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.