theplanetaup October 2012
The American University of Paris
BYE BYE BOSQUET
D i l L il
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By Karina Klindtworth The American University of Paris has sold
31 Avenue Bosquet, the building commonly thought of as “home” by all students, and is urgently looking for new premises in the neighborhood. President Celeste Schenck told The Planet that AUP has identified two possible buildings that are within walking distance of the rest of the campus. The ideal location would be substantially bigger and have large open floor plans, she said, in contrast to the “rabbit-warren of rooms and staircases” at Bosquet. Bosquet was sold in July to a private buyer for €9 million, Schenck said. As part of the deal AUP is leasing it back for the next two and a half years at a below-market rate. AUP broke the news to faculty in September. Schenck sent an email to students on Oct. 3, after The Planet asked her to comment on the sale.
IMMIGRATION INFO pg. 4
Many students reacted with surprise and dismay at the news. “Bosquet is the heart and soul of AUP. It is AUP’s identity,” said freshman Marshall Lewis, a Global Communications major. “What’s going to happen to the Amex? This creates such an instability for students,” said Iker Uranga, an International Business major. “A Good Price” Others had more mixed feelings, “I think there’s such a resistance because there’s a lot of nostalgia connected to this building, more than practicality,” said art history professor and transfer counselor George Wanklyn. “I do think the university can find a better facility to suit all of its needs.” If AUP had stayed in Bosquet, the build-
OCTOBER ARTS CALENDAR pg. 8
n o ©Photo courtesy of Karina Klindtwoth
ing would have required investments totaling about €2 million in order for it to comply with French regulations on fire and life safety, Schenck said. These required the installation of an elevator and other changes by the end of 2014 to make the building more accessible to disabled people. The façade would also have needed an expensive cleanup. Real estate brokers in the neighborhood say that the going rate for buildings on Avenue Bosquet ranges between €11,000 and €15,000 per square meter. Given the sale price of €9 million, the Bosquet building, which is 1200 square meters, was sold for €7,500 per square meter. “It was a good opportunity and a good price,” President Schenck said. “It is not like they have a knife at our throat,” she told The Planet. She pointed out that the higher rates
continued on page 2
AMERICA DIVIDED pg. 10
©Photo courtesy of Karina Klindtwoth
BYE-BYE BOSQUET AUP IS NOW ONE BUILDING SHORT, WHERE TO NOW? By Karina Klindtworth continued from page 1 being quoted by realtors are for buildings that need little or no work, or for developed office space. AUP used about one million euros of the proceeds to repay an outstanding loan on Bosquet. President Schenck told The Planet that AUP would either acquire a new building or take out a long-term lease. Wanted: A Big Basement “We’re looking for something rather larger than Bosquet, something in the range of 1700 to 2000 square meters, something with large open floor plans,” she said. The new building should be able to accommodate a learning center and library and space that can be used for multiple purposes. Schenck said, “we also need a good, strong, large basement— for storage of books and/or evening gatherings of students.” She declined to give details about the buildings AUP is currently scouting, but she said that any new location would probably need some work to make it suitable for student use. “The students are the center of our vision with this decision,” she added. “We need to have everything under one roof: a state of the art library, a room for the Senate, a room to rehearse a play, a quiet room, a student café, a place open late…” Historical Charm 31 Bosquet, built by an Italian family, was initially a single family home. The grand salon held concerts and the Amex was a courtyard. Over the years Bosquet was gradually transformed into what you see today with classrooms, offices, labs and student meeting places. However, there are several historical secrets throughout the building, like the Italian family’s coat of arms, which is still visible in some stain glass windows along the main staircase, giving real character to the building that
students love. “Bosquet has historical charm, it is just not adaptable for students,” said President Schenck. AUP first moved in to the building in 1969, leasing it from the Paris Rectorat which oversees all state universities in the city, according to Prof. Wanklyn. AUP acquired Bosquet a little over a decade ago. “The 7th is the most expensive place to buy and rent. Owning something here has value, and if you want to buy you’re going to have to shell out a lot of money,” he said. The university board did consider stripping and renovating the Bosquet building in order to maximize student space. It even considered adding a floor or two. According to President Schenck the main goal of the administration is to upgrade the campus with space devoted to connecting students. After extensive research the administration felt that “it’s just not worth it.” Budget “Challenge” With returning students on the decline and growing pressure to cut costs, finances are a main concern for AUP. In a recent letter to the faculty, Dean of the University and Vice President of Academic Affairs Neil Gordon warned that AUP’s cost model is “unsustainable - not just in the long run, but in quite a dramatically close perspective too.” Dean Gordon said in the letter that the university’s revenue and budget remains “a challenge.” While there has been a 30% increase in new students this academic year, there has also been “a symmetrical loss of students throughout upper level classes” that has offset those gains. “Uneven academic quality and a lack of clear communication with students is a key factor,” he wrote. When asked about the sale of Bosquet, Dean Gordon said: “The sale of the building is really the President’s business.”
