Ten years ago, Arnaud Frisch created a venue that was destined to become one of the most select and popular clubs in Paris: the Silencio. Since then, this atypical space has established itself as a true art reference in the French capital. With its unique atmosphere, cutting-edge software, and collaborations with well-known artists and brands, Silencio has become a must-have for night owls and art lovers looking for novelty and originality. In this interview, Arnaud Frisch talks about his career, his vision of culture and art, as well as his future projects for Silencio.
How was Silencio born?
Arno Frisch: Oh he’s back! The Silencio was born ten years ago as a sort of homage to the history of the former Aurore and Humanity printing business of the Social Club, the first of our establishment known for its electric evenings. We were looking to create a place that would reflect our open minded and progressive mindset while bringing together people with an interest in culture, music, film, art, fashion and food. And there was something really special about it – where Zola’s J’accuse was printed and where Jaures was killed on his way out of the building. All this contributed to the birth of Silencio.
You have many establishments in Paris and around the world; What is the concept of Silencio?
Arno Frisch: So we try to create original places in collaboration with interesting people, while respecting the history and atmosphere of the neighborhoods in which we have created. We welcome many authors and organize talk shows about literature. We also work with contemporary artists to showcase their work and seek to promote new generation music that uses jazz alongside electronic music and hip hop. We are not nostalgic and seek ways to adapt to the limitations of the environment, which are key. In Ibiza, we worked with Mauro Colagreco to create a festive venue while respecting the environment using local materials and working with architects to preserve the vegetation. We continue to work with him to be more sustainable.
Many characters have passed through Silencio, it’s a bit like the DNA of this legendary place, can you tell us that?
Arno Frisch: When we opened this club, it was a new format in Paris because it was a members club whose idea was to bring together people from the art industry so that they could meet, find each other and discover new talents. It is true that we have had the opportunity to do exceptional events such as the concert for Prince and Lana Del Rey or the concert for Pharrell Williams. We also did Virgil Abloh’s first collection when he was a DJ before he became the designer we know. These events are Silencio’s DNA. But it is also a place for experimentation, where artists create and try new things. For example, Christophe gave his first solo piano concert on the small stage in Silencio before touring. Besides the music industry, we work and organize special events in coordination with important art events, such as Paris Photo and FIAC, as well as fashion events, such as Fashion Week.
Are you also close to the world of cinema, especially in Silencio des Prés?
Arno Frisch: Yes, Silencio des Prés is a very special place as we were lucky enough to be able to combine a restaurant and a cinema. We wanted to make it a space where people from different worlds could come together to watch movies, attend special screenings and meet international directors. Most recently, we were greeted by Palme d’Or winner Robin Ostlund at Cannes for his film “Sans Filtre,” and we also welcomed Baz Luhrmann and Kirill Serebrennikov.
Who are Silencio’s target customers?
Arno Frisch: We mainly attract people from industry, such as fashion, luxury, advertising, communication, contemporary art, film and architecture professionals. Moreover, we have curious people who are looking forward to discovering different things. We have created a unique venue with high quality programming, which attracts a global audience from major cities around the world, such as Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles and other major cultural cities. We notice that most of the time people speak more English than French in a club, especially in Ibiza. In the end, we had the chance to meet a lot of interesting people at international events, such as Miami, Venice or Cannes.
How did your cultural project find its economy and how do you work with different players in the cultural industry to create different formats?
Arno Frisch: I think our enterprise has found its economy thanks to industry. We work with galleries, film distributors, fashion brands, major cultural institutions, etc. It is a big part of our economy and it allows us to invent different forms. We’ve also implemented communication tools to be reactive and to speak to our audience. We try to evolve with the way culture evolves by working with different people, adapting to the pace, and providing services such as co-working. We are always watching how culture evolves to suit us. In Paris, we are one of the places showing Netflix movies in theaters and we have the opportunity to show things in a different way thanks to our multidisciplinarity. We often work directly with artists to create white cards, various layouts, and so on. We always watch how culture evolves and we are lucky to be in Paris, which is the city of culture and nightlife. The nightlife in Paris is often more diverse than it is in London or New York and there is really an interesting offer of party venues, culture, style, etc.
In addition to its restaurant part, which can be accessed by traditional customers, Silencio is also a club. Can you tell us about it?
Arno Frisch: Sure, Silencio is a place for everyone, but they also offer yearly subscriptions to become a member. Members benefit from many exclusive benefits, such as access to our private parties and cultural events. They can also make use of our co-working space during the day. We have partnerships with similar clubs in New York and Los Angeles.
You are in Paris, the cultural capital of the world, but also in Cannes during the festival. Can you explain to us exactly why you moved?
Arno Frisch: Silencio has been present in Cannes since the first year of its existence, but also at other important cultural events such as Art Basel in Miami, the Biennale in Venice, London Fashion Week and the New York Film Festival. The goal is to be present where the culture is showcased and where industry influencers congregate. It was the biggest cultural event in France, and for us cinema holds a prominent place. So it is an important event where people can meet in a different form than business meetings. Even if we develop an international program, Silencio has French DNA.