Coco Latte: Pompidou Postcards

Silo Gallery I – 1st April 2016 – 1 May 1968

As a Director on the CATE Board I have commissioned well know Femme Fatale French artist Coco Latte.  Her brief, create a flight of fantasy in Superfictionland – to push the boundaries and create a visual essay on the Pompidou Centre.

She has created a prose-poem delivered as a series of Post-Cards, so Post-Modern-so French.

This multimedia artist delivers a critique of Art in the 20th century with her series of post cards turned into a YouTube event .  It has now been bought by the CATE Arts Foundation and can be seen on their Web-site/Facebook.

Coco Latte:  Artist statement

I decided to capture reality in a story about a middle aged French housewife (not modelled on moi) who goes to the Pompidou Centre to see the Otto Dix painting of proto-feminist Sylvia von Harden.

This prose-poem is written in three chapters. The first Chapitre is set on the assent of the escalator.  Chapitre Deux, is an imaginary conversation that happens between this French woman named Mme Coco Broyeur and the Otto Dix painting of Sylvia von Harden.  Chapitre Trois is set on the descent of the escalator”.

“Moi” narrative begins with a poetic description of the Pompidou Centre and 20th Century history.  Art-puns are woventhroughout this post card poem artwork.

The narrative begins and ends with references to Marcel Duchamp’s painting Nude Descending a Staircase.  The escalator is my homage to Duchamp’s art and is the backbone of the story.  On the ride up the escalator my character observes the Homme character of the Pompidou’s architecture and reference to its creation in 1969.  Paris as the Femme is viewed through the escalator’s glassy covering.

‘The Conversation’: Chapter 2 talks about the character of Sylvia von Harden and her relationship with Otto Dix when Dix painted her in 1926.

Sylvia von Harden was 32 years old then and a journalist for left-wing newspapers in the then Weimar Republic as well as a poet. The conversation starts with Sylvia von Hardens describing her first encounter with Dix and what they said to each other”.

The painting talks in the ‘first person’, about of the creation of itself.

The Sylvia von Harden painting and Mme Coco Broyeur converse as a verbal sparring partners (like a String Quartet ) about the times Sylvia von Harden lived in. Characters and places are referenced throughout the prose-poem such as the First and Second World Wars and Adolf Hitler, Charles du Gaul”.

The conversation between the two characters then moves to a friendlier barter discussing the Pompidou, food, the outside world and Coco Broyeur’s husband.

Being un-English, I have used French phrases to help with the structure of the prose-poem and used music references to make this romance come alive.

My poem is a journey of the Pompidou and the two characters.

Like all Postcards they have two sides and can be seen as two realities – French Dualism – one  side for writing and visa-vie a picture postcard view of the world.   I have used some pictures that are complementary such as those on the views of Paris on the escalator. Others are deliberately jarring to the text.  I wanted to create a ‘bitter-sweet’ feeling in some of the dialogue with my two female characters; one pragmatic German, the other fluffy French.

The use of this bitter-sweet is how I see the Otto Dix portrait of Sylvia von Harden, a mix of beautiful brush strokes and forceful subject matter.

Coco Latte.



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