If you’ve ever had the chance to walk by or stop in our Parsons Paris Campus, the first thing you might have noticed is its beautiful street facing gallery space. Over this past year, it has existed in many forms; as a host for Alumni works through the “De.main” fashion showcase, Artist Residency studio for Nicolas Maigret’s “Disnovation”, Style.com and Indigital Media’s Paris Fashion Week Headquarters, etc. Now, the gallery space has suited up in its final incarnation for it’s inaugural year as a Student Exhibition space entitled “Movements” (Mouvements).
What’s unique about the space is that it features work from all programs and levels currently at Parsons Paris. Being the first year of Parsons’ return to Paris, it housed a small group (under 100 students) from first year Foundation courses, to third year Fashion Design, Art Media Technology, as well as Design & Management. The beauty of having such an intimate sized inaugural class not only made for a positive learning and collaborative environment, but also, felt for many, like a home away from home.
Walking around the space the night of the exhibition’s opening, it was impossible to ignore the close-knit familial buzz in the air, as if you had just walked in on a family reunion for one super talented family. Students, teachers, and faculty alike gathered to see the works of their peers. I had the chance to chat with a few students about their work and a few in particular stood out.
From the first year foundation program, A group students made a very striking video for their Seminar Studio Class that seemed to capture just about everyone in the gallery’s attention. Inspired by Yoko Ono’s 1965 Cut Piece, Students Daniel Rueda Sandoval, Margaux Salgado, Alexander Menjivar, Phoebe Mack, and Vicky Gallardo proposed a performance piece of their own. Set in front of the Palais Royale, student Vicky Gallardo explains how she came to be the subject of the piece, “ I wanted to do it.” She said in response to my asking how the tasks were assigned. “Everyone played an important role, a lot of it was about surveillance and figuring out how to get people involved. I just happened to be the one who sat for three hours and got a hair cut from random strangers.” To some, this would be a terrifying thought, but for this group, it was a brave jump into the world of Performance media, especially considering that they are all only in their first year.
From Art, Media, Technology you can’t help but notice when you first walk in an illuminated photo box of three slabs of meat taken by Junior, Elena Ring. Adjacent, also calling attention to itself on the floor was this project by Petr Pawlowski, involving among other things, a car battery, a TV plate, wheels, a tablet, plaster, and lots of spinning.
Finally, from fashion design students from both fall and spring semesters works were featured in two dimensional and three dimensional form. Highlights include CFDA competition process books from third year students, Alexandra (Sasha) Grigorik and Lucy Chen, as well as 3D garments by Daniele Cole and Nicola Romagnoli.
Seeing this collection of works really did a great job of bringing the year to a close with a harmonious resolve. It reminds us just how diverse Parsons students are in their work and their world. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the inaugural class of Parsons Paris. To See the gallery stop by 45 Rue Saint Roch, Paris 75001.