A Hotel Photo, An Artist’s View at the Art Paris Art Fair
at the Grand Palais from 29th March – 1st April 2012

With la Galerie Esther Woerdehoff and Elene Usdin, we’ve been working on a great project for the 2012 Art Paris Art Fair: AntiChamber with viewS, a new installation where you can spy on some ladies in their rooms!

It’s all for the sake of art of course. Full explanation this way…

The Galerie Esther Woerdehoff and Hôtels Paris Rive Gauche label present

AntiChambre avec vueS (AntiChamber with ViewS) by Elene Usdin at Art Paris Art Fair

For the Art Paris show, the Galerie Esther Woerdehoff and HPRG label have decided to continue their collaboration, which started with the PHPA project (‘Photo d’hôtel, photo d’auteur’, also known in English as ‘A Hotel Photo, An Artist’s View’) by presenting a brand new installation by the photographer/artist Elene Usdin.

For the gallery’s space at the art fair, we have chosen to show the amazing work of three photographers: Michael Schnabel, Ursula Kraft and Elene Usdin.

In a theatre-like area, visitors will be able to discover the silent beauty of Michael Schnabel’s mountains and the magical landscapes of Ursula Kraft before opening a door into the imagination of Elene Usdin, with the surprising apparition of a hotel room and corridor recreated in the nave of the Grand Palais.Hotel rooms have always been a subject for fantasies, a goldmine for the imagination.

When the Hotel La Belle Juliette opened its doors, Alain Bisotti, general manager of the HPRG label, invited the artist Elene Usdin to create two pieces inspired by Juliette Récamier, to whom the hotel is dedicated. This commission was followed up with another artistic endeavour, when Elene Usdin was chosen to create the Carte Blanche for the Photo d’Hôtel, Photo d’Auteur 2011 exhibition.

With a feeling for the particularities and beauty of the various rooms, the artist attributed a feminine personality to each hotel belonging to the label: the Empress Josephine at the Hôtel des Grands Hommes, George Sand at the Hôtel Panthéon, Simone de Beauvoir at the Hôtel Design Sorbonne, Isadora Duncan at the Hôtel Jardin de l’Odéon and – of course – Juliette Récamier at the Hôtel La Belle Juliette.“Les Impatiences”, a small multimedia work (SMW) is the fruit of the shootings done by Elene during the nights she spent at each hotel: taking on the character of each of these five famous women, the artist show them to us as ‘sleeping beauties’ whose unfathomable dreams inspire a restless sleep.

A medical term, Les Impatiences defines a syndrome where a person’s legs move continuously throughout the night. Showing these women in their intimacy, during their sleep, and with a humorous side, this SMW filmed in stop-motion is also homage to silent movies. Its original score, which remixes well-known melodies of popular songs, reinforces the humoristic approach.

L’œuvre avec l’œuvre by Alain Bisotti, artistic director of the photo project “Photo d’hôtel, photo d’auteur”

“When the Galerie Esther Woerdehoff invited us to us to participate in Art Paris to raise awareness about PHPA, Elene and I set about thinking how we could present the Carte Blanche in a completely new way. We decided to continue the theme by playing on ideas of fantasies and voyeurism. What might have gone on in the intimacy of these rooms, occupied by these famous women?

The films made us think about voyeurism, rooms with spyholes, one-way mirrors… perhaps we could go a little further and imagine that an AntiChamber with ViewS could be a work of art in itself?

We decided to work on the idea of a corridor of a stylish hotel, reconstructed and symbolised by a red carpet ending in front of the door to the AntiChamber with ViewS. Spyholes for voyeurs have been drilled in the walls, allowing the public to see what is going on inside, peeking in, indiscreetly.

Vistors will be able to see “les Impatiences” in both image and sound, as well as a new photo from the “Changing room” series commissioned for Photo d’Hôtel, Photo d’Auteur, entitled ‘Self-portrait as Simone de Beauvoir laid naked.”

Twenty signed, limited edition box sets will be available to buy. This special object, presented in a box, contains: the small multimedia work “Les impatiences”, five photographic prints (21cm x 15cm) of the self-portrait series produced in 2011 for ther PHPA Carte Blanche PHPA, plus a new image taken from the same series.AntiChamber with ViewS by Elene Usdin

“The 1908 work “A Room with A View” by E.M. Forster revolves around a hotel room that obsesses the thoughts and desires of the heroine during her stay in Florence.

But what if the focus really was on the room, not what was outside it?

When Alain Bisotti offered me the chance to do the 2011 PHPA Carte Blanche, we explored various different directions the upcoming work could take. The Hotel La Belle Juliette had just opened and I had taken part in the decoration with two works commissioned by the hotel.

As the hotel is based around a famous woman touched by destiny (Juliette Récamier), we asked ourselves the following question: which women could be similarly associated with the other HPRG hotels? Our conclusions were as follows: The Hotel des Grands Hommes would have the Empress Josephine as its icon, the Hotel du Panthéon would have George Sand as a guest, the Hotel Jardin de l’Odéon would hear the furtive steps of Isadora Duncan and the Hotel Design Sorbonne would be Simone de Beauvoir’s hotel.Elene Usdin - Carte blanche PHPA 2011When I found myself spending a preparatory night in the rooms of the hotels, I started to imagine what the Ladies might have thought and done in a hotel room, far from prying eyes… And some extraordinary things happened to me: each night, I dreamt I was one of them. But the most extraordinary thing is that I had my camera with me.”Elene Usdin - Carte blanche PHPA 2011PHPA, or the single unique image by Guillaume Morel, Connaissance des Arts

“In an era overflowing with images, where digital shots are taken non-stop, the photo prize Photo d’Hôtel Photo d’Auteur goes precisely against this trend by asking photographers to take just one photo, or rather to submit only one.

