L’état du ciel — Première partie


Film, installation, mixed media, video

L’état du ciel
Première partie

Past: February 14 → September 7, 2014

L’état du ciel is a homage to many artists, poets and philosophers reflections on the physical, moral and political factors that shape our world. Over the course of a season, it presents over ten proposals or exhibitions centering on that theme, as artists adopt André Breton’s definition of their role, as applied to Giorgio de Chirico:

“The artist, that sentinel on the endless road, always on the lookout.”

As far back as Goya, if not further, modern and contemporary artists have attentively examined contemporary reality. They often depict the landscape of our anxieties, dread, alarm, revolt, utopia and suggest poetic ways of transforming the present. If we study the world as one might scrutinize an image, today stops being an imposed destiny and becomes a changing surface that we could, perhaps, transform.

New exhibition formats stem from these observations, innovative to the extent that the word “exhibition” may no longer apply. Thus, we will see Georges Didi-Huberman and Arno Gisinger transpose the theme of lamentation into the language of film, inspired by Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas; a selection of works from the remarkable collections of the Centre national des arts plastiques dedicated to intangible creations; Gérard Wajcman and Marie de Brugerolle reflect on the theme of the fall, from the Berlin Wall to the Twin Towers; and Thomas Hirschhorn, with his immense installation Flamme éternelle, involve nearly 200 intellectuals and poets in a debate focusing on the interconnections between art and philosophy and the ways in which these affect our consciousness.

Add to that ten fictions conceived by Hiroshi Sugimoto on the theme of humanity‘s disappearance, Angelika Markul’s scrupulous exploration of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, David Douard’s viral hybrids of bodies and machines, and Ed Atkins’ digital variations.

Each represents a symptom of the world’s general state, focusing on both contemplation and action.

L’état du ciel, a title borrowed from Victor Hugo’s Promontoire du songe, in which the author wrote that “the sky’s normal state is at night”, addresses the current time, a political time in which seeing is already a means of action.

New Ghosts stories

Georges Didi-Huberman and Arno Gisinger, in collobaration with Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts contemporains.

Farocki medium
Harun Farocki, Transmission, 2007 © Harun Farocki

New Ghost Stories is a poignant installation conceived by Georges Didi-Huberman and Arno Gisinger after the legendary Atlas Mnemosyne by early 20th century art historian Aby Warburg. The result is certainly not an exhibition, nor an artwork in the traditional sense, but a presentation in a previously nonexistent form of an incomparable meditation on the way in which photography and cinema have each prolonged past masterpieces that are testaments to humanity.

Georges Didi-Huberman began his methodical reflection on art over thirty years ago, and, through its examination of history, the whole of his work has deepened our psychical and ethical relationship to images. Together with the artist Arno Gisinger, they present a new evolution of the spectacular installation that they devised for Le Fresnoy in 2012 and invite visitors of Palais de Tokyo to dive into the heart of scenes that haunt our gaze.

Douard1 medium
David Douard, 4NIMORPH5 (yeerks/in/yeerk), Vue de l’exposition Entretemps, Brusquement et ensuite, 12ème Biennale de Lyon, 2013 © Blaise Adilon

David Douard is without a doubt one of the most unsettling revelations in recent years. His work savagely leaps into the most contradictory of references — poetry, history of science, technology, animism, counterculture, etc and he gives them expression through combinations of video, sculpture, collage, sound, and past masterpieces grafted onto interactive installations in order to create allegorical tales that reflect the infectious relationships that manifest between worlds that hoped themselves impermeable to one another. Transforming the exhibition into a rumor, David Douard proposes to slip into the “diseases of the real” for his first major solo exhibition. Composed of viral works generated by a text matrix, the exhibition explores the slow shifts and fractures that haunt us and become hybrid sculptures, mutating scripts, and uncontrollable images.

Land of departure

Angelika Markul, Winner of the Sam art project 2012.

Markul4 medium
Angelika Markul, Bambi à Tchernobyl, Vue d’installation, Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź (Pologne), 2013 Courtesy Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris et Galeria Leto, Varsovie. Photo : Bartosz Górka

To reflect on the destiny of humanity, Angelika Markul’s work combines the forces of nature with the upheavals caused by the actions of mankind. Videos, sculptures and environments form landscapes that oscillate between zones of meditation and zones of turbulence. The artist leads us to our most inner depths, where ecological preoccupations and questions that have perplexed humanity for time immemorial, a fascination with technology and a contemplation of the vastness of nature resonate. A complex set of forces is at play within the artist’s hands as she summons the specters of a multitude of natural or industrial catastrophes. We stroll through the exhibition as we might explore a complex scenario, where each work startles, shakes up our memory:

“I reconstruct a memory by associating actual remembrances with other images, which I encounter and film,” explains the artist. “My relationship to memory stems from my obsession with death and with my own history.”

Something Less, Something more

A new exhibition centered on the performative collections of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques.

Faustino medium
Didier Faustino, Opus Incertum, 2009 Painted MDF — 182 × 112 × 120 cm Courtesy of the artist

For years, the Centre national des arts plastiques has been assembling a remarkable collection dedicated to the often intangible creations developed around the inexact notion of “performance”. A selection of this little-known collection is presented for the first time at Palais de Tokyo and completed by the invitation of several artists. Exhibition curators Sébastien Faucon and Agnès Violeau speak of the project: “Building on the CNAP’s (Centre national des arts plastiques) relational and protocol-based collections, Something Less, Something more approaches the writing of the exhibition and its grammar through the prism of living art." It seeks to reformulate the exhibition experience by offering a new, more subjective, behavioral approach within the aim to “reconnect art with ordinary and collective existence”.

16 Trocadéro Zoom in 16 Trocadéro Zoom out

13, av. du Président Wilson

75016 Paris

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Alma – Marceau

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Every day except Tuesday, noon – midnight
Closed on tuesday

Admission fee

Full rate €12.00 — Concessions €9.00

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

Venue schedule

The artists

And 31 others…

From the same artists