Palais de Tokyo


e-flux

Palais de
Tokyo

HARDCORE,
TOWARDS A NEW ACTIVISM

27FEB-18MAY 2003

Palais de Tokyo

site de création contemporaine

13 avenue du Président Wilson 75116 Paris

T 01 4723 5401 F 01 4720 1531

www.palaisdetokyo.com

image: cover of the catalog exhibition « Hardcore, towards a new
activism
» at the Palais de Tokyo, site de création contemporaine, Cercle
d’Art
editor, Paris, 2003.

« HARDCORE, TOWARDS A NEW ACTIVISM »

27FEB-18MAY 2003

>>PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

A.A.A. Corp. (France), Jota CASTRO (Peru), Shu Lea CHEANG (USA), Minerva
CUEVAS (Mexico), Alain DECLERCQ (France), Michel Dector Michel DUPUY
(France), Ocean EARTH (USA), etoy.CORPORATION (Switzerland), Kendell
GEERS
(South Africa), Guerrilla Girls on Tour (USA), Johan GRIMONPREZ
(Belgium),
Clarisse HAHN (France), Henrik PLENGE JAKOBSEN (Denmark), Gianni MOTTI
(Italy), Anri SALA (Albania), Santiago SIERRA (Mexico), Sislej XHAFA
(Kosovo).

>>

« At a time of widespread obsession with the rise of violence, of
unending
debate about crime and the threat of terrorism, « Hardcore »
questions
radicalness and « violence ». These are concepts that now figure in
the
work of many contemporary artists who are developing an attitude that is
akin to a certain activism.

« The title « Hardcore » applies to the way the artists featured
in the
show are infiltrating reality, occupying in a certain way the field of
current events, and sending us back an expression of raw truth that is
delivered without the prerequisite mass-media format. It is the
virulence
of a verbal and visual message that unmasks and castigates political and
social initiatives that smack of demagoguery.

« The show is structured around the work of a dozen artists of varying
ages and nationalities who, either alone or in groups, are working out a
new type of activism. It is an activism that no longer springs from the
thinking that dominated the protest movement of the 1960s and 70s, even
though the artists here are products of that milieu. These heirs to the
fall of ideologies are « isolated » activists who together form no
organized movement, but rather represent so many individual strategies.

They are « groupuscules » of protesters who are repositioning one of
the
facets of art as a tool for transgression, in order to shake things up
and
better infiltrate the incoherences and deviations effecting the system.
It
is art as metaphor for positions staked out and a resistance mounted.
For
them, art is no longer a matter of simply producing a form or creating
an
effect; it must be a fact of reality, the hyperbole of the yawning gap
left by the media, the social or the political. The work of art becomes
material for provoking a reaction, for questioning, rather than
something
to be contemplated.

« While artists have always been « hackers of the real », the
creative men
and women brought together is this show offer a language and form of
artistic intervention that tend toward a new activism, because they
attempt to transmit, like a pirate radio station, an alternative,
critical
view of a social, economic and political context. In each case, the very
activity and oeuvre of these artists stands for a manifesto, one that
remains most of the time within the symbolic sphere of art writing,
although occasionally it does go beyond that and sparks real debate.
These
artists often adopt extreme positions, play on limits and greatly
increase
art’s polemical charge and its impact on society and
society’s zones of
power ».

Jérôme SANS

Curator of the exhibition

Co-director of the Palais de Tokyo

>>CATALOG

« Hardcore », the catalog accompanying this show, offers an
historical
approach to the subject, along with texts by politically committed
writers
and theoreticians. The catalog also allows the artists to speak for
themselves through interviews and self-portraits, and tries to recreate
their universe and the basis of their artmaking.

The catalog is jointly published by Éditions du Cercle d’Art
with the
generous support of the Caisse Centrale d’Activités des
Industries
électrique et gazière.

>>ARTFILMS PRODUCTION

As a part of the Focus series, in partnership with the Palais de Tokyo,
Artfilms offers to the artists the possibility of co-editing a 6 minutes
video about their work. These videos will be presented during the
exhibition.

This exhibition is supported by the Maison de l’Amérique Latine,
Paris ;
the Institut du Mexique, Paris ; Pro Helvetia and the Ambassade Royale
du
Danemark, Paris.

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Les Inrockuptibles,
Radio
Nova et Nova Magazine, Mouvement, Blast and Planète.

The Palais de Tokyo thanks Corona for the opening.

The Palais de Tokyo, site for contemporary arts, enjoys the support of
the
French Ministry of Culture and Communications/the Plastic Arts
Delegation,
the Caisse des dépôts et consignations, Pioneer, Illy Caffè,
Habitat,
Radio FG (Les Plans Capitaux) and Mouvement.net, le site indisciplinaire
des arts vivants.

For further information: www.palaisdetokyo.c
om/hardcore