Thomas Devaux’s official title is photographer, but that doesn’t immediately spring to mind when I see his work, which has a painter’s touch of the Rembrandt meets Vermeers about it. Using religious iconography and mythological creatures in a classical styling, Devaux’s vision is to present the ‘technically mysterious’ (according to his website anyway), engaging the viewer and inviting them to explore the curious. Which is probably why some of the images he’s lensed are to be exhibited at David Lynch’s Parisian venue, Silencio, in the ‘Curiosity Salon’.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Lynch’s Silencio – it’s a nightclub, come cinema, come art library, come bar, inspired by Club Silencio in the film Mulholland Drive, described as “the existentialists’ Cafe Flore” and “the Dadaists’ Cabaret Voltaire”. Curated and designed by Lynch himself, Silencio is heavily influenced by sleek retro 50’s styling and a little bit of the avant-garde too – such as the Dream Forest, where you can puff on a Gauloise and break the pas fumer rule, which is probably why all the hip ‘n’ hot Parisian creatives hang out there – not to mention the fact that the club also operates a closed-door decadence to non-members until midnight when it operates an ‘only the best looking get in’ door policy. Basically if you want to find out what goes on inside this cavern of cool (which also happens to be in the same block as the burial place of Molière), then you’ll need to flash your plastic and preferably have that certain je ne sais quoi about you. Membership criteria does not permit that you talk backwards at all times, however, but like me, you probably will after a few too many rum cocktails. Oh, and don’t look behind the radiators.
So, back to Devaux and the Curiosity Salon – a themed exhibtion which the venue hosts four times a year, showcasing a selection of artists, performances and installations from different genres. Curated by Marie Audran and Olivier Pilz, this year’s event will include Devaux’s photos, short films by George Méliès such as Le Voyage dans la Lune, and performances by Sucre d’Orge, Raphaëlle Boitel, La Compagnie and illusionist Laurent Beretta (he likes a bit of levitation).
The Salon of Magical Curiosity runs from 6th to 11th December 2011 at Club Silencio, Paris.