Chapelle laennec
Paris
 
« échos »
 
Text
Lysandre Enanaa
 
Chapelle Laennec<br>PARIS
 
<!-- ----- chapeau ------ --> <span class="chapeau">Kering and Balenciaga installed their headquarters in the former Laennec hospital, an exceptional historic complex located at the center of Paris. As part of an initiative of François-Henri Pinault to mark the inauguration of the new site, on the occasion of the 2016 European Heritage Days, a selection of works from the Pinault Collection was presented to the public in the chapel of the ancient hospital.</span> <!-- ----- texte ------ --> <div class="clearfix"> <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>In 1634, Cardinal François de la Rochefoucauld, counselor to Henri IV then chaplain to Louis XIII, financed the construction, on the rue de Sèvres, of a hospice dedicated to the care of destitute patients with incurable diseases. In 1878, the establishment was named after René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec, a doctor from Brittany who invented the stethoscope in the early nineteenth century. The architectural complex consists of a series of austere buildings organized in a cross around a central chapel, interspersed by courtyards and internal cloisters. It served as an inspiration for the design of the great Parisian hospices built during the eighteenth century, including the Pitié Salpêtrière (Libéral Bruand, 1660–63) and the Invalides (Libéral Bruand and Jules Hardouin-Mansart, 1670–79). In 2000, the Laennec hospital’s services were transferred to the new Georges-Pompidou hospital. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>On this occasion, Kering decided to move its headquarters to this location, engaging an ambitious restoration project directed by Benjamin Mouton, chief architect of French National Heritage. While Frédéric Druot’s interior plans are resolutely modern, the tile roof of the buildings was restored to its original condition; the 14,000 square meters of gardens, courtyards, and cloisters were replanted with yew trees, lavender, and fruit trees selected by landscape architect Philippe Raguin. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>At the heart of the complex is the chapel, consecrated in 1640. It includes the “Bossuet” pulpit, a painting of a <i>Guardian Angel</i> by Philippe de Champaigne, and the tombs of several renowned historic figures: the Cardinal de la Rochefoucauld, the bishop of Belley Jean-Pierre Camus, and four members of the Turgot family, including the statesman and minister of Louis XVI, Anne Robert Jacques Turgot. Selected specifically for their special resonance with masterpieces of religious art, six contemporary works from the Pinault Collection were presented in the chapel as part of the exhibition “Echoes,” curated by Jean-Jacques Aillagon, and designed by the Atelier Frédéric Casanova: a group of four crucifixions by Adel Abdessemed, Maurizio Cattelan’s nine marble sculptures of recumbent bodies, a diptych by Marlene Dumas, depictions of the Last Supper by Hiroshi Sugimoto and Andres Serrano, and finally, five portraits of religious dignitaries by Y.Z. Kami. </div>
 
<span class="title">Andres Serrano</span><br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Andres Serrano is an American photographer born in 1950. His work <i>Black Supper</i> is part of his “Immersions” series, for which the artist uses small-scale models of classical works of art, such as the ones available for sale in museum gift shops, immerses them in liquid, then photographs them. Reproductions of reproductions of votive images, Serrano’s photographs invite us to reconsider works of art that have become icons of western culture—certainly very famous, but rarely examined in depth today. Black Supper, for instance, is derived from Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. This image, both sensual and solemn, becomes laden with new meaning. “I don’t really feel that I destroy icons. I feel that I create new ones,” says the artist. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span><i>Based on the catalogue of the exhibition “Passage du Temps. Une sélection d’œuvres autour de l’image” presented in 2007 at the Tri Postal in Lille, France (Skira, 2007).</i>
 
Andres SERRANO<br> <i>Black Supper</i>, 1991<br> Five cibachrome prints mounted on Plexiglas — 114 × 426 cm
 
<span class="title">Adel Abdessemed</span><br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Adel Abdessemed was born in 1971 in Constantine (northeastern Algeria); he currently lives and works in Paris and London. The four crucified Christ figures that constitute Décor were inspired by the figure of Christ on the Cross in the <i>Isenheim Altarpiece</i>, painted between 1512 and 1515 by Matthias Grünewald, on display at the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar, France. From this masterpiece, Abdessemed borrowed the two-dimensional central image of a tortured body, lacerated by whips and pierced by nails, an image of pain, in order to create his three-dimensional sculpture of razor blades, both sharp and caustic in turn. From one body, he made four, as though to stress that even an image of horror can be trivialized to the point of becoming a décor, composed of serially repeated motifs. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span><i>Based on the text by Jean-Jacques Aillagon, in </i>Adel Abdessemed Décor<i> (Éditions Xavier Barral, 2012), published to accompany the presentation of the work at the Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France, in 2012.</i>
 
Adel ABDESSEMED<br> <i>Décor</i>, 2011-2012<br> Razor wire<br> 210 × 174 × 43 cm<br> 207 × 174 × 41 cm<br> 218 × 174 × 40,5 cm<br> 205 × 174 × 37 cm
 
