Installed in the newly renovated exhibition spaces of the oldest Parisian factory, "Chocolate Factory" expresses a will of mise en abime, questioning the notion of seriality in the very building where coins are minted in the dozens and hundreds of millions.
On the occasion of its re-opening, Monnaie de Paris presents Chocolate Factory, an exhibition by Paul McCarthy which will be installed in the newly renovated exhibition spaces at Monnaie de Paris, marking the beginning of a new phase of contemporary art programs.
Paul McCarthy, a central figure in the international contemporary art world and an inspiration for generations of artists, brings the energy and endless reinvention of the city of Los Angeles to his first major solo exhibition in a Paris institution. First realized seven years ago in New York City, this re-installation of Chocolate Factory in Paris will build upon its previous installation, using the shift in context from the white cube and austere setting of the Maccarone gallery to the ornate and Baroque Salle Guillaume Dupré to transform and evolve the project.
The exhibition welcomes visitors in the grand staircase with a grove of giant inflatable sculptures, which reference both modernist sculpture and Christmas trees, a form to provide pleasure. These sculptures of industrial proportion and materiality also point to street advertising, marrying the wonders of Hollywood and the western consumer culture dream.
Upon entering the main exhibition hall, one finds an operational chocolate factory situated inside an adobe style film set. The rustic thin architecture of the set creates a stark contrast to the elaborate interior of the Salle Guillaume Dupré, representing a nostalgic and historic notion of perfection and opulence. It is this juxtaposition of high and low that is at the heart of McCarthy’s oeuvre.
In the adjoining 18th century rooms, Paul McCarthy’s exhibition continues with a site-specific video work, inviting the viewer to enter into a dreamscape that turns reality into a world of absurdity. The work’s repeating images mine the subconscious and our repression of taboo associations, ideas and thoughts. A place of unconsciousness, of self absence, it is a counterpoint to the frantic pace of the factory. One’s immersion into these spaces evokes a place between waking and sleeping.The chocolate figurines produced inside the exhibition are inspired by the mythical character of Santa Claus and his emblem, the Christmas Tree. Here, Paul McCarthy recreates a full production line, the very mechanisms of representation, production and sale for consumption.
The visitor observes workers/performers engaged in the production of chocolate figurines accumulating in abundance. These ephemeral objects are churned out in an absurd performance in pursuit of a non-viable economy. Within the walls of the oldest Parisian factory, Chocolate Factory expresses a will of mise en abîme, questioning the notion of seriality in the very building where coins are minted in the dozens and hundreds of millions. Unlimited, edible and perishable, these figurines are sold at the front desk and bookstore. With each day, the Chocolate Factory grows as a sculpture, creating logistic problems, storage problems, and ultimately affecting its ability to function.
Composed of two volumes, Chocolate Factory Paris, Pretext is an artist book retracing the development of the project since its very conception to its setting in the 18th century salons of Monnaie de Paris.
The book is entirely conceived by the artist around the imagery of Christmas in Paris and more specifically around the figures of Santa Claus and the Christmas Tree with collaged-texts, sketches and drawings by Paul McCarthy with reference to art history, poetry and anthropology.
Some works in the exhibition Chocolate Factory by Paul McCarthy can be disturbing with a character sexually explicit and sometimes violent. Some images and themes of the exhibition might upset some visitors.
Children and teenagers are not recommended to visit the exhibition.
For further information, we invite you to refer to our guides and mediators who can inform you and provide you necessary information.
Image: Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
Guillaume Robic Director of Communication T +33 (0)1 40465818 / email@example.com
Claudine Colin Communication - Avril Boisneault T +33 (0)1 42726001 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Monnaie de Paris
11, Quai de Conti - 75006 Paris
On Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th October 2014, the exhibition will be open in free access from 11am to 11pm.
Open 11 - 19 every day, thursday nights until 22:00
Closed 25 December and 1 January
Full price admission to the exhibitions: €8
Reduced price admission: €5