12.12.1998 — 21.2.1999
Gare de l’Est
artist(s): Boris Achour, Olivier Blanckart, Sylvie Blocher, Chen Zhen, Malachi Farrell, Seamus Farrell, Florisa Haerdter, Huang Yong Ping, Sieglinde Klupsch, Koo Jeong-A, Claude Lévêque, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Sam Samore, Tsuneko Taniuchi, Wang Du
curator(s): Hou Hanru, Enrico Lunghi
While Paris may well have been considered a "school" for artists in other periods, today the city no longer plays this role, nor do any other cities in the world for that matter. Artists are emerging from countless different places and drawing their ideas from ever more varied contexts.
Many artists, however, still choose to live and work in Paris. To mark the occasion of the historical exhibition L'École de Paris ? 1945-1964, the Casino Luxembourg proposes Gare de l'Est, an inside look at the vibrant Parisian art scene, bringing together some fifteen artists working in Paris or the Paris area.
Taking the Gare de l'Est as a metaphor for the vitality/movement of Paris cultural life and as the link between Paris and Luxembourg, the two curators, Hou Hanru and Enrico Lunghi, view the scene with a subjective eye. This subjectivity allows them to present a number of individual artistic approaches, most of which are firmly committed to addressing a certain cultural and social reality, and to bring to the fore several determining parameters: the influx of international artists, a continuing "alternative" setting relatively free from media appropriation, and the integration of the periphery, thus including artists based outside of the city's neighbourhoods traditionally known for their artistic activity. Even among the most discreet or least showy artistic attitudes, such as Boris Achour's "actions peu" (little actions) or the work of Koo Jeong-A, self-absorption or indifference to the state of the world are hardly what is in vogue. Claude Lévêque brings humour and irony to his exploration of the ambiguous tension between personal and public space.
Other artists react more directly to the challenges of a society that is self-reflexive and media-dominated, capable of alienating the individual and over-ridingly conformist in both the intellectual and behavioural aspects of our lives. Olivier Blanckart, Sylvie Blocher, Seamus and Malachi Farrell, Chen Zhen, Florisa Haerdter, Sieglinde Klupsch, Huang Yong Ping, Wang Du, Sam Samore, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Tsuneko Taniuchi offer, each in their own way and without necessarily losing sight of their cultural roots, artistic stances that refer to the body, to the delicate balance between life in community and violence, or to the multi-faceted aspects of institutional power and the recent reconfiguration of the urban landscape, the result of social change. Many of them are immigrants who have chosen Paris to live and work.
Gare de l'Est mainly consists of projects designed especially for this exhibition.
Gare de l'Est takes place concomitantly with L'École de Paris ? 1945-1964, an exhibition curated by Bernard Ceysson at the Musée national d'histoire et d'art in Luxembourg and organised in anticipation of the Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean.
With the support of the Association Française d'Action Artistique, the French Embassy in Luxembourg and the Centre Culturel Français de Luxembourg. In collaboration with the City of Paris, the City of Luxembourg and the Office du Tourisme du Luxembourg in Paris.
Olivier Blanckart, Le Bitty, 1998. Installation in situ, matériaux divers. © Christian Mosar.