Second Attempt President Schenck said that the money from the sale has been put into a separate account, which will be used to fund new premises, if AUP decides to buy rather than rent. The administration has toyed with the idea of relocation for some time now. One previous attempt was in 2007 with what became known as the Ile Seguin Project. The university wanted to build and relocate to a new selfdesigned campus on the small island, which is in the Seine by Boulogne-Billancourt. It would have had two buildings on 21 000 square meters, with classrooms, offices, student housing, sports facilities, student activity areas and an art gallery. Under the plan, the campus was supposed to open in September 2010, but the project fell through for a plethora of reasons, including legal, political and financial complications. “Our Own Little United Nations” Today, the question is no longer when AUP will move, but where. “I’m actually excited!” said President Schenck. She is already envisioning flags lining the entryway in “our own little United Nations.” But Madison Riley, for one, is upset. “This disgusts me, and it really sucks for the future classes,” said Riley, a senior and History representative in the Student Senate. When asked by the Planet why students were not involved in this major move in AUP history President Schenck said, “It is not a student decision.” However she said students could be involved in helping choose paint colors and room design in the new building. In her email to students she said a building committee would be formed that included students and alumni. “When faced with loss, people always idealize what they have,” President Schenck added. “And Bosquet is far from ideal.”
The Bosquet Sale: Community Reacts “I REALIZED THAT MOST OF MY SOCIAL LIFE TAKES PLACE HERE” How do you feel about Bosquet being sold? “I am very sad about the selling of Bosquet, because there is such a legacy behind it. It is one of the oldest bars in Paris as it started in 1978. It was actually started by two men as a business project and it became a hit. Eventually they let it go because of tax problems and such. The new owner decided it wasn’t profitable enough and that’s when I stepped in with my sister. We’ve done so much for the Amex, we built these tables, we built this bar, and we decorated it. Even though it’s not very profitable, we saw how much the students loved it here and we put a huge effort into making it a fun place to be. As sad as it is though, I do understand why Bosquet has been sold. The Amex will move with the school so it will not just disappear. “ What is one of your best memories of the Amex? “Our best night ever was election night. It was the most epic night ever. There was a champagne toast and we ran out of every single drink: alcoholic and not. We even sold cider drinks that weren’t even cold and had never been able to sell. It was one of the best moments I’ve had here. There have also been some really incredible open mics and some awesome super bowls. I realized that most of MY social life takes place here with the students and I love it. “
Raul Hernandez Owner of the Amex Café
What is one of your worst memories of the Amex? “Of course, the worst memory here, was on April 5th, when the fire in the kitchen happened. I thought I was going to die or that the building was going to burn down. I’m glad the kitchen is remodeled now though, it won’t happen again.”
“I have mixed sentiments about the sale of the building. I’ve been teaching here for 30 years now and I think there’s such a resistance because there’s a lot of nostalgia connected to this building more than practicality. People get used to something and it is especially the alumni who are resisting the change. This building isn’t practical for the handicapped and I have a bad knee and my office was at the top of the building so I had to change offices. It would be too expensive for the university to keep the building and to renovate it to accommodate everybody’s needs. I do believe the university can find a better facility to suit all of its needs,” said Professor George Wanklyn
“I understand why we need to do it but there’s always an emotional connection to the building, basically there’s a lot of room for improvement.” – Phil Delahunty (Junior)
“I think it’s sad but I think it’s worse for the people who have been here longer because they have more connection to this building.” – Gabriel Hedengren (Freshman)
©Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Marshall
NO STRESS SUCCESS HOW TO AVOID DEPORTATION IN SIX EASY STEPS... By Elizabeth Marshall You’ve just arrived in France as an AUP freshman or a transfer student from the U.S. You have a temporary visa that hasn’t been validated by the French authorities. You’re worried that you won’t be able come back if you decide to travel. You’re in immigration limbo.
Don’t panic. AUP is on the case.
“We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for in-coming students,” says Marc Monthéard, Dean of Student Affairs. The university has a deal with the Préfecture de Police de Paris to act as the representative of all students requiring a visa. That means you won’t need to navigate the labyrinthine visa process yourself.
In fact, the two main things you have to do are to get a medical exam and buy a “timbre fiscal,” a stamp at the Trésor Public (details below). Visas are like mayonnaise, Monthéard says. “When you buy it, it’s fresh for a certain amount of time, like say 4 months.” Without the medical or the stamp, “it goes off, you can’t use it anymore. It is no longer valid.” All these official reassurances are well and good, but some students are still confused.
“I’m Going To Scream”
When Karina Klindtworth, an incoming transfer student, was asked if she knew what was going on with her immigration status, she answered quite honestly “No! And if one more person tells me to go on MyAUP to find the answer, I’m going to scream!” Michael Federico, another transfer student, was taking a more patient approach, saying he was going to “wait to see what happens.” He submitted all the required documents at orientation and now figures he has at least three months before he needs to worry.
“A Tangled Labyrinth”
For many incoming new students, this is a first experience with government formalities regarding legal status while living in a foreign country. There is red tape in any country and France is no exception: a tangled labyrinth of bureaucratic registration procedures made more difficult by the combination of French culture and a language barrier.
This is What You Do: To make life easier, here’s The Planet’s overview of the entire process. • Documents submitted during orientation are sent to the Office Français de Integration et Immigration (OFII). • Next, the OFII generates a request for a medical appointment, a “convocation.” This appointment is a requirement for validating your visa, so it is very important not to miss it. • Don’t worry if you need to miss class to attend your convocation, absences are excused in order to make this all-important medical exam. It is a fact of life in France that your convocation appointment can take a long time to schedule. • During this “limbo” stage, between arrival and the medical appointment, students should NOT travel outside of France. Technically if you stay in the European Union’s Schengen zone you should be OK, since there are no passport controls between Schengen zone countries. However, realistically you should not travel outside of France during this time, period. • After you pass the medical exam, you will be given a Certificate de Contrôle Médicale, and a vignette (verification stamp) that will be inserted into your passport. At the convocation, you will also be required to present a €55 timbre (tax stamp) that you buy at the Trésor Public or any Tabac. These two documents validate your visa for one year. YAHOO!
