press release

The Centre Pompidou presents in Espace 315 an exciting and distinctive project by the Polish artist Pawel Althamer, exploring the role and place of the artist in today's society.

For this Althamer assembled a group of eleven young artists from different art schools to work on a joint project, a filmed shadow-play in eleven episodes. Althamer himself contributes a film telling the story of the project. The exhibition is the fruit of this collaboration, a reflection on the status of the artist in a society dominated by the cult of celebrity.

Today Pawel Althamer defines his work according to three groups : works in relation to the institution, those addressing groups or the notion of community, and those associated with the family. He often plays on the notion of disappearance, disappointing traditional expectations of the artist by working through substitutes. He transforms an exhibition space into a waiting room, asks his daughter to supervise his exhibition, or gives a guardian a radio and tea pot in order to make her job more comfortable. His presence then is effaced, discrete. His propos are veiled, mysterious and disquietingly subversive.

The same principle is at play in this exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, involving eleven young artists: Céline Ahond, born in 1979 in Clermont-Ferrand, France - Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Strasburg Ziad Antar, born in 1978 in Saida, Lebanon - La Seine, Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris Liliana Basarab, born in 1979 in Galati, Romania – Le Pavillon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris Veaceslav Druta, born in 1972 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldavia - La Seine, Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris Adriana García Galán, born in 1977, Columbia - Le Pavillon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris Kapwani Kiwanga, born in 1978, Canada - La Seine, Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris Elise Mougin, born in 1977 in Paris, France- La Seine, Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris Vincent Olinet, born in 1981, France – Rijksakademie, Amsterdam Emilie Pitoiset, born in 1980, France- Le Pavillon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris Koki Tanaka, born in 1975 in Tochigi, Japan - Le Pavillon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris Adam Vackar, born in 1979 in Prague, Czech Repubilc- Le Pavillon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Rejecting any idea of individual competition, the artists were chosen from a preliminary list of twenty with a view to their forming a cohesive group. They were then invited to participate in a