Inspired by the figure of Tethys – a sea goddess in Greek mythology, the daughter of the sky (Ouranos) and of the earth (Gaia) – Julius von Bismarck has conceived the original project “Die Mimik der Tethys” (the expressions of Tethys), for which he has moved the oceans. That is at least the sensation produced by the presence of a buoy hung over the Palais de Tokyo’s Palier d’honneur, corroded by sea salt and covered by dry seaweed. In perpetual motion, the buoy reproduces the movements of its original setting, off the Atlantic coast. It is in this way that the visitors find themselves metaphorically under the ocean, and can directly perceive the sway of its waves, which can be either gentle, or wild. The artist works on the human perception of natural phenomena, either by using highly technical approaches, or by simple site specific gestures. As he puts it: “it’s about the perfect image we have of nature. In reality, it doesn’t look like we imagine it does in a Caspar David Friedrich pastoral painting.” The astonishing sensation created by his moving buoy does indeed depict a misappropriated or modified vision of nature, transforming the building into a submarine […]
With this original project, Franck Scurti is extending his stroll through art history and the signs of daily life. After approaching the social and economic crisis in a series of sculptures alluding to Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters (2018), creating a remake with scraps from Edvard Munch’s famous Scream (Le Cri, 2011), the artist is here going back over Paul Gauguin’s Yellow Christ. The interest that Franck Scurti has for such figures is that, in their time, they set out to replace the cold positivism of impressionism by a new humanism. This is a transition that the artist finds to be salutary and active in the current world. The environment he has produced for the Païpe, conceived as a picture in three dimensions which the visitors are asked to walk around, is organised around a chair leg, rotated through 90°, with a Christ-like look. On the floor, his dismembered corpse produces a shock wave that reverberates across the entire space. The curved rear wall will be totally covered by a silk-printed pattern produced from a bag of baguettes found by the artist. This highly connotated pattern – a multiplication of bread – will then fade out progressively until its almost […]
“It’s strange, I must have been away too long, the faraway, my home, is in my dark dreams. It’s strange, with strangled words, while drowning. I screamed alone in the water, in a fever (…) Such will be the title of Julien Creuzet’s show; or not” “It’s strange, I must have been away too long, the faraway, my home, is in my dark dreams. It’s strange, with strangled words, while drowning. I screamed alone in the water, in a fever (…) Such will be the title of Julien Creuzet’s show; or not” is the beginning of a poem, a first-person litany, of a voice that soon doubles up and multiplies. It’s also the title of Julien Creuzet’s solo show at the Palais de Tokyo, or not. This exhibition will come alive in the form of secular pop songs. A deep-sea landscape in a plastic pool. An unaccentuated rhyme illuminated by a bluish light, turning around on itself. A parrot glitching with a guitar on its foot. A melodic meandering along jagged shores. An array of ragmen’s stalls at the Croix-de-Chavaux market. A breath and a riff. A choreographic score derived from a Dogon ceremony. Sirius B rotating to the beats […]
The Middle East, unrecognised countries, radioactive or forbidden zones seen as “unintentional natural parks” are all territories that Louis-Cyprien Rials has explored or inhabited. From these zones marked by violence or whipped up by great conflicts, the artist delivers a silent, sometimes mystical image, using video and photography. His moving pictures made up of still shots, which are often long and devoid of human presence, talk of the impossibility to grasp such abandoned, transformed spaces, filled with beliefs and run through with stigmata. Louis-Cyprien Rials is presenting at the Palais de Tokyo a film and a series of objects made with Ramon Film Productions. This production company, set up by Isaac Nabwana I.G.G., brings together Ugandans from various origins in a studio not far from the Wakaliga road, in a ghetto in the suburbs of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Together, they have been writing and producing successful, low-budget films for over ten years. Their feature-length movies are inspired from Chinese Kungfu films and convey the violence of American action movies. With Louis-Cyprien Rials, they produce an adaptation of Rashomon(1950) by the famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. The result is hybrid: it mingles filmic and cultural references, while leaving open the […]
Some utterances are the very act that they describe. The philosopher of language J.L. Austin called them “performative” during a series of lectures in the 1950s – published posthumously as “How to Do Things with Words” and translated into French as “Quand dire c’est faire” (when saying is doing) – thus upturning linguistics by opening out a new field based on a theory of acts of language. As for Angelica Mesiti, for several years she has been developing research into non-verbal communication. Her ambitious video installations, both the fruition of long-term explorations and chance encounters, explore the potentialities of language which, beyond speech or writing, are contrary to any explicit expression, but still remain possible as a means of communication. As the artist says, “words are not my tool; all my training is about expression in a different way.” Her solo show at the Palais de Tokyo, the first in a French institution, is entitled “Quand faire c’est dire” (when doing is saying), a symbolic reversal of a performative utterance. Covering the 2012-2017 period, the exhibition highlights an iconic selection of Angelica Mesiti’s works, most of which having never been displayed in France. Deployed over a broader extent in the […]
