When the oldest institution in France, the Monnaie de Paris, re-opens next month as a center dedicated to culture and commerce, it will showcase work by two of contemporary art’s biggest names. They are not Parisians, however, but Angelenos.
John Baldessari’s Your Name in Lights will inaugurate the space, running for a month beginning on September 13. Thousands of people will receive their 15 seconds of fame when their illuminated names are displayed on the 18th century building’s façade. The artist has put out an open call, and organizers expect 100,000 participants.
The Monnaie was founded in 864 to mint coins, so it is fitting that Paul McCarthy’s sprawling Chocolate Factory installation pays homage to this commercial legacy. From October 25th to January 4th, visitors will be greeted by an actual chocolate workshop staffed by confectioners. They will be churning out chocolate sculptures of Santa Claus and a Christmas Tree that bears a striking resemblance to a sex toy. For those who have always dreamed of owning a McCarthy but have lacked the means, “the consumable and perishable artworks produced by “Chocolate Factory” are available for purchase there and then, in unlimited quantities,” according to the press release. (Unlimited quantities, people!) Hopefully R. Kelly will be providing the soundtrack.
Beyond the main hall, a series of salons have been transformed into McCarthy’s “own personal dreamworld.” The artist’s bed will also be on site for the duration of show, giving Tracey Emin a run for her money.
also by Matt Stromberg
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