Isabelle Andriessen, Tidal Spill (detail), 2018, ceramic, metal containers, iron(II) sulphate, potassium dichromate, potassium permanganate, silicone rubber, aluminum, refrigerant compressor, tubes, aroma, compressed air, 56 × 110 × 5". From “Le centre ne peut tenir.” Photo: Pierre Antoine.

"Le centre ne peut tenir”

Lafayette Anticipations

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” This line, from William Butler Yeats’s 1919 poem “The Second Coming,” is often resurrected in today’s political landscape, expressing the decline of centrism and the unraveling of established ideologies. Rather than lament the precarity of the center, however, “Le centre ne peut tenir” (The Center Cannot Hold)—curated by François Quintin with Charles Aubin, Anna Colin, and Hicham Khalidi—asked visitors to reconsider the value of centrality. The show displayed work by eleven artists that revealed how binaries fail to capture social and physical realities, while also hosting an event series on a stage designed by architect Andrés Jacque to foster novel dynamics between spectators and performers. The pieces—all special commissions, with a majority created in the ateliers of the Galeries Lafayette Corporate Foundation—insisted

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