Close Encounters of the Artistic Kind

Close Encounters of the Artistic Kind

The Palais de Tokyo, a Parisian museum entirely dedicated to contemporary art, has just grown from 8,000 to 22,000 square meters in size following a massive renovation. The renovation, overseen by architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, has allowed the Palais de Tokyo to become one of the largest centers of contemporary art in Europe. This establishment is now beginning an ambitious re-opening strategy that will welcome three large exhibitions this year, all within walking distance of the Grands Hotels Parisiens.

The first of these exhibitions is entitled La Triennale - Intense Proximity. Under the artistic direction of Okwui Enwezor, the exhibition will focus on several generations of contemporary artists. Disorderly, beautiful, exciting, dense: such are the adjectives that have been used to describe La Triennale. This collection represents a sort of inventory of contemporary art on an international scale. Contemporary artists selected for the exhibition have been invited to set up their pieces throughout the building. Clearly, the Palais de Tokyo differentiates itself from other artistic spaces thanks to its constant contact with the art world of today.

Some notable pieces are the watercolors of Barthélémy Toguo, the war treasures of Sarkis and the ikebanas (Japanese hanging scrolls) of Camille Henrot. Visitors can also catch a film in one of the four new screening rooms at the museum. Clemens van Wedemeyer's film, about the faked discovery of the Tasady people in the Philippines, is especially interesting.

The general theme of La Triennale - Intense Proximity is ethnography, anthropology and otherness, and artists of every origin and discipline have been included. While the artists bring their own cultures to their work, they also share a common artistic imagination. The collection as a whole is fairly dark, with an emphasis on the tension that permeates all human activity. In this way, the artists' conception of globalization is at the same time hope-inducing and frightening.

Palais de Tokyo

13 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris

Métro: Iéna / Alma Marceau

Open everyday, except Tuesday, from noon to midnight

Tickets: 8 euros

La Triennale - Intense Proximity

From April 20 to August 26, 2012