The Pavillon Neuflize OBC
Carl Johan Hogberg
Martin Soto Climent
Louis de Corlieu
Yves Le Prieur
Lemoine & Minkkinen
We Are The Painters
Saloua Raouda Choucair
Tarsila do Amaral
The Otolith Group
Umrao Singh Sher-Gil
Juan Fernando Herran
Matheus Rocha Pitta
Juan Manuel Rodriguez Arnabal
Guillermo E. Rodriguez Rivera
Cintia Clara Romero
Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels
Thomas Glendenning Hamilton
Albert von Schrenck-Notzing
Tupac Shakur Hologram
Manon de Boer
Mario Garcia Torres
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Shadi Habib Allah
Franco Bifo Berardi
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Stephen G. Rhodes
Magnhild Oen Nordahl
Mario Garcia Torres
Slavs and Tatars
Marcos Avila Forero
Elisabeth S. Clark
Oh You Kyeong
Albertine de Galbert
Isabelle Le Normand
Luca Lo Pinto
The Black Ninja Faction
Ana Mendoza Aldana
Cartel de Kunst
Eva Barois De Caevel
Ana Mendoza Aldana
A large-scale event with 21 exhibitions organized by 21 international young curators (hailing from 13 different countries), working individually or in groups, and selected by a jury. The museum along with 30 galleries and art spaces throughout Paris, innovates once more to emphasize the emergence of the figure of the curator.
Palais de Tokyo, along with thirty galleries and art spaces throughout Paris, innovates once more to emphasize the emergence of the figure of the curator. At Palais de Tokyo, “Nouvelles vagues” (New Waves) is a large-scale event organized by 21 international young curators (hailing from 13 different countries), working individually or in groups, and selected by a jury from over 500 candidates.
La méthode Jacobson
Using an exercise in neuromuscular relaxation conceived in 1938 by the American doctor and professor Edmund Jacobson as a core concept, this exhibition is fashioned as though it were a mental image. During a group visit of the American West, the residents of the Pavillon, Palais de Tokyo’s experimental creative space, created works that depict the effects of representation, fantasy and imagination tied to those landscapes.
In one of the neuromuscular relaxation exercises he published in 1938, the American doctor and professor Edmund Jacobson (1888-1983) asked his patients to relax all muscles then to summon a mental image. Subjects were then invited to describe each sensorial element of this ideal landscape, in which they were invited to include themselves; by creating this image, it was hoped that they would achieve a state of tranquility.
Using this method as a starting point, the exhibition “La Méthode Jacobson” [The Jacobson Method] examines the different parameters involved in constructing an image, and attempts more specifically to analyze landscape as a mental construct. During a collective trip to California, each resident of the Pavillon Neuflize OBC was instructed to consider not only the defining characteristics of the Great American West, but also the ways in which these attest to a certain conception of American identity. If reality does indeed take shape in fantasy, couldn’t the American landscape - depicted in paintings by the Hudson River School in the late 19th century, John Ford westerns, black and white photographs by Ansel Adams that focus on the expansive National Parks - be considered as a pure cultural invention, anchored in a collective unconscious?
Images captured in Death Valley, plays with clichés of the American panorama, fictional characters potentially haunting these vast spaces, remnants of the moments experienced there, etc. By oscillating between the ghostly vestiges of images perpetuated in the media and their corresponding physical and material realities, the residents of the Pavillon Neuflize OBC each address this question of landscape according to their individual artistic vocabularies and sensibilities. In works produced specifically for this exhibition, including Carlotta Bailly- Borg, Feiko Beckers, Julie Béna, Francesco Fonassi, Daiga Grantina, Peter Miller, Julien Perez, Agnieszka Ryszkiewicz, Gonçalo Sena and Theo Turpin situate the collective experience of their journey within a new exhibition landscape - images similar to those generated through the Jacobson method.
Marc Bembekoff is currently a curator at Palais de Tokyo (where he organized Damir Očko and Dewar & Gicquel’s solo exhibitions, amongst others), as well as an independent curator (“The Mystery Spot,” at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in Paris, 2012; “Du monde clos à l’univers infini” at Le Quartier in Quimper, 2012) and a co-founder of the collective Le Bureau/. He has contributed to several monographic publications (Bettina Samson, Nicolas Boulard, etc.) and exhibition catalogues (musée Rodin, Freud Museum, etc.).
The Pavillon Neuflize OBC: Carlotta Bailly-Borg, Feiko Beckers, Julie Béna, Francesco Fonassi, Daiga Grantina, Peter Miller, Julien Perez, Agnieszka Ryszkiewicz, Gonçalo Sena, Theo Turpin
The black moon
Curator, art critic and lecturer at the Sorbonne, Sinziana Ravini is known for her “exhibition-novels.” The Black Moon is «a film-exhibition» that presents an encounter between a man and a woman visiting an exhibition. Meanings suggested by the juxtaposition of works by diverse artists are meant to suggest a narrative. Thus the story of this relationship unfolds around the works, playing with love, art and life. While one searches only for a fleeting tryst, the other aspires to finding true love. Fleeting tryst or true love: which will triumph?
A man and a woman who haven’t seen each for a long time run into each other in an exhibition. They begin to talk about the artworks around them, all the while reminiscing about their encounters in Moscow, Paris and Venice.
This is not just a story about the encounter between a man and a woman, but also about two philosophical principles. On one hand, we have random materialism that seeks only fugitive encounters; on the other, a romantic idealism that negates the object of its desire, preferring an ideal passion that will never evolve into a true knowledge of the other. One wants only the beauty of the moment, the other the beauty of a dream that can only materialize in the future. Who will win over who? Do they really love each other, or is this only a fleeting relationship? And what role does art play in this story?
“The Black Moon” is an exhibition about love, art and life, narrated in a film and a book. Sinziana Ravini is at once here the curator, film director and writer, blurring the lines between art, cinema and literature. The exhibition thus becomes a space for both projection and transference, inside of which it is no longer the viewer’s gaze that constitutes the artwork, but rather the intersubjective field of intersecting perceptions.
Visitors will come across the surrealist dreams of Melvin Moti, the psychonautical journeys of Pierre Huyghe, the temporal games of Ursula Mayer, the retro-futuristic imaginings of John Bock, the narrated fetishes of Émilie Pitoiset, the impossible love of Leigh Ledare, the metaphysical materialism of Isabel Nolan, the board games of Boris Achour and the erotic-alchemical sessions held by Ylva Ogland.
What role does love play in a society whose values have become slippery and relative? According to Lacan, “Love is giving what you don’t have to someone who doesn’t want it.” Zygmunt Bauman, however, stated that love often takes the guise of a financial investment in which the loved one is nothing but a stock option, subject to the rise and fall of the market. How can one challenge such cynical theories without falling prey to Hollywoodstyle naivety? Can love become a means of resisting consumerism, or has it become its own “loss leader”?
