Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
We took these two Portes at rather a tangent, not the normal traveling to their extremity and the walking back to our centre, the Rue de Bretagne, as has been the usual approach. This time we made an angle along a short periphery of the western city, to take in some of the more opulent parts of Paris, the well-bred and well-clad shopping streets of the 16th arrondissement. Nothing could be further from its exact parallel on the other side of the city.
We had walked north of the Portes to visit the Musée de la Contrafaçon. I would like to translate it as the Museum of Contradiction, but really it is the Museum of Fakes. How apt you might think for our times. But nothing was focused enough to have any point to be made, and it was really just a kind of incomplete and clumsily-arranged set of copyright infringements. As far as I’m concerned, one box of La Vache Qui Rit (fake already) cheese is all the same whether it came from France or China!
The only momentary stir of interest came from the very mention of the name of Ivan Puni, the Russian avante-gardiste, attached to the label of a painting that wasn’t by him, and you could see why. It was a long way from those constructions of an earlier time where he left real tools in the picture plane, and probably one from his later years in Paris where he had changed his name to Jean Pougny. Are we almost in the realm of the genuine counterfeit, I asked myself ?
Beneath it was a folder of drawings by a completely fictitious artist, as far as I could tell named Ivan Pruitt, which I would be happy to reproduce as a fake book. The small machine parts-like cogs and steel mill blades–were almost Constructivist or even Suprematist in a cartoon-like way. They were attached in the folder by photo-corners that looked so brittle and brown in colour, that this fake must have been made a long while ago.
These things went with me as we walked the plenitude of Rue Mozart, between La Muette and the metro at Porte Molitor, having taken in Porte de Passy by implication. SC