<span class="title">Marlene Dumas</span><br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Marlene Dumas (born in 1953 in Cape Town, South Africa) brings together […], in this horizontally divided diptych, two idols at once sacred and ludicrous. On the one hand, we recognize Holbein’s <i>Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb</i> (1521, Kunstmuseum Basel). Dumas also borrows a disconcerting tabloid image of Michael Jackson lying in an oxygen chamber, supposedly to slow the process of ageing (published in <i>The Sun</i>, on September 16, 1986). […] Dumas concentrates on portraying flesh, creating the illusion of relief with an achromatic palette. <i>Gelijkenis I & II</i> is an eloquent evocation of our deep awareness of decline and death, of the glorious body that, once extinguished, is reduced to cheerless monochrome. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span><i>Based on the text by Thomas Schlesser, from the catalogue of the exhibition “Art Lovers. Stories of Art in the Pinault Collection” presented in 2014 at the Monaco Grimaldi Forum (Éditions Lienart, 2014).</i>
 
Marlene DUMAS<br> <i>Gelijkenis I & II</i>, 2002<br> Diptych, oil on canvas — 60 × 230 cm (each)
 
<span class="title">Hiroshi Sugimoto</span><br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Impressive in their sobriety, striking in the precision of their printing, and majestic in scale, the black-and-white images that Hiroshi Sugimoto takes with a large-format camera are eye-catching but by no means easy to decipher. The Japanese artist questions the codes and values of his medium in order to produce works as complex as they are bewitching. <i>The Last Supper</i> shows a group of wax figures based on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous fresco. Thus, Sugimoto photographs a staged scene, itself an interpretation of the Renaissance masterpiece. The artist seems to suggest that photography is the heir of classical painting. It is with no irony whatsoever that he plays with tradition and reinterprets it. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span><i>Based on the catalogue of the exhibition “Passage du Temps. Une sélection d’œuvres autour de l’image" presented in 2007 at the Tri Postal in Lille, France (Skira, 2007).</i>
 
Hiroshi SUGIMOTO<br> <i>The Last Supper</i>, 1999<br> Black-and-white gelatin-silver prints — 151 × 739 × 8 cm
 
<span class="title">Y.Z. Kami</span><br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Born in Teheran, Iran, in 1956, Y.Z. Kami studied philosophy at Berkeley University, California, and at the Sorbonne, Paris. He lives and works in New York. In the five portraits that compose the work <i>In Jerusalem</i>, Kami represents side by side, in a meditative pose, religious leaders: a Sunni imam, a Catholic cardinal, an Orthodox bishop, and Sephardic and Ashkenazi rabbis—witnesses and actors of the denominational diversity that characterizes Jerusalem. Kami suggests that this diversity, which is at times the cause of sharp tensions, could also become, with wisdom, the means of guaranteeing a newfound peace. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span><i>Based on the catalogue of the exhibition “A Certain State of the World?” presented in 2009 at The Garage, Moscow (Skira, 2009).</i>
 
Y.Z. KAMI <br> <i>In Jerusalem
</i>, 2006
<br> Oil on linen
, 5 panels
<br> 45 1/8 x 24 1/8 x 1 9/16 in<br> 24 3/16 x 17 1/16 x 1 9/16 in<br> 58 1/16 x 29 1/8 x 1 9/16 in<br> 40 3/16 x 31 1/8 x 1 9/16 in<br> 47 1/4 x 23 1/8 x 1 9/16 in
 
<span class="title">Maurizio Cattelan</span><br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Nine bodies stretched out side by side. Nine corpses. Nine cadavers, their identity unknown, their background uncertain. […] Cattelan’s use of Carrara marble is significant. By resorting to this precious and symbolically saturated material, Cattelan (born in 1960 in Padua, Italy) succeeds in thwarting tradition and playing with it. These nine enigmatic shrouds evoke certain major classical works, be it Mantegna’s Lamentation over the <i>Dead Christ</i> (c. 1480) and Stefano Maderno’s <i>Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia</i> (c. 1600). In All, the trivial comes together with the divine; the corpses are also the recumbent statues of tombs; sheets and bodies are one, in what could be either a crime scene or the nave of a church. Cattelan strips this scene of any clue that might allow the viewer to determine whether this sacred, virtuoso vision takes place in a graveyard, a crypt, a morgue, or a sidewalk. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span><i>Based on the text by Colin Lemoine from the catalogue of the exhibition “Art Lovers. Stories of Art in the Pinault Collection” presented in 2014, at the Monaco Grimaldi Forum (Éditions Lienart, 2014).</i>
 
Maurizio CATTELAN<br> <i>All</i>, 2007<br> 9 Carrara white marble sculptures<br> 30 × 195 × 80 cm<br> 34 × 192 × 72 cm<br> 38 × 180 × 92 cm<br> 30 × 195 × 87 cm<br> 33 × 193 × 72 cm<br> 28 × 192 × 87 cm<br> 33 × 207 × 82 cm<br> 31 × 195 × 91 cm<br> 30 × 196 × 81 cm
 

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