CHAPTER 2: LANDING AS LOONIES, STANDING AS STARS
The morning was young and wet, but on this Wednesday, the 11th of October, our brave SAMA crew was waiting in the cold of Sloterdijk station to take a coach to Bercy station. Three people, one huge suitcase full of t-shirts, two luggages of personal stuffs, one big box of art material and a wooden painted door got on board, travelled together across Netherlands, Belgium and finally, France.
Landing in Paris was tough, lonely and heavy, but still full of rage and hope, SAMA pirate punk ship arrived safe to the big bright building of la Cité de la Mode et du Design, near of Quai de la Gare, right on the Channel’s edge. As soon as we got there, we had confirmation of a fact we already knew about: the glamour VS the grunge gap we would have to overcome; SAMA’s stand will smell like street spirit when 13ArtFair will be perfumed with shiny galleries fragrance. Nevermind, we could be a bridge between consciences.
We had to settle, on the fair as well as in the city. Our exhibition spot was needed to be built and our staying place was needed to be invaded. And now that we were facing the real dimensions, of the stand and of the capital, adaptation was again our key to success.
We met César in person, our main contact with Urban Contemporary committee, a young, active and curly guy, in charge of the 13ArtFair’s organization. While Anna and Moste started to set up SAMA’s stand, Julia went running around the 13th district to get more material and find the Air B&B we had booked.
Our Mexican genie began with the main wall. The Historical part of it, the largest, was filled with SAMA’s treasure chest content: a first layer was tapped with biggest elements such as squat posters, punk flyers, paper artworks, underground maps, NAFIR painted closet door, old stencils, Moste original collages, enriched with another layer of medium components like newspapers articles, calligraphic canvas, drawings copies, finalized with a last layer of small tags, red wool threads, goofy stickers, coffeeshops bags and tubes, personal notes or schemas, signed beer coasters and more.
The Pioneers part of the wall was decorated with our founder’s private artists’ gifts collection: Moste’s Armenian shaman cartoon, Pez’s psychedelic colours, Orticanoodles’ Picasso paint, Kenor’s abstract lines, BToy’s kinky portrait and Stinkfish’s road sign were hanged but obviously, not framed.
Anna had once again shook her witch wand to cast SAMA special spell on the upcoming ball.
In the meanwhile, Julia’s crazy race stopped a moment in the Chinese neighbourhood: this is where our “hotel” was located and she had to meet up with our temporary local landlord, Vincent. Nice enough to pick her up from Maison Blanche Metro station to the rent flat, he first met Julia in front of a gigantic Inti mural: felt hat on blond messy hair, frail silhouette and phlegmatic gestures, our host had the exact appearance we expected, a little prince crowned with intellect. Guiding her into the lanes, through Asian restaurants and French supermarkets, they arrived in his apartment’s shelter.
And what a freaking shelter it was! If Vincent’s figure was just like we imagined, his home happened to be quite a surprise: on the fourth floor of the typical Parisian block, the red entrance opened on a minuscule, crooked and cluttered two-room place. The totality of the scenery was surrounded by philosophy books, old furniture, art displays but above all, some graffiti pictures which immediately caught her attention: Vincent explained that he was linked to ecological resistance and what laid on these images were activist-anarchist tags.
Fate connections’ hurricane had just begun.
Once the whole SAMA coven was again assembled on the fair’s pitch, the rest of the stand still needed to be refined. The foundation wall’s workshop side welcome the pre-decorated “From Paname to Dam with Love” scroll, its future plans’ side received social, educative, technological projects photos and texts. Two shopping corners were arranged, one for Moste art goodies, one for Punky Mosquito t-shirts.
Our crew was exhausted by the trip and day. However, their deep determination was already crawling in the whole town with a brand-new resurgence. Not only were they prepared, their dark glowing starred spot was also ready for the next afternoon classy opening.
Let’s dance !