It’s difficult for people outside of France to grasp the full extent of the annual August shutdown. But business, social life and art really do go into Beach Orbit for a full four weeks of the year.
September is the month of re-entry, it’s la rentrée. Kids go back to school. Corporate types swap their Villebrequin shorts for ties. Deal makers dial C for Cash from city pads not yachts. Journalists type away from within their humble abodes, flip-flops and espadrilles flung into a corner after poolside sojourns at auntie Gwendoline’s (“Thank God for family after all!”) …
And the art flock – the monied, the passionate, the busy bees, the clueless and the sharks – all reassemble for a renewed round of friendly back-stabbing artworld banter. Galleries re-open their doors. Institutions work up to their blockbuster exhibition openings. Art fairs rev their ever-more finely tuned engines. Curators sharpen minds and pencils eager to demonstrate their yet-to-be-revealed genius in The Next Brilliant Exhibition. (“I will find a sponsor this time!”) Finally, the re-energized art critic can’t wait to dish out sweets or spanks depending ; the mere thought sends anticipatory frissons down his reptilian spine.
Whether mind and body of the art flâneur can take the full shock of renewed activity really entirely depends on the quantity and quality of sun, rosé, lengthy snoozes, extended meals and other summer delights absorbed.
Yes, it is indeed re-entry time in Paris.
Bonne rentrée! and buckle up because they’ve announced quite a ride!