I didn’t want this Paris trip to be an endless bunfight in art galleries. I love the art and the amazing spaces in Paris, but fighting with a thousand other tourists to get a two second look at a panting is just not my scene. So on this trip I limited myself to just one gallery, one gallery out of all the magic that Paris had to offer. Of course I had to choose my favourite modern art gallery; Palais de Tokyo. Before I even looked at what was on I knew it was the type of gallery to have the most insane and cool of the modern art on offer, exactly what I wanted.
The nice thing about the Palais de Tokyo is that you follow a set path through the building. So many galleries are a set of rooms for you to choose to go into or not, which means you can avoid the art that you don’t want to see, but also means you miss giving art a second chance or experiencing something new. At the Palais de Tokyo you have to see everything on offer, much like an arty Ikea there is only one path through the madness, so you just have to gird your loins and enter the lions den.
The exhibition that was on offer could not have been more perfect if I had tried. It was ‘Inside’ which some artists took to mean the distinction between two spaces (inside v outside) and others used as a chance to study the ‘inside’ of humanity, and one guy lived in a bear for a while. You know, it wouldn’t be modern art if someone didn’t think it was a good idea to live inside a bear.
Since whenever I talk about my favourite pieces of art I get trolled by Art Majors who want to prove how much they know, I will preface this by saying I like these because they are awesome and stuff…not because they are buried in a thesis somewhere. First is this super cool effect by artist Marcius Galan, it was a white room that looked like it was cut off by an angled piece of glass, but actually it was just a paint effect (the photo really doesn’t do the mind trick justice).
I also loved this marble sculpture that looked like a sheet fort build by a four year old, and a four year old with no spacial reasoning skills at that. The fabric on classical sculptures is always fascinating to me, how artists get that sort of soft look from stone is beyond my comprehension. But cool nonetheless.
Oh and that bear I mentioned? Yes artist Abraham Poincheval lived inside a bear sculpture for 13 days. It had everything he needed even a small kettle, so he could live completely cut off from the world…in a bear. Thank god there are artists out there to do thing sort of thing so we don’t have to.
And the last one I am going to mention, the pièce de résistance the tunnel made of scotch tape. No photos were allowed from inside (yes you could crawl around inside the thing) but here is one from underneath. It looked like some sort of extra from Dr Who, that stretched all the way across the entry hall, above the heads of people buying tickets. It was made out of scotch tape and I feel that some sort of extreme office makeover could be called for, after all I think every day is a good day if you are working in a Scotch tape web.
Oh and before I forget, the corridors of the Palais de Tokyo are just as exciting as the art (or it could be art, I can never really tell). All the white walls over three levels had been tagged with crude but clever black images. They used anything that was already there as inspiration like the florescent lights as the centre of an eye or a lamppost (like the one at the top). I would also suggest this for an office makeover, except I think I already know what the response would be if I walked up to my boss with a can or two of black spray paint.
If you are in Paris and want to see some cool insane stuff then head over to Palais de Tokyo. The added bonus is that it is within walking distance to both the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe so you can get your tourist fix and your nutter fix in one.