Palais de Tokyo

La Fin de la nuit (Part 1)

21 Jun - 08 Sep 2013

Installation view
© Center for Visual Music
21 June - 8 September 2013

Having worked in New York, Paris, Warsaw and Vienna, Martha Kirszenbaum creates a two-part exhibition that will unfold in Paris and Los Angeles, with each half respectively dedicated to Kenneth Anger and Henri-Georges Clouzot. Focusing on the venomous figure of Kenneth Anger, an icon of underground cinema since the 1950s, the exhibition contemplates experimental film, mysticism and Californian subcultures. Parallel to early films by Kenneth Anger and an installation by Oskar Fischinger, the exhibition brings together works by Los Angeles artists that create diverse visual experiments inspired by magic, occult sciences and fetishism.

The exhibition “La Fin de la nuit” [The End of the Night] constitutes the first part of a two-fold project developed between Paris and Los Angeles. Its concept is based on a reflection based around the visual influence of two important filmmakers: the Frenchman Henri-Georges Clouzot and the Californian Kenneth Anger. Palais de Tokyo’s exhibition explores Kenneth Anger’s esthetic influence on the work of Los Angeles artists, while the second part of the project, presented at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, will examine the impact of Clouzot’s unfinished film, L’Enfer, on French contemporary art.

Veritable icon of the Californian counter-culture, Kenneth Anger (b. 1927, lives and works in Santa Monica) is an exceptional filmmaker who created a few dozens compelling short features between 1947 and 1980, almost all filmed in 16mm. Close to Surrealist and mystical movements, strongly affected by black magic and the occult, Anger established a unique visual identity at once repelled and fascinated by the glitter and decadence of the 1940-50s Hollywood. His work is composed of cinematographic experiments in saturated colors, often referencing Pop culture and music, while depicting the filmmaker’s homosexual fantasies. His films have influenced many filmmakers, as well as artists and musicians who, by following his example, have learned to combine elements related to art, music and Pop culture with theatre and psychoanalysis.

The exhibition is thematically structured around Kenneth Anger’s visual experiments and their connection to the field of magic and occult rituals but also fetishism, notably of bodies and objects. It presents a series of his early films, such as Puce Moment (1949) and Eaux d’Artifice (1953),along with a selection of installations, collages and photographs by four contemporary Los Angeles artists. it also includes Raumlichtkunst, an installation by Oskar Fischinger - a central figure in abstract cinema -, reconstructed by the Center for Visual Music (Los Angeles).

Martha Kirszenbaum (b. 1983) is an independent curator, based in Paris. After working at MoMA, the Centre Pompidou and the New Museum (New York), she was the curator in residence at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw and the guest curator at the Belvedere Museum/21er Haus in Vienna, where she organized two intervention on the collection. She is currently completing a residency at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, where the second part of the project presented at Palais de Tokyo will be held in the fall of 2013.

Marianne Zamecznik is a curator and exhibition designer based in Berlin, educated at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Recent projects include The Running Room at Space for Art and Industry, New York; The Feast at the European Culture Congress, Wroclaw, Poland; the 6th Momentum biennial, Moss, Norway; The Space Between Us, the Modern Museum of Warsaw. She is editor for a book on exhibition architecture with Carson Chan.

Kenneth Anger, Brian Butler, Oskar Fischinger, Karthik Pandian, Stephen G. Rhodes and Jennifer West

Tags: Kenneth Anger, Carson Chan, Oskar Fischinger, Karthik Pandian, Stephen G. Rhodes, Jennifer West