Silencio, David Lynch's Spooky Underground Paris Nightclub
The great David Lynch once said, "To me, a story can be both concrete and abstract, or a concrete story can hold abstractions. And abstractions are things that really can't be said so well with words."
Birthed out of Lynch's transcendental psychological universe, the members-only nightclub, Silencio, narrates through cocktails and throbbing music, thrown upon an aesthetic scape that makes words redundant.
Yet conversation flourishes.
Silencio is built underneath the bustling streets of Paris's second arrondissement and takes direct inspiration from the darkly bizarre Club Silencio of Mulholland Drive. Six flights of stairs transport revelers into an arena of Buddhist cocktail bars, mandala-encrusted corridors, a cinema, library, and haunting forest fumoir.
The clientele drape ourselves. We are elements within a carefully positioned mis-en-scene. It is unknown whether we have free will at all, or if Lynch is hiding behind a shadowy one-way mirror, tugging at atmospheric marionette strings and sharing a private joke at our expense -- we who scramble to pass hours in his laboratory. It is said that the chairs are designed to "induce and sustain a specific state of alertness and openness to the unknown."
However diabolical the stage set may seem, it is sweetened by Lynch's passion for the creative: "Silencio is something dear to me. I wanted to create an intimate space where all the arts could come together. There won't be a Warhol-like guru, but it will be open to celebrated artists of all disciplines to come here to programme or create what they want." Most recently, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie popped in to share a quiet drink on the evening of the French World War Z premiere.
Steeped in history, Silencio's address (142 Rue de Monmatre) boasts the French artists' equivalent of a haunted mansion built atop an ancient Indian burial ground -- Molière's bones are rumored to be here, and Zola printed J'Accuse in the basement. The celebrated socialist Jean Jaurès was assassinated in the café opposite. We dance and we drink and we eventually depart just past Midnight, wondering at which artistic spirits have been brought out of abstraction, to share with us a moment in an alternate universe, that just happens to be a Parisian reality.
An Australian by birth and by allegiance to Vegemite, Symonne Torpy donned a fur coat and followed her dreams to Paris. She can be found drinking vin rouge at midday, editing website content, and blogging about her adventures with Miu Miu on her website, La Vue du 6ème Étage.