For generations Art was housed exclusively in high end galleries, private collections, and museums. Today there is a movement to create alternative environments for artists, curators, collectors, and the public to discover Art. We seek out these spaces for Art, we look for them locally and abroad. Those we discover that offer an exemplary environment for Art will be shared in UKAY-zine.
71 Bis, an Apartment in Montmartre, Paris, France
As most flats turned into exhibition spaces, 71B was born out of a lack of space dedicated to a certain realm of the art world. After a number of hopeful curators met while studying Art history at the School of the Louvre, we founded a nonprofit called Diamètre devoted to the emerging creation. It happened so quickly we could not obtain any exhibition space without having done so previously; that's why I offered my flat to be what it is now. At first it was supposed to be a one-shot show which lasted for a week, but I clearly became addicted to the excitement, and exhibitions multiplied and extended. After I got rid of most of the things that could not fit into bags or hide in my bathroom, my two room flat was painted white, neon lights were added, and a ladder was fixed on the outside windowsill of my ground floor apartment, thus inviting any passerby to stop in. The 71B was born in Montmartre!
Most people see life in a white cube only from a pure practical sense, which to me is a misleading way of thinking. For sure, having a reachable toilet, a fully furnished kitchen, and not having to move all my possessions every now and again is a luxury I am not able to enjoy. However, my life is full of pleasure that most people cannot even imagine.
I live among a display of pieces of Art right in the artist's mind. I can meditate in the middle of a spirit that is not mine—and that changes every month. Instead of watching TV, I can meet a lot of interesting people only by staying at home. Above all, the face of my late night lovers when entering into the 71B is priceless.
In eighteen months I have shown around a dozen young artists in my entire apartment, mostly in solo shows. Every time it was an amazing challenge and a pleasure to achieve. We had to think of an entire show that would let me live in it.
I have tried to create an experimental place where the Art world could tear down it's own endogamy. A space where kids from the street, creepy old women, and the usual Art goers could feel welcome enough in order to mingle, interact, and share.
Words by Andy Rankin