The Bourse de Commerce
A Parisian haven for Contemporary Art showcasing notable exhibitions by Araki and Douglas
By Ayanoh Nakamoto
Photo Patrick Tourneboeuf
Found in the heart of Paris, the Bourse de Commerce is home to some of the most intriguing works of contemporary art collected. After undergoing a three year restoration and redesign the 18th-century stock exchange building turned gallery opened their doors for the first time last Spring.
The Bourse de Commerce shows art exclusively from the 1960’s to the present day from the 10,000 piece private collection by François Pinault. His collection represents almost 400 artists in a variety of mediums. At the end of 2021, the gallery welcomed two new exhibitions by Nobuyoshi Araki and Stan Douglas.
Photo Maxime Tétard
Shi-Nikki (Private Diary) for Robert Frank by Nobuyoshi Araki is a series of 101 black-and-white photographs produced in 1993, three years after the death of his wife Yoko Aoki.
Araki captures the female models in fully frontal poses, explicit and uncompromising, as well as in erotic scenarios. These images are displayed together with photographs of Araki’s new life as a widower: still lifes, the streets and skies of Tokyo, his cat, Chiro. This series gives a nod to the works of Robert Frank (1924 - 2019), a pioneer of American photography, who was given a dedication to the series on the occasion of his exhibition at the Yokohama Museum. Throughout the images, Araki explores his intimate surroundings while also questioning desire and loss.
Luanda-Kinshasa by Stan Douglas is a video installation that takes place in a reconstruction of Columbia Records most famous recording studio, The Church, as it was in the 1970’s. This space was abandoned and then transformed into a unique recording studio which saw the likes of Miles Davis and Aretha Franklin, and was a key element in some of the most iconic recordings in the history of contemporary music from 1949 to 1981.
During the film’s 6 hour running time, Douglas takes the viewer into the studio to watch a group of fictitious musicians come together and create a piece of music. The musicians improvise a piece together in an environment that is designed to give off an unclassifiable, timeless atmosphere. The film composes and recomposes the montages of clips in a random way to create a quasi-hypnotic loop of music for the viewer to immerse themselves in.
The name of the film is in reference to two historical events: the legendary boxing match of Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa in 1971 and the liberation of the Angolan capital Luanda in 1974-75. During the film, there are no words spoken or names for the actors to add political dimension to the piece. Douglas has also explained he was “inspired by Jacques Attali’s idea that musical formations can anticipate and carry a vision of new social formations”.