PALAIS DE TOKYO - THE DAY BEFORE THE NIGHT
Kenzine contributor had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and interview the new curator, Rebecca Lamarche.
Late night strolling through the extravagant spaces of the new largest contemporary art centre in Europe: supreme honor. Moving through the art pieces, scrutinizing them, trying to analyze them, ignoring the echoes, hammers and stakes, whispering in the immensity. Discovering Benoît Pype, liking Benoît Pype, stumbling amidst the workers, baffled by the dimensions of a room, then standing in total darkness in front of an actor, in front of a hawk. Falling into the void of a giant space: supreme honor. 22,000 square meters: your breath's taken away by the new and improved Palais de Tokyo, rougher, more mysterious, more generous. That means more mind-boggling art to discover. Night strolling in a work-in-progress, a construction site that holds so many promises of greatness.
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Can you introduce yourself in two sentences?
Young exhibition curator and critic, loves risk and adventure, looking for wild and exotic projects to expose danger and artistic passion.
At 25 years old, you're the youngest curator of the largest contemporary art center in Europe. How does that feel?
It’s exciting. I'm here to represent a generation and try to bring its ideas to the table, its questions about the era we’re living in. My experience in Berlin taught me to shake up old habits and break formats. There were little means but lots of energy.
Exactly, I was wondering how your experience in Berlin fed your vision of this industry?
Berlin is about spontaneity, the experimental, the spirit of adventure, disrupting the norm. But the Palais de Tokyo is a kind of big Berlin: an art center bursting with offerings, which are reactions to our time, deeply based in the present. Kind of dissonant cacophony that rubs up against old habits.
Is there a sort of common thread in your choice of artists?
Absolutely not. The choice not to choose is important, it’s even a life philosophy. Never feel safe and never define things. I am looking for quality and questioning. The idea is to always be in doubt and never be sure of myself.
Can you give us a glimpse of your upcoming projects?
Jonathan Binet. The Forgotten Bar Project. Francois Curlet, Helen Marten in October. She’s a young English woman who works on the fantasy of the object and how the identity defines itself through possession or non-possession. Completely crazy. And lots of others! Another project that is close to my heart is the development of online-only exhibitions, which will begin with Jon Rafman. They will be accessible to all, starting in June. The new works are also part of new forms of communication; it is the non-materiality of the work.
À TABLE: AUX DEUX AMIS
"Deux Amis" has come into my life, wreaking havoc on my weight and alcohol consumption levels, causing me to confront my over-indulgence. Matthieu Perez, one half of the duo Mathieu and David (Loyola), acclaimed chef by millions of Parisians hungry for horse tartare, thirsty for Saumur and excited by the trendy "new" Parisian bistrot. At 4pm, the hour to take a break from the kitchen and sit in the small yellow terrace with Mathieu, a native of Perpignan of french-spanish origin, tells me about his Paris.
No, from Perpignan.
Where do you live?
La Place des Fetes in the 19th district.
The 9th, the one that goes from Gare du Nord, to Rue Lafayette and all the way down to the bottom of Butte Montmartre. Totally Parisian.
The best part about Paris?
… endless possibilities for going out: restaurants, bars, clubs. An offer that is always rich and varied.
The worst part about Paris?
… the people! Everywhere, all the time!
A typical portrait of a Parisian?
Someone that is normal in terms of appearance but has always something crazy about him in reality.
A typical Parisian phrase?
« Fais chier » : « Screw that »
A place to eat the famous French ‘’jambon beurre’’?
At ‘Chez Aline’, the future restaurant of a friend that will open in a month near la rue de Charonne.
A place to finish the night?
Eating ice cream at ‘Berthillon’, on Ile Saint Louis.
A place to get drunk with friends?
L’Autobus, it is just down Rue Oberkampf.
A place to go out as if you were 20 years old?
The Social Club.
If Paris was a dish?
Fried rice ; because there are many different things in it : ham, egg, rice, peas..
If Paris was a cheese?
A small goat, dry, well stocky, hard to cut. We can only take a small piece, but actually, once in the mouth, it offers you completely different experience and becomes a delight.
If Paris had only one bistrot?
Le Chateaubriand! Obviously.
Aux Deux Amis
45, rue Oberkampf
+33 1 58 30 38 13