Apollo Magazine

Bernard-Henri Lévy and the cream of Europe

The French philosopher has marshalled artists to the cause of saving European unity – but on one point, at least, he shares common ground with Nigel Farage

Bernard-Henri Lévy in 2016. Valery Hache/Getty Images

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Mayfair is more European than ever this week, with a two-day exhibition and events programme celebrating European culture and values at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. The show, inspired by a manifesto written by the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, brings together pieces by big-name artists including Marina Abramović, Grayson Perry and Marlene Dumas under the banner ‘United Artists for Europe’. The works will be auctioned on 3 June, with the proceeds distributed to cultural projects that promote an undivided Europe.

The events programme has included a special performance of a one-man play – Looking For Europe – written and acted by BHL himself. ‘Nigel Farage will know soon enough what kind of world he desires,’ he told the Guardian this week. ‘It will be one of unemployment for you, of insularity, a little England, a corpse.’ Perhaps so. Yet while BHL and the Brexit Party leader may be at odds politically, the pair do share common ground when it comes to combative cuisine: while out campaigning in Newcastle this week, Farage was the target of a well-aimed milkshake; Lévy has fallen victim to an ‘entartage’ – a cream-pie attack – on no fewer than 10 occasions!

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