The Slow Art Movement Exhibition at L'institut Suedois in Le Marais, Paris
Seeking a little cultural nourishment after a lazy brunch, we stumbled upon L’Institute Suedois (the Swedish Cultural Institute), 11 Rue Payenne, Le Marais, which is famous for its nihilistic café and rather magical gardens obscured by the palatial exterior. We were lured in by the intriguing title of the Slow Art Movement exhibition. The concept behind it is a total rejection of the contemporary reality that by mass producing art in the 21st century, the original emotional impact is lost. This is an idea originally pondered by the German aesthetics philosopher Immanuel Kant who believed that great art had to have a depth of soul beyond its aesthetic value.
This group of Swedish artists and craftspeople wish to counteract a world, which regretfully values innovation and speed above the lots perception of the craftsman being viewed as an artist who spends hours perfecting his work. The movement celebrates the meticulous creative process behind an object by presenting textiles, glass, ceramics and silver, which have all been made by hand. Upon entering, we were immediately drawn to what resembled a shadowy, monochrome photograph. Upon reading the accompanying blurb we realised that it was in fact a work of embroidery, Shadows by Malin Lager (1946) who describes her needle like a paintbrush and her thread as the paint. Jane Reumert’s stirringly beautiful Snow Owl bowl sat beside it. It could easily have been confused for a collage of feathers, but is in fact made of finely worked, nearly transparent clay.
Our favourite piece in the first room was Helena Sandstrom’s eggshell necklace, which was almost ethereal in its delicacy. To continue with the exhibition you cross the courtyard past an array of beautiful Nordics gathering to indulge in the café’s delicacies. Don’t be tempted to join them at the rickety tables, because there is a gorgeous little secret garden if you follow the staircase and aren’t afraid to push a few doors. Head to Marche des Enfants Rouges, 39 Rue de Bretagne for some lunch en route to Le Centre Pompidou.
Written by Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, founder of Arteviste.com