Xavier Veilhan, Vanishing Point

Xavier Veilhan, Vanishing Point

Centre Pompidou

October 7, 2004


15 September – 15 November 2004

Centre Pompidou – Espace 315
Place Georges Pompidou 75004 Paris
+33 (0)1 44 78 12 33


On the occasion of Xavier Veilhan’s first monographic exhibition in a Parisian museum in over ten years, the Centre Pompidou invited him to create a three separate but related bodies of work: a solo exhibition in the entire gallery of the Espace 315 (the new contemporary art space opened last March); a monumental sculptural installation in the public spaces of the Forum (on show from 20 October 2004); and Veilhan’s first-ever theatrical work, to be presented as part of the Spectacles Vivants series (on 18 September 2004).

Xavier Veilhan is one of the leading figures of the contemporary French art scene. His work embraces a broad range of media and plays upon various systems of representation: from a sculptural practice rooted in the tradition of public statuary to digitally generated imagery. The objects Veilhan creates are simultaneously anachronistic and high-tech, reflecting both traditional and futuristic approaches.

Since the early 1990s, his oeuvre has been marked by an increasing interest in the recording of reality via photography and the moving image. Digital imaging processes play a central role in his relationship to representation.

For his exhibition in the Espace 315, he juxtaposes and compares various modes of apprehension and representation of reality, from the metaphor of the camera obscura to the pixellisation of his Light Machines and Paysages Fantomes. For the exhibition he specially designed an environment occupying the entire space; he has even used a technique to create an optical illusion that appears to extend the space into infinity.

Composed of entirely new works produced in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, the exhibition combines sculpture, architecture, film and photography. What Veilhan has done is to create not only an original environment, but also a setting in which to exhibit his work. This combination of a transformation of the space with the works themselves implies different perceptual modes and experiences of space and time. Against the backdrop of an accelerated perspective, a monumental sculpture is frozen in its upward movement, while new pictures offer digitised phantom landscapes and a new Light Machine provides animated images.

Christine Macel, curator and head of the Service Création Contemporaine et Prospective at the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne.

Open daily except Tuesdays, 11:00 – 21:00 (ticket office closes at 20:00)
Spectacles vivants : VANISHING POINT 18 SEPTEMBER 2004, Grande Salle, 20:15

On 18 September, to mark the event Parcours d’Est en Ouest, organised by the Centre Pompidou’s Spectacles Vivants, Le Plateau-FRAC Ile de France and the Palais de Tokyo, Xavier Veilhan will present Vanishing Point at 20:15 in the Grande Salle, Level -1.

Using the same method he employs when making a film, Xavier Veilhan invites us to a performance with no apparent narrative structure: his theatrical work is a choreography of objects, a series of autonomous tableaux vivants that slot together like Lego pieces. By de-contextualizing these chosen objects and characters, he playfully shifts atmosphere and physical dynamics without resorting to standard stage technique.

Admission free, subject to seating availability

Press office
Centre Pompidou – Spectacles vivants / Heymann Renoult & Associées Tel. 00 33 1 44 61 76 76
LE GRAND MOBILE, FORUM 20 October 2004 – 3 January 2005

Beginning on 20 October, Xavier Veilhan will inaugurate a monumental sculpture, Le Grand Mobile, in the Forum of the Centre Pompidou. By inviting Xavier Veilhan to create of such a work, the Centre Pompidou is renewing its tradition of commissioning artists to make work for its public spaces-from Salvador Dalì’s Kermesse heroique (1979) to Maurizio Cattelan’s Olive Tree (2000).

Conceived as a “suspended” landscape, Le Grande Mobile consists of twenty five black spheres that are configured in an arbourescent hanging. This work seems to effortlessly float in the space, occupying much of the Forum with a playful presence. As Xavier Veilhan explains in his own words, “I wanted to create a work that would occupy a very large volume but would also seem transparent and non-authoritarian. My installation, Le Grand Mobile, is evocative of a thought bubbleit is like the sum of all the thoughts of the visitors to the Centre Pompidou.”

Alison M. Gingeras, curator at the Service Creation Contemporaine et Prospective at the Centre Pompidou.

315 Publication series : A collection of artist’s books
The exhibition in the Espace 315 are accompanied by a new series of artist’s books published by the Centre Pompidou.
Each publication attempts to document the work of each invited artist through texts and ample colour illustrations as well. The exact content of each catalogue has been chosen and edited by the artists in collaboration with the exhibition curators. Each book reflects the singular thought and personality of each artist-the contents and authors vary from publication to publication.

Available now
Koo Jeong-A (Issue n°1)
Urs Fischer (Issue n°2)
Magnus von Plessen (Issue n°3)
Kristin Baker (Issue n°4)

Available soon
Xavier Veilhan (Issue n°5
Trim size : 16 X 22 cm, 80 pages, Bilingual French/English,
Published by Editions du Centre Pompidou

For publication information and book orders please contact :

For press information and visual materials, please contact :
Aurelie Gevrey T 00 33 1 44 78 49 87

For more information : www.centrepompidou.fr

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October 7, 2004

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