Les Habitants — Une idée de Guillermo Kuitca


Installation, painting, sound - music

Les Habitants
Une idée de Guillermo Kuitca

Past: October 25, 2014 → February 22, 2015

The Inhabitants, an installation created especially for the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain by the Argentinian painter Guillermo Kuitca, borrows its title from a film of the same name by Artavazd Pelechian. Occupying the entire lower level, it plunges visitors into a pictorial and sound environment, building an intricate network between his own art and that of fellow artists David Lynch, Vija Celmins, Patti Smith and Artavazd Pelechian. Guillermo Kuitca’s work mirrors the history of the Fondation Cartier and its unique way of establishing relationships between artists and artworks, inciting encounters of many kinds, and making connections from one project to the next over the years.

The idea for The Inhabitants came from David Lynch’s life‑sized recreation of a living room, inspired by one of his own small drawings. For Guillermo Kuitca, whose work is filled with references to theatrical interiors, seeing David Lynch’s 2007 exhibition The Air is on Fire at the Fondation Cartier, where the living room was shown for the first time, was an important experience that struck a profound chord. Kuitca further explores this encounter by inviting visitors to rediscover a concert given by Lynch and Patti Smith at the Fondation Cartier as part of the Mathematics, A Beautiful Elsewhere exhibition. For Kuitca, this event embodied the concept of reinterpretation that underlies his entire project, and he incorporated the concert’s sound recording into his installation. During this unique performance of music and poetry that brought the two artists together on stage for the first time, Patti Smith adapted a text written by Lynch that told the story of an antelope who wanders through a city and observes its people. A long and troubling poem, it echoes The Inhabitants by Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Pelechian. Also presented in the exhibition, this film is an ode to nature that depicts images of animals frantically trying to escape from an invisible threat.

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David Lynch, Vue de l’exposition Les Habitants, 2014 © Luc Boegly

Painted in infinite shades of black, white and gray, American artist Vija Celmins’ starry skies converse with paintings by Lynch, which are, in contrast, saturated with color and dominated by the presence of the human body.

Guillermo Kuitca’s installation The Inhabitants constantly plays on viewers’ sensations and creates optical illusions. It also invites visitors to reflect upon his oeuvre as a whole, characterized by references to maps and the intersection between places and things, as well as allusions to physical, mental and emotional territories in which the human figure is conspicuously absent. The Inhabitants is inspired by the same spirit. Stimulating dialogue and making surprising multilayered connections, The Inhabitants also reflects the unique manner in which the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain has operated for 30 years bringing together works, artists ans ideas.

14 Paris 14 Zoom in 14 Paris 14 Zoom out

261, boulevard Raspail

75014 Paris

T. 01 42 18 56 50 — F. 01 42 18 56 52

Official website


Opening hours

Every day except Monday, 11 AM – 8 PM
Late night on Tuesday until 10 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €10,50 — Concessions €7.00

The artists

  • David Lynch
  • Patti Smith
  • Vija Celmins
  • Artavazd Pelechian
  • Guillermo Kuitca