Lothar Baumgarten

Musée de l'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Through toponymy, geography is often cloaked in the mantle of history. In cities this is often apparent in the names given to streets, avenues, and public squares commemorating places and personages already charged by a history of their own. In big cities with subway systems, the map of the subway constitutes not only a spatial guide but a veritable encyclopedia of the past—or at least that version of the past endorsed by official history. In his first show in Paris, at ARC (Animation, Recherche, Confrontation—the contemporary section of the Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris), Lothar Baumgarten explored this phenomenon. On one of the interior walls, approximately 87 yards long, of the large, partially curved corridor that is the most spectacular and difficult space at ARC, Baumgarten reproduced in a monumentally enlarged format the diagram of the number 9 métro line, “Pont de

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