Artists get involved at the Aquarium de Paris through an ambitious artistic journey from April 5 to September 30, 2017
«Australia: Defending the Oceans»: aboriginal sculptures in recycled fishing nets «The Crossing of Appearances»: Hélène Ash, underwater photographs «Codex in fantastic waters»: street art for a marine bestiary
From April to September 2017, the Aquarium de Paris presents a major exhibition on coral reefs. Its aim is to publicize the diversity and beauty of the underwater world, as well as initiatives intended to preserve this unique and important heritage for humanity. In this context, art and science find themselves at the crossroads of intelligence and sensitivities on an ambitious and unique artistic journey mixing installations, sculptures, street art and photographs. This exhibition is carried out under the patronage of the Australian Embassy in France, with the support of the State of Queensland and the participation of gallery Arts d’Australie • Stéphane Jacob (Paris) and Suzanne O’Connell Gallery (Australia), Posca, and the media partnerships of 20 minutes , France Bleu 107.1, France 4 and Sortir à Paris.
Artists mobilize to preserve the oceans The oceans represent 71% of the surface of the planet. They contain 96.5% of the water present on Earth and produce half the oxygen we breathe. Coral reefs, along with tropical forests, are the richest and most productive ecosystems on the planet. They are home to exceptional biodiversity. Beyond their beauty, coral reefs help out humanity in many ways: coastal protection against erosion, a food resource, medical bioprospecting, as well as being of great importance to the cosmetic, food and tourism industries. The oceans’ sustainability is essential. At the initiative of the Aquarium de Paris, artists from both hemispheres have committed themselves to delivering a constructive and optimistic message on this crucial issue. The objective of this journey is to kindle the wonder of the public and inspire the desire to act to protect marine biodiversity.
«I am convinced that art and contemporary art in particular, is a formidable advocacy vehicle to create awareness about the environmental perils which threaten us. That is why every year we present the works of artists whose approach is in resonance with the issues we showcase. 2017 being the year of the Coral», emphasizes Alexis L Powilewicz, Director and General Manager
«The Crossing of Appearances»: Photos and videos of Hélène Ash to reveal the moving beauty of the oceans Après plusieurs mois de travail et de collaboration avec des experts scientifiques renommés dans Her photographs capture moments of grace born of a dialogue between nature and the aperture of her camera. Hélène Ash immerses us into the intimacy of the oceans that she roams to reveal a moving beauty, sometimes sensual, but firmly alive. Her approach is not only artistic, Hélène wants to make the public aware of the beauty of the seabed. For the artist, it is the wonderment which will lead us to protect, «because we protect what we love». The subtlety and power of her images call us to the point of urging us to get involved, to act, to preserve our environment. Her view offers us a true experience, that of simply accepting to be marveled by a color, a form, an expression. She poetizes with the anemone and the comatula, seizes the iridescent atmospheres, and sneaks her eye between the membranes to gain the intimate. Out of her colorful images, singular variations are revealed in which everyone will be able to hang his or her own reveries. Hélène Ash questions the immensity of the sea, the profound silence, and calls for «the crossing of appearances». (1) «Only one dive was enough, since then, everything is different, my whole life has tipped over under the sea. I’m not a naturalist. I do not reproduce nature, I show it in a new light, and unveil the precious treasures it holds. Precious in the sense of rich, but also threatened because most of the seabed is today devastated, almost dead. Still, beyond this gloomy observation, this could be my fighting plan, I try, with my images, to kindle the wonder of the spectator by carrying him or her to the heart of this paradise, not lost yet.» Points out Hélène Ash. In parallel with her exhibition, Hélène Ash and l’Aquarium de Paris are organizing an international competition “Soak in splendor to inspire protection”. Students from art schools around the world are invited to create a short animated film, one to two minutes long maximum, using a selection of 5 images by the artist Hélène Ash. To the young students of all countries, the challenge of this competition is to imagine through their creativity a way of informing the general public while at the same time inspire the desire to act to protect the biodiversity of coral reefs.
«Codex in fantastic waters»: Street art for a chimerical bestiary and confront the reality of the marine world with our dreams as children
Urban artist Codex Urbanus takes over l’Aquarium de Paris to make his imaginary chimeras cohabit with the residents of aquariums. Street art enters the walls of the Aquarium to dialogue the unreal and the real. This marine bestiary is realized in situ on the walls, during the opening hours of the aquarium in the same way that the artist works in the street, with some poscas, paint markers, to create different families of marine animals, which will then have their binomial name in Latin. His chimeras are linked to real animals in the surrounding basins, in order to develop a kind of formal dialogue between the existent and fantasized, as well as an interaction with visitors. Take Action! A participatory work will also be proposed during this exhibition, where visitors and, in particular, the children will in their turn continue the marine bestiary of Codex, an opportunity to delve into the world of street art while engaging in a dialogue with visitors around these marine animals. «The abyss is full of creatures that are bestiary at least as surprising and fantastic as the ones that any human mind could imagine! And the meeting with the public comes out a bit from this oneiric research. Finally, in most cases, the visitor does not go to the aquarium as a naturalist, with a scientific mind, but rather as a child to discover different forms of life and dream of other worlds ... I think my bestiary will fit naturally in this process and allow to reach and touch the young ones and maybe a first brush with the Art» points out Codex Urbanus. Master classes with artists for a meeting with the public: Codex Urbanus will produce two masterclasses for families. Visitors can dive into the universe of the marine bestiary of the urban artist Codex Urbanus. A unique experience where young and old alike can pursue his chimeras and take possession of the walls of the Aquarium.
Information : 01 40 69 23 23 and http://www.aquariumdeparis.com Address: 5, avenue Albert de Mun/ 2, avenue des Nations Unies 75016 Paris/ Metro: Iena or Trocadéro Last entry at 6 pm. / Rates for Adults: 2 20.50 Rates for children: 3 to 12 years: 2 13 / Reduced rates: students, seniors, job seekers: 2 16/ Children under 3 years: free