PREFECTURE OFFICE IN PARIS ©Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Marshall
SCHENGEN COUNTRIES The name Schengen comes from a small town in Luxembourg where, in 1995, seven European Union countries signed a treaty to end border checks and make travel easier within the region. More countries have since joined, with twenty-five countries now participating in the Schengen agreement. When making travel plans, it is important to remember that the Schengen Zone and the European Union are not the same. Most notably, the United Kingdom and Ireland do not participate in the Schengen agreement, while non-EU countries such as Switzerland do.
• Before you start celebrating, take all your documents to the Student Immigration Service (SIS) office in the PV building to record your bureaucratic victory. Your legal rights to live in France expire when your visa expires. For most students this will probably be some time over the summer of 2013. So, if you plan to return to AUP next year, you must start your renewal process no sooner than two months ahead of that expiration date. Visa renewal workshops start in April and the SIS office will assist you with that procedure. Monthéard sums it up this way, “There is what you should do, and there is what you should not do. With what you should do, there is zero flexibility.”
Countries depicted in blue are current participants in the Schengen agreement, while those in black are not. (Map courtesy of AXA Assurance http://www.axa-schengen.com/en/schengen-countries)
After the Fire, Char-Grilled Burgers AMEX RE-OPENS WITH NEW MENU By Alena Mealy With the Fall Semester kicking off to a rambunctious start, students are beginning to once again find their common ground at the new and improved Amex Cafe. Since the fire that took place during spring semester, many AUP students found themselves wandering about between their classes, further proving that the Amex acted as a safe haven for all. Functioning as a space to study, listen to good music, and enjoy a quick espresso (or beer), the Café represented home for much of the student body as well as faculty. As with any new beginning, the summer granted the Amex the opportunity to renovate itself as well as improve its overall staff (and not to mention the kitchen).
brand-spankin’ new beer tap (which included Delirium and Guinness), as well an expanded kitchen. The new beer on tap has brought many eager students to this space, allowing them to feel the comfort of a home but with the options of a true bar, (i.e Hello, there is Guinness!). Events such as Open Mic Night and Mexican Independence Day helped gain a visual perspective on the new success of the Amex. The attraction that the music has brought through students (and even a mariachi band) has proved that it has grown in potential, and will not stop as the year continues. Returning student Chloe Dunderdale was glad to see that the Café has finally regained its strength; “It’s nice to finally see this
AMEX STAFF: Chloe Elder, Lupita Urbina, Clare Haugh, and Camille Pitkethly A major transition has occurred, and within the blink of an eye. Senior Stephanie Galy was one of the many affected students from the fire; “The fire was devastating to say the least, it was the only student space at AUP that had no academics involved. It was a student based community to which we all could come together and have a beer in-between or after classes.” New Beer Tap It’s only safe to say that no one was physically damaged from the spring mishap. With summer acting as the band-aid during the renovations, the Amex Café is now officially back on its feet and better than before. With the largest incoming class since 2009, the new students as well as returning welcomed back the Café with open arms. The renovations included an entirely
place live up to what it’s supposed to be, and how it used to be.” When asked about the current status of the Amex, SGA President Pat McDermott was more than happy to say that, “ With the help of the returning students, there was a sense of urgency for community. Everyone felt the need to resurrect the Amex as a space to chill, and it finally seems like that’s happening.” Students are also eager for the return of food, “There was nothing like grabbing a quesadilla right between classes! Or nachos… or a basket of fries... I could really go on,” said staff-member and current Junior Max Hague. As the fall semester continues, one can only hope that the success of the Amex does as well. The light at the end of the burnt tunnel seemed to be a blessing in disguise, as it gave a new opportunity for not only students, but for the café as well!
A Tale of Two Rooms By Mae Camara It was the best of rooms, it was the worst of rooms. The radical changes on the ground floor of Bosquet have bumfuzzled students: upperclassmen are shaking their heads over the move; freshman remain clueless about what once took place inside these three rooms. The walk-in closet located next to the Amex has been rechristened the Clubs Room. The real estate informally known as the fraternity house is now the newsroom for AUP Student Media (ASM). ASM Board Director Ford Leland explains the purpose of the Clubs Room, saying that “centralization is important. The room can be reserved by any club, so they have a singular space to meet.” The room has yet to fulfill its promise of offering clubs a convenient and comfortable meeting space. Once construction work in Bosquet is wrapped up, Leland says the walled-in area will be stocked with “nice furniture, computers, a projector, and an air conditioning unit purchased with money donated by the SGA.” Creating the Clubs Room displaced the study lounge, a place to cram for exams, escape the heat of the Amex, or work on one of the five computers. Now shoehorned into the main staircase, the study lounge has lost two computers and much of the seating. Cue student groans. Changes in to the ASM newsroom have been better received. Jennifer Victor, a senior majoring in Art History, spent a lot of time in the ASM newsroom during her time as the editor of Paris Atlantic. Of the changes Victor says “it’s really something to be proud of. The student publications needed a space where they could hold meetings and greet both new and old members of their team.”
