Arts & Entertainment

Old Paris stock exchange poised for new life as contemporary art museum

By María D. Valderrama

Paris, May 17 (EFE).- A new contemporary art museum is set to open up in Paris with an exhibition exploring the political and social debates of our digital age by placing the human figure at the heart of a discussion touching on racism, the patriarchy and gender discrimination.

Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the Bourse de Commerce-Pinault Collection will display French billionaire François Pinault’s art collection, which comprises nearly 10,000 artworks.

“The Pinault collection offers a personal and unique view on contemporary art and represents the current issues of our society including politics and gender identity,” director of the museum, Martin Bethenod, told Efe.

Many of the artists displayed are of African or Asian origin to intentionally represent the more marginalised societies with little art exposure in Europe. The youngest artist exhibited is 26 years old.

The museum itself is a piece of art and there is nothing haphazard about Ando’s transformation of the former Paris Stock Exchange building.

The industrial style of the building represents the start of globalization and capitalism, and acts as a dialogue with the political art pieces.

The original structure of the building, a circular floor plan and iron dome, has been preserved. Ando’s most creative work can be seen in the interior, which has been renovated into large open spaces separated by circular concrete walls.

Under the central dome and its restored nineteenth-century fresco, a series of candle statues — which look like sculptures but are made of wax — will be lit on the opening day and left to melt for 6 months until being replaced.

The collection is Pinault’s dream come true.

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