For his first solo show in France, Theaster Gates has initiated a new project, pursuing the exploration of social histories of migration and inter-racial relations. He thus deals more exactly with questions of black subjugation and the resulting imperial sexual domination and racial mixing, while concentrating on an episode in American history. These themes allow Gates to explore new cinematographic, sculptural and musical futures while examining the history of land ownership and race relations in North Eastern, United States. The starting point of this exhibition, entitled “Amalgam”, is the story of Malaga Island, a small isle in the state of Maine, in the USA: In 1912, the governor of the state of Maine had all of its inhabitants expelled. This poor population, made up of an interracial, mixed community of about 45 people, considered to be “indolent” by many of the local inhabitants, was forced to spread out through the region, some of them even being condemned to psychiatric institutions. The term “Amalgam”, which currently seems outdated in English-speaking culture, was used to describe a racial, ethnic and religious mingling. It has acquired for Theaster Gates a “loaded” significance, calling for a new series of works made up of videos, […]
The Musée du Louvre and the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg are joining forces for an outstanding exhibition based on the collection built up by the Marquis Campana mostly between the 1830s and the 1850s. For the first time since its dispersion in 1861, the exhibition will provide a comprehensive overview of the 19th century’s largest private collection. With over 12,000 archaeological objects, paintings, sculptures, and objets d’art, and comprising both ancient and modern artefacts, it was a rich, diverse collection of the highest quality. The exhibition will showcase over 500 works, including such masterpieces as the Sarcophagus of the Spouses and Paolo Uccello’s Battle of San Romano. It presents the romantic figure of Giampietro Campana, his passion for collecting, and how he brought together this extraordinary collection by way of excavations, the antique and art market, the network of collectors between Rome, Naples, and Florence, and his links with scientific institutions. The Marquis Campana aimed to represent Italy’s cultural heritage, both ancient and modern; as such, the collection was a founding moment in the affirmation of Italian culture during the Risorgimento—the emergence of the Italian nation in the 19th century. After a high-profile trial in which Campana was convicted of embezzlement in […]
“Photography as a weapon of class” are the words with which the journalist Henri Tracol (1909–1997) begins his manifesto on unifying the photography section of the association of revolutionary writers and artists (AEAR). The association was founded in Paris in 1932, against a background of growing political, economic and social upheaval, and brought together, alongside other sectors of the artistic and cultural domain (theatre, music, cinema, literature, painting, etc.) some of the most committed photographers of the Paris avant-garde: Jacques-André Boiffard, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Chim, André Kertész, Germaine Krull, Eli Lotar, Willy Ronis, René Zuber, and many more besides. Alongside the laypeople and workers whom they followed for their work, these photographers experimented with a language that was at the intersection of critical discourse, the militant gesture and the documentary aesthetic. They drew on Soviet and German examples while managing to carve their own path through the French social and political context. This exhibition, compiled from the photographic collection of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, is the result of a close scientific collaboration lasting almost three years and involving the young researchers of Labex Arts-H2H and the museum’s own photography studio. As a result of their work, the aim of which was to identify and […]
Color woodcutting, known as chiaroscuro printmaking in Italy, was first practiced in Europe from the early 1500s to around 1650. It was the outcome of technical and artistic attempts to impart subtle nuances of color in printed form. Both an imitation of other art media—drawing first and foremost—and a medium in its own right, it circulated widely and attracted real interest from certain painters, who saw it as a new way to explore light and shade and experiment with monochrome. In a pioneering miscellany of examples from French collections (Musée du Louvre, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Fondation Custodia, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Besançon) and institutions abroad (British Museum, Ashmolean Museum, Rijksmuseum), this exhibition will offer a chronological and geographic panorama of chiaroscuro printmaking via the most significant works of the leading masters of the Renaissance and European Mannerism, such as Peter Paul Rubens, Parmigianino, Domenico Beccafumi, and Hans Baldung Grien. Its sources include recent research into the pigments and watermarks used in printmaking, jointly carried out by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France (C2RMF).
The Centre Pompidou takes a fresh look at one of modern art history’s founding movements, Cubism (1907-1917), through a comprehensive overview. 300 works and documents by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, André Derain, Henri Laurens, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp… highlight the rich inventiveness and wide variety of the movement. Not only did it introduce a geometric approach to forms and challenge classical representation, but its radical explorations and the creative drive of its members also paved the way to modern art. In patnership with Musée national Picasso-Paris.
This exhibition aims to tell the history of how we love, from original sin to the liberation of the 20th century. This love story will take us through adoration, passion, gallantry, libertinism and, of course, romanticism. It shows how, starting from a stigmatization of the feminine, each era has successively liberated women, love, relationships, pleasure, and feeling, culminating in the invention of free love. Illustrated through a collection of 250 artworks, spanning different techniques and civilizations, this history of love is by no means exhaustive, but rather emphasizes the author’s interpretation. Each of the seven chapters sheds light on a major turning point in the history of the romantic relationship. To help tell this story, punctuated with literary quotes and film clips, the exhibition will display masterpieces of ancient statuary, precious objects from the Middle Ages, paintings by Memling, Fragonard, and Delacroix, and sculptures by Canova, Rodin, and Claudel.