Exhibition view, "La Triennale, Intense proximité" (20.04.12 - 26.08.12), Palais de Tokyo (Paris). Meschac Gaba, Mariage Room, (2000-2009), Courtesy of the artist and Stevenson, Cap Town and Johannesburg. Photo : Jean Picon / Say Who
After its 10-month facelift, Paris’s reigning contemporary arts center, Palais de Tokyo, reopened in April with its ‘Intense Proximité’ exhibition to huge fanfare. Built for the 1937 World's Fair, there’s something brutishly industrial about this massive, awe-inspiring modernist building. The great and the good were there to salute this grand old landmark, rising phoenix-like from its refurbishment program.
Having been expanded from 8,000 to 22,000 square meters, with concrete floors, exposed beams, peeling walls and a massive sculpture of twisted metal that looks as though it crashed through the lobby ceiling, the deliberately deconstructed space suggests a work in progress. President and curator Jean de Loisy, who gives an exclusive interview on Swarovski’s celebratory film of the project, was heard lovingly declaring it ‘brutta, brutta!’ (Italian for ‘ugly, ugly!’)! As such, it’s the perfect invitation to artists to fill it as they please.