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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · france · Paris · Most Exclusive Nightclubs

Club Silencio

Author: Guntis Ērglis0 COMMENTS

Club Silencio

The October, 2011 opening of the Paris multimedia club/cultural space, Club Silencio, caused total furor among the ranks of the creative elite and nightlife devotees alike - and not only in Paris.

Those who recall that the name of the club comes from the mystical film "Mulholland Drive" (2001), by the cult film director, David Lynch, will also remember the harsh rhetoric issued from the club's stage: "No hay banda" ("There is no band"). Although Paris's Club Silencio actually does feature live music (as well as recordings played by DJ's), the club really is directly connected to David Lynch.

It was Lynch who came up with the club's design concept and executed it with an approach of real interior direction, creating an ideological parallel with the secret, locked blue box belonging to the film's main characters, Betty and Rita. Lynch has created Paris's Silencio as a macrocosm of the blue box, which happens to be open to the public; therefore, it is pointless to look for identical similarities of form between the real club and the film's Club Silencio. Instead, you need to keep your eyes open for analogies and allusions - small "Lynchian" details.

A quiet, black prelude to the club is the wide stairwell that leads down to the third-floor basement. Enclosed within a dark vacuum, the serpentine stairs wind downward; during the rather long descent, when you can no longer hear the noise from the street, nor yet make out the clamor from the club, the first "Lynchian" bullet hits you.

And then Lynch begins his game by melting the consciousness of reality with an environment of mirrors and glass. The mirrors mess up your coordination and sense of orientation, and people are constantly tripping over one another. The club's mysticism is intensified by the devised circle dance being carried out - movement within the club is intended to be circular, but the misleading mirrors soon bring you to the realization that you've been entering the same room time and time again. Moreover, if you enter a room of the club from another direction, you think you've entered a completely different room and... you're in the middle of the scenario of "Mulholland Falls". In this macrocosm of the film, Lynch reminds us once again that our eyes are continually being deceived and that what occurs in other dimensions is neither visible nor comprehensible.

In reference to the film's Red Room, the stage of the great room in Paris's Club Silencio is enveloped in heavy red curtains. Lynch's movies characteristically feature a sound design worked out to the last detail, so naturally, the club is fitted out with a superb sound system. Adding to the mystery, the black bar counter is backed by a blank wall, leaving the choice of drinks attainable only through the beverage menu.

The club's peculiar smoking room is hidden behind an unmarked door that leads into a black, velvety, cell-like room. Pipes mounted into the floor serve as ashtrays. People lounge about on a rug illuminated by only a small nightlight; in almost complete darkness, they toss their ash and thicken the already smoke-laden air. It makes you feel as if at any second, you're going to receive a call from Lynch himself... In another room, slanted table-tops require alertness; it's like a warning from Lynch - danger lurks in every movement.

The rest rooms are yet another eccentricity - the dressing room-style mirrors above the sinks reveal your face in the form of a mystical creature. Bulbs placed directly at the height of the corneas of your eyes create a precise reflection of the lamps on your pupils. In addition, the mirrors are angled so that you can freely watch the activities of another person without their knowledge. Only one thing is clear - nothing here is accidental; everything has been planned out to the last detail.

Black is the dominant color of this paradoxical and surreal club. The black mystery, however, is highlighted with a golden texture - found on the ends of wall beams, on edges and in piles of gilded bricks.

The owners of the club are experienced players in the business of Paris's nightclubs; in their view, a comfortable and roomy atmosphere is an added value - no more than 200 people are allowed inside the club at a time. Of course, the outdoor sign for the club is silent - that's because there isn't one; two heavy-set men and a red velvet rope control inflow to the club. Every so often, a very "Lynchian" character - a small man with strange facial features - addresses the impatient and restless crowd. With squinted eyes and an angry, judgmental look, he announces in a formal tone the first and last name of the next guest to be admitted.

Club Silencio is a private, members-only club. Regular membership costs 780 euros a month; premium categories - 1500 euros a month. Note: working in a creative industry is required for membership. The club is open to members only from 18:00 - midnight; after midnight, those on the guest list are allowed in.

The club is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 18:00 to 06:00. Dress code - smart.

142 rue Montmartre
75002 Paris



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