Monday, March 24, 2008
Paulette Phillips, past President of Mercer Union, presents her second solo exhibition at Diaz Contemporary this Saturday, March 29th. Titled History appears twice, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce, the show is inspired by E 1027, a villa in the south of France built by architect and designer Eileen Gray for her lover Jean Badovici in the twenties. A friend of Badovici's, the Swiss-born architect, designer, writer and painter, Le Corbusier visited E-1027 on numerous occasions and admired it to the point of needing to intervene on the clean white walls. He painted a series of murals, which infuriated Gray, who considered them outright vandalism. Le Corbusier subsequently became intricately tied with the future of the house, and it was often incorrectly attributed to him. Unable to purchase the villa, he eventually bought adjacent property just east of E.1027, from a former plumber who ran a small cafe there. Here he built Le Cabanon, a modest cabin that was designed in less than an hour in 1951 and built in 6 months the following year.
Le Cabanon is now a historic site, whereas E-1027 is in state of disrepair.
I visited Paulette's studio last year and saw this project as a work-in-progress, which then featured footage that the artist had taken herself of the abandoned villa, and a couple of witty sculptural elements.
The exhibition runs until the 26th of April. For more information, visit www.diazcontemporary.ca.