For a year from September 2005, under the nose of the Panthéon’s unsuspecting security officials, a group of intrepid “illegal restorers” set up a secret workshop and lounge in a cavity under the building’s famous dome. Under the supervision of group member Jean-Baptiste Viot, a professional clockmaker, they pieced apart and repaired the antique clock that had been left to rust in the building since the 1960s. Only when their clandestine revamp of the elaborate timepiece had been completed did they reveal themselves.
Klausmann and his crew are connaisseurs [sic] of the Parisian underworld. Since the 1990s they have restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organised rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. They have tried to track them down ever since.
I repeat: the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant under the Seine, run by guerrilla monument restorers.
Full story at the Guardian. Tell me this doesn’t read like something straight out of The Invisibles, only with less claptrap about futurism or the occult.
“Regular” readers of this blog will know that I’m fond of silly neologisms (and that I’m “also” as fond “of” misplaced “quotes” as “Geo. Herriman”). Well, I’ve just found my new favourite new phrase: “Shy Schlumpfs in Specs Comix” (h/t JK Parkin) It sort of overlaps with “Cancer Comics” and “boring, shitty art comics”, but has a more specific meaning. As defined by its coiner:
“The rough gist is this: comic book artist, who is (like most comic book artists) a shy schlumpf in specs, mooches around feeling sorry for himself, worries that he might be too self-obsessed, has a short and self-loathing infatuation with a girl, returns to drawing board, creates comic describing the aforegoing events.”
Not that all SSS Comix are bad; the author mentions R Crumb, and Chris Ware is surely very similar. But it’s a great inflammatory and reductive put-down.
I must steal it and claim credit for it immediately.