Bagels, Shambles, and Spilled Beer STUDENTS CELEBRATE THE BEGINNING OF CLASSES
By Chloe Dunderdale In the end, it was all about the kissing. “The best way to enjoy the Back to School Party is not to care too much and enjoy yourself,” said Max Hague, an AUP junior majoring in film studies. The annual event is more than an affair designed for students to become acquainted with each other. It’s a longstanding AUP tradition that stretches back over the last twenty-five years. Marc Monthéard, Dean of Student Affairs, says,“the first party I attended was in the 15th and I remember that around 5am once it was all over, I was first and foremost relieved that no accident/incident had happened (this is still the main feeling/fear I have at every single party ever since). Secondly was the amount of drinks spilled on the floor. Do not ask me why this “sticks” to my memory but it does!” This year’s party was held at Club Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement, aka no-man’s land after 2am. The club was your average two-story warehouse, with the elite VIP section upstairs and the raging dance floor below. “It was a pretty neutral space, but it was nice that there were seats around the outside of the dance floors,” said Rieko Whitfield, a visiting junior. According to observers, those
ever-popular seats seemed to be where most of the action was happening during the party. This semester’s party seemed to be a success, with minimal damage to property or students. SGA social director Karena Viehbacher summed it up, saying, “it was a great party and I felt it went very smoothly.” However, many students felt that the party was a complete shambles. “There were no cabs and I live too far away to walk home, so I ended up waiting for hours until a taxi came,” complained freshman Joanie Davidson.
Or, most importantly, which new friend will take you home and order you a bagel? “Despite the drama that happens every time I go to back to school party, the memories that I make and the people I meet can’t ever be replaced” said Jennifer Victor, a last semester senior. Despite all the bitchy drama and cringe worthy hookups, students are already preparing their livers for the next back to school party in January. See you all there!
“I Almost Died” Others were less impressed by the decor that filled the entryway. “I walked into the club and almost died slipping on a massive pile of puke,” said Clare Haugh, an AUP junior. The phrase “too drunk to function” was the quote of the evening as students rolled onto one another and pulled each other into dark corners. All hoped that the plea “I was so wasted, I don’t remember anything from last night” would save them from embarrassment in the morning. To some the back to school party is the best way to meet new people at AUP. How else would you know which girl is going to steal your future boyfriend or whom you should avoid so they don’t throw another drink on you?
BTS PARTY AT CLUB HAUSSMANN ©Photos courtesy of Karina Klindtwoth
Desperately Seeking Stadiums A BREAKDOWN OF AUP SPORTS TEAMS By Joanna Saab
©Photos courtesy of AUP Sports Office
Just where have all the AUP jocks gone? “They’re actually out there,” says associate professor of art history George Wanklyn. “Their jock straps are a little more discreet.” Sipping a beer in the Amex, the former Princeton University squash player suspects there are more AUP athletes now than ever before. “They’re not visible because we have no facilities here,” Wanklyn said. “Those who are interested must scramble to find places people can use.” “Paris is not groaning with these kinds of facilities,” the 67-year-old professor added. “You have to scout them.” Although sports are on the academic menu at most stateside universities, AUP’s closest athletic competition is Frisbee-tossing beneath the Eiffel Tower. Student athletes seriously interested in the wide variety of sports offered at AUP should contact sports coordinator Ashkan Shalbaf at firstname.lastname@example.org is the man you need to contact if you’re interested. AUP sports practice calendars will be available by October 1st 2012. They will be posted around campus. Also, a game schedule will be posted by the end of October or the beginning of November. Please be sure to participate in attending the games and supporting our classmates! Basketball: The basketball team is getting ready for an awesome season with the returning team captain junior Mathieu Banduwardena. Thursday 20h00- 22h00 (meeting 7:15 PM Bosquet) At Gym Montaigne, 15 Rue August Comte, 75006 Paris Friday – 13h30 – 15h30 (meeting 12:45 PM Bosquet) At Gym Sarrailh 3, 31 Avenue Georges Bernanos, 75005 Paris Equestrian: The equestrian team has grown this year and although it is for males and females, only females are participating. This year’s team is one of the best with Hannah
Rashyde, a sophomore, the acting captain. The lessons will be every Friday from 15h00 – 16h00. If interested be at the stable at 14h30 to saddle up and get assigned a horse. They meet outside of Bosquet at 12:30 to ride the train together! Indoor Soccer: The soccer team has recently posted their current practice schedule. If you have any questions, please contact returning team captain Maximilian Schleich. Practices are as follows: Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45pm at Stade Emile Antoine Male Volleyball: The male volleyball team has grown this year and is working hard to improve their skills and win games! Thomas Benetreau, a junior is leading the men’s Volleyball team again this season. Wednesday – 20h25 - 22h30 Saturday – 12h55 - 15h Gymnase Cler 6, rue Cler 75007 Paris Female Volleyball: The female volleyball team has shown a huge amount of growth since last semester. Grace Weise, a player on the team, said “There is definitely a huge difference this year compared to last year. We had a lot of freshman/incoming students try out and everyone seems to have experience playing” The new team captain is senior Elena Mateva. Wednesday – 20h25-22h30 Saturday – 12h55 – 15h00 At Gymanse Cler 6, rue Cler 75007 Paris Boxing: More information will be offered soon, contact Ashkan Shalbaf, the sports coordinator at email@example.com, if you have any questions. Cheerleading: AUP finally has their own cheerleading team! Thursday – 18h45 – 20h00 (More practices to be determined)
At Gym Montaigne 15 Rue Auguste Compte 75006 Paris
Flag-football: Flag-football welcomes anyone onto their team, regardless of how much experience you may have. Their practice schedule is: Sunday – 14h00 Meet at Invalides Running: The Running Club this year has also grown vastly! It is wonderful because you don’t have to compete if you don’t want to, you can simply enjoy their company during practices. Monday – 17h30 Thursday – 8h00 Saturday – 17h00 Meet at Bosquet If we want our AUP community to become closer, we (who don’t participate in the actual games) need to participate in cheering the players on! We live in Europe, a region where sports are a huge part of the culture and for the most part, many students have no idea when the games are or who is even on the team. The players need our support and encouragement! They are representing our school and they all compete to the best of their ability yet they receive little to no recognition. The programs are growing stronger each semester and the influx of new students has arrived with an extensive amount of talent. Action should be taken this semester, new students should be encouraged to join these sports teams, and returning students should participate in attending these games and cheering their team on.
