Paris

Paris

“Rester Vivant”

Palais de Tokyo
13, Avenue du Président Wilson
June 23–September 11, 2016

Curated by Jean de Loisy and Michel Houellebecq

A dead poet no longer writes, which is why it’s important to stay alive. This simple working hypothesis was set out in Michel Houellebecq’s early essay “Rester vivant” (Stay Alive, 1991), and in a career that has made him more than just a writer, this volcanic figure has flirted with the negation of the claim again and again. He’s disappeared in real life, been kidnapped on the screen, and rubbed himself out in the 2010 novel The Map and the Territory. But he has also often threatened to disappear into other guises—filmmaker, photographer, poet. In “Rester vivant”—a kind of sequel to Palais shows dedicated to Raymond Roussel and John Giorno—Houellebecq now assumes the role of curator, organizing a large-scale exhibition comprising his own films, sound pieces, and more than one hundred photographs. A few Houellebecquian associates (including the painter Robert Combas) are on hand, but the spotlight is on the unique mindscape of Houellebecq—a fascinating, terrifying, and, yes, funny place to be.