What's that building? The art squat at 59 Rue de Rivoli!
"So, what do you think that building is over there?"
I overhear that question a lot in Paris. It's bound to happen whenever I'm walking behind a slow moving group of people or standing at a red light waiting to cross the street. Even though it's invariably asked in a booming voice and seems to be addressed to the world in general, I usually try to restrain myself from answering by clamping both hands firmly over my mouth because past experience has shown that the interrogator doesn't really expect a response. But when I recently overheard an Australian couple talking about the "strange" building in front of us on Rue de Rivoli, I threw caution to the wind and told them that it's a legal art squat and well worth a visit. After studying me for a minute to make sure that I wasn't a scam artist or deranged (depending on the day I tend to look like one or the other), they decided to venture inside and take a look at some of the most progressive art in Paris.
|The artists of 59 Rivoli (a little bit crazy but very nice) wait for you on the 2nd to 6th floors.|
When the building at 59 rue de Rivoli was abandoned by Crédit Lyonnais and the French state, a group of artists took possession of the premises and turned it into a space where more than 30 artists create, store and display their paintings and installations. As most of the artists have signs prohibiting photos of their edgy and innovative works, I'm only posting pictures of the stairwell and the facade of the building. You'll have to visit the art squat to admire their creations. Who knows, maybe you'll find something that was painted by the next Monet or Matisse! And better yet, you'll be able to answer the question, "What's that building?"
59, rue de Rivoli
M ° Châtelet
Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday) from 1:00 - 8:00 PM
Saturday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM