Claire Moulène

  • Lil Reynaud Dewar

    “I always work in a disturbed in situ,” explains French artist Lili Reynaud Dewar, whose solo show here included a large black wall that partitioned the gallery in two. Within this bisected space, which hosted video, sculpture, and photography, she built bridges—deliberately anachronistic ones—between the media of cinema and performance.

    Reynaud Dewar’s inspiration was the Black Maria, Thomas Edison’s Kinetograph production studio, which operated for just four years at the end of the nineteenth century. Kinetographs were the very first motion pictures, and the studio attracted hordes of performers

  • Jean-Luc Moulène, Easy Jet Girl, 2006, color photograph mounted on aluminum, 55 x 47 1⁄4".

    Jean-Luc Moulène

    Inspired by Norman Foster’s design for the Carré d’Art, Paris-based artist Jean-Luc Moulène has conceived an exhibition likewise organized around the form of the grid.

    Inspired by Norman Foster’s design for the Carré d’Art, Paris-based artist Jean-Luc Moulène (no relation to me) has conceived an exhibition likewise organized around the form of the grid. Rather than mount conventional groupings of works from his best-known photographic series—“Objets de grève,” 1999/2000, images of commodities made by factories during labor strikes, and “Produits de Palestine,” 2000, documentations of Palestinian goods—Moulène will arrange individual photographs (from those series as well as more recent street shots), drawings, and objects both fabricated

  • Loris Gréaud

    In Loris Gréaud’s work, what is on display is only ever the tip of the iceberg. Likewise, the artist is merely the figurehead for a gigantic production system involving collaborations with architect-designers (with two of whom the artist has founded a production company, DGZ Research), graphic artists, geo-biologists, and sound designers. “I’m like a conductor,” Gréaud said in a recent interview. “My original ideas go through a machine that negotiates them, distorts them, and distends them,” allowing him to be “both emitter and receiver” of his own works—an analysis confirmed by his recent

  • Mathieu Mercier

    On the occasion of his exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, French artist Mathieu Mercier has reinvested in a concept one might have thought long since worn out by critics and art historians: postmodernism. The works brought together for his first large-scale retrospective, “Sans Titres 1993–2007” (Untitled Works 1993–2007), function essentially according to postmodern principles of anachronism and stylistic miscegenation, and the exhibition itself, laid out by the artist, follows a varied itinerary that produces often dubious or brutal juxtapositions. For example, Mercier

  • “The Freak Show”

    With a title like “The Freak Show,” we might have expected to see Damien Hirst’s creatures in formaldehyde, Ron Mueck’s giants, or even Maurizio Cattelan’s Pope John Paul II crushed by a meteorite. Yet the exhibition, curated by art critic Vincent Pécoil and architect/designer Olivier Vadrot, two of the codirectors of Lyon’s nonprofit art center La Salle des Bains, contains no such figurative works. Rather, the exhibition transposes the concept behind sideshows—those spectacles that featured dwarfs, giants, Siamese twins, bearded women, contortionists, and the like—into the realm of art itself,

  • Lothar Hempel

    IN 1996 Nicolas Bourriaud included Lothar Hempel in “Traffic” at CAPC in Bordeaux, France, placing the German artist alongside numerous others of his generation such as Liam Gillick, Philippe Parreno, and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Since then, Hempel’s star has perhaps not burned as brightly as these other artists’, but this spring saw him return to France for his first retrospective—or “flashback,” as the dreamlike nature of the show at Grenoble’s Magasin seemed to suggest.

    Organized by curator Florence Derieux, “Alphabet City” featured more than sixty pieces, spanned eleven rooms, and was

  • Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel

    On the outskirts of Paris, in Gennevilliers, a UFO has crash-landed: a gigantic S/M manta ray, all studded and jagged, in a tangle of piercings, black rubber, sharp metal, and silicone messily applied with a spatula. A menacing nightmare with a strange and foreign beauty conceived by the Nantes/Paris duo Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel. These two, both barely thirty, have erected the homemade into a methodology whose results are always perfect—painstakingly measured and finely tuned. Some of their early pieces, from 2002, resembled handcrafted readymades, carbon copies of Nike tennis shoes or

  • Michael Auder

    “Auder is a poet of moods, brief encounters, tragic moments of our miserable civilization. When I used to visit him at the Chelsea Hotel, around 1970, the video camera was always there, always going, a part of his house, a part of his life, eyes, hands. It still is. A most magnificent love affair: a life’s obsession.” These words, written in 1991 by Jonas Mekas, the other pope of the cinematic diary, confirm the importance of Michel Auder, today an illustrious unknown in France, an artist who in New York attained mythic status without ever becoming famous. Now reparation has been made with a

  • Tatiana Trouvé

    “I became an employee of the BAI,” says Tatiana Trouvé, a Paris-based artist of Italian origin. “I work for it, and I am constantly preoccupied with managing what happens within it.” The formula sums up the deliriously methodical, ongoing project she embarked on in 1997: to create an imaginary company whose point of departure would be entirely of her own activities and that would at the same time escape any form of control. Thus, the BAI, or Bureau d’Activités Implicites (Bureau of Implicit Activities) was born. After finishing her studies in Nice, and despite answering masses of help-wanted

  • Bruno Peinado

    It was the world turned upside down: In the entrance of the Palais de Tokyo, Daniel Buren had replaced his signature 3.39-inch stripes with colorful pop circles; through the looking glass, Bruno Peinado, a rising figure on the French scene, created a raucous and voracious exhibition around a huge open book . . . which, of course, was striped! Beyond an amused wink at his exhibition neighbor, Peinado was thinking, above all, of the gallery of ancestors that opens every volume of Tintin—except in Peinado’s version the family portraits have been carefully removed, leaving the barely visible

  • Piquet de grève (Picket Sign), 2004. Installation view.
    picks May 25, 2004

    Annette Messager

    In the back of the Marian Goodman Gallery—which is offering this Annette Messager appetizer on the occasion of the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris’s large-scale exhibition—a picket sign propped against a wall sets the tone: “Spectacle annulé” (Show cancelled). At first glance, you almost believe it. The gallery contains only a few relics, costumes, and accessories, scattered on the floor and arrayed on the walls. Crumpled and misshapen rag dolls, mysteriously given to sudden convulsive movements, face a few stillborn effigies impaled on Messager’s famous pikes; an abstract, chiaroscuro