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James Lee Byars

ArchivedHappened in March 2014
47.3756400000
8.5290660000
Réunion

On opening night of James Lee Byars’ 1978 solo show at the Kunsthalle Bern, the museum was hushed and abandoned; a note on the front door read, “We are at the Commerce.” No attendees were expected—Byars’ work was considered too eccentric—so the artist and his colleagues decamped to a nearby restaurant. This anecdote inspired the Réunion happening, for which Byars’ exhibition was reinstalled and the restaurant was re-created.

A throwback to a late-blooming art legend.

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Like the 1978 exhibition, the Réunion show was closed to the public, only visible through the building’s windows. Similarly, visitors were directed anew by a scribbled note, this time to the gallery’s side entrance, where they encountered a separate space in which the Commerce, a Spanish eatery, had been restaged. There, they enjoyed a paella dinner as well as an intimate account of Byars from the artist’s good friend, philosopher G. Lischka.

'Wir sind im Commerce" stand zur Eröffnung James Lee Byars' Einzelausstellung 1978 an der Eingangstüre der Kunsthalle Bern. So die Legende, die besagt das Künstler und Kurator wussten, dass kein Publikum zu erwarten ist. JLB war schlichtweg zu unfassbar fürs Berner Publikum. So entschieden Künstler und Kurator, lieber direkt in ins Restaurant Commerce essen zu gehen, anstatt wie üblich nach der Vernissage.

Wie damals, so heute.

Der Philosoph Lischka erzählte im nachgebauten Commerce im Réunion mit Originalausstattung Anekdoten über seinen guten Freund James Lee Byars. Der Ausstellungsraum mit den Werken von James Lee Byars, blieb geschlossen. Eben wie damals in Bern.

The exhibition took place from March 13th to 27th, 2014 at Réunion in Zurich, Switzerland.

À Table

ArchivedHappened in December 2013
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Cite Internationale Des Arts

Dreams are necessary in order to survive the reality of life. But sometimes we just have to sit down and listen to other people’s dreams to realize what reality means outside our own little world. À Table is a Paris-based project that brings homeless people, local residents, curious tourists, creative people, and disorientated strangers together around the dinner table.

A potpourri of people, a feast of food.

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The initiative was spontaneously born during late 2013 when three people discussed the possibilities of opening a Parisian soup kitchen to feed anyone at all who wanders the streets—adventurous local residents, the homeless, lonely tourists, and individuals associated with Samusocial de Paris, an NGO specializing in emergency social aid.

The result was the three day event, À Table, that brought together a wide range of people to join in eating. Guests were seated across from strangers, whom they otherwise would never have met nor shared an intimate moment with. The initiative was spearheaded by Juliette Chrétien in collaboration with Random Institute, chmara.rosinke, and Maurice Maggi.

Juliette Chrétien runs her own photography studio and is well known for her photographs in the fields of interior design and fashion. In addition, Juliette is highly acclaimed for a new style of culinary books.

The mobile kitchen, which includes a large table and stools for 12 people, was hand-crafted by the renowned Austrian design duo chmara.rosinke. For this modular kitchen, they won the 2012 Outstanding Artist Award from the Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture in Austria.

Maurice Maggi is a guerrilla gardener from Zurich, Switzerland, who is known for his subversive seed-sowing "attacks," as well as his cooking skills and food knowledge. Maggi’s passion for food has taken him as far away as New York, where he ran his own restaurant. During his days in Paris, he found ingenious ways to cook tasty meals with ingredients from the local market.

In March 2014, Juliette Chrétien published the associated publication in a limited edition (4 handmade publications).

The initiative took place from December 27th to 30th, 2013 around Cité des Arts Paris.

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