REACTIONS? Send us your thoughts... firstname.lastname@example.org
An English Menage-à-Trois By Jorge Franco IV The basement cellar of Carr’s Irish pub could have been a dungeon in a past life, but today the space is used to host intimate bi-monthly readings of unpublished plays that benefit playwrights and theatregoers alike. Founded by Stephanie Campion in 1995, Moving Parts is a bilingual theatrical event that takes place at the beginning and end of each month in Paris’ 1st arrondissement. The evening begins when the roughly thirty audience members have been seated, drinks in hand. Madame Campion, who both acts in and hosts the event, opens by introducing the playwright and his work. In this case, a trio of one-act plays by Melvyn Chase entitled Ménage à Trois. The reading begins and two actors enter the performance space clutching their scripts, making audience members instantly aware of the modesty of the performance: there are no
esty of the performance. The evening’s final act was the masterfully urgent Professor Sunshine. In this play a college professor confides in a young woman that he has killed his family’s murderer and then commits suicide. Having concluded the reading, the actors were joined on stage by the playwright Melvyn Chase and the floor opened for audience critique. As many of the amateur theatre critics stumbled to articulate their thoughts, Chase Killing His Family humbly accepted their comments and criticism. This led to some argument, as the com Also structured as a dialogue, the secpany of Moving Parts was quick to defend the ond play, Mary Anne, was a profound and playwright whenever negative criticism arose, touching conversation between an old woman reinforcing the tight-knit nature of the event. and her senile husband. In this piece the old Although the playwright for Moving woman “Mary Anne” happened to be played by Parts’ next reading has yet to be announced, the Campion herself. The entire audience seemed affected by the beauty of the words and the hon- event will take place October 21st at 7:30pm at Carr’s Pub, 1 rue du Mont Thabor, 75001. sets or costumes and the actors pantomime every stage direction, leaving the audience alone with the words of the playwright. Provenance, the first of the three plays, was unfortunately little more than a painfully slow dialogue between cousins as they share secrets following the death of a loved one. The playwright’s fatal mistake was the utter lack of conflict in this first piece, a fact made brutally apparent by the bare bones reading.
The Arts Scene: October By Lizzy Melton
Through an Open Window: Contemporary Art from the Rabo Collection Now until November 4th (3€ for students under 26) Institut Néerlandais, 121 rue de Lille, 75007 Although many of the world’s largest banks have amassed rich art collections, the general public rarely has the opportunity to explore them. Not so with Netherlands based Rabobank. Envisioning a new art acquisition program in the mid-1990s, the bank was determined to create a collection accessible to the public. Nearly two decades later Rabobank holds one of the largest contemporary art collections in the Netherlands, featuring work by Dutch and international artists from the 1950s to today. Displaying some of the best examples of conceptual art held by Rabobank, the exposition is organized around the questions: “How do we see the world around us? And what exactly do we see?” Don’t expect any clear answers though, Through an Open Window proves to be a worthwhile intellectual workout, leaving visitors with plenty of questions to ponder. Anselm Kiefer: Morganthau Plan October 19th-January 26th (Free) Gagosian Gallery--Le Bourget, 800 avenue de l'Europe, 93350 Anselm Kiefer: Die Ungeborenen October 14th-January 27th (Free) Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac--Pantin, 69 avenue du Général Leclerc, 93500 October is going to be a good month for artist
Anselm Kiefer, with two heavy hitting galleries opening huge new spaces just outside Paris and inviting the artist to provide their inaugural exhibitions. Born in 1945 in Germany, Kiefer has spent the length of his career considering the factors that led to the rise of the Third Reich, producing work that employs traditional artistic materials alongside ash and car parts, blurring the line between painting and sculpture. Given free rein over the Grand Palais in 2007, Kiefer offered up a show that was critically acclaimed, intense and deeply moving. While both galleries remain tight lipped about the particulars of their respective shows, visitors should prepare for an emotional wallop.
production, finally allowing the artist to step out of her husband’s long shadow.
Crash: Letting Ink Dry
Now until November 4th (4€ for students under 26) Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 5/7 rue de Fourcy, 75004
Now until December 28th (Free) Galerie Wallworks, 4 rue Martel, 75010
For many Helmut Newton is a household name, but how many people know that his wife was also a photographer? June Newton, who worked under the pseudonym Alice Springs, began her photographic career in 1970, replacing her sick husband during an advertising shoot for Gitanes cigarettes. What resulted was a photograph striking enough to launch the Australian born actress into an entirely new career. Arriving in Paris after shows in Berlin and Milan, this exhibition displays all facets of the artist’s work, displaying advertising shots, intimate portraits of famous figures, and erotic nudes. Noted for her ability to create unaffected images, Alice Springs shows forty years of artistic
ABOVE: Crash: Letting Ink Dry
In what may easily be the most bombastic and colorful show currently on display in the capital, New York street artist Crash has taken over Galerie Wallworks with an exhibition inspired by American comic books and the Pop art aesthetic. Widely regarded as a pioneer in the world of urban art, Crash began his artistic career in the mid-1970s in the tunnels and corridors of the New York City subway system. His rise to fame came quickly: by 1983 he was represented by the same gallery as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. With Crash’s work now appearing in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Rubell Collection in Miami, Letting Ink Dry is further evidence that the trend of exhibiting street art indoors is here to stay.
© Crash, Stamped for Life 1, 2012. ©Alain Smilo
The Louvre’s “Flying Carpet” A WEALTH OF ISLAMIC TREASURES By Lizzy Melton
The new Islamic art wing at the Louvre is architecturally innovative and home to many historically important and beautiful artifacts. How many nine year olds need a facelift? Created in 2003, the Department of Islamic Art is the youngest of the Louvre’s eight departments, but just five years after its birth the department was in need of what the French call “un relooking.” Eased by a $20 million donation from Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Louvre launched the construction of a new space in the Cour Visconti to house its impressive collection of Islamic artworks. The emphasis here is strictly on the new. With enough modernity to make I.M. Pei’s controversial pyramid look positively snoozeworthy, the expansion revealed on September 22nd is sleek and futuristic. Most striking is the glimmering gold and glass ceiling, designed by architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini, that many visitors are calling the “flying carpet.” Wandering through the 2,800 square meter department it’s easy to forget you’re in the sometimes dusty Louvre. High-tech information panels explaining the history of Islam are set up throughout the two-level exhibition space, while other stations play excerpts of Islamic poetry.
Once the initial impact from all this architectural and computer age eye-candy wears off, visitors can turn their attention to the real draw. Selected from the 18,000 artifacts that make up the Islamic art collection shared by the Louvre and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the 3,000 objects on display are the best of the best. Spanning the 8th to 19th centuries and coming from Spain, India, and everywhere in between, the collection gathers together a staggeringly diverse range of artworks. “Complete Happiness” Many visitors, especially children, will crowd around the Lion of Monzón, which has featured prominently in the Louvre’s publicity campaign. This small bronze dating to 12th13th century Spain was more than a charming conversation piece, serving as the mouth of a fountain in its original location. Intricate engraved decoration covers its entire surface, including a small inscription that has been translated as “perfect blessing, complete happiness.” Intricacy unites the collection, as evidenced by a display given over entirely to manuscripts. One page on display, The Reader,
from 17th century Uzbekistan is mind-blowingly ornate. The image of a man reading a text is framed by a swirl of plants, abstract patterns, and other characters all highlighted with delicate touches of gold leaf. The lower floor of the exhibit could appropriately be called “the cave of wonders,” as the rooms hold so many unique and intriguing works. Look in one direction and you’ll see a peacock feather fly swatter, amble through the reconstruction of a 15th century Mamluk porch and you’ll find a gold celestial globe from Iraq. Carpets, enormous mosaics, and carved window screens are also on offer. While this treasure trove atmosphere ensures that there’s something to pique anyone’s interest, the sheer immensity of the collection may be the department’s one weakness. With so many wonderful things to display, the curators decided to group objects together not necessarily by time period or place of origin, but by type. Some may enjoy the opportunity to easily compare similar objects, but this arrangement also eliminates context, de-emphasizing the importance of where and when an artifact is from. Despite these organizational issues, the Louvre’s Department of Islamic Art is well worth a visit. From the “flying carpet” roof to the balcony that gives a bird’s eye view of the tiled floors below, the architectural surgeons behind this dramatic project do good work.
© Musée du Louvre, dis. RMN / Hughes Dubois © M. Bellini – R. Ricciotti / Musée du Louvre © 2012 Musée du Louvre / Philippe Ruault
The opinions expressed on the OpEd section of The Planet do not reflect the opinions of the editors, the writers, or of the American University of Paris.
