“We have to laugh”: an art exhibition on Brexit arrives in Paris | Art

The winners of a cross-Channel competition for amateur artists to get rid of the Brexit blues went to Paris.

I Love You, Moi Non Plus attracted over 400 submissions including paintings, illustrations, photographs, music and writings aimed at exploring the new Franco-British relationship. Many entries featured the Union flag and the tricolor, while others referred to fishing, the most controversial issue after Brexit between the UK and France. Twenty works were chosen for the exhibition.

Ruth Mackenzie, chair of the London Area Council of Arts Council England and former director of the Scottish Opera, which divides her time between Paris and London, envisioned the project to remind people that Brexit was more than just an economy.

“The artwork people submitted showed the depth of emotion over Brexit, which ranged from rage to grief and sadness with a lot of humor and wit. Most people found a laughing matter, even if it was bittersweet, ”Mackenzie said.

“We had applications from young people to retirees and from all over the world. To me, it showed that even though Brexit is heartbreaking, we have to laugh.

The title of the competition, I Love You, Moi Non Plus, is inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s 1969 hit with Jane Birkin, Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus. To inspire amateur artists, a number of celebrities also participated.

Work exhibited at the Hôtel du Coulanges, Paris Photograph: © doverstreetmarket

Brian Eno contributed to a design combining the British and French flags with the words “Enmeshed” and its French translation “Entrelacé”.

French director Mohamed El Khatib’s contribution was school lines in red, white and blue saying, “I mustn’t say bad things about Boris Johnson (I must not say bad things about Boris Johnson).”

A work titled Something Precious Has Been Lost was a photograph of two hands holding a single yellow star of the flag of the European Union. Another showed Scottish and French fishermen and the caption: “You divide the sardine (you bring the sardines), I will carry the toast. Together we have a feast.

Charlotte Paszkiewicz, whose entry showed a child walking a tightrope from a Parisian apartment building to a London phone booth, said the competition gave her a chance “to create a work of art on a subject very close to my heart”.

“I live in the UK with my English husband – we met under Erasmus as students almost 20 years ago – and our eight year old boy whom I am trying to bring up bilingual and aware and proud of English and French cultures. . “

The project, in partnership with Somerset House arts center and Dover Street Market fashion store, was inspired by last year’s foreclosure competition by David Hockney called Hope in Spring.

“It was harder than the spring theme because people really had to think about expressing what life after Brexit meant to them. It was interesting that we had so many entries from kids because the theme is a pretty complicated concept, ”Mackenzie said.

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