Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris


18 May - 13 Oct 2013

Photo: Pierre Antoine
Leonor Antunes, Julien Prévieux
18 May - 13 October 2013

Apartés, first held in January 2011, is a recurrent project in which guest artists address the Musée d'Art Moderne's permanent collection according to a predefined set of rules.

For this second edition MAM has called on Leonor Antunes, Julien Prévieux and Marie Voignier, whose works it has acquired in recent years. The artists are invited to choose pieces from the collection and, by presenting them in the company of their own works, to set up an intimate dialogue. The installations The Space of the Window (Leonor Antunes, 2007) and From October to February (Julien Prévieux, 2010), together with Marie Voignier's film The Mokélé Mbembé Hypothesis (2011) are the crux of new displays that break with the standard codes and interpretations by offering a fresh approach to the works and spaces.

Leonor Antunes
Born in Lisbon in 1972. Lives and works in Berlin.

Leonor Antunes's approach is rooted in references to Minimalism and modernism and the quest for a delicate balance between works, art objects, furniture and spaces.

The Space of the Window, 2007
For Apartés 2013, Leonor Antunes suggests a reinterpretation of her installation The Space of the Window by inserting it into an area of the permanent collection that offers architectural variety in terms of volume and line. During a residency in Paris in 2004 the artist photographed the cityscape from her studio window; architectural fragments made of Plastiline, a very fine modelling clay, appear in the foreground of the photographs as miniature sculptures – a mix of media that effects the transposition of meaning and scale characteristic of Antunes's installations. A concertina album of these photographs is on show, unfolded, on a piece of furniture designed by the artist, with the work as a whole presented on a very large, two-coloured slab base. The installation is accompanied by a choice of works from the permanent collection which raise the issues of duplication and scale and set up correspondences between the visual and decorative arts, crafts, tradition and modernity.

Julien Prévieux
Born in Grenoble in 1974. Lives and works in Paris.

The world of work, economics, politics, cutting-edge technology and the culture industry are all fields of interest for Julien Prévieux. His works often appropriate the vocabulary and the mechanisms of the domains they look into, the better to highlight their dogmas, abuses and ultimate vacuity.

From October to February, 2010
Made of pullovers, this installation takes its title from the Russian revolutions of 1917. In addition to this historical reference, the work points up current examples of revolts, rebellions and segregation which sociologists are trying to simulate with computer programs so as to forestall any worsening of the situations. The abstract mosaics generated by the software correlate with specific colour codes: yellow for calm individuals, grey for prisoners and red for revolutionaries. Taking an overtly anti-technology tack, the artist went onto the Internet and recruited "knitting grannies" to produce pullovers matching the colour patterns created by the software. This work embodies a complex protocol blending ideology, sociology, digitisation, handicrafts and a vernacular practice.

The artist's selections from the permanent collection show a leaning towards abstract compositions, with an emphasis on pre-established systems, permutations of media and colours, and urban utopias, often with a humorous subversion of artistic codes.

Marie Voignier
Born in Ris-Orangis, near Paris, in 1974. Lives and works in Paris.

Seemingly documentary, Marie Voignier's films are in fact situated between reality and fiction. Investigating the point where one becomes the other, she undermines our certainties, exploring both the out-of-shot and language with all its paradoxes and its ability to invent the world.

The Mokélé-Mbembé Hypothesis, 2011
An exploration of belief, this film recounts a cryptozoologist's quest in Cameroon for tangible evidence of the existence of a mythical creature the Pygmies call the Mokélé-Mbembé. The indefatigable Michel Ballot sorts through the descriptions, trying to produce a likeness of an animal whose appearance seems to vary from that of an oversized rhinoceros to that of a diplodocus with a long neck and claws.

The presentation proposed by the artist sets up an atmosphere of uncertainty and, like the strangeness of the film, destabilises our perceptions. Laid out with finesse and sensitivity, it celebrates the inventors and forerunners whose highly unlikely experiments prefigured the achieving of new forms and drew a path from the imaginary to the real.

Apartés 2013 is also an opportunity to elaborate on the works in the exhibition: the series of Plastiline sculptures will feature in Leonor Antunes's installation The Space of the Window, and the logbook kept by Michel Ballot, the cryptozoologist in Marie Voignier's film, will be the subject of a booklet available to the public.

At the opening the artists will present The Inventory of Absent Works, a screening of an 'impossible exhibition'. Some of the museum's works were not available for inclusion – for reasons of artists thought up an appropriate inventory. This presentation will be an opportunity to discuss what goes on behind the scenes in a collection, the complex management issues that arise and the business of shaping a project with the artists concerned.

Tags: Leonor Antunes, Julien Prévieux, Marie Voignier