The Divided States of America By William Graves Obama is the worst communist in history - “it’s official,” said Glenn Beck in an interview with Mitt Romney, as the Dow Jones reached a fouryear high in September. The Campaign Trail is once again a tight-rope act between two stacks of money, and these stacks are high. I want to know what they promised the crazy bad billionaires behind them. Over half a billion dollars have been spent on ads alone according to official campaign sources, and I’d be mad if we didn’t all have healthcare in the 21st century, or if our schools hadn’t shown us how to find Afghanistan on a map, and then fund a man with a beard to fight the Russians in the 80s. While we’re on the subject of the 21st century, here’s a good time to point out the only difference between the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions ‘12; the Democratic one was actually held in the 21st century. But Romney promises he understands poor people; his family used to own some. Apparently Obama understands too, but for different reasons. Glenn Beck tells me he’s a “communist.” Before I continue, if this campaign guide is to serve any purpose, it is to eradicate that decadent culture of entitlement, and for this purpose Mitt Romney is the perfect candidate. “Yes, of course his candidacy is bordering on a high-school prank, tell me something I don’t know!” said Romney’s campaign manager. “I never thought that he could lose that ‘casual $10,000 bet’ he made with Rick Perry that he wasn’t out of touch with the American people but Mitt was like, ‘trust me, listen to this story, I can do it, I’ll show the voters I’m no kook!’ so he told them he was a Mormon Missionary in France. The rumors are true, there’s never a dull day at Romney HQ and luckily the majority of his remaining voters that live in the 21st Century that still listen to him didn’t know what a Mormon is, I mean was... I just said ‘facepalm’ to him but he thought it was a social networking site.”
Romney lived at the Mormon HQ in Paris’s 16th arrondissement during the riots of ’68 as a missionary, and visionary: “we didn’t have a shower, we actually bought a hose and stuck it on the sink… we used a bucket as a lavatory.” He further shared his sympathies with the lower classes saying, “I don’t recall any of them having a refrigerator.” The Manager of the Mormon HQ at the time, Mr. Anderson, isn’t surprised Romney doesn’t remember as he recalls “we had a Spanish chef and a house boy, who prepared lunch and supper five times a week”. In other news, Paul Ryan has publically declared that being nominated as Mitt Romney’s running-partner is his “proudest achievement since I won the Tour De France in my youth; I just haven’t felt this way since I crossed the finish line in Le Mans.” After being told by a journalist that the finish line isn’t in Le Mans, Ryan said “Oh, I didn’t see it that way, it was a while ago, I confused two wheels for four. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially after winning The 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in 17 hours earlier that year with Steve McQueen as my co-pilot. Oh, and Ayn Rand, we co-wrote Atlas Shrugged during that race.” When we remember Lincoln, Roosevelt, Nixon, Bush, Romney, it comes as no surprise that Republicans are skeptical of evolution. Republicans lie and Democrats don’t; so Bill Clinton tells me. Do you remember when Al Gore invented the Internet? The inconvenient truth arrives, come Tuesday November 6th, it will be your duty to choose a candidate to misrepresent you for the next four years. Americans voted for Obama because they wanted change, not because they were going to get it; real change from a non-radical candidate would be as shocking as a photograph of the Royal Family working. The French published a photograph of the Royal Princess naked last week and it resulted in Royalists bombing the French Embassy in London. Does the West understand the
Middle East? How could going to work ever beat spending your afternoon burning a KFC down to the ground? It may have looked like one big old fun BBQ on TV, but it certainly confused Romney who said “come on guys; he isn’t even a real colonel.” It’s times like these when we find it hard to decide where our sympathies lie; it must be a confusing time for Fox News viewers who still think Obama is an Islamic communist. I’d feel more confident with Romney in the Middle East if he hadn’t started a war with Britain over the Olympics. Romney knows economic foreign policy; his money has spent more time offshore than the entire Democrat party combined. “He just needs to be more careful about what he says,” Mel Gibson said to Ann Romney, who replied, “You’re telling me? I deal with it all the time!” But it’s biased to allow what Romney says in private to eclipse the dumber things he’s said in public. It’s more biased to forget Obama’s ‘Special Olympic’ bowling incident; have voters forgiven him yet for giving them healthcare? Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s tricky choosing between Romney’s policies facilitating the purchase of guns against Obama’s policies increasing the availability of mental health care. The Republican Campaign seems to be pro-life until the point where you are born; if you get sick, you better die quick! Ryan rightfully points out that we could eliminate the debt ceiling overnight if we eliminated empathy. Oh man, it’s tough living in the real world, huh? But what is the biggest threat to homeland security in the real world Sen. Rick Santorum? “Isn’t that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?” Oh, well damn me to hell for forgetting about the gay terrorists. The polls are close, and if you can’t beat Romney, how can you be expected to run a country? Romney is the traditional Republican, his good points aren’t original and his original points aren’t good. Will Romney be remembered in history for an embarrassing video like his compatriot Rebecca Black?
It’s Midnight in America and The Campaign Trail ’12 is underway. The crooked highway to the Heart of Darkness is blacktopped with blood money and it’s burning bright tonight. The $650 million dollar negative-ad Blitzkrieg is in full-effect and the power junkies won’t sleep till they get their fix. It’s Civil War for the Divided States of America.
