September 11, 2019 - Palais de Tokyo - Future, Former, Fugitive
September 11, 2019

Palais de Tokyo

Pierre Joseph, Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, 2018 (detail). 45 prints series on Magistra Deluxe Blueback 120g paper, 80 x 110 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Air de Paris (Paris). Photo: Pierre Joseph. © Adagp, Paris, 2019.

Future, Former, Fugitive
A French Scene
October 16, 2019–January 5, 2020

Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris
France

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Future, Former, Fugitive
A French scene

With: Nils Alix-Tabeling, Mali Arun, Fabienne Audéoud, Carlotta Bailly-Borg, Grégoire Beil, Martin Belou, Jean-Luc Blanc, Maurice Blaussyld, Anne Bourse, Kévin Bray, Madison Bycroft, Julien Carreyn, Marc Camille Chaimowicz X We Do Not Work Alone, Antoine Château, Nina Childress, Jean Claus, Jean-Alain Corre, Jonas Delaborde et Hendrik Hegray, Bertrand Dezoteux, Vidya Gastaldon, Corentin Grossmann, Agata Ingarden, Renaud Jerez, Pierre Joseph, Laura Lamiel, Anne Le Troter, Antoine Marquis, Caroline Mesquita, Anita Molinero, Aude Pariset, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Marine Peixoto, Jean-Charles de Quillacq, Antoine Renard, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Linda Sanchez, Alain Séchas, Anna Solal, Kengné Téguia, Sarah Tritz, Nicolas Tubéry, Turpentine, Adrien Vescovi, Nayel Zeaiter.

The notion lurking behind “future, former, fugitive,” a formula taken from the writer Olivier Cadiot[1], is what is most evocative. The present, thus, owes as much to aspirations coming from a world yet-tobe as it owes to the workings of the past, which are continually active. It is a present that also comes in the form of a fugue or an escapade, as evoked here, in an era when the horizon has become opaque, and in which many artists and citizens now search for other ways of being.

It is this present with a “sidestep” that drives the 44 artists and collectives included in this exhibition devoted to the French scene. They carefully engage, implicate and complicate the present. They culture it with broad, communicative artworks or circumscribe it through more intimate fictions. Maintaining a caustic relationship with the contemporary, sometimes obsessive about the ways they express how they belong in the world, the artists featured here escape as far as they can from finite definitions and the influences of fashion or opportunity.

Far from the effects of a tabula rasa, which pretends that one generation can eclipse another, the point of this exhibition is to bring together contemporaries from a single era—and at a vital time. Yet, these artists are also flatmates within a creative scene that demonstrates discreet kinships, long-time relationships or even inflexible particularities.

A theme that runs through this exhibition is the question of duration, applied to artists who sometimes have been working for decades and to younger ones who can be disillusioned by the callings of emergence. Here, individuals who are both porous to the modern world and impermeable to todays’ demands can be found. In the words of Giorgio Agamben, “the ones who can call themselves contemporary are only those who do not allow themselves to be blinded by the lights of the century and so manage to get a glimpse of the shadows in those lights, of their intimate obscurity.”[2] The perimeter delineated by the exhibition Future, Former, Fugitive is thus not strictly limited to a scene, territory or generation, but it is set at the heart of a precarious, fleeting present.

Franck Balland, Daria de Beauvais, Adélaïde Blanc, Claire Moulène – curators of the exhibition.
Marilou Thiébault – curatorial assistant.

[1] Olivier Cadiot, Future, former, fugitive, Roof Books, 2003
[2] Giorgio Agamben, “What Is the Contemporary?” from What is an Apparatus? and Other Essays, trans. David Kishik and Stefan Pedatella (Stanford University Press, 2009)

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