What are the exhibitions to see in Paris in December 2018?

I will be in Paris in December and I am starting to check what exhibitions there will be in the city this winter. My passion for exhibitions brought me to the job I do today. Going back to a city like Paris is very exciting: there’s more exhibitions that there’s time to see. However, in my memories, Paris’ exhibition scene is amazing content-wise, it is not design-wise, the exhibitions being mostly traditional looking, compared, for instance, to a city like London. Plus, the art scene exhibitions is very important, which is amazing but gives less space to history and science exhibitions or other projects. That’s in my memory and might be completely wrong. We’ll see this winter!

With more than 100 museums in the city, there are more exhibitions in Paris than I will be able to see. This means I have to make choices. This article lists the exhibitions I would personally love to visit. Most of them I will, hopefully. I am mostly interested in exhibition-making: the art of making exhibitions, which can be appreciated regardless of the subject matter. However, this list reflects my interests, which you’ll notice, are very diverse.If you have other suggestions: a well-curated or well-designed exhibition, or just a project that you’ve seen and enjoyed, please share. A good suggestion is always welcome, I’ll make my best to go see it :).

My very first choice is Michael Jackson, On the Wall at the Grand Palais. It was at the National Portrait Gallery in London until mid-October and will open at the end of this month in Paris. I am a huge Michael Jackson’s fan. I fell in love with the character and his music at the age of 11 and my love has never been altered. So when I heard that there was an exhibition about him coming up, I was very excited. A friend of mine saw it in London. It is apparently not an exhibition of anything that belonged to him and isn’t an exhibition ‘about’ him per se. It is an exhibition of art pieces of him, made by others. Definitely on my list anyway!

On a different note, the Palais de la Découverte now presents Poison, showcasing ‘some thirty living species of venomous and poisonous animals’ as stated on the website. I have become quite reluctant to anything zoo-like with living animals in cages. That’s already a negative point for men. However, I am quite interested in the content and how they present these poisonous species. It is said that they ‘capitalize’ on people’s fascination to then present that poison can work in two ways: to harm but also to cure. One can say it’s easy marketing but if it’s well-done, it can be quite fascinating.

On a quite different note again, La Fabrique du Luxe is now on at the Musée Cognac-Jay. This exhibitions discusses the haberdasher’s industry in Paris in the 18th century. Fashion is one of my favourite subjects and its history has been and still is a huge interest of mine – I was originally trained as a fashion historian. Plus, I’d like to work more on fashion-related exhibitions in the future. therefore, this is something I am quite excited to go see, especially on this subject. The 18th century in Paris is very interesting in regards to fashion: it is considered the century when the fashion industry as we know it today was born.

There’s the very exciting Human at the GoodPlanet Foundation. Video based, the exhibition presents the testimony of more than 2000 thousand people around the world answering questions such as: ‘do you feel free?’ and ‘what’s the meaning of life?’. Human promises to be an immersion into humanity with the objective of (re)creating bonds and exchanges between humans. I am always very excited by a project of this nature. Exhibitions can, or at least should try, to challenge the visitor and help build a better world. Human seems to go into this direction. Looking forward to seeing it.

I am going to stop here, with this nice project. There is a lot more to see in Paris and this list represents my personal choices only. For instance, I am noting an exhibition on Alphonse Mucha at the Musée du Luxembourg, Southern Geometries, from Mexico to Patagoniaat the Fondation Cartier or Artistes à Montmartre, lieux et ateliers mythiques at the Musée de Montmartre (which is the area I grew up in) but they are second choices. I am first going to see the exhibitions listed here and won’t forget to review them and share my thoughts with you on Pristine Preview! If you have other suggestions, please don’t hesitate 🙂

Maxime

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