The principle behind the project (known in French as “Photo d’Hôtel, Photo d’Auteur” or just PHPA) is simple: every month, a young photographer is invited to spend one night in one of the five hotels carrying the Hôtel Paris Rive Gauche (HPRG) label – The Hôtel Design Sorbonne, Hôtel des Grands Hommes, Hôtel Jardin de l’Odéon, Hôtel du

Panthéon and La Belle Juliette. The artist then has ten days to decide on their photo, which is then displayed in a virtual gallery on the HPRG website. Each image is accompanied by a text written by its author.

Over the course of 2010, twelve individuals submitted the shots that now make up this catalogue. They also form a double exhibition at the Galerie Esther Woerdehoff and the Hôtel La Belle Juliette.

Each photographer had access not only to their room, but also all the public areas of the hotel, such as reception, the hotel corridors, the bar, the restaurant… Each, with their own viewpoint and artistic sensibility, was free to imagine their own story. Hotels have a soul and memory. Open to all, they are special places of intimacy, intimacy of both bodies and minds, magical places that people pass through, where lives coexist, meet, follow one after another… where small stories encounter great ones.

A hotel also means travel, solitude, anonymity, love – legitimate or otherwise – moments suspended in time, moments stolen from time.

In these twelve photos, real life is mixed with fiction, the living meet the phantoms of the pas.

You’ll see views that are realistic, ironic, tragic, romantic, dreamlike… all created by the photographers chosen for this, the fifth edition of a project created in 2007 by Corinne and Pascal Moncelli – the owners of Hôtels Paris Rive Gauche – and Alain Bisotti, the artistic director of this great project.

Each year, free rein (carte blanche) is also given to an additional artist who is invited to produce a new series of photos, premiered at the yearly exhibition. For the 2011 edition, multi-talented artist Elene Usdin has

chosen to pay homage to five famous women each of whom symbolise the spirit of one of the five Hôtels Paris Rive Gauche hotels.”

Elene Usdin by Julie Crenn, January 2010

Elene Usdin started working as an illustrative artist after graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris in 1996. She worked for French and American magazines, turning more towards photography and self-portraits in the early 2000s.

This new approach gave birth to reflection about space, representation, appearance and genre. She dressed up as if to better understand her surroundings and the codes of representation that are often standardised and stereotyped.

Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

Set on the Rive Gauche in the heart of the Montparnasse area, in a historic building where artists such as Camille Claudel and Constantin Brancusi had their workshops, the Galerie Esther Woerdehoff is an essential stop for anyone in Paris who loves photography.

Sinc opening in 1996 collectors of contemporary and classic photos from around the world have celebrated the gallery’s eclectic and vibrant selections. The gallery’s artists include: Carolle Benitah, Philippe Calandre, Christian Tagliavini, Mario Cravo Neto, Sabine Dehnel, Ursula Kraft, Loan Nguyen, Michael Schnabel, Fabian Unternährer et Carla van de Puttelaar.

Alain Bisotti and Esther Woerdehoff met at Paris Photo and very quickly found a common desire to work together. Since 2011, the gallery hosts the PHPA for a month.


HPRG and patronage of the arts = “Photo d’hôtel, photo d’auteur”

Hôtels Paris Rive Gauche is a label that includes the Hôtel Design Sorbonne, the Hôtel des Grands Hommes, the Hôtel Jardin de l’Odéon, the Hôtel du Panthéon and La Belle Juliette (a four-star hotel opened in January 2011 which includes exhibition spaces for contemporary photography).

Five luxurious hotels of character, displaying the qualities of Parisian life on the Left Bank.

The owners, Corinne and Pascal Moncelli, want to put an emphasis on quality and l’art de vivre, values that are common to all their hotels.

Photography is an important means of communication for a hotel, and it seemed natural to divert it from its purely commercial sense and encourage the artform. For this reason Alain Bisotti, the originator of the project, called it “Photo d’Hôtel, Photo d’Auteur” (literally “A hotel photo, a photo from an artist”) and selected artists that had nothing today with the business of taking hotel photos.

The PHPA prize and exhibition were created in 2007.

The winner is awarded 3,000 euros.

The “Carte Blanche” for the exhibition has a budget of 3,000 euros.

The Carte Blanche for 2012 will be given to the Magnum photographic agency. Five photographers from the agency will spend a night in one of the hotels belonging to the label, and give their version of “What’s the use of love?” (Steve McCurry, Paolo Pellegrin, Antoine d’Agata, Bruce Gilden, Christopher Anderson)

The Art Paris Art Fair is at the Grand Palais (here) from 29th March – 1st April 2012

Invitation only: pro afternoon Wednesday 28th March 2012 from 2-6pm
. Opening party Wednesday 28th March 2012 from 6-10pm
. Pre-opening for collectors and professionals (VIP invite required) Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April from 10.30-11.30am

Open to the public Thursday 29th March from 11.30am – 8pm, Fridat 30th March from 11.30am – 10pm, Saturday 31st March from 11.30am – 8pm, Sunday 1st April from 11.30am – 7pm

Admission: 20€

Official site: www.artparis.fr

Facebook: facebook.com/artparisartfair

Les Hôtels Paris Rive Gauche : www.hotels-paris-rive-gauche.com

Paris news blog: www.hotels-paris-rive-gauche.com/blog/

Photo d’Hôtel, Photo d’Auteur: www.hotels-paris-rive-gauche.com/galerie/fr/

La Belle Juliette: www.labellejuliette.com

HPRG would like to extend its thanks to our generous sponsors for this event:

L’abus de l’alcool est dangereux pour la santé. Buvez avec modération.

Photos / drawings: Elen Usdin