• Laurent Grasso, Les Oiseaux (The Birds), 2008, still from a color video, 8 minutes 55 seconds.

    “Laurent Grasso: Uraniborg”

    Jeu de Paume
    1 place de la Concorde
    May 22–September 23, 2012

    Curated by the artist with Marie Fraser and Marta Gili

    In Laurent Grasso’s video Les Oiseaux (The Birds), 2008, a flock of starlings in the crepuscular sky above the Vatican suggests a field of particles buffeted by radio waves. It’s the kind of confusion of scale and context that delights the Parisian artist and will likely characterize “Uraniborg,” an exhibition titled after the sixteenth-century castle observatory of astronomer-alchemist Tycho Brahe that will mine the unexplained and the mythical. Astronomy, surveillance, “deceptive beauty,” and “political ghosts” are set to emerge as primary themes reflecting patterns of physical and psychic force, traced by Grasso from an ever-shifting perspective. The viewer would be wise to keep a playful eye trained on the Jeu de Paume’s architecture, originally designed, as this show might remind us, to house the tennis courts of the king.