On Saturday i spent a very long and wonderful evening at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The current exhibition, Five Billion Years, is pretty good. But don’t take my word for it, i’m so in love with the place that my judgement might not be trustworthy. I just wish they’d put the name of the work and of its author next to each piece, that would be very helpful, thank you. It’s only when i was back home that i learnt that the image on the left of this post shows Perfect2, a light installation by Lang/Baumann and the hairy mushroom is Patman2, a sculpture made of made from 91 kilos of heaped soy noodles by Michel Blazy.
Some of the works shown are part of the One Second One Year chapter and they are randomly activated. It is impossible to determine the exact moment any of the pieces might (or might not) take place. Some works are “visible” several times a day while others only once, such as the famous 1966 sculpture Yearly Lamp by Alighiero and Boetti, a box containing a light bulb that only lights up once a year. Works that might not have been activated during the show’s official dates were left like parasites throughout the Palais de Tokyo until the moment they occur.
The Revolution automata and a puzzled visitor
Kris Vleeschouwer’s piece was made of a huge shelf of glass bottles (very similar to the one selected for Sonambiente in Berlin a few months ago) that might fall off once in a while during the exhibition. The most disturbing piece is probably Kristof Kintera‘s Revolution, the kinetic sculpture of a kid that would periodically bang his head against the wall (video). Even when the automata was still, it was fun to watch peole approaching it slowly to check if the sculpture had a face or if anything was hidden there.
Leopold Kessler had installed two vending machines in two different rooms: you pay for your can of coke on one of the machines and the drink is available from the other machine. Swiss artist Roman Signer had left on the ground a suitcase that might explode at some point before the end of the exhibition. And in a corner, Lara Favaretto‘s Twistle air compressors are connected to a timer. They activate a whistle at regular intervals.
Ortega’s fly killer and Favaretto’s Twistle
I missed the work of Fernando Ortega: he had installed up there on a wall a fly electrocuting device in the exhibition space. Each time a fly passes through the grills and is electrocuted, the power supply of the Palais is interrupted, resulting in a momentary blackout within the space.
Untitled (Rodage), by Fabien Giraud, features three black mini-bikes that periodically rev their motors and try to interact with each other. Each motorcycle contains receivers and an AI system that determines its choices and behaviors towards the others.
My little flickr set of images from the exhibition.