mercredi 14 janvier 2009


OBAMA INAUGURATION DAY on January 20, 2009 shapes up to be an event to remember for many historical reasons. One of the more mundane reasons will be the invitation extended by president elect Barack Obama to the Malian duo Amadou et Mariam. Their presence at inauguration day among other renowned artists such as Beyonce, Jay-Z or Leona Lewis got the blogosphere buzzing.
Amadou and Mariam, the married couple from Bamako, have, since the release of their Manu Chao-produced Dimanche à Bamako album in 2006, become the world music act that it’s safe to admit to liking, whether you be a tie-dye wearing Womadian or a skinny-jeaned indie kid. Hell, they even had a number one in Germany with the official theme for the World Cup. They’ve achieved all this through their riveting and uplifting live shows and also by simply being musically marvellous; blending their Malian blues with Western pop savvy, all backed up by Amadou’s blistering guitar. Welcome To Mali will, it’s safe to say, only increase their standing. It’s a gem.
Having been part of the recent Africa Express shows it’s no surprise that the hand of the ubiquitous Damon Albarn appears at the controls on the opener, Sabali. Luckily he’s tweaked the sound in exactly the right direction, focussing on the sweet pop tones of Mariam, underscoring it with charming synthesizer arpeggios. Elsewhere the production still leaves space for some arresting contemporary tricks. It brings home the reason that Europe has taken them to its heart - their style, not unlike Bob Marley’s, is resilient enough to withstand any amount of Western tinkering.
A number of other guests appear, yet the fact is A & M are just too good to let anyone showboat all over their album. The usually mighty K’Naan (the Somalian-via-Canada rapper) sounds fairly weedy, lost in the dizzy horn blast of Africa. The grins of the pair are almost audible as they run the gamut of styles from the reggae of Djama and Je Te Kiffe to the call and response of Ce N’est Pas Bon or the more traditional Djuru and the heavy, heavy guitar licks of Masiteladi. Later the slower blues of their homeland is allowed to stretch out on the langorous Bozos.
It’s a mix of the deceptively simple and rhythmically irresistible. Good times most definitely guaranteed.

mercredi 7 janvier 2009



In 1962, Andy Warhol painted the portraits of Marilyn Monroe and her rival Liz Taylor, reinterpreted the Mona Lisa and Elvis Presley. From 1967 until his death in 1987, he produced commissioned portraits of dozens of personalities, famous or obscure, creating a world fascinated by appearances, a vertiginous flattering mirror. He revived a neglected genre, applying new codes which deeply marked the history of portraiture. Alongside film and rock stars (Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda, Mick Jagger, Sylvester Stallone), we find portraits of artists (Man Ray, David Hockney, Joseph Beuys, Keith Haring), collectors and art dealers (Dominique de Menil, Bruno Bischofberger, Ileana Sonnabend, Leo Castelli), politicians (Willy Brandt, Edward Kennedy), fashion designers (Yves Saint-Laurent, Sonia Rykiel, Hélène Rochas), businessmen and jet-setters (Gianni Agnelli, Lee Radziwell, Princess Grace of Monaco, Gunther Sachs). Famous or less famous, they all glow with the aura of Warhol’s genius. In this series, Warhol painted a picture of an entire society and invented a new form of artistic production - serial and almost mass-produced. In his studio, “The Factory”, Andy Warhol developed a systematic process in the early 1970s: he made up his models and photographed them with a Big Shot Polaroid (the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh has several hundred of these photos, some of which will be presented in the exhibition). He carefully selected the shots, then painted and silk-screened the portraits. A selection from the thousand or so portraits that he painted from the early 1960s onwards is here presented by themes focusing on the key points in Warhol’s work: Self Portraits, Screen Tests, Mao, Dollars, Disasters, The Last Supper etc. which situate them in a retrospective view of his production. In 1979, the Whitney Museum exhibited about fifty of these paintings, but since then - despite the fact that many of them have become “’cons’ -they have not been shown in a single-artist exhibition. With the aim of recreating the effect of the principle of repetition which Warhol had in mind when he painted them, the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais is presenting, for the first time, this large set of paintings which constitutes an unprecedented archive in the history of painting and photography.
18/03/2009 - 13/07/2009


For spring summer 2009, Paul Smith Jeans has interpreted classic Shakesperean characters onto t-shirts.
Yorick (Hamlet) Oberon (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet) all get re-interpreted by Paul Smith Jeans. These illustrated organic cotton t-shirts depict Yorick, Oberon and Mercutio as a free spirited rockstar entertainer, a madman and a modern day ‘boy next door’ respectively, giving a contemporary slant on these age-old characters. They come packaged in a re-usable fabric bag decorated with Paul Smith’s ‘Never Assume’ coat of arms along with a screen print of these twisted Shakespearean characters.
The limited edition T-Shirts will be available from February 2009 at Paul Smith Jeans Stores; 9-11 Langley Court, WC2E 9JY and 10 Byard Lane, Nottingham, NG1 2GJ.


Barbie plays dress up in Giorgio Armani (left), Burberry and Benetton. (Mattel)

Start shopping for a tasteful birthday gift — 1/6th scale, please. Barbie’s 50th birthday is right around the corner, and she’s a picky one. As Jessica Michault of The International Herald Tribune points out in an article today, throughout her doll life, Barbara Millicent Roberts has always been a clotheshorse: “her tastes have grown to appreciate more designer fare. From Benetton and Burberry to Versace and Vera Wang, Barbie has been dressed by more than 70 designers, including Giorgio Armani, Christian Lacroix and Monique Lhuillier.” What’s more, at the New York fashion shows in February, Mattel is staging a full-scale fashion show featuring Barbie-inspired work from 50 fashion designers. Let’s hope Ken can score an invitation.


Où est le centre du monde ?

Mr Castang le sait.

Quel est le sens de la vie ?

Mr Castang a la réponse.

Comment sauver le monde occidental de l'Ennui ?

Demandez à Mr Castang.Qui est Mr Castang ?

Vite trouvons-le !Accompagné d'une troupe plus rocambolesque que jamais, embarquez-vous dans un voyage musical spatio-temporel, dont la destination est tenue secrète.

Mister Castang célèbre producteur hollywoodien a donné rendez-vous à Luigi—Edouard Baer. Ce qui devait être la rencontre d’une vie se transforme au gré des apparitions et disparitions du producteur excentrique, en jeux de piste à travers le monde. Un périple au cours duquel Luigi croisera stupéfait un télévangéliste américain… Un pygmée…Une paysanne très chique… Des emmerdeurs de touts acabits… Une jeune fille rêveuse…Un guérillero carioca… La fille d’Indiana Jones… Un vendeur ambulant hindou… Un sage africain… Des amoureux du passé… Un couple inquiétant surgi d’un film de David Lynch et même Fernandel…Avant de finir en feu d’artifice dans les bras de Mister Castang… Ou presque. Bon voyage !
Du 16 décembre 2008 au 10 janvier 2009
Theatre Marigny