Installation, sculpture


Past: February 19 → May 16, 2010

1916 — Le Corbusier builds a “Villa Turque” (Turkish Villa), the Villa Schwob, flanked by a *pergola, in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland). Some years later, he publishes photos of it in L’Esprit Nouveau. On the ground, in front of the villa, a white smear betrays retouching: the pergola has disappeared from the reproduction. Less than a century later, the Iraqi journalist Mountazer al-Zaïdi throws his shoes at George W. Bush’s head.


Pergola rises out of the depths of a modernity haunted by everything that it has eradicated. Valentin Carron — himself author of an artwork also entitled Pergola (2001) — creates in Palais de Tokyo’s main space a universe evocative of a museum guardian’s bad dream. In this space, sculptures summon modern art, but hanging from the glass ceiling, sombre lanterns recall a Swiss tavern. The walls, covered in grey stucco, borrow as many elements from a suburban home as they do from an isolated ghetto.

Overhead kick

In their afterlives, through upheavals and uprisings, the victims that were once erased from modernity speak out in the form of a giant shoe: a monument created by Laith Al-Amiri in homage to the loafer thrown by the Iraqi journalist at George W. Bush’s head. Forgotten forms take shape and materialize in the public spaces and, in doing so, demand equal treatment. In the works of Raphaël Zarka, Renaissance forms fraternize with skateboard ramps or breakwaters. Serge Spitzer’s deranged system of pneumatic dispatch challenges all forms of communication. Charlotte Posenenske’s artwork is emblematic of the politics of the spectre that lay the foundation for a communism of substances.

Charlotte Posenenske

Pergola provides an opportunity to experience the first retrospective ever shown in France of the major German artist Charlotte Posenenske, who was a contemporary of the American minimalists. A unique path led her from a modernist practice of abstract painting to a militant approach to three-dimensional space. Her last installations were composed of galvanized steal tubes, which the curator could distribute at will. Between her use of elementary materials and the artwork’s price roughly equivalent to the production cost, her approach is clearly political: “I have trouble resigning myself to the idea that art will not contribute to the resolution of current social issues,” said Posenenske, who performed by installing her works in public spaces in order to subvert monumentalism as well as to celebrate silent productive forces. Following her own reasoning to its extreme, she left behind all artistic activities in order to dedicate herself to sociology in 1968.

16 Trocadéro Zoom in 16 Trocadéro Zoom out

13, av. du Président Wilson

75016 Paris

T. 01 81 97 35 88

Alma – Marceau

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, noon – midnight

Admission fee

Full rate €12.00 — Concessions €9.00

Free admission under 18 years-old, job seekers, those in receipt of income support…

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Venue schedule

The artists