In September 2004, French police discovered a hidden chamber in the catacombs under Paris. It contained a full-sized movie screen, projection equipment, a bar, a pressure cooker for making couscous, a professionally installed electricity system, and at least three phone lines. Movies ranged from 1950s noir classics to recent thrillers.
When the police returned three days later, the phone and power lines had been cut and there was a note on the floor: “Do not try to find us.” (via)
nO YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS ENTIRE CINEMA WAS HIDDEN BEHIND AN UNDER CONSTRUCTION SIGN THAT LEAD TO A CHECK-IN DISK WITH A FULL CCTV HOOKUP THAT WOULD TURN ON AND RECORD ANY UNREGISTERED VISITORS. AND IF SOMEONE SNUCK IN? A TAPE OF BARKING SECURITY DOGS WOULD BEGIN TO PLAY.
BEYOND THE CRAZY FRONT DESK AND THE MOVIE THEATER, THERE WAS A STOCKED BAR AND TABLES AND CHAIRS, MEANING THAT AFTER CATCHING A FLICK IN AN ILLEGAL PARISIAN CATACOMB THEATER, YOU COULD THEN EAT COUSCOUS AND SIP A COCKTAIL NEXT DOOR. THERE WAS A PROFESSIONAL ELECTRICITY SYSTEM SET UP, AND AT LEAST 3 WORKING PHONE LINES. THIS SHIT WAS LIKE A BOND VILLAIN.
BETTER YET? IT WAS RUMORED THAT THE PLACE WAS SET UP BY THE UNDERGROUND FRENCH ART GANG UX “Urban eXperiment”, WHO NAVIGATES THROUGH THE PARISIAN UNDERGROUNDS AND ILLEGALLY RESTORES ABANDONED WORKS OF ART, ALONG WITH HOLDING FILM FESTIVALS IN THE BASEMENTS OF GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS. THEY EVEN RELEASED A SHORT FILM ABOUT THEIR WORK RESTORING THE ICONIC PANTHEON CLOCK OVER THE COURSE OF ONE YEAR. NO ONE SUSPECTED THEIR INVOLVEMENT, UNTIL THE CLOCK BEGAN TO WORK AGAIN AFTER 60 YEARS OF RUSTING.
IF YOU DON’T THINK CATACOMBS AND THE PEOPLE WHO HANG OUT IN THEM ARE SOME OF THE COOLEST FUCKING THINGS IN THE WORLD THEN I IMPLORE YOU TO EAT SOME COUSCOUS AND RECONSIDER.
One of the most outrageously infuriating and hilarious things about them repairing the Pantheon Clock Tower was that when they told the administration in charge of the building, they were outraged and tried to sue UX and get them jail time for fixing the clock and they then hired someone to come in and re-break the clock, although he refused and offered only to remove a piece so it would no longer work. UX then broke in and stole that piece so they could keep it safe until someone more enlightened took over and would be open to having the clock restored once more.
a complex network of organic material invades the architecture at the palais de tokyo in paris, in brazilian artist henrique oliveira’s ‘baitogogo’. the installation is a matrix of sculptural vegetation — unraveling, twisting, and plunging from existing pillars and beams. the massive form is both a hybrid of mediums and disciplines as well as a dimensional synthesis of site-specific structural elements. oliveira, known for his architectural integrations, manipulates the space by both extending and multiplying the columns, encasing the viewer in a dizzying circuit of knotted, root-like material. in a communion of urban design, plant life, and biology, the artist generates an immense audience reaction to the unexpected fusion of sculpture and space.
henrique oliveira palais de tokyo, paris now through september 9, 2013