Gourmet Fair

Worlds Apart

Jade figurines presented by Martin Douster of Belgium. Photo Cerise Laby/Roar Atelier. Courtesy Parcours des Mondes. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France —It is one of the most awaited events on the European cultural calendar and this year the Parcours des Mondes fair showed true again bringing the different and distant worlds of the planet to the Left Bank of Paris. These are the tribal or early arts, these are the arts of Asia, the Americas, Oceania and Africa. Gathered together these are the works of art and culture and religion that transport the visitor to faraway lands right in the heart of the Beaux-Arts quarter of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

There was the 19th century guardian of the reliquary from Kota, Gabon. A Nkisi talisman of the people of the Congo, Nkisi a power figure, a sprit, a container of sacred substances activated by the supernatural. And artefacts from Ancient Egypt.

The show was held last September 7th through to September 12th and celebrated its 20th anniversary in style bringing together some 42 galleries mainly from Europe and collectors were on hand from Germany, Belgium, Italy Switzerland, Spain and the United States while the French collectors were clearly in the majority. Sales were myriad and this year marked the return of the Americans, largely absent last year because of the health situation.

A high point of the show was an exceptional presentation of a primitive pantheon: wooden Uli statues from New Ireland in Papua New Guinea bringing with it a first book on Uli sculpture entitled Powerful Ancestors from the Pacific by Jean-Philippe Beaulieu. Uni statues were dear to the Surrealist artists including André Breton. Uni were displayed during the long cycles of ceremonies that accompanied the exhumation and reburial of the skulls of prominent men. Uni statues have hermaphroditic qualities and perhaps symbolized fertility.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette

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