The flood of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot takes over Palais de Tokyo

Acquaalta of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

After waiting for a month, the new summer exhibition at Palais de Tokyo is officially opened to public today.  Being a fan of this “Palais” of contemporary art, I can’t wait but rushing all my way to explore the new stuffs there.

What has bombarded me in the first place is the Acquaalta of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, which is set at the entrance level of the museum.  Acquaalta refers to the exceptional tide peaks that occur periodically in the northern Adriatic Sea. The peaks reach their maximum in the Venetian Lagoon and cause partial flooding of Venice.  The artist is representing France in carrying out his project rêvolutions at the French Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale (9 May – 22 November 2015) in which he transformed the venue into an oneiric and organic island.  I did not get a chance to the Biennale due to the painstaking exams.  It is almost a luxury for me to be able to find the artist’s work Acquaalta here.

The artist creates a lakeside landscape which leads visitors into an experience – tactile, visual and auditory.  Their perception of the space is changed through the journey under the techniques that intermingle music, movement and images.  This journey, in which everyone’s movements take on great importance, takes the audience into an imaginary experience – a journey of their own psyche.  At the end of the journey, we find a zombiedrone, a technique by which the participants’ images are encrypted, leaving only the moving parts to appear on the screen.

The mastering of space, reflection and transformation of images, and the audio effects all work together to give us a new sensory experience.  We may also find this work loaded with poetry in making reference to the myth of Narcissus gazing at his own reflection

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot was born in 1961 in Nice and currently lives and works in Sète. This artist, trained as a musician and composer, has created works by drawing on the rhythms of daily life to produce sound in unexpected ways.  He was the first French prize-winner of the International Studio Program (PS1) in New York, from 1998–99.

Playing around the materiality – Patrick Neu

The summer exhibition is more than just Acquaalta.  Patrick Neu, an artist who works with materials not often found in the art world: bees’wings, lampblack on glass, eggshells, wax, etc., invites us to get into his dialogue with the materials.

His watercolor series Iris put in front of us both the vanity of the blossoming flowers and their fragility.  The period of blossoming of irises never lasts long, at most fifteen days per year.  However, it is already sufficient for Patrick Neu to capture the vanity of this blossom of the flowers.  The artist uses his precise pencil line, outlining the sinuous and delicate flowers on a velvety white paper, followed with a watercolor coating.   Without over-saturated with colors, the natural colors of these flowers together with their vivid forms make them stand out with an unparalleled finesse in a perfectly neutral background.  The artist has carefully chosen the medium to mark his presentation in a natural context – fragile, frameless, simply pinned the delicate painted flowers to the paper.  Under his work, the life cycle and the ephemeral nature of objects give way to a visual poetry.

Patrick Neu was born in 1963, lives and works in Alsace.

More works of the other artists to be explored

Tianzhuo Chen, Jesper Just, Shelly Nadashi, Isabelle Cornaro etc.

(The exhibition is open from 24 June to 13 September 2015 at Palais de Tokyo in Paris)


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