Culture

A Thin red line

Dynasty is a ingle exhibition, but in two locations, it shows 40 young artists, but 80 works. Half of them are shown in Palais de Tokyo, the confusingly named Parisian Centre of contemporary art; the other half is to be seen in the western wing of the same Palais, also confusingly named the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Both museums somehow are twins, but different and here for the first time they decided to do something together and to have a common purpose: to paint the portrait of a new generation of artists, who are not necessarily French, but live and work in France. Dynasty is called the show. Why the hell Dynasty you might ask? Well, it’s sort of a wink for older people, because to understand it, you need to have watched the popular American soap of the same name that was shown in the 80s. But as all the artists shown here were born after 1975, the title must have been a sort of enigma for them. Are they important artists? Well, they might turn out to be. But even curator Fabrice Hergott hadn’t heard of most of their names before, and that was the point: to discover new talents, to showcase emerging energies. Is there a red line? Of course not. It’s art. And art doesn’t like the generational thing. But curators try to see one thin line, always. That’s why Hergott says: “It’s all about a liking for nature and for hightech media.” Indeed, this is a clue to help us understand the work. But do you need to understand it? Do you have to? I guess it’s all about getting a feeling for this new generation of artists and their preoccupations. Take Robin Meier and Ali Momeni: both are musician, composers. They are proposing quite an eccentric reading of scientific investigations of the buzzing of mosquitoes during copulation, recasting it as a traditional Indian sound. But you'll probably be more fascinated by the three mosquitoes right in front of you, too small to see them by eye, but who become beautiful creatures once their picture is projected onto the wall. Or take Yushin U. Chang, a Taiwanese guy living and working in Paris. He proposes two imposing installations entitled “dust”. It’s all dust, grey, not beautiful in itself; but he's creating a new form of  ephemera which reminds us that we all have been and will be dust again. Abandonment, collection, recycling is also what Laurent Le Deunff likes to explore: In Palais de Tokyo he is showing a skull covered with a year’s-worth of nail-clippings. Disgusting? Not at all. A beautiful reinterpretation of vanity. Now, if you asked me if I could identify a kind of dialogue between the works the artists show in the two different locations, I'd have to admit: no. For some artistis, I might not even have realised that I’d already seen one of their works. Which doesn’t mean that the exhibition is not exciting: If there is one work that touches you, then it was worth seeing the whole show. Dynasty: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris & Palais de Tokyo FINISHED: Exhibition was running until 5th of September 2010