On the renovated Foundation Van Gogh, Solaris Chronicles, and the LUMA Arles launch
Joseph NechvatalPublished at Hyperallergic as
Arles Well That Ends Well
herehttp://hyperallergic.com/119759/arles-well-that-ends-well/It first looked to be cold, gray and rainy on the first April weekend in Arles, somewhat in stride with thegeneral dour spirit of the French these days. This grouch has been indicated by the regional electionsuccesses of the far right-wing National Front party. With stagnation unemployment in France at over 10%(around 12% in the European community) the mood under the current Parti socialiste administrate has beenovercast, malcontent and nationalist, of late. But with the first breath of April spring, a psychicinternational egg was hatching in the Camargue, cradled in the nest of art. So even as the mistral winds blew hard, they blew warm and from gauche à droite à gauche.The art program started on Thursday night with openings in private art galleries (I myself had a vernissageat Galerie Omnius) and then with the Friday opening of the newly vitalized Foundation Van Gogh,orchestrated by the Swiss zoologist, environmentalist and philanthropist Luc Hoffmann.. Dr. Hoffmann, at91, is a congenial and generous man with warm and bushy eyes who has been supporting Foundation VanGogh for decades while under the direction of its founder Yolande Clergue. (Yolande’s daughter, thecurator Anne Clergue, opened a new gallery in Arles the same weekend.) But now the foundation hasmoved to a new and very chic location fashioned by the architects Guillaume Avenard and HervéSchneider.After three years of work it opened its doors with the inaugural exhibition
Van Gogh live!
curated by theKunsthaus Zürich-bassed Swiss art critic (and founder of the magazine
) Bice Curiger, who is nowthe director of the Foundation Van Gogh.I dug that Bice cheekily chose to highlight-center a tremendously cryptic Thomas Hirschhorn installationthat both celebrates and mocks Van Gogh’s popularity and non-exclusivity. For his new, large-scale piece“Indoor Van Gogh Altar” (2014), Hirschhorn imagined himself as a young Japanese woman of today whois obsessed by Van Gogh.