MEET LEANDRO ERLICH

Portrait | DEC 19, 2017

MEET LEANDRO ERLICH

Following “Er Xi” by Ai Weiwei in 2016 and “Where are we going?” by Chiharu Shiota in 2017, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche has remained passionately committed to contemporary creation and this year has given carte blanche to the Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich. From 12 January, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche will be hosting the “Sous le ciel” exhibition, which brings together new creations and pieces which the artist designed in store on the theme of each individual’s relationship with space, the real and the believable. Meet the artist Leandro Erlich, who presents his extremely poetic vision of the Paris sky and talks about his special collaboration with Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche.

Can you talk about the exhibition and its title “Sous le ciel” (Under the sky)?


The “Sous le ciel” exhibition is the result of a collaboration with Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. We came up with the idea for the project together with the aim of surprising visitors by giving them a unique experience, in quite an unexpected place. As for the exhibition’s theme and its title, “Sous le ciel”, it came from my fascination with a city’s sky. For me, every city has a strong relationship with “its” sky. It influences its population, its energy and its overall atmosphere. A city’s sky changes our perception of it: it can be nostalgic and make us reflect one day, and then it can be happier the next. With this in mind, I designed several pieces, including an installation which has been placed under the glass dome at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, as the protagonist in a story in which I reproduce the idea of clouds and the sky.


Why the Paris sky? Is it different from the Buenos Aires sky?


I think that the Paris sky is different from other cities’ skies. I get the impression that it has a real connection with people’s moods and minds. The Paris sky is a sky which changes a lot during the course of one day. On a day like today, it is a sky which makes me reflect on things.

What were your sources of inspiration for “Sous le ciel”?


What inspired me from the beginning of this project were the strongest architectural elements at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, namely the central escalator, the glass domes, etc. These are this place’s emblematic elements.


What does an exhibition at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche mean to you?


For me, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is a space that makes me see it as a universe of its own. I think that there is some sort of dream and ghost behind it. This space is rooted in the city, but its charm takes us elsewhere. It is a space which offers things which are sometimes unexpected, but, at the same time, are part of the daily lives of many city-dwellers. I designed the “Sous le ciel” project in response to this everyday life that is reflected in the constant changes above our heads.
I should add that Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is an emblematic store with a very rich history and, in my opinion, it represents the culture in a way. In addition to being a retail outlet, it is also a place of cultural expression and lends itself to exhibitions of this type well.

“NUBES DE PARIS”, BY LEANDRO ERLICH. THIS SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS WAS TAKEN DURING THE CREATION OF THE “SOUS LE CIEL” EXHIBITION, IN NOVEMBER 2017, AS A TRIBUTE TO THE SKIES OF PARIS, IN THE CAPITAL’S VARIOUS QUARTIERS.