Abraham Poincheval on display at the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris

During the Nuit Blanche 2016 in Paris, performance artist Abraham Poincheval stayed perched on a lookout post twenty metres above the ground. While the artist has previously made an impression with a few curious initiatives, the Palais de Tokyo will be welcoming him in its spaces for a retrospective from February 2017 onwards. In 2013, Abraham Poincheval stayed inside a bear’s skin for twelve days — at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris. In 2015 and this year, he has spent several weeks inside a bottle, floating up the Rhône. This retrospective exhibition, to be launched on 3 February 2017, will be an opportunity to (re)discover his original experiments through a presentation of his preparatory works, and also to (re)see the structures in which he inhabited, such as the bear-skin...

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Tino Sehgal, artist of the ephemeral

Powerful body language, flirtation with immateriality… Tino Sehgal has exercised a complex creative practice for twenty years or so. His “constructed situations”, at the Palais de Tokyo until 18 December, raise one crucial question: what if the artist reinvented the meeting between the work and the spectator? Iconoclastic in how he shows and circulates his work, Tino Sehgal places a focus on artistic language that overturns the archetype of contemporary production. Existing purely over the time of a choreography, a sketch, sometimes a movement, the work of this forty-something from London who lives in Berlin reveals a resolutely dematerialised perception of art. Art which he challenges by elusiveness, raised in the paroxysm of performance; but also art which he sets apart from a standardised art market. For Tino Sehgal transmits his works with “no written set of instructions, no bill of sale (purchases are conducted orally, in the presence of a notary), no catalogue, […] no pictures” (source: New York Times, 25/11/2007). This omnipresent immateriality is matched by an obviously ephemeral dimension, which has managed to seduce the greatest institutions. In 2005, he was the youngest artist to represent Germany at the Venice Biennale. Two years later, he carried out his first in situ museum performance across the Atlantic, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago with Kiss: the artist used two dancers to cite the poses in famous artworks, from Klimt to Jeff Koons, via Brancusi. Ever since, he has multiplied solo shows all over Europe — in London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Porto… — and his artistic concept has not ceased to surprise spectators. Activating the memory Grasping the works of Tino Sehgal is firstly a matter of activating one’s memory in order to catch hold of them. Founded on a space-time prism corresponding to the time of...

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Focus on Yves Klein in the UK

From 20 October to 5 March 2017, the exhibition “Yves Klein” comprising around 30 works by the French artist at the Tate Liverpool is a much anticipated event, for his work has not been the object of any large-scale exhibition in Britain for 20 years. Apart from his many influences on minimalism, conceptual art and performance — with his “living paintbrushes” for his “Anthropométries” series —, Klein is also significant for his alchemical research with colour dealer Édouard Adam, which yielded, at the artist’s request, the pigment known by the name of International Klein Blue...

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Korea in Paris, Paris in Korea

With the artists from South Korea, Art Paris Art Fair 2016 presents two performances during the fair and a special installation.  The two performance programs draw inspiration from the memories of Korean history, presented by two female artists of different generations. Yee Soo Kyung will be presenting “When I Become You.”  Yee Soo Kyung is an artist of the 386 Generation, who were born in the 1960’s and experienced the democratic transition of South Korea in the 1980s when they were in their 20’s.  She explores the concept of symmetry through variety of experimental practices.  In this piece, she conveys the uncanny beauty of preserved culture by presenting a dance of a Kiseang.  Kiseang were the government’s female entertainers, required to perform various functions for the state for throughout the history of Korea until the Joseon dynasty.  The culture of Kiseang entertainment however, is said to have been interrupted and changed during the Japanese occupation.  Junghwa Lee, who is a contemporary dancer back home, recreates the traditional Kyobangchum dance performance of Kiseang underneath the two chandeliers, one fully lit and one with a blinking bulb.  Lee gracefully attempts to link what is contemporary and traditional with beautiful flow of the dance, but the blinking chandelier is a metaphor to the fragmented nature of Kiseang tradition. Young In Hong works with young female dancers whom she cast here in Paris for “Let Us Dance.”  Hong’s inspiration comes from the political demonstration that took place in Seoul in 2008.  This single event is an important subject in the artist’s mind as it was the first time in Korean history when female youth became visible and relevant in political circumstances.  Hong shares the story and communicates the concept of the emergence of a new energy born in the midst of frustration to...

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Alexandra Pirici to perform her Monument to Work in Göteborg

From 28 until 31 May 2015, the artist Alexandra Pirici is presenting her living sculpture Monument to Work, commissioned by the government agency Public Art Agency Sweden. This performance is to be given for the first time in Göteborg, a city distinguished by the importance of its past and its industrial heritage. Alexandra Pirici has drawn inspiration for the choreography of the performers in Monument to Work from the rhythmic sequence of movements that have marked the days of industrial workers from the 1970s to the present day. She is especially interested in the transition between industrial society and the post-industrial economy, as well as its effects on the human body as a tool. Her creative process is based in part on the numerous interviews she has conducted with industrial workers of different generations, concerning the movements they carried out over the course of their working lives. These interviews were organised in close collaboration with the workers’ union Verkstadsklubben at the ball bearing factory SKF, in Göteborg. Alexandra Pirici currently lives and works in Bucharest. Although her initial training was anchored in the practice of choreography, she developed into a truly interdisciplinary artist, involved in the fields of the visual arts, music, and film. She participated in the Romanian pavillion for the 55th Venice Biennale, with a project called An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale, realised in collaboration with Manuel...

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