Untitled ©Ralph Steadman
theplanetaup sparkling waters A column by Angela Waters
October 2012 The American University of Paris 31 avenue Bosquet, 75007 PARIS Editor-in-Chief Maritza M. Lacayo Art Director William J.B. Dorn III Editors: Clare Haugh Lizzy Melton Elizabeth Marshall Contributors: Danite Arefaine Mae Camara Chloe Dunderdale Jorge Franco IV Claudia Galtes William Graves Karina Klindtworth Alena Mealy Melissa Novotny Joanna Saab Angela Waters
BOSQUET BLUES It is shocking that anyone would want to buy the Bosquet building from AUP. Having been burned, soaked in alcohol, and generally defiled by 50 years of college students, the building has seen better days. Despite valiant efforts and strategic paint jobs, AUP has never quite been able to cover up the things these walls have seen. Only second to the shock of someone buying the building is the fact that someone would let us lease it for two years - they obviously have no idea what two years of college life can do to their newly acquired property. The most probable explanation is that the neighbors pooled money to buy the building. Considering the rise in property values that would accompany the university leaving, it would be a good investment. One can only imagine how they will fill their days when they no longer have a university pub to register noise complaints against. DRINKING IN THE PARK Now that there is a moving date in sight, the question is where? The Bosquet location ties the “campus” together nicely, located at a midway point between Combes, Grenelle, and the Library. Equidistant from the Invalides and Champs de Mars, it is only a short walk away from drinking in the park. Maybe there are plans to resume the project of transferring the campus to the Ile Seguin. Just imagine an island comprised solely of international students. It could be a utopian, cultural destination for tolerance and forward thinking. While the brochure writes itself, the project would inevitably end up one part leper colony and two parts incestuous pleasure island. Instead of seventh syndrome, where students never seem to leave the 7th arrondissement, there would be a cast-away syndrome, where students never leave the island. MAGICAL LANDMARK
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Although the administration remains tight-lipped, the school is probably not moving far from Eiffel Tower. They would have to change all of the brochures full of smiling students and the iconic landmark; the proximity to the monument is a strong selling point of the admissions process. It has become an inalienable right with parents demanding that their children have a view of la Tour Eiffel from their apartments. Somehow the magical landmark makes everything OK. For example, living in a nine square meter apartment, the fact that classes for your major aren’t being offered, or that your graduation requirements have mysteriously changed, causing you to stay an extra semester. For all intents and purposes the Bosquet building is the Amex. This is what people are going to romanticize and remember. Students may have had meaningful experiences and cheerful memories in rooms such as the immigration office and science lab, but the student pub remains the heart of the community. Many rights of passage have been performed there, turning boys to men, who turn women to excessive amounts of alcohol. So whether we move to the Island of Misfit Toys, a tent on the Champs de Mars, or just spread out classes to the rest of the buildings, we’ll always have Bosquet.
Frogs’ Legs, Cupcakes, and Mojitos by the Place des Vosges By Melissa Novotny There’s more to the Marais than L’As du Falafel. New restaurants materialize out of thin air; fashionable storefronts pop up, all offset by the history of the Marais. Devote a full day to walking the cobbled streets of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements and prepare for the perfect day in Paris. Unlike most of the city, the Marais comes to life on Sundays. Stroll through the crowds on a crisp fall day and stop for brunch at Breakfast in America (4 rue Mahler). A French breakfast this is not, with specialty pancakes and hash browns on the menu. For such generous portions, the price is right. Imported ingredients provide an authentic taste, all the better for homesick American students. Once you’ve filled up on pancakes you’re ready to power shop. Known for its chic style, the Marais can’t be beat in the search for anything vintage. A glance in the window makes clear that Hippy Market (3 rue Turbigo) is a hipster paradise. This is the place to go for vintage leather goods, with boots and wallets among the bestsellers. If you’re feeling bookish, you can find art books or novels in English at I Love My Blender (36 rue du Temple). The owner speaks flawless English and loves to converse with customers about his wares, lending the store a coffee shop atmosphere—sans the coffee.
With Halloween just around the corner there will be a mad rush for costumes and À la Poupée Merveilleuse (9 rue du Temple) is the place to go. Half costume shop, half arts and crafts emporium, everything you need for the best costume ever can be procured here. There are masks, glow sticks, hair extensions, glitter, and joke items galore. No trip to the Marais is complete without a stop at the scenic Place des Vosges, but if you can resist window-shopping on your way, you’re built of steel. Rows of boutiques line the charming streets, but be warned: they’re all pricey. For special occasions though, these boutiques hold one of kind treasures that are the perfect treat. After a few hours spent lying by the fountains of the Place, it’s time for dinner. Falafel is on offer around every corner, but Chez Marianne (2 Rue des Hospitalières SaintGervais) provides an amazing sit down experience. Here you can build your own plate with aubergine, red cabbage, falafel, hummus, tahini, pastrami, pickles, and marinated red peppers, all served with only the best pita. Pick the fouritem platter to get the best bang for your euro. If you’re in the mood for traditional French cuisine, take yourself to Les Chimères (133 Rue Saint-Antoine). The dishes here are some of the best you’ll ever eat in Paris and you
can even try frog legs if you’re feeling daring. All the dishes are served with a modern art twist: salads are crowned with cheese pyramids and rice is shaped into a cylinder and accented with spirals of citrus rind. For dessert, look no further than Berko Cupcakes (23 rue Rambuteau). Twenty flavors of mini cupcakes are displayed like mini works of art; the salted caramel, rose, or green tea cupcakes are not to be missed. Don’t wait too late to hit up this sweet spot, as the best flavors go quickly. By 11 p.m. the Marais changes gears, with nightclubs and bars throwing open their doors. The Marais is well known for its nightlife and is especially popular with the gay community. Clubs and bars pack the district, each with a special characteristic in store for those who enter. Raidd Bar (23 rue du Temple) features a shower show, Cud (12 rue des Haudriettes) has two levels and a basement dance floor, and Le Voulez-vous (18 rue du Temple) serves the best mojitos and croque-monsieurs in town. With something for everyone, every student should experience all the Marais has to offer. Once you go, you won’t be able to stop coming back for more.
Place des Vosges ©Photo courtesy of Melissa Novotny