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Jimi Dams
Trying to Remember

Performance with Dike Blair's sculpture, For Your Pleasure

Dike Blair
For Your Pleasure
The Paris Alternative
by Julie Ryan

Spend six years as the captain of a Paris fire brigade and two more years consulting for IBM, all the while doing off-the-cuff curating on the side, and that should more than qualify you to open your own gallery. So it is for Eric Mézan, who opened Art Process as a new and true alternative space in Paris only nine months ago. There's nothing in town quite like it.

Mézan's polyvocational background shows in his program for Art Process, which he says is offering everything from cosmopolitan art tours to London, Paris and Brussels to "bodyARTS," a physical training program that can be done at home, in the office or, for that matter, in the studio by the sedentary artist. So Eric, what are you saying, that the regime of cigarette smoking and lifting the coffee to the lips can be improved upon? Hmph.

Art Process is also a fully functioning gallery space, located at 52, rue Sedaine near the Bastille. One recent exhibition, titled "Not a Lear," paid homage to Amanda Lear, the model, muse of Salvador Dalí and rumored transsexual who is also an artist. People said that Lear had been born a man, and so kept off the cover of Vogue in the 1960s. Such intelligence continues to add fuel to her an active cult following today.

In this exhibition, curated by artist Jimi Dams, 26 artists displayed works that engage ideas of sexual ambiguity, fetish and glamour alongside 15 works by the artist/model/muse... Amanda Lear.

Among the participants, in addition to those already named, of course, were an impressive roster of new talent in Paris and elsewhere: Lisa Beck, Naomi Ben Shahar, Homi Bhabha, Dike Blair, Jean-Luc Blanc, Anuschka Blommers & Niels Schlumm, Jesse Bransford, Jemina Brown, Alex Brown, Sico Carlier, Lucky DeBellevue, Roberto DeLuna, Devon Dikeou, Jason Fox, Sam Gordon, Risk Hazekamp, Una Henry, Lidy Jacobs, Kinke Koi, Michael Lazarus, Ton Payne, Jerry Phillips and B. Wurtz.

JULIE RYAN is a correspondent for Purple magazine.