Louis Vuitton, before being a luxury brand, was in fact the name of a malletier, or luggage packer. This is why the brand has such a strong liaison to the art of travelling and doing it with luxury and comfort.
Seven years ago, in 2006, the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton opened following the idea of Yves Carcelle, the General Director of Louis Vuitton at that time. His vision was to promote art of creators that have not yet been discovered by the world. The Louis Vuitton brand wants to discover these talents and be a platform for them, and that is why they search in every corner of the world to find the perfect artists for the four expositions held per year, every time tied to a travel theme. The person in charge of travelling the globe to find them is Mary-Ange Moulonguet, who couldn’t have been better appointed since we hear she started collecting art when she was 20 years old.
The way the calendar works at the Espace Culturel LV is as follows:
In a school based calendar (starting in September) one country is chosen to be exhibited with works from artists coming from the region. Then every 3 months, a new exhibition begins, but this time the travel is only symbolic.
The exhibition that is taking place right now is called Astralis: Beyond the Stars. An excerpt from the magazine at the exhibition reads “Since time immemorial, artists have experimented with visionary experiences by diving into the astral depths and exploring unfathomable and inaccessible worlds.” The artists collaborating this time come from Africa and some of them have experimented with some local shamans guiding them through the astral-travel experience.
Every exhibition holds works of 8-12 different artists, but the next one, beginning in June, is going to be different. This time, it is only the work of one woman artist that is going to be shown. The artist will be working on the gallery for the whole three months until the work is completed. Every person who comes to the gallery will have an opportunity to watch the live creation of the work and maybe even chat a little with the up-til-now mysterious woman artist.
If you’re in Paris, if you love art, if you love Louis Vuitton, do not hesitate to go to the Champs-Élysées LV store and take the elevator, (which in itself is Oliafur Eliasson’s permanent work of art) to the 7th floor and travel to whatever destination the gallery has for you.
Written by Bárbara Menéndez and Sima Maalouf