artistic creation” after it was pointed out that the squart was the third most-visited contemporary art space in Paris. Then the city decided that the building’s doors must be shut to outsiders for safety reasons. After protracted negotiations, the now legitimized squatters have finally agreed, as long as they can eventually reopen to the public. On March 26 and 27, the last weekend the building was open, it had more visitors than the nearby Gap store. They tramped up and down the spiral staircase and peeked into rooms filled with paintings and sculptures (some of them surprisingly good) and installations of miscellaneous junk. Plan ahead for your visit – the erstwhile squat won’t be open to the public again until February 2008 (the artists will continue to work there until January 2007), but you can always admire the gaily decorated façade or visit their Web site. We'll have to wait to find out what effect legality will have on these anarchic yet well-organized artists.


Chez Robert, Electron Libre: 59, rue de Rivoli. 75001 Paris.

http://www.59rivoli.org/

© 2005 Paris Update

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