Hardcore at Palais de Tokyo

Hardcore at Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo

February 14, 2003

Hardcore: Towards a New Activism
27/02/2003 - 18/05/2003

Palais de Tokyo
site de création contemporaine
13 avenue du Président Wilson 75116 Paris, France
T 01 4723 5401
F 01 4720 1531


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.


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

« 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
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


« 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.


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

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.com

RSVP for Hardcore at Palais de Tokyo
Palais de Tokyo
February 14, 2003

Thank you for your RSVP.

Palais de Tokyo will be in touch.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.