January 14, 2014 - Palais de Tokyo - The State of the Sky
January 14, 2014

The State of the Sky

Left to right: Angelika Markul, Gorge du Diable, 2013. Courtesy Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve (Paris), and Galeria Leto (Warsaw). Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields 130, 2009. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Koyanagi (Tokyo). Ed Atkins, Us Dead Talk Love, 2012. Courtesy of the artist, Cabinet (London), and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi (Berlin).

L’État du ciel (The State of the Sky)
Part 1

February 14–September 7, 2014

Opening: Thursday 13 February
Press opening: 16–18h
VIP preview: 18h
Public opening: 20–24h  

Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson
75 116 Paris 


L’État du ciel (The State of the Sky) 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 will present 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 transpose the theme of lamentation into the language of film, inspired by Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas; Gérard Wacjman 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, which involves 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.

Details part 1:
February 14–September 7: Nouvelles histoires de fantômes, by Georges Didi-Huberman And Arno Gisinger. In collaboration with Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains
February 14–May 12: Mo’Swallow, David Douard
February 14–May 12: Terre de départ, Angelika Markul (winner of the Sam Art Projects Prize 2012)  
February 14–March 2: Des choses en moins, des choses en plus. Coproduced by the Centre National des Arts Plastiques.

Part 2:
April 25–September 7: Aujourd’hui, le monde est mort (Lost Human Genetic Archive), Hiroshi Sugimoto
April 25–June 23: Flamme éternelle, Thomas Hirschhorn
April 25–June 23: Les Modules Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Vivien Roubaud, Thomas Teurlai, Tatiana Wolska. In collaboration with the Villa Arson

Part 3:
June 6–September 7: Ed Atkins
June 6–September 7: All That Falls
July 11–September 7:  Michaela Eichwald (winner of the Lafayette Prize 2012)
July 11–September 7: Les Modules Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Alessandro Piangiamore


Palais de Tokyo presents The State of the Sky
Palais de Tokyo
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