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  • (left) Vidya Gastaldon, Let it God (Santa Table), 2013. (right) Rina Banerjee, Une femme folle, 2012

  • Børre Sæthre, Untitled (The Tarkin Doctrine), 2012

  • David Altmejd, Sans titre, 2009

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“Astralis” exhibition at Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris

Artists have always had a deep interest in exploring the unknown and defining the concept of “imaginary reality”, which functions either as an antidote to a boring everyday life or as a complementary experience that has the same importance, if not more, than the “official” reality. After all, it was Andres Breton that had said that “What is admirable about the fantastic is that there is no longer anything fantastic: there is only the real.” Luis Vuitton dedicates the 23rd exhibition to be held at its Espace Culturel in Paris to this very discovery of the unknown, the undefined, the unearthly. Titled “Astralis”, the exhibition brings together twelve artists that, according to the organizers, act as gateways to other realms and explore the concept of the mystified self: an individual who confuses dreams and reality and who, like the artists and visitors of the exhibition, lives at the border between the visible and the invisible. “The “Astral”, another term for the “Invisible”, conjures up celestial, elusive, and otherworldly themes. It touches on both a journey within ourselves, and the mind’s journey outside of the body”, explains Pascal Pique, the curator of the exhibition.

From the light installation of Børre Saethre and Myriam Mechita’s vanitas waterfall to the baroque-inspired celestial ceiling of Damien Deroubaix and the chicken wire deer of Jean-Luc Favero, the exhibition offers a wide range of thought-provoking pieces that open a dialogue with our inner self, providing a mystical experience to the viewer. “Through the methods of visionary quest, travel and astral projection or altered states of consciousness, the exhibition examines the very foundations of mankind’s artistic nature, as we continue to confront the margins of the imperceptible and the incredible. It is as if art has become the means to reopening the doors of perception and experience to other dimensions and new territories”, adds Pascal Pique. Other artists include Art Orienté Objet (Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin), David Altmejd, Rina Banerjee, Basserode, Charley Case, Vidya Gastaldon, Siobhàn Hapaska and Chloé Piene. “Astralis” will be on view until May 11 at the top floor of Louis Vuitton’s flagship store on Rue de Bossano, Paris, and it will be accompanied by a series of conversations with the artists, youth workshops and weekend family activities.