Guillaume Paris | Paved with good intentions

19 May - 22 June 2007
Guillaume Paris
The Gift, 2002
Wax, display case
55.16 x 11.82 x 11.82 inches
(140 x 30 x 30 cms)
edition of 3 plus 1 artist's proofs

Private view:  Friday 18 May 2007, 7 - 9 pm


Purity is the enemy of change, ambiguity and compromise

Mary Douglas



Paradise Row presents Paved with Good Intentions, the first major London solo show by French artist Guillaume Paris. On show will be key pieces from Paris' oeuvre along with a number of works including sculpture, video, painting and computer-generated works.


Over the last fifteen years Guillaume Paris has evolved a diverse practice that focuses, from an anthropological standpoint, on the use and abuse of meaning and identity in contemporary culture. The work examines the powerful ideological forces that shape modern society, especially their more curious elements - such the persistence of quasi magical forms of thinking in the discourse of both consumer capitalism and Western politics that combine to form our 'new world order'.


At core, these interests lead Paris to explore notions of the ideal and the rhetoric of purity that underlie all these discourses: from politics to religion, via advertising and marketing. As part of that critique of purity Paris positively engages with ideas of change and adaptability, in conceptions of heterogeneity, transience and tolerance.


In keeping with these concerns Paris produces exhibitions that define a very particular kind of space. Structurally diverse, often combining works executed in different media that apparently address different subjects. Paris creates spaces that are opposed any form of essentialism and so do not lend itself to any form of closure. Instead they provoke critical engagement and, at times, a more emotional response to the vast flow of material and ideas that constitutes the world that shapes, and is shaped, by humanity.