Friday, 19 August 2016

Enchantment at the Palais-Royal - Michel Goulet's Les Confidents

When my mind wanders from my desk in Sydney to my last holiday in Paris, more often than not, it wanders to the garden of the Palais-Royal and the enchantment of Quebec artist Michel Goulet’s Les Confidents - ten ‘chair poems’ bearing quotes or short verses by twenty poets, French and foreign.  

Michel Goulet's Les Confidents in the Palais Royal
Michel Goulet's Les Confidents at the Palais-Royal (c) Capturing Paris

The more I learn about this work, the more I fall for it.  

The chairs have been fashioned into ‘love seats’ by Goulet using original chairs from the Palais-Royal garden dating from the 1920s.  

Welded together, the chairs looking they are dancing - they are cosy, inviting, playful and comfortable.  

A small bronze object is placed between each of the chairs - a brown paper bag, an apple, a pair of binoculars, a piece of bread.  And a solar powered sensor allows you to plug in your headset to hear full readings of the poems by actors from the Comedie Francaise.  

Like all those familiar green iron park chairs in Paris, these can be picked up and moved around the garden at will.  

I kept returning to the Palais-Royal so I could try out each of the chairs, listen to the readings and sit in different spots in the garden.

I'm going to make a tough call - the quote from Emily Dickinson is my favourite:

Michel Goulet's Les Confidents in the Palais-Royal (c) Capturing Paris 2016

Que c'est bon - d'ĂȘtre en vie!  Que c'est infini - d'ĂȘtre.
Emily Dickinson 

My translation is - "How good it is to live, how infinite it is to be".  

Whimsical, tender, engaging, addictive - I utterly adore this work.

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