Sinziana Ravini (France, 1976, lives and works in Paris) is a curator, art critic and a senior lecturer at the University Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne. She is the editor-in-chief of the Swedish magazine Paletten and director of The Future Lasts Forever. She has organized “novel exhibitions” such as “The Chessroom” (2013), “The Hidden Mother” (2012) and “Le Château d’étain” (2010).
Boris Achour, John Bock, Talia Chetrit, Sophie Dubosc, Latifa Echakhch, Carl Johan Högberg, Pierre Huyghe, Julien Langendorff , Joanna Lombard, Ursula Mayer, Melvin Moti, Isabel Nolan, Ylva Olgand, Erik Pirolt, Émilie Pitoiset, Agnieszka Polska, Hans Rosenström, Martin Soto Climent, Linda Tedsdotter
Le Principe Galápagos
A curatorial collective from Geneva, composed of Maxime Bondu, Gaël Grivet, Bénédicte Le Pimpec and Émile Ouroumov, invests Palais de Tokyo by scattering works throughout the building. The question of the biotope of art’s relationship to the rest of the world is framed by Darwin’s famous examination of the Galápagos archipelago. The observation of this natural milieu, considered as autonomous, allowed Darwin to formalize his theory of natural selection, which he then applied to the rest of the natural world. How does this pertain to the question of art?
In Le ParK, the novelist Bruce Bégout presents his personal interest for endemism (concept defined as the exclusive presence of a biological group in a specific locality), first experienced by Charles Darwin during his visit to the Galápagos Islands. Licht, a character of the novel, relies on this concept to describe the creative impulse behind his design of a gigantic park.
Though Darwin did not establish this principle while in the Galápagos, his journey to the archipelago played a crucial role in his understanding of natural selection. To this day, his studies of the finch’s beak, its shape analyzed according to the food supply of each island, remain well known. Darwin’s extraordinary powers of observation allowed the naturalist to confirm his hypothesis, then apply his conclusions to the entire natural world.
Thus Darwin and Bégout highlight two different aspects of endemism: on the one hand, that isolation leads to the appearance of unique entities that differ from those found elsewhere; on the other, that important conclusions pertaining to the entire world can be reached through an analysis of the isolated element.
Inscribed in the tension between these two poles, the curatorial project applies these questions to the biotope of art. Is art’s autonomy linked or inversely proportional to its ability to describe the world? How does art differ from other events or cultural objects?
The biology of evolution distinguishes between neoendemic species, whose application is tied to their geographical isolation and paleoendemic species that, because they have disappeared elsewhere, exist exclusively in a single spot. Similarly to these paleoendemic species, art could be described as a group of conventions specific to its field.
Thus “Le Principe Galápagos” [The Galápagos Principle] orients the very modalities of the exhibition, including works of art but also of statements, consumer products, diverse moments and objects that will confirm or disavow the principle’s validity. These different materializations are not meant to be apprehended simultaneously but will be presented throughout the summer, for variable durations ranging from a few hours to a few weeks.
The appearance of “Le Principe Galápagos” will be indicated throughout the Palais de Tokyo by a graphic identity created by the Geneva-based studio Schönborn Hernandez. An archive of documents, regularly updated, will be presented to the public, displayed in the museum’s lobby as well as on the project’s website. Upcoming appearances will be announced on both supports.
The artists and/or curators Maxime Bondu (b. 1985), Gaël Grivet (b. 1978), Bénédicte Le Pimpec (b. 1986) and Émile Ouroumov (b. 1979) have worked together on several projects, including “Première Chronique : Les dépossédés” (*/Duplex/*, Geneva, 2011) and “Données insuffisantes pour réponse significative” (Villa du Parc, Annemasse, 2012). Touching on such diverse fields as historiography, science and language, their respective research and practices dovetail seamlessly with “Le Principe Galápagos”. They live and work in Paris and Geneva.
Atlantic, Alain Bedos and Christian Moncel, Maxime Bondu, Simon Boudvin, René Daumal, Arnaud des Pallières, Simon Faithfull, Joseph Grigely, Gaël Grivet, Ceel Mogami de Haas and Vianney Fivel, Laurent Montaron, Uriel Orlow, Jean Painlevé, Ilya Prigogine, Principauté of Sealand, Superstudio, Christian Waldvogel
A powerful, hypnotic robot transforms into a choreographic sculpture activated through a series of concerts: the exhibition evades the notion of artwork and performance, paying homage instead to the figure of Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), Lord Byron’s daughter and a British mathematician known for her tempestuous life story. The exhibition’s other component is a residency program that will unfold over the course of the summer in the artist’s London studio and will be broadcast live at Palais de Tokyo.
Inspired by the life of the Victorian mathematician, Ada Lovelace, artist Conrad Shawcross has transformed an industrial robot into a choreographed light sculpture which forms the origin of a series of musical commissions and residencies by leading female composers and performers. The performative installation unfolds over the course of the summer in both the Palais de Tokyo and the artist's London studio.
Acknowledged by some as the first computer programmer, Lovelace worked alongside Charles Babbage, the inventor of the Analytical Engine - the first mechanical computer. While the immense machine was never completed in their lifetimes, Ada saw its potential beyond mere calculation; predicting computer-generated music in her notes.
Furnished with a series of background texts, imagery and related material, Shawcross’s studio serves as a laboratory and residency space for each composer-performer to respond to the presence of the robot’s silent choreography. The resulting music is born from the story of Ada, and the movement, physicality and visual aesthetics of the robot. An identical robot is installed at the Palais de Tokyo, perpetually carrying out its choreography, accompanied by the emergent scores, with each incarnation casting light on different aspects of Lovelace’s extraordinary life.
Ken Farmer (b. Memphis, 1984) is a New York-based curator whose collaborative interventions activate urban space and re-imagine public art as a democratic medium. Farmer’s ambitious vision and placemaking sensibility have led to innovative collaborations, new works, and site-specific adaptations with renowned visual artists including Vito Acconci, Rita Ackermann, Daniel Arsham and Richard Serra. His projects have been featured in the Venice Architecture Biennale, the New Museum, on the facades of abandoned factories and in St. Patrick’s Basilica, in New York.
Le Club des Sous l’Eau [The Underwater Club]
By reviving the first deep-sea diving club founded by Jean Painlevé in 1934, Gallien Déjean and Fanny Schulmann pay homage to the father of scientific cinema, whose work intriguated the Surrealists. Le Club des Sous l’Eau [The Underwater Club] becomes an experimental structure in which various protocols, both exhibitions and films, attempt to put to the test the narrative and technological means of displaying and classifying reality.
Jean Painlevé (1902-1989) is considered to be one of the pioneers of scientific cinema. Initially neglected by the scholarly community which deemed cinema to be an inadequate observational tool, he was quickly noticed by the Surrealists who admired the aesthetic and evocative vision of his films. Painlevé’s universe contains a multitude of intertwining (and at times overlooked) aspects: the intersecting of art and science, the use of documentary as a fictional delimitation of the natural, politics (and anti-fascist advocacy), or the production of derivative works reproducing motifs that the filmmaker was obsessed with (seahorses, algae) in the form of fabrics, wallpaper and jewelry.
In 1934, Painlevé founded « Le Club des Sous l’Eau » with Captain Yves Le Prieur. Made of amateurs, inventors, artists and treasure hunters, the association dedicated itself to promoting and developing underwater filming techniques. As the first divers’ club in the world, the group contributed to discovering and domesticating hitherto unknown wildernesses.
In 2012, like a hermit crab taking over the empty shell of an old gastropod, a few people revived « Le Club des Sous l’Eau » by organizing nighttime reunions in bars, diving lessons, film projections, conferences and concerts. The club has now become the place to test the collective methods within an experience, among of which exhibitions are only one of several possible extensions. Film and exhibitions are treated here like reciprocal metaphors: these tools for the presentation and classification of reality are both technological devices intended to preserve the natural kingdom that they themselves have supplanted. The crystallized ruins of this bygone world still sleep in the depths of the subaquatic realm. In order to come back up to the surface, they are waiting for the pearl hunter who will be able to reassemble them into new poetic formations.
The club would like to thank the Documents Cinematographiques, the Service historique de la Défense, the Musée National de la Marine, Born Bad, the Baron Samedi and the Fédération Française d’étude et de sports sous-marins.
Gallien Déjean is an art critic and curator. He teaches art theory and history at ECAL (Lausanne) and supervises post-graduate collective research projects. In Paris, he is one of the active members of Treize, an independent production and exhibition space federating several organisms and curators. He recently organized the first retrospective of the activities of the British group BANK, entitled “Self-Portrait–BANK’s Archives & Relics–1991-2003”, Treize, October 2012.
Fanny Schulmann is an art historian. Having completed studies from the École du Louvre, the Université Paris I – Sorbonne and the Université de Picardie Jules Verne, she is currently working on her thesis about the Situationist International. Recently, she drafted sections of the catalog due to appear on the Guy Debord retrospective at the French National Library, and will also be participating in the symposium taking place during the exhibition. Having been accepted into the Institut national du patrimoine (National Institute for Cultural Heritage), she has been a curator for the Ministry of Culture, Department of the Museums of France since 2012.
In collaboration with the documents cinématographiques (Paris)
In charge of the events: Mathieu Loctin
Louis Boutan, Jean Comandon, Louis de Corlieu, Stéphane Devidal, Ligia Dias, Philippe Halsman, Geneviève Hamon, Marie Jager, Sachin Kaeley, Yves Le Prieur, Genêt Mayor, Christian Newby, Noyade (Lemoine & Minkkinen), Jean Painlevé, Pierre Paulin, Bruno Persat, Mary Ping, Florian & Michael Quistrebert, Clément Rodzielski, Analia Saban, We Are The Painters, Pedro Wirz (with the collaboration of Christian Rothmaler), Gerda Åkesson
Martí Anson, catalan pavilion. Anonymous architect
Carefully exploring the links between contemporary art and popular culture, Marie Griffay considers this exhibition a 1:1 scale model in constant evolution. The model of this “Catalan Pavilion,” built by the artist Martí Anson at the center of Palais de Tokyo, is borrowed from a holiday home constructed by the artist’s father himself in the 1970s. This strong statement, a contribution to the workingman’s autonomy, becomes a sculptural project, both an homage and a pledge. The construction of the Pavilion will stop once available funding is exhausted, highlighting the limits of the institution and questioning our society capitalist systems of production.
Inspired by modern design, Joaquim Anson (Martí Anson’s father) began creating wooden furniture in the early 1960s in Mararó (Spain). His goal was to provide the new Catalan middle class with popular, yet affordable, furniture. Committed to the idea of costeffective construction, he decided to create a vacation home for his family in the Pyrenees. With no formal training as an architect, he designed a simple building, using brick to satisfy all needs, from structure to furnishings.
In 2013, Martí Anson will build a house in his turn, using his father’s original plans. This new building can be easily assembled and disassembled in a few days without professional assistance. Assembly is indeed very simple, following the methods devised by GATEPAC, a Catalan group of architects, for constructing detachable houses such as their “Rest and Vacation Town” (1933). One member of the group, Joseph Luis Sert, created the Spanish pavilion of the Paris International Exhibition in 1937, year of Palais de Tokyo’s inauguration. By deciding to build a house with his own two hands, Martí Anson pays tribute to those who, during Franco’s regime, tried their best to improve their living conditions by changing their own day-to-day lives as well as their community’s. Martí Anson’s pavilion, a replica of the vacation home built by his father, becomes a monument devoted to anonymous builders. These constructors carried out the most innovative research undertaken by architects at the time by creating simple, functional and cost-effective housing.
At Palais de Tokyo, Martí Anson’s house becomes a 1:1 scale model, emblematic of the “anonymous” Spanish architecture of the 1970s. It continues the series of models presented during universal and international exhibitions to highlight a local skill or heritage. Thus a family vacation home becomes a Catalan pavilion.
Marie Griffay (b. 1987, lives and works in Paris) is an art historian with a professional Masters in Curatorial Practice (Paris IV – Sorbonne). Her interest in the connections between contemporary art and popular culture led her to complete a first thesis on the carnivalesque references in Wim Delvoye’s work, followed by a second on references to Lewis Carroll in the work of Leandro Erlich. Currently working in the Centre Pompidou’s conservation department, she continues to undertake various writing projects.
In cosmopolitan Paris of the early to mid 20th century, artists put forward a plural, moving identity that questions Western authority.
Companionable Silences is an exhibition of a selected group of works by non-western women artists, all of whom lived and worked in Paris at different times from early to mid-twentieth century.
Each of them led distinctly cosmopolitan lives, actively arbitrating between disparate cultural and geographical spaces, demonstrating a remarkable self-consciousness of their own changing identities, navigating with confidence amongst issues of assimilation and acculturation. Artistically, they interrogated paradigms of Western authority, negotiating with established modes of representation, while devising room for their own formal approaches. What is witnessed is a dynamic interplay and interrelation, generated from a wide range of reference points.
Considered collectively, these works point to Modernism’s cross cultural past, the place of Primitivism and Orientalism within the conversations of the Modern, and also the urgent need to account for certain material histories that have not been fully regarded. However, it is not simply an exercise to make room for artists who were excluded from historical narratives on the basis of gender or nationality, but rather an examination of the initial causes of their marginalization.
The exhibition is not a survey, nor an attempt to offer an “all-inclusive” global art history; it diverges from the tendency to think that “inclusion” is the overriding goal. It is a sketch, a step towards a broader field of enquiries, which seeks to address gaps in understanding by taking matters of cultural difference away from simplistic reactive critiques of Eurocentrism. It focuses on artworks and artistic lineages that are worthy of study in their own right, with particular attention drawn to the contexts in which the artists’ ideas were formulated and executed.
Historical works are presented alongside contemporary pieces and archival material; all of which evoke the conditions of not only lives lived, but those, which are still being lived.
Shanay Jhaveri (b. 1985, lives and works in London and Mumbai) is the editor of Western Artists and India: Creative Inspirations in Art and Design (Thames and Hudson, 2013) and Outsider Films on India: 1950 – 1990 (The Shoestring Publisher, 2010). He has curated film programs for the TATE Modern, Iniva and the LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images. Jhaveri graduated from Brown University in 2007 concentrating in Art Semiotics and the History of Art and Architecture, and is currently a PhD student at the Royal College of Art London.
Saloua Raouda Choucair, Tarsila do Amaral, Zarina Hashmi, Camille Henrot, Adolf Loos, The Otolith Group, Amrita Sher-Gil, Umrao Singh Sher-Gil
Artesur, collective fictions
Hailing from Canada, France, Romania and California, the curators collaborating on the project “Artesur, Collective Fictions” use the game of exquisite corpse to explore a database of works by over 250 artists presented on the site arte-sur.org. The resulting exhibition is not the result of consensus or deliberation, but of the mechanical juxtaposition of individual choices. This systematic exploration, paradoxically full of random chance, reveals our relation to artistic production, both global and local.
“Artesur, Collective Fictions” is the curatorial manifestation of a collective writing process. Developed along the principles of the Exquisite corpse, the project offers a stroll through arte-sur.org, an online archive dedicated to the presentation and dissemination of contemporary art from Latin America. Albertine de Galbert invited curator Isabelle Le Normand to form a team of three young curators, the only constraints being that each of them reside in a different country and that none of them have in-depth knowledge of the artistic scenes in Latin America. Along with Le Normand and de Galbert, Andrew Bernadini (Los Angeles), Jesse McKee (Banff) and Anca Rujoiu (London) considered the work of over 250 artists present on the website. They successively chose artworks and responded with critical texts. This selection and writing process began in February and concluded in March 2013, and resulted in grouping 20 artworks, which will be shown in the exhibition.
“Artesur, Collective Fictions” establishes itself not only as a response to the challenges of studying a living archive, but also wishes to preserve the depth of individual subjectivities, and that the selection process remained free from collective bargaining. This exhibition raises questions concerning the function of a curator and proposes new working methods that reflect global interconnectedness. Furthermore, it places the artwork at the center of attention for curatorial research. The curatorial team was encouraged to take part in a game of collecting, thereby creating their own exhibition.
The website Arte-Sur.org is a vector of collaborative and free information, which displays the work of active artists and professionals from the contemporary art field in Latin America. Designed and produced by Albertine de Galbert, following curatorial research conducted between 2008 and 2009 in ten South American countries, the website is developed within the non-for-profit beam prod. by Ana Maria Guerrero and Mathilde Ayoub.
Albertine de Galbert (Grenoble, France, 1980 - Lives and works in Paris, France). After experiences as a gallery assistant in New York, and PR assistant in Madrid, she takes up for three years the production and co-artistic direction of the documentary film series L’Art and la Manière, portraits of artists broadcasted on Arte TV. In 2011, she creates the website arte-sur.org, a platform dedicated to Contemporary Art in Latin America. Since 2010, she designs curatorial and cultural cooperation projects, mainly between Europe and Latin America.
Isabelle Le Normand (Tours, France, 1980 - Lives and works in Paris, France). As director of Visual Arts at Mains d’OEuvres, a multidisciplinary space in Saint-Ouen, she has curated over 30 exhibitions, as well as curating independently in Paris, Los Angeles, Bourges, Budapest, and Marseille. In 2013 she created an artist exchange program between Paris and Los Angeles in partnership with Machine Project and Mains d’OEuvres. Le Normand recently founded Courtesy, a commercial gallery based in Los Angeles, co-directed by artist Jonathan Bernad.
Andrew Berardini (Huntington Beach, California, 1982 - Lives and works in Los Angeles, USA) Berardini is a writer who has worked for the Armory Center for the Arts and LAXART as a curator, and at Semiotext(e) Press as an editor. Past curatorial endeavors include a public project with Bruce Nauman, a collaboration between Raymond Pandtibon and Yoshua Okon, the Los Angeles premiere for Lawrence Weiner’s Water in Milks, as well as group shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vienna, and Milan. He has published articles and essays in Frieze, Mousse, Fillip and Artforum, amongst others.
Jesse McKee (Saint John, Canada, 1984 - Lives and works in Banff, Canada). He is the curator of the Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre, where he has produced exhibitions with Mark Leckey, Brian Jungen, Duane Linklater, Julia Feyrer and Tamara Henderson. Previously, he was a curator at Western Front, Vancouver where he commissioned exhibitions with Eli Bornowsky, Sophie Bélair Clément, Neïl Beloufa, and Lee Kit.
Anca Rujoiu (Romania, 1984 - Lives and works in London, UK). She is a curator at FormContent, a project that has led her to curating exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Brukenthal National Museum, Romania, Eastside Projects Birmingham and Hollybush Gardens, London. Furthermore, she is a coordinator of special projects at the Royal College of Art, School of Fine Art in London.
Iván Argote, Ricardo Brey, Eugenia Calvo, Leyla Cárdenas, Ana Gallardo, Juan Fernando Herrán, Juliana Iriart, Daniel Jacoby, Tamara Kuselman, Flávia Metzler, Estefanía Peñafiel, Manuela Ribadeneira, Matheus Rocha Pitta, Juan Manuel Rodríguez Arnábal, Guillermo E. Rodríguez Rivera, Cintia Clara Romero, Sofía Ruiz, Maya Watanabe.
A self-taught artist and curator, co-founder of the Flux Factory in New York, Jean Barberis presents a monster installation that resembles an immense music box, in which sound compositions and visual works, produced by various artists, combine to create a multi-sensory experience. This labyrinth-like and spectacular project changes according to the audience’s impulses.
“Concert Hall” is a mammoth both architectural and musical installation, a group project undertaken by artists, builders, musicians and composers coming together specifically for this occasion. Each participant contributes his or her ideas and skills, involving themselves in all stages of the project. It is a music box of gigantic proportions, a labyrinth in which viewers can witness the creation of a mechanical musical piece, producing a multi-sensory experience. An interactive environment they can explore, “Concert Hall” is the perfect habitat for a large orchestra of kinetic and sound sculptures. Like Palais de Tokyo itself, this installation is labyrinthlike, both grandiose and modest. The collective Rabid Hands and Sunita Prasad use salvaged materials and derelict objects to create its reactive, parasitic, visceral architecture. This patchwork of hazardous architectures invites viewers to embark on an exhilarating discovery, an adventure: a staircase, winding up an intricate tower, leads to a fairy-tale house; a secret wardrobe reveals a loudly resounding cavern. Each space resonates with melodies meticulously crafted by Julien Gasc, Nick Yulman and Ranjit Bhatnagar, played on automated glockenspiels. Robot rhythm sections and an animated accordion hanging from the ceiling. Interactive light works by maya.rouvelle and Frederic Durieu enhance the experience. The entire installation, responsive to the public’s impulses, is ruled by a computer and linked by a MIDI system that tie the twisted charm of mechanical music to the precision of digital technology. “Concert Hall” functions as a permanent display, each visit leading to a different experience, a continually renewed discovery.
Curator: Jean Barberis, in collaboration with Georgia Muenster
Jean Barberis (b. 1978, lives and works in New York) is an artist, curator and producer of cultural programs. He is one of the founders of Flux Factory, an art center and residency program located in New York. His interests range from urban exploration, gastronomy and sailing, to the economies and exchanges that defy the control of capitalism. His self-taught, participative and collaborative method favors a hands-on approach. Works by Barberis have been displayed at the Whitney Museum, Queens Museum, New Museum and Elizabeth Foundation in New York, at Godsbanen in Arhus (Denmark), and at the Sziget festival in Budapest.
Ranjit Bhatnagar, Frédéric Durieu, Julien Gasc, Rabid Hands (Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, Andrew Schrock, VnessWolfCHild and Ben Wolf), Sunita Prasad, maya.rouvelle and Nick Yulman
Antigrazioso is an exhibition conceived as a scenario where artworks and non-art objects play different narratives.
A visual composition of elements from different discursive fields presented as a single, expanded, image.
The exhibition is conceived as a curatorial composition that interweaves different narratives, artworks and non-art objects into a coherent whole. It seeks to be a single image composed of various compatible and incompatible elements. The spectator is asked to look at them individually, while also mentally rearranging them into new relationships. Installed in a single room, the display is presented as a real scenario, which the audience can grasp in its entirety when standing in front of it.
The photographs of Medardo Rosso, one of the most influential figures in the history of modern sculpture, constitute the heart of the display. To this day, Rosso’s photographic practice has been overshadowed by his sculptural output, even though his prints offer a unique insight on the relationship between sculpture and photography, as well as on the history of the photographic medium itself.
Although unintended, some of Rosso’s photographs show an affinity with spiritualist photography. Hence, a selection of these prints is displayed alongside a series of images that document the investigation of psychic phenomena. To add an other layer of understanding, the exhibition includes photographic works by Paolo Gioli and Anne Collier, a video of Tupac Shakur’s hologram concert and a series of sculptures by Cameron Jamie. Darren Bader has been invited to conceive an installation, which functions as an oeuvre itself as well as an ideal frame for the other exhibited works. In this way, the show suggests that we move beyond the simple format of the solo and the group show, in favour of a more complex organism.
Luca Lo Pinto (born 1981, lives and works in Rome) is a curator. His recent exhibitions include Luigi Ontani-AnderSennoSogno (H.C. Andersen Museum, Rome 2012/2013); D’après Giorgio (Giorgio e Isa de Chirico Foundation, Rome 2012); When In Rome (IIC, Hammer Museum, LA›‹ART, Los Angeles 2011) He has edited artist books by Olaf Nicolai, Luigi Ontani, Nicola Pecoraro, Emilio Prini, Alexandre Singh and Mario Garcia Torres. He is a member of the advisory board of Depart Foundation.
Darren Bader, Anne Collier, Paolo Gioli, Thomas Glendenning Hamilton, Enrico Imoda, Cameron Jamie, Medardo Rosso, Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, Tupac Shakur Hologram
Un escalier d'eau
Natalia Valencia presents at Palais de Tokyo an exhibition that highlights the moments of silence that are inherent in reflection and daydreaming. Together, the exhibition space and the works constitute a single whole, padded and immaterial, which aims to affect the visitor’s consciousness: a “full presence” that deviates from ordinary perceptions.
As described in a poem by Octavio Paz, “una escalera de agua” [A water staircase] is an imaginary path of knowledge that thrives on the instant. The works in this exhibition are brought together by a phenomenological approach to the audience’s bodily awareness at the moment of reception. It is an examination of the particular and unpredictable flow of time that animates an exhibition: the pace, the sounds, the particles that float in the air, the absolute intensity of absorption, and the different types of presence that take place within the blurry boundaries of the viewer’s cognitive space. The exhibition aims to create a “fully present” state of being for all the human and non-human elements that comprise it, thus underlining an invisible transmission of information, presented here in its raw and pre-discursive state. The works are examples of intermittent “moments of being”, described by Virginia Woolf as experiences that break the “cotton-wool”, the semidormant texture of ordinary perception. If a book of events is always open halfway through, then its pages must surely be flying in all directions.
Natalia Valencia (Bogotá, 1984) is currently a research fellow at the MNAM Centre Pompidou in Paris. She has curated projects at the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros,at the Black Cubicle in México City, at Mor Charpentier in Paris, at Proyectos Ultraviolanda in Guatemala, and at the Museo Quinta de Bolívar in Bogotá. She has written for Kaleidoscope and the journal of the Paris Triennale in 2012.
Scenographer: Felipe Arturo
Manon de Boer, France Fiction, Herz Frank, Mario García Torres, Matthias Müller and Christophe Girardet, Michael Portnoy and Muséography by Felipe Arturo
A curator based in Seoul having previously worked in theater, Haeju Kim conceived this exhibition as a “Memorial Park,” a space in which different interventions, performances and artworks reawaken forgotten memories. Rather than creating a monumental exhibition, her intention is to construct a habitat for memory, through which the visitor can meander. Avoiding spectacular effects, the exhibition focuses its attention on emptiness rather than overabundance. Through often immaterial works, the memory of the everyday life, rather than of historic events, is presented in this exhibition.
A memorial park is a place built to commemorate the deaths caused by a natural or military disaster. This space of promenade acts as a naturally generated trace of what could have been a war or an earthquake, where the trees and the grass can be genuine substitutes for monuments, statues or tombstones. It is a space left vacant in order to regenerate memory. While, in general, a space is the grammatical object of the action “remembering”, it, here becomes its subject. Past events and stories are revived thanks to the movement that penetrates this space.
The exhibition “Memorial Park” offers a space and a promenade, which evoke memories to the visitor while raising a question about the relationship between space and memory. Somewhere in “Memorial Park” are stored unhistorical, ordinary, insignificant, unrecognizable and unrecorded memories. The artists consider them in their original condition of immaterial sense, without transforming them into a monument.
Much of the exhibition space is empty as if something was missing. The movement of the visitors, their steps, their eyes, and their breaths contributes to the whole. Far from a massive installation, simple devices without volume, and a few words and sentences are placed within the space. The exhibition in itself is a completed work and simultaneously functions as a clue, birthplace and score of the event. Just like stage directions, the devices within the space refer to something which is happening now, which will happen, or which already has happened. The space of the event extends from Palais de Tokyo to its nearby streets, in addition to the exhibition space.
In one of the performances, the actions which compose a typical exhibition process - such as measuring, placing, displacing, and circling - are transcribed into a score which will be repeated by the performers during the whole duration of the exhibition. Other events try to predict what is going on in the minds of the spectators; or what will be encountered in the future.
Haeju Kim (born in 1980 worked as an assistant curator at the Nam June Paik Art Center and as a researcher at the National Theater Company of Korea. She curated “The Whales, Time Diver” (2011, National Theater Company of Korea) and “Theater of Sand” (2011, Culture Station 284, Seoul). She has contributed to a number of Korean media and magazines such as Art in Culture and Article with articles on fine arts and performance. She completed the International Curatorial Training Program at the Ecole du Magasin in Grenoble, France (2007) and co-edited Harald Szeemann: Invididual Methodology (2007, JRP/Ringier).
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Sora Kim, Hwayeon Nam
The real thing ?
Antonia Alampi and Jason Waite are two curators respectively based in Cairo and in New York, who have come together to reflect upon emerging artistic approaches to performative practice in relation to the present condition. The Real Thing? is an exhibition where diverse attitudes towards performance question the ambiguous terrain of reality/fiction, challenging these constructions and our mediated experience of what can be called 'real life'.
A number of art historical sources state that in 1962 the Japanese artist Sho Kazakura presciently appeared naked, still and standing in an otherwise completely empty Tokyo gallery - in a performance entitled The Real Thing. Times when the ontology of performance located itself in the presence of the artist himself, when the mask, narrative and theatrical structure were discarded, to put forth art as inherent in every aspect of life.
Research by the curators has revealed that Kazakura’s performance most likely did not occur, calling into question constructions of the “real” itself and emphasizing its definition as a process of permanent revision, interpretation, perception.
Flash-forward to the present, this exhibition presents performative practices that can be seen as reformulating the declarative title into an interrogative one : The Real Thing?
Slavoj Žižek uses the metaphor of a cup of decaffeinated coffee to describe the “real life” substance-deprived experience provided by television, internet, and various other media. The artists in this exhibition, through diverse attitudes, question what notion of “real life” one can talk about today as the performative dimension inevitably defines itself as a contingent interplay between the event, its mediation and its reception.
The Real Thing? investigates and challenges the conditions that define an “event”, the (non) singularity of the subject, the staging of ideology, the responsibility of belief within the perception of phenomena, the thin threshold between fiction, the real and the subject, and the ways in which emotions are evoked in the space of performance. Artists here use the numerous instruments of the body—movement, speech, affect, memory—whilst directly confronted to the viewer and a new understanding of presence. This interaction motivates a renegotiation of the terms of engagement and generates a different grammar of being in space.
Antonia Alampi (1983, lives and works in Cairo) is curator at Beirut (Cairo), art history lecturer at Azzah Fahmy Design Studio (Cairo), tutor at Alchimia (Florence) and member of the curatorial board of DOCVA (Milan). Her writings appear in various journals, magazines and publications and independently she curates solo, group and other types of shows. She received her MA in Art History in Rome and attended the de Appel curatorial program in Amsterdam. She was co-director of Opera Rebis (Florence, Rome) and has worked for institutions such as Manifesta7 and Galleria Civica (Trento).
Jason Waite (1980, lives and works in New York) is an independent curator and writer based in New York. He was the co-curator of the 4th Biennial of Young Artists in Bucharest, and is founder of the mobile platform International Guerrilla Video Festival. He has worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Independent Curators International, and Cittadellarte - Pistoletto Foundation. He holds an MA in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths, London and is a Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum ISP.
Jérôme Bel, Alicia Frankovich, Shadi Habib Allah, Chelsea Knight and Mark Tribe in collaboration with Valerie Oberleithner, Alexi Kukuljevic, Pilvi Takala, Diego Tonus and a contribution by Franco 'Bifo' Berardi
Pursuing their activities alternately in New York, Paris, Milan, Tokyo or Prague, the curators Julie Boukobza, Simon Castets and Nicola Trezzi develop a hybrid activity combining art criticism and curating. Working together here for the first time, they approached their exhibit “Champs Elysées” as a cemetery for works that play on funerary aesthetic and on the persistence of burial rites. Like a cemetery, the exhibition space outlines a new perimeter of investigation, playing on curatorial practices and examining the relationship of art to its eternal partner, death.
In Greek mythology, the abode of the blessed after death. (Webster’s)
In Loss of Breath (1832), Edgar Allan Poe underlines the aesthetic value of tombs with a Freudian slip, confusing the words sepulture and sculpture: “we arrived at the place of sculpture, and I felt myself deposited within the tomb.”1
Born out of crumbling religious beliefs and outdated sanitary concerns, the graveyard continues to materialize the memory of the deceased. Surviving the secularization of Western societies, the cemetery remains an intensely invested space, the inexorable destination for eternal sleep, the metatory retreat of the dead, either buried or cremated. Although conceived to receive the dead, the cemetery, a creation by and for the living, is a reflection of its socioeconomic environment with an illusory varnish of eternity.
Through a selection of either specially produced or already existing artworks, “Champs élysées” invites over twenty artists to turn the exhibition space into an ideal cemetery, reexamining the decorative and performative aspects of the funerary within an immersive display. Contemplating the museum as cemetery, the exhibition transports the aesthetic of the cemetery back to the museum. Described by Paul Valéry as a mere amalgamation of “dead visions”2 museums sometimes appear themselves as cemanderies of lifeless ideas. In « Champs Elysées », artistic representations of death and the cemetery call for further explorations of the gallery space as a context designed to testify to the life of cultural production.
“Champs élysées” suggests links between the graveyard’s aesthetic aspects and its societal function, perceiving fertile artistic ground in the persistence of funerary rites. Selected artists do not only present the idyllic necropolis through its static and hackneyed image (tombstones, chrysanthemums, crucifixes, tears, portraits of the deceased, eco-friendly urns etc.) but also as the premise for guided tours, black magic ceremonies, chess tournaments and secret encounters.
Julie Boukobza lives in New York, where she works as a journalist and art critic. She contributes to numerous French and international publications including Art Press, L’Officiel Art, PIN UP, Double, and Frog. In 2010, she founded the website MODERN TALKING, an editorial project illustrating the contemporary forms of conversation. She recently launched the symposiums series “We Own the Night”, which first edition was held at the Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York) in September 2012.
Simon Castets is based in New York, where he works as an independent curator. Recent projects include the group exhibitions Cherry Picking at Karma International, Zurich, A Stone Left Unturned at Yvon Lambert, Paris, and Aftermath at Taka Ishii Gallery, Kyoto. Upcoming projects include a solo exhibition of Sarah Ortmeyer’s work at Federico Vavassori, Milan and is cocurating 89plus with Hans Ulrich Obrist, a series of exhibitions, publications, and panel conversations about the generation of artists born in 1989 and after.
Nicola Trezzi is an editor and curator based in New York. He is currently US Editor at Flash Art International and his writing has appeared in Il Sole 24 Ore (Milan), Monopol (Berlin), and Flatt (New York). He has lectured at Yale University (New Haven), and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Tel Aviv). He co-organized the following exhibitions: « Painting Overall » at the Prague Biennale 5, « Four Rooms » at the CCA, Warsaw, « Modern Talking » at the Muzeul National de Arta Cluj-Napoca and « Circa 1986 » at HVCCA in Peekskill.
Harold Ancart, Danai Anesiadou, Matteo Callegari, Valentin Carron, Anna Craycroft, Trisha Donnelly, Ida Ekblad, Simone Fattal, Lara Favaretto, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Susan Hefuna, Tom Holmes, Jamie Isenstein, Esther Kläs, Henri Labrouste, Maria Loboda, Goshka Maçuga, Rodrigo Matheus, Duane Michals, Sarah Ortmeyer, Sarah Pucci, Davis Robbins, Auguste Rodin, Cindy Sherman, Haim Steinbach, Alice Tomaselli
File not found
Three curators from the Singapore Art Museum hide behind the “Black Ninja” mask. Working like a squadron that disrupts institutional codes, they transplant a symbolic space from the Singapore Museum to the very heart of Palais de Tokyo: a Jesuit chapel that comments on the effects of colonialism, turned here on its originator. Through this graft and the multiple effects of substitution its implements, the rules of the museum institution are thus called into question.
The title File Not Found refers to the occurrence of system failures in technology and, to a larger extent, foreshadows the unreliable nature of systems that dominate the art world. The Singapore Art Museum has chosen to focus on its local Southeast Asia region and the role of the institution as a site of production, distribution, framing and reception of art, in order to generate self-critique, in the hope of taking new directions and expanding viewpoints regarding its commitment to art.
The traditional model of the canonical museum is a confined one. It thrives on its very name and reputation, and how it stands itself apart from other institutions, with its most distinctive asset being its collection. This traditional model of the museum presents and stages displays of art and culture as a form of reification, edification and representation; it is now being challenged. Indeed, some of today’s art institutions have evolved from this traditional model to focus on a more active form of cultural participation, for example one that utilises concepts and theories and methods of commissioning, in the ever growing need to continually engage with audiences in a relevant manner 1.
The Black Ninja Faction, composed of three curators situated from the Singapore Art Museum, offers the creation of an autonomous space within Palais de Tokyo (PDT) itself, thereby forcing two different hegemonies to co-exist in the same time and place. This intervention will serve as a form of critique and will question the forms and models of institutions today.
The work will consist of a live “live performance”, an object from the public collection, an architectural distillation of a colonised history, and an artist’s written perspective and elucidation on the relation of art systems and hegemonies to humanity.
The Black Ninja Faction, David Chew, Khairuddin Hori and Naomi Wang, are curators from the Singapore Art Museum, overseeing collections, exhibitions and community outreach projects. They have curated projects such as The Singapore Show: Future Proof; Negotiating Home, History and Nation: 1991-2011, 20 years of Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia; Yellow Ribbon Art Exhibition, art by inmates of Singapore Prisons. Between them, they are interested in exploring and interpolating existing structures and systems they encounter.
Randy Chan, Zaki Razak, Lee Wen and Joel Yuen
La fin de la nuit (Part 1)
Having worked in New York, Paris, Warsaw and Vienna, Martha Kirszenbaum creates a two-part exhibition that will unfold in Paris and Los Angeles, with each half respectively dedicated to Kenneth Anger and Henri-Georges Clouzot. Focusing on the venomous figure of Kenneth Anger, an icon of underground cinema since the 1950s, the exhibition contemplates experimental film, mysticism and Californian subcultures. Parallel to early films by Kenneth Anger and an installation by Oskar Fischinger, the exhibition brings together works by Los Angeles artists that create diverse visual experiments inspired by magic, occult sciences and fetishism.
The exhibition “La Fin de la nuit” [The End of the Night] constitutes the first part of a two-fold project developed between Paris and Los Angeles. Its concept is based on a reflection around the visual influence of two important filmmakers: the Frenchman Henri-Georges Clouzot and the Californian Kenneth Anger. Palais de Tokyo’s exhibition explores Kenneth Anger’s esthetic influence on the work of Los Angeles artists, while the second part of the project, presented at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, will examine the impact of Clouzot’s unfinished film, L’Enfer, on French contemporary art.
Veritable icon of Californian counter-culture, Kenneth Anger (b. 1927, lives and works in Santa Monica) is an exceptional filmmaker who created a dozen compelling short features between 1947 and 1980, almost all filmed in 16mm. Close to Surrealist and mystical movements, strongly affected by black magic and the occult, Anger established a unique visual identity for himself in the Hollywood of the 1940s and 1950s, at once repelled and fascinated by its glitter and decadence. His work is composed of cinematographic experiments in saturated colors, often referencing Pop culture and music, while also depicting the filmmaker’s homosexual fantasies head-on. His films have influenced numerous filmmakers, as well as artists and musicians who, by following his example, have learned to combine elements related to art, music and Pop culture with theatre and psychoanalysis.
The exhibition is thematically structured around Kenneth Anger’s visual experiments and their connection to the fields of magic and occult rituals but also fetishism, notably of bodies and objects. It presents a series of his early films along with a selection of installations, photographs, and collages by four contemporary Los Angeles artists. It also includes an installation, Raumlichtkunst by Oskar Fischinger - a central figure in abstract cinema - reconstructed by Center for Visual Music (Los Angeles).
Martha Kirszenbaum (b. 1983) is an independent curator, based in Paris. After working at MoMA, the Centre Pompidou and the New Museum (New York), she was the curator in residence at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw and the guest curator at the Belvedere Museum/21er Haus in Vienna, where she organized two interventions on the collection. She is currently completing a residency at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, where the second part of the project presented at Palais de Tokyo will be held in the fall of 2013.
Marianne Zamecznik is a curator and exhibition designer based in Berlin, educated at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Recent projects include The Running Room at Space for Art and Industry, New York; The Feast at the European Culture Congress, Wroclaw, Poland; the 6th Momentum biennial, Moss, Norway; The Space Between Us, the Modern Museum of Warsaw. She is editor for a book on exhibition architecture with Carson Chan.
Kenneth Anger, Brian Butler, Oskar Fischinger, Karthik Pandian, Stephen G. Rhodes and Jennifer West
The collaboration between Mikhael Suboztky and Anthea Buys brings together two dynamic figures: one an artist and rising figure of the South-African art scene; the other, a curator.” Together, they have created a psycho-geography that emphasizes the role of memory. Combining films, sculptures and installations, the exhibition connects architecture with politics to show both the visible and invisible connections between the two. Through references to colonial African history, slavery and Apartheid, they explore relationships of power and representation.
In “This House” the works of five artists from South Africa, Burundi, Norway and the United States explore different qualities of structure. The exhibition brings together newly-commissioned works, existing contemporary pieces and one important historical work, Gordon Matta-Clark’s Conical Intersect (1975), in a way that links architectural forms, institutional entities and political systems through their common reliance on methods of spatial and temporal organization. Mikhael Subotzky’s four-channel film Moses and Griffiths (2012) provides a narrative route into the exhibition, as the piece’s two protagonists narrate history through the features of two iconic buildings of which they are the custodians.
In all of the works presented, structure is identified as a phenomenon that is both volumetric and conceptual. These modes are linked in the selection of works by poetic and formal threads – which together constitute a kind of intra-architecture – that casts doubt on the possibility of inhabiting a space or a time without inheriting a political stance. Serge-Alain Nitegeka’s site-specific sculptural installation manifests this idea of troubled inhabiting on a scale that draws viewers into a direct physical encounter with an environment that is both alluring and obstructive.
In addition to the five works that are plainly shown, the exhibition will also include an indeterminate number of unseen “ghost” works, pieces that are no longer visible at Palais de Tokyo. These manifest in the exhibition through subtle clues, temporal recursions, leaps of the imagination, dreams and games. They haunt Alexandra Makhlouf’s new performative drawing installation as she both cites and invents the history of display within the museum.
The recognition of invisible works alongside visible ones enacts the strong psychogeographic orientation in Moses and Griffiths and in André Tehrani’s The Letter V in Various Media, 1963 – 1998 (2012). In turn, it connects spatial perception with the more mysterious phenomenon of temporal perception, suggesting that the eclipse of the past by the present is the result of a psychic or anatomical limitation rather than a metaphysical truth.
Mikhael Subotzky’s (b. 1981, Cape Town) photographic work combines the directness of the social documentary mode with a questioning of the nature of the photographic medium itself. Mikhael Subotzky’s work has been exhibited widely in major galleries and museums, and his prints are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the South African National Gallery, Cape Town, and the Johannesburg Art Gallery.
Anthea Buys (b. 1984, Johannesburg, based in Cape Town and New York) is a curator, writer and researcher based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her most recent exhibition, supported by the Office for Contemporary Art in Norway, was titled “Machine Worries, Machine Hearts”, and brought together Norwegian and South African artists in a collective thought experiment about human-machine empathy (blank projects, Cape Town,October 2012).
Alexandra Makhlouf, Gordon Matta-Clark, Serge-Alain Nitegeka, Magnhild Øen Nordahl, Mikhael Subotzky, André Tehrani
The Floating Admiral
Bringing together curators of diverse origins, Cartel de Kunst describes itself as a curatorial collective. For the Palais de Tokyo, the curators apply the principle of the exquisite corpse to a detective novel published in 1931, The Floating Admiral. The exhibition, written communally, retraces the death of painting. Each curator takes up the investigation where it was left off by his or her predecessor to offer a depiction of contemporary painting.
The Floating Admiral is a crime novel published in 1931. Inspired by the game of the Exquisite Corpse, it was co-authored by 14 members of the Detection Club. The work of any exhibition curator is similar to that of these authors. When a curator exhibits an artwork, he is prolonging the narrative begun by the artist, either by continuing in the direction initiated by the artist, or by suggesting a new context, equally rife with potential. An exhibition is a coherent whole in which each piece of artwork adds essential information to the rest of the work and understanding of the narrative in its totality: the exhibition in itself.
For the exhibition “The Floating Admiral”, Ana Mendoza Aldana has invited her colleagues from the Cartel de Kunst to reproduce the experiment. Each curator was assigned a chapter, the only rule being to continue developing the ideas as they were left off by the previous curator.
In the novel, the investigation revolves around the murder of Admiral Penistone; in the exhibition, the curators put forward “leads” to try to elucidate the death of painting. In the late 1960s, art critics and many artists proclaimed the death of this practice in favor of other forms of artistic expression. Ultimately, the exhibition is not meant to solve the mystery of this “death”, but rather to explore the current artistic landscape and identify new practices in painting today. In the 1931 novel, each author, after completing their assigned chapter, would imagine their own plot ending which they would keep secret until the entire book was written. These alternative outcomes, published at the end of the book, propose many possible solutions to the crime. The exhibition’s accompanying catalog is a platform for each curator to develop the subsequent chapters, the idea being to produce a catalog of the actual exhibition as well as all its virtual forms.
Ana Mendoza Aldana (b. 1987 in Guatemala, lives and works in Paris) studied History and Art History in Strasbourg and Paris. After completing research on Latin-American Concrete Art, she became particularly interested in abstract art and painting while working alongside Vincent Pécoil at Triple V Gallery. In 2011, she joined the curator collective Cartel de Kunst with whom she organized the exhibition “Temps Étrangers” at Mains d’OEuvres.
Cartel de Kunst, founded in Paris in 2011, is a collective of exhibition curators. The concept of collective curating is a founding principle of the group: bringing together the different skill-sets and approaches of the members as a means of producing exhibitions founded on multiple and relative interpretations. Members of the Cartel de Kunst participating in “The Floating Admiral” are: Kuralai Abdukhalikova, Eva Barois De Caevel, Viviana Birolli, Adélaïde Blanc, Manon Gingold, Eric Jarrot, Ana Mendoza Aldana, Alexandra Perloff-Giles, Jaufré Simonot and Gloria Sensi.
Francis Alÿs, Isabelle Cornaro, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Nicolas Floc’h, Mario García Torres, Germain Hamel, Nathan Hylden, Zhanna Kadyrova, Kitty Kraus, Hugo Pernet
A history of inspiration
Between Stuttgart and Istanbul, with stops in Stockholm, Adnan Yildiz sets in motion a subtle art of the exhibition. At Palais de Tokyo, it involves bringing together a seemingly incongruous pair: an Ottoman miniature from the 16th century and a standard Microsoft screen. The motif of the sky – the astrologers’ complex sky or the artificial sky of computer users – emerges between the two. From this juxtaposition, an exploration of the imagination surfaces.
A History of Inspiration is a conceptual attempt to investigate the epistemological relationships between two spaces of imagination, sky and screen, via two image references separated by five centuries: a 16th century miniature and a Microsoft wallpaper. By bringing them together, the exhibition promises to develop a methodological approach to the phenomena of curiosity and imagination, and in particular how our conception of the future can be seen as a history of inspiration.
The miniature from the 16th century depicts Takiyüddin’s observatory house in Istanbul. It shows the ulemas, i.e. Islamic scientists; academicians, researchers and intellectuals, who had worked in an advanced level of interdisciplinary approach combining mathematics, astrology, biology, poetry and other disciplines. With tools and apparatus of their time such as rulers, clocks, and telescopes, they bodily perform the acts of curiosity and experiment with the inspiration of nature. The Microsoft wallpaper is a generic image, a sample design produced and distributed all around the world. This “plasticized” representation of sky and nature was delivered to millions of users to organize their computer desktop.