paris

“Mots d'ordre mots de passe”

Espace Paul Ricard

Curators Cyril Jarton and Laurent Jean-pierre’s “Mots d’ordre mots de passe” (Order Words Passwords) gathered artists from across generations and media “to isolate and compare two strategies—order words and passwords—that operate in art as well as in politics.” Unfortunately, neither phrase was defined nor explained, though a prominently displayed press release informed us that the three consecutive rooms of the L-shaped Espace Paul Ricard were set up for order, passage, and combinations of the two, respectively. “Order words” would presumably represent the voice of authority speaking in commands, rules, or directions. But the function of “passwords” or “passage words” (as translated in the press release) was less clear.

In the first room, one had the feeling that artists and artworks were chosen to fit the curators’ categories. Many artists tended to shroud political vituperation in

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