ONE MORE YEAR

http://britbachmann.com

"The Paris you loved is dead"

…a friend [René de Chochor] said to me while we were having lunch in a luxurious restaurant in New York.

-the first line of “Paris Revisited,” late memoirs of Anaïs Nin, edited by Karl Orend.

One year ago today, I arrived in Paris with two overweight suitcases and the crumpled address of a Couchsurfing host in Montreuil. The memory of my first few weeks in France blend into a chalky nightmare, full of bureaucratic obstacles, rental scams and unanswered letters to home. The following months weren’t much easier. Apart from a two week-long concert ticket winning streak in October - courtesy of Blogothèque and Les Boutiques Sonores - nothing came easy. It wasn’t until the new year that Paris became the reverie that everyone expects it to be. I stumbled into the growing ‘haute-espresso’ scene pioneered by Frog Fight, an international barista collective based in Paris. I began pouring for Coutume Café and volunteering at Shakespeare & Company Bookshop. Meanwhile, my doodles at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts evolved into a legitimate, focused art practice. I traveled, visiting childhood friends in Berlin and Fort William, attending a wedding in Glasgow, and taking over Barcelona with a group of Finnish friends. In June, I moved into the bookshop, a transition which has become the most influential period of my young life. The shop, its booksellers and writers, my fellow tumbleweeds, and the spitting thieves became my muses. Even after I moved into a flat in Montmartre for my last month in Paris, my life still revolved around Shakespeare & Company. I owe more to the Whitmans than I have words to express. This has been the most dazzlingly challenging year of my life, and I don’t regret a second of it. Thank you to everyone I love, to all the strangers I secretly filmed, and to my followers.

Kapoor at Beaux Arts

The mystery is over- Anish Kapoor is the latest artist to exhibit work at l’École des Beaux Arts. 


His series, Cement Works is set up in the school’s chapel, Chapelle des Petits-Augustins.

Here is an excerpt of the artist statement:

"These works bear witness to the artist’s interest in self-generation, a concept inherited from the Sanskrit word svayambh. In essence, Anish Kapoor’s sculptures give the sensation of not having been created by human hand and of having always been there, following the example of certain astoundingly beautiful forms built up over thousands of years by the forces of nature: one thinks of coral ounds or certain rocky outcrops…”

Cement Works is on display Tuesday-Sunday, 11-7 until June 11th.

This is a detail from my drawing, “Moninot’s drawing class, 11/05/11, 19H28-29”
Drawing by Brit Bachmann

This is a detail from my drawing, “Moninot’s drawing class, 11/05/11, 19H28-29”

Drawing by Brit Bachmann

This week, Galerie Kamel Mennour is setting up another exhibition at L’École des Beaux Arts.

This week, Galerie Kamel Mennour is setting up another exhibition at L’École des Beaux Arts.

Fresco : Days 2 & 3

More smoothing and tapping and smoothing.

After preparing the fresco surface, I got to mix paint. The white, however, was an entirely unique process from other pigments. It is made from lime that has been immersed in water, dried out, and then re-immersed. White takes a minimum of 6 months to prepare, but I only had to do the final 20 minutes - grinding the lime into a paste and diluting it to the consistency of milk.

After preparing the rest of the colours, I did my first layer and left it to crystallize under a wet towel.

Today, I began by smoothing over the fresco with a dull blade, bringing moisture to the surface of the sand and softening the crystallization that took place overnight. Then, I applied the final coat of paint. After an hour left to dry, I did a bit more smoothing, clipped the edges of my fresco, and it was complete!

Fresco requires a soft touch, something that I possess neither physically, nor metaphorically. I also lack patience. The preparation and execution of a small fresco is three days. However, I only spent approximately 40 minutes painting. I found the medium frustrating, unforgiving, and incompatible with my style. Fresco paintings are generally subtle, whereas I prefer my images more opaque. 

Although fresco was a bit of a headache, I am going to try another one in a couple weeks. When in Paris…

Fresco : Day 1

Today I woke up and decided to learn fresco. Luckily for me, the fresco instructor at Beaux Arts is the kindest, most obliging French man I have yet to meet. I showed him my work, shared my concept for a project, and we got started! 

Every fresco in the atelier begins with the smashing of another fresco. Destroying the old to make room for the new. Philippe was kind enough to let me smash the ugliest fresco in the atelier, an image of a boy dangling a baby over the edge of a cliff while simultaneously being shot in the back. 

Creating a fresco the traditional way is a three-day process. The first day involves a lot of hard labor mixing various sands and powders to create cements on which the pigment is spread. 

After the first layer of cement is mounted onto the wall and smoothed out, it is left to solidify overnight under a damp towel. Day two is the final layer of cement and the pigment. 

Mirror, 2011
This photo was taken by Finnish photographer, Iiris-Lilja Kuosmanen.
I met Iiris last semester at l’École des Beaux-Arts. Although she is the most dashing specimen of Finnish stock I have ever known, I will always associate her and her aesthetic with Paris.
The subjects in this photo are me (right) and another étudiante d’échange, Caroline M (left).
Iiris-Lilja Kuosmanen has upcoming shows in Finland, Germany and Italy. Check out her website:
http://www.iiris-lilja.com/

Mirror, 2011

This photo was taken by Finnish photographer, Iiris-Lilja Kuosmanen.

I met Iiris last semester at l’École des Beaux-Arts. Although she is the most dashing specimen of Finnish stock I have ever known, I will always associate her and her aesthetic with Paris.

The subjects in this photo are me (right) and another étudiante d’échange, Caroline M (left).

Iiris-Lilja Kuosmanen has upcoming shows in Finland, Germany and Italy. Check out her website:

http://www.iiris-lilja.com/

PDA : Bathroom Tags at Beaux Arts

"Sans tag, la vie c’est triste…"

There are few rooms at Beaux Arts that I feel more comfortable in than the bathroom on the second floor of the continuing studies building. I have decided to share the aesthetic intricacies of this sanctuary. 

Like all my “PDA” posts, this one is dedicated to Poppy and her lover. 

SPOTTED!

Claude Closky wearing a shower cap to protect his hair from the rain.

23/02/11, École des Beaux Arts, Paris.

The Sound Of Silence

…is an installation by Chilean artist, Alfredo Jaar, currently on display at L’École des Beaux Arts until March 12th. 

This photograph was taken during the setup last week. 

http://www.alfredojaar.net/