Charlotte Gainsbourg says Serge would struggle with today's censorship

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Charlotte Gainsbourg says Serge would struggle with today's censorship
A file photo taken on March 11, 1984 shows French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg smoking during the 7 sur 7 tv show at the Studio Cognacq-Jay in Paris. March 2, 2021 will mark the 30th anniversary of Serge Gainsbourg's death. PHILIPPE WOJAZER / AFP.

by Philippe Grelard

PARIS (AFP).- Charlotte Gainsbourg didn't like discussing her father, the pioneering troubadour Serge Gainsbourg, as she struggled to share her personal grief with a public that still reveres him as the epitome of French libertine cool.

Now, on the 30th anniversary of his death, she is finally letting go, throwing open his home and able to enjoy the flood of tributes coming from artists and fans, young and old.

"I held back from giving interviews about him for a long time," she told AFP from her Paris home. "I told myself the anniversaries were too painful.

"But people weren't waiting for me, which is good. The statements are so beautiful. I told myself: 'Maybe I can speak about it, too.'"

A flood of album reissues, documentaries, books and podcasts have underlined the reverence with which Serge Gainsbourg is still held as France marks the anniversary of his death on Tuesday.

Charlotte was just 19 when her father suffered a fatal heart attack, but if there is one consolation, it is perhaps that he would have been an awkward fit in today's easily offended world.

"He had so many facets. He expressed his dark side. He kept no secrets," she said.

"Today, we live in a world that is so censored -- I wonder how he would have coped with that. Would he have been banned from television? He was such a rich personality, who married a great sensitivity with a great taste for provocation. We don't see that at all anymore."

'Such class'

Charlotte, now 49 and a hugely successful actor and singer-songwriter in her own right, says she has been "incredibly moved" by the tributes, especially from young artists.

"I find that incredible. It's only today that I really realise it. Before I was in my grief, my pain. Now, I realise the impact that he has had on generations and generations, and that it hasn't stopped," she said.

"My father was not trapped in one era because he touched on so many styles, and with such class. He was a master of classical and modernist writing, and he did it with humour. It's what one dreams of being able to do, this refinement, such agile gymnastics. It set the bar very, very high."

Time and distance have also allowed her to complete a long-delayed project to open the family home on rue de Verneuil on the Parisian Left Bank to the public.

"It was all I had left of him, so I held on to it like a treasure," she said.

"But when I left for New York six years ago, I had some distance and I understood that it had to be done -- for the public, but also for my mental health, I need to let go. It needs to be a place of French heritage, that is accessible."

Stuff everywhere

The opening of the house, where Serge lived from 1969 until his death, was due to happen in March but has been pushed back towards the end of the year by the pandemic.

"It's him, his personality," Charlotte said of the home.

"We have an image of artists in immense, luminous spaces, but this is fairly modest. It was a former stables so the ceilings are not high -- it's not a classic Parisian apartment. There's a miniscule kitchen.

The atmosphere has been immacutely preserved, from the baroque statues to the ashtrays still brimming with Gitanes cigarette butts.

For Charlotte Gainsbourg, the most moving item is a bust of her mother, the actor Jane Birkin: "It's a cast of her body, it's very, very beautiful.

"During my mother's time, there were not many things. Later, there was more and more stuff everywhere. He transformed it into a museum packed with objects. It became difficult to walk around without breaking something."

As for her own music, she confirms she is deep into her new album, which she started during the first lockdown a year ago.

"I'm very happy. It's starting to take form, finally. It should come out in 2022 -- it must!"

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

February 28, 2021

With galleries closed, art dealers rethink their real estate needs

Dallas Museum of Art presents five exquisite works by Frida Kahlo

Roman chariot unearthed 'almost intact' near Pompeii

Spain removes last statue of dictator Franco

'Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting' debuts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

La Criée centre for contemporary art exhibits a selection of recent works by Jockum Nordström

Major exhibition of works by pioneering woman artist opens at the Art Gallery of South Australia

Vito Schnabel inaugurates second New York City exhibition space with works by Robert Nava

Raymond Cauchetier, whose camera caught the New Wave, dies at 101

New partnership agreed between the National Gallery and Hugh Lane Gallery

Vincent Namatjira unveils his largest commission at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Phoenix Art Museum to diversify contemporary art collection

Scents of time: Belgrade's last craft perfumery

Charlotte Gainsbourg says Serge would struggle with today's censorship

Yuval Waldman, bridge-building violinist, is dead at 74

Fridman Gallery presents the U.S. premiere of Jacob Kirkegaard's Testimonium

Kunstraum LLC opens a group exhibition curated by Paul Wesenberg

Jack Shainman Gallery presents Tradewinds, a new body of work by Paul Anthony Smith

Natural disasters inspire monumental sculptures in exhibition

Creative Capital announces new President & Executive Director

The PinchukArtCentre opens "Remember Yesterday", a group exhibition of Ukrainian artists

Meet the songwriters behind the 'Wandavision' hit 'Agatha All Along'

Julie Delpy, science-fiction filmmaker? It's true

Broadway is dark. London is quiet. But in Australia, it's showtime.

Poker and risk-taking

What is the ideal flexible workplace?

Wholesale girls' clothing for spring 2021

Benefits of hiring Adam Huler Essay Writing Services

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful