24 h museum by Francesco Vezzoli


Edited by Nicola Ruben Montini, art editor

24 h Museum
Francesco Vezzoli
From the 24th to the 25th of January
Palais d’Iéna, Paris

This short review was written at Starbucks (something we do miss in Italy, rue de l’Operà, Paris) on the 25th of January, just few minutes before the 24 h Museum closed to the public.

I flew to Paris less than 24 hours ago just in time to visit Francesco Vezzoli’ s last project: 24 h Museum, a super cool environment designed in collaboration with AMO, Rem Koolhaas’ think tank.
The 24h Museum opened yesterday, the 24th of January at the Palais D’Iéna, an historic Parigian Palace designed by Auguste Perret between 1936 and 1946, today home of CESE (Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental).

The show, so as stated by the title itself, lasts 24 hours.
The format of a 24 hours show is not new in contemporary art events. It was conceived for the first time in 2006 for the 24-Hour Interview Marathon at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, in London, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond. Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, who also has run the interview together with Rem Koolhaas, the event featured the biggest names of contemporary culture.
Perhaps we should assume that the 24-h format could be seen as a way to adapt exhibitions and art events to the fact that, nowadays, a show is generally visited at the opening and in the following few days/hours.

I was just in front of the main entrance of the 24 h Museum when a beautiful young lady approached me and suggested to introduce myself as a student who just missed his classmates’ group for the guide, or I couldn’t visit the show.
The 24 h Museum is a praise to the idea of beauty, through a tribute to classical icons and contemporary stars. As stated by Vezzoli on the website of the show “They are my icons turned into sculptures and placed on marble pedestals” (Francesco Vezzoli in L’Espresso, 21-12-2011, p.199).
At the opening night (super VIP – by invitation only) Miuccia Prada welcomes the guests such as monsieur Pinault with her wife Salma Hayek, Anna Wintour, Franca and Carla Sozzani, Dita von Teese, Louis Garrel, Anna Dello Russo and more super stars from the international Olympus of the cinema world, theatre, visual arts, fashion and music, all spheres of the creative world that Vezzoli has tried to “cross-mix” in his career, were delighted by the Dj set by Kate Moss.
The day after the party, the show was open to public and students were welcomed and guided by members of the educational department through the over-lefts from the party. A monumental – pink-lighted cage housed a series of reproductions of classical sculptures, which faces portrayed contemporary pop divas.

The show was produced by Prada (the biggest mentor of Francesco Vezzoli) and it has shown entirely the predominant role of the fashion industry on contemporary visual arts productions, both in the position of commissioners and/or collectors.

Since I stepped in the show, I have a question stocked in my mind: is the 24 h Museum an artistic intervention, an art show or a wonderfully glamorous promotion of a fashion brand during Paris Fashion Week?
Coming into the realm of ethics: given the economic crisis of this contingent historical era, is the 24 h Museum a nice way to show the public how VIP have parties or is a golden work to critic the decay of ethics?

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