Galerie Cinéma founder Anne-Dominique Toussaint strikes an elegant Michelangelo Antonioni pose Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Anne-Dominique Toussaint’s Parisian Galerie Cinéma is here in New York with an exhibition featuring works by Cédric Klapisch, Atiq Rahimi, Edward Lachman, Agnès Godard, James Franco, Vincent Perez, Kate Barry, Harry Gruyaert and Raymond Depardon as a special event of the 20th Anniversary of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. The exhibition includes photographs of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve who star in Benoît Jacquot's 3 Hearts (3 Coeurs), Isabelle Huppert, Sofia Coppola, Julianne Moore, Emmanuelle Bercot, Gérard Depardieu, Patrice Chéreau and a video loop of James Franco channeling Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
Kate Barry photographs: "Barry did a lot of pictures of actresses. You will recognize Charlotte, Isabelle Huppert, Sofia Coppola, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Just before the opening reception, attended by SK1 (L’Affaire SK1) star Nathalie Baye and by Wild Life (Vie Sauvage) director Cédric Kahn with his producer Kristina Larsen, Annette Insdorf and Lachman, Anne-Dominique gave me a tour of the show.
Anne-Katrin Titze: The afternoon sun is shining through the windows, across the street, Central Park is glistening with snow - that we have had enough of in New York and yet it still makes for a great backdrop. Let's take a tour through the exhibition you brought over from Paris.
Anne-Dominique Toussaint: I've been a film producer for more than twenty years. A year and a half ago, I decided to open a gallery in Paris, La Galerie Cinéma, because I wanted to make links and bridges between cinema and art. I noticed that there are a lot of directors or cinematographers, or actors even, who have another skill.
AKT: Where is the Galerie located in Paris?
ADT: It is in Le Marais, where all the nice galleries are. It's my neighborhood. I live there, my production company is there and I had the opportunity to get a very nice place, so I took it. I opened in September 2013 with Kate Barry. This exhibition here in New York is a group show of all the artists I have exhibited in Paris from 2013 until next week when I will have Raymond Depardon in Paris. Maybe we can do this chronologically?
AKT: Perfect. Let's walk over to Kate Barry and you can talk about the photographs you've chosen.
Ed Lachman photographs I'm Not There - Far From Heaven: "He told me he made polaroids for work and then he worked on them to make these pictures." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
ADT: She is - she was, unfortunately - the daughter of Jane Birkin and John Barry, the composer, and she is Charlotte Gainsbourg's sister...
AKT: …who is here in one of the photographs.
ADT: Yes. Barry did a lot of pictures of actresses. You will recognize Charlotte, Isabelle Huppert, Sofia Coppola, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve. I liked her very much as a person and we decided to open the gallery together. Unfortunately, Kate was dead one month after the end of her show. I chose these pieces because the exhibition in New York is part of the 20th Anniversary of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.
AKT: And Charlotte, Chiara, and Catherine are in the opening night movie. In Paris you had, of course, more works by each artist. How many rooms does your gallery have?
ADT: Two rooms and a little screening room where we always have a video. I ask all the artists to make a video. My second exhibition was an American, Ed Lachman. As you know, he is a very, very talented cinematographer who worked with Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh, Larry Clark, and Todd Haynes. I chose these two images that are from the series Far From Heaven.
AKT: And here is Julianne Moore. The colors on this one are beautiful.
ADT: He lights the film and takes pictures and then he works on it to have those colours.
AKT: The other images you chose are Michelle Williams….
ADT: … and Heath Ledger and this is from the film I'm Not There. He told me he made polaroids for work and then he worked on them to make these pictures. I chose the pictures I thought New York audiences would like.
AKT: And Julianne Moore just won the Oscar for Still Alice.
Agnès Godard photographs: "This series is called The Last Dance." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
ADT: When we hung the exhibit yesterday, it was really nice to have Central Park and the trees in the background. The third, after Ed, was Atiq Rahimi. That was the only one that's not photo. He is from Afghanistan and does everything. He is a writer and won the Goncourt and he also made a film called The Patience Stone with Golshifteh Farahani, the beautiful Iranian actress. And these are drawings, kind of calligraphy, that he did from the shots of the film. For the gallery, it has to have a link with cinema.
AKT: That can be a creative limitation as well. Otherwise you could do anything. It's great to look around this room and have it all linked to cinema.
ADT: Exactly. After Atiq, I had Harry Gruyaert. He had no link with cinema. He is a very very famous photographer, part of Magnum. He came to the gallery to visit Ed's exhibition and I told him that I love his work but I can't exhibit him because there is no connection to cinema. He called me one week after and said: "Do you know that I have made a film about Antonioni? I am very much inspired by Antonioni and, if you want, we can screen the film in the little video screening room." These pictures are part of this film.
AKT: The light from outside is shining a spotlight on her right now!
ADT: Yes, that's beautiful! I chose these pictures from the series because they are all of women from the back.
AKT: And the coats. Antonioni and women's coats. It is almost when you combine these two coats, you get Monica Vitti's green coat from Red Desert.
ADT: Or L'Avventura. So that was my first year with the gallery. And this one is by Jan Kounen. He is a French director who did a lot of movies and he did the film during the exhibition of Atiq. This is part of Atiq Rahimi's Patience Stone. He took a shot and did something really special with it. The woman will take the veil off, it is three minutes long, and you will see her face. Usually the artist also does the movie. But he asked another director to make the movie.
James Franco video loop as Marion Crane in Psycho: "He has done all of the movie but I chose the shower scene." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
AKT: How did you begin your second year?
ADT: Let's walk over to Cédric Klapisch. He set a lot of movies in Paris and in New York. So we had the idea to call his exhibition Paris - New York.
AKT: The Eiffel Tower with the people across from the skyline with the bottles is funny.
ADT: He also made a little movie for the exhibition. After that, I had Agnès Godard, the cinematographer who works with Claire Denis. She did these pictures. It was very strange, she asked two people, the girl is a French actress, called Emmanuelle Bercot, who is also a director, and a man. They didn't know each other. She asked them to come to her house to be naked and dance together. She did a little movie out of that and she started to edit but didn't find a right way to show it. And she found the real thing she wanted in photography and not film. This series is called The Last Dance.
ADT: Yes, because Galerie Cinéma means everything. After Agnès came James Franco. I've had two things from James. He had an exhibition at the Pace Gallery in New York so it would be nonsense to show it here. He also did a little TV show - it's crazy and it's really interesting.
AKT: Is this his staging of the shower scene from Psycho?
ADT: Exactly. And he is playing the part of Marion Crane, of the girl. He has done all of the movie but I chose the shower scene.
Ed Lachman with Annette Insdorf: "He is a very, very talented cinematographer who worked with Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh, Larry Clark, and Todd Haynes." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
AKT: He has done the entire movie with him in every role? Or is he just taking over for Janet Leigh?
ADT: We see him driving. I think he is just taking her role.
AKT: You put the two screens next to each other - it's a fascinating combination to see the unveiling of the woman and Franco in the shower next to it.
ADT: One is in black and white, the other is in colour. The two are in slow motion in a loop.
AKT: Sometimes they scream together! At this moment her veil looks like a scull which connects nicely with the superimposed scull on Norman Bates' face.
ADT: He, Franco, is really impressive. After that, I did Vincent Perez. He is an actor who made a movie with Patrice Chéreau. Here is a portrait Vincent made of Patrice Chéreau.
AKT: Is this in a shoe shop?
ADT: It's from the movie Ceux Qui M'Aiment Prendront Le Train (Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train). I think it was a location for the movie and he was taking a picture in the shoe shop of the movie. And that is a portrait of Gérard Depardieu.
AKT: In front of balloons?
ADT: No, it's a sculpture in his garden of his house. He has a sculpture with kind of balloons. Vincent was taking a picture and Gérard was looking and trying to find him. The picture is called Balloon. Vincent also took a lot of pictures of dancers. He went to the Bolshoi and this one is very representative of his work.
Galerie Cinéma facing Central Park in New York: "This exhibition here in New York is a group show of all the artists I have exhibited in Paris from 2013 until next week when I will have Raymond Depardon in Paris." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
AKT: The shoes in the Chéreau picture are called Emmerich - another chance cinema connection.
ADT: Of course, yes. And the last one, Raymond Depardon, is the actual show in Paris, that's why I go back tomorrow to be at the opening. This is from the movie, called San Clemente, a documentary about the asylum San Clemente in Venice. There was a psychiatric experiment where all the patients lived in freedom in that place. After a few years they decided to end the experiment. Raymond took pictures of all those people who were living as they wanted in this place. Now it is a luxury hotel in Venice.
AKT: When were these photos taken?
ADT: 1981. In Paris, I'll show some excerpts of the film in the screening room and many more pictures. When you come into the gallery, you feel really enclosed. Voilà, these are all the artists that I had in the gallery so far.
AKT: Thank you very much for the enlightening tour of the exhibition.
The Galerie Cinéma exhibition organized with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy is made possible by Le Fonds Culturel Franco-Américain, Natixis, Angénieux with support provided by the Aperture Foundation. The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday: 11:00am - 7:00pm and Sunday: 11:00am - 6:00pm until April 10 at 972 Fifth Avenue (79th Street).