Currently open at Galerie des Machines, curated by Olympe (OLYMPES Rhode), is an immersive, interactive exhibition entitled Poetical Revolt (with a play on “love” in the title), an ensemble installation by Yoon (Onyxxe), along with Mi-Angie (Angie Abraham), Tutsy Navarathna, and ChimKami Resident.
The installation is an interesting concept, taking as its basis a poem by Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), often regarded as a “revolutionary” French poet known for his influence on modern literature and arts, which prefigured surrealism. The poem in question is Vowels, which linked the vowels of the alphabet with colours: A = black; E = white; I = red; O = green; U = blue, and the thoughts they bring to mind.
Here they are used to outline concepts of change, with the artists noting:
Arthur Rimbaud … the man whose poems not only drastically transformed poetry but also opened a new window of understanding for the new world.
Is this not what art is about? Contribute to a change of consciousness! So it is for the poets, musicians, and singers introduced here.
Those singers, artists and musicians comprise Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Patti Smith, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Oksana Shachko, and the Sex Pistols, all of whom are considered revolutionary in terms of their music and art.
Viewing the installation requires you have the viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled (Preference > Graphics), and should have the time of day set to midnight (or, if you have it available, set your local windlight to Phototools No Light). Locals sounds should also be enabled. Those wishing to more fully immerse themselves can also use the free colour avatars offered at various points in the installation.
The installation is split into a series of rooms representative of the vowels, and each tending to focus on at least one of the named artists. Interactive elements are to be found within them: animations, links to You Tube videos.
However, how this installation might be interpreted is down to individual insight; I confess, I found the potential of a message to be mixed. On the one hand, the introduction speaks of celebrating change, and one of the artists frames the installation as being a “battle” focused on injustice, climate and pollution. However, on the other, I found the reflection of this within the installation – or choice of figures within it – to be somewhat narrow: Joplin, Smith, Morrison, Cobain, and the Sex Pistols have certainly been influential in shaping modern music and music genres – but instruments of change in matters of injustice, climate and pollution? I’m not entirely convinced.
Nevertheless, there is enough within this installation to catch the eye, so my confusion should not be seen as a reason not to visit it; Poetical Revolt may speak more powerfully to you.
- Galerie des Machines (Paris Couture, rated: Moderate)