Palais de Tokyo

A pergola comprises two parallel rows of colonnades that support an open roof of girders and cross rafters, providing a structure for climbing plants, usually set within a garden and attached to a house. The Palais de Tokyo—with its aspirations to function as a socially permeable, transparent, and nonhierarchical platform for contemporary art—recently became a metaphorical pergola for an idiosyncratic constellation of exhibitions and projects by five artists who engage history and memory through the languages of sculpture, the monument, installation, technology, architecture, and design.

I was most curious about Laith Al-Amiri’s Symbol of Courage, originally produced in January 2009 (in collaboration with kids from a local orphanage in Tikrit, Iraq) as an outdoor public monument to Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who in December 2008 threw his shoes at George W. Bush during a news

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