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Foreplay and Fantasy in Paris: Préliminaires at Slott Gallery

In celebration of the opening of SLOTT gallery (and perhaps Valentine’s Day), Exquisite Design invited four designers to “play out their fantasies” on the theme of foreplay - in Paris, of course. Eroticism, sexuality, intimacy, love and lust come into play in new work by Arik levy, Matali Crasset, Matthieu Lehanneur and Florence Jaffrain. It’s not for the modest or faint of heart. Sexual innuendos abound and new playing fields for foreplay are debuted. In no particular order, here you have it:

Belly Love. Designed by Florence Jaffrain.

Mathieu Lehanneur’s The Power of Love is a lovemaking accessory - or a tool for foreplay. It consists of two separate sets of headphones connected to a fire, symbolizing two lovers joined by their love for one another. Each of the listeners hears the tracks recorded as representing his or her intimate universe. A flame shoots up at the meeting point of two sound tracks that continue to exist separately. “Love’s power is rooted in a crossing of boundaries, the creation of a new entity” in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


The form of Florence Jaffrain’s Belly Love recalls the Sarcophyton elegans, a particular type of coral reef. Made of soft foam and a photoluminescent sensory fabric, it “recreates the magical luminosity of the ocean bottom”. You don’t sit on it, you coil up. “The sensorial sofa was only intended to awaken desire, but it has assumed a life of its own to become itself an object of desire.”



Matali Crasset’s Aequorea is basically a platform for sexual experimentation. Modeled after a jellyfish and enclosing the couple within a curtain of ropes, it’s all about intimacy and face-to-face alone time. The rounded surface, in direct contrast to trivial rectangular form of the bed, allows bodies to move more freely. “Ritual” marks the beginning and end of the intimate experience through the opening and closing of the curtain of ropes, hanging from the corolla (umbrella-shaped structure).


Killing the romantic Valentine’s Day buzz, Arik Levy’s Confessional is built on the idea that “building a life as a couple is an extremely fragile enterprise.” Most Parisian couples end up divorcing - and this, he notes, is at least in part due to the failure to communicate. It is a kind of modern home confessional - neither religious or anti-religious, consisting of two parts with infinite possibilities for interaction. If you’re beginning to think the exhibit is all about romance and intimacy, let me introduce you to Dick, Pussy and Ass. Since I can’t say it better myself: “Pussy can open more or less wide and Dick’s upper portion can come down. Ass can commune with Pussy, while Dick is on the floor. All of this must be seen as a game able to intermingle with our reality, exposing its folly.”




On a side note, yes, Préliminaires is also a 2009 album by Iggy Pop. No correlation that we know of.

Posted February 12th, 2010 by Jenny Rector


  • Exquise crew says:

    Many thanx for your post.
    You might love a performance we did with the belly love @exquisedesign, watch it on ! | Slott galerie, Paris

    Exquise is a new design firm based in Paris, France. From idea to finished product our job is to orchestrate eclectic art professionals to bring you pleasurable experiences out of the ordinary. At the crossing of craftsmanship, new technologies and fresh ideas, our goal is to collectively strive for positive changes in human attitudes. You are welcome to our very own newly built design gallery in Paris, near Gare de l’Est (10e). Named SLOTT, this is a creative thinktank space like no other in Paris, a unique spot for like-minded creatives to meet, exchange and work under the same roof on exciting new projects.

  • Jenny Rector says:

    Exquise crew - thanks for the video link and additional info! The video is very cool - conveying how the photoluminescent fabric functions (somewhat difficult through images alone). The gallery sounds great. I only wish you were here in NYC!

  • […] seems to be a trend of exposed, freestanding forms serving as platforms for activity. Consider Matali Crasset’s Aequorea, part of the Préliminaires exhibit at Slott Gallery, that effectively serves as a platform for […]

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