For the artists displayed here, the notion provided rich terrain, from a colorful treatment of declassified government documents concerning Guantanamo detainees by Holzer, to a neon sign with a barred-out “not so difficult to understand” by Emin or a wall of books by Haifeng with a video projection of a hand writing, and in so doing erasing, its own script. For Khan, whose repertoire has involved mostly photography and film, it was a chance to explore sculpture through sandblasting, on a four-ton metal cube bearing the score for “Quartet for the End of Time” by Olivier Messiaen. Not incidentally, the composer wrote the score on a cell wall while imprisoned in a camp during the Second World War.
“Sandblasting is very violent, but what you’re left with is very delicate,” the 30-year-old Khan observed.
Elsewhere, the link with Vuitton is more explicit. Known since the Seventies for his work with prints, Penone created a large-scale piece from six cowhides selected at the Vuitton atelier in Asnières, which he imprinted using tree trunks and anchored horizontally with a split tree branch in bronze — a visual echo of the raw materials used by the luxury house.
Art is not the lone connection between Vuitton and the world’s most isolated island: There is also travel. But since distance, not to mention a lack of infrastructure, prevents much of the world from visiting Easter Island, LVMH, as an initial sponsor and fund-raiser for the creation of the Rapa Nui Foundation under the aegis of UNESCO, is bringing the island’s most famous emblem to the world. For one week in spring 2010, Parisians and tourists will be able to stroll through the Tuileries and admire a Moai head, which will be erected near the Carrousel du Louvre.