L is for Luxe, Calme et Volupté

L is for Luxe, Calme et Volupté

I believe curatorial work can have an experimental strategy, similar to the approach to the creation of artworks. I have always tried to arrange my personal work around certain themes so there is a coherent focus to it.

When I first started out this project, I decided to give it enough time. When you aren’t sweating a deadline or worrying about how your audience will respond, it’s a great opportunity to relax and follow your intuitive moves. Little did I know then that there would be so many details to think! The first discussions around exhibition took place in November 2018, and just by coincidence, the first email inquiry was sent exactly one year before the exhibition opening on November 13. I was planning to open the exhibit in June, because there’s always something special about that time of the graduation parties, the opening of summer terraces and long picnics in the park.  At that time, a half year felt like a very reasonable time for the project. But then, because of an unpredictable obstacle, my original schedule had to be postponed over the summer. When I contacted the artists about the delay, no-one was sorry about it, except me – I felt disappointed until I asked myself, ”why?” 

All of a sudden I realized that I was pushing too hard, which is very typical for me. It is not easy to work slowly if you’re not used to it. That’s when I decided that my curatorial method in the making of this exhibition would be: To stop hurrying so that I could be able to enjoy the process. I wanted to make an effort to spend enough time on free brainstorming, actually meeting people, changing thoughts and just dreaming about the exhibition. I wanted to build the exhibition with people, not for them.

I found the quote by Charles Baudelaire only in 2016 but it has crossed my mind many times after that. The title image of this article I’ve taken outside Chez Dédé flagship store in Rome. The quote fits well to the timeless, aristocratic atmosphere of the brand and a store owned by Daria Reina and illustrator Andrea Ferolla. During this project I started to immerse myself in French literature, and I remembered the quote again. I felt like it said it all; I wanted to make an exhibition that could be described with these words. Because time is the biggest luxury.


‘Là, tout n’est qu´ordre et beauté, Luxe, calm et volupté.’ 

Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal (1857)

‘There, all is order and beauty, Luxury, peace and pleasure.’ 

Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil (1857)

Marika Maijala: Jardin, 2019

Below: Timelessness in Paris & Helsinki, spring 2019

Further reading:

Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal

Davis Rastas: Curatorial Strategies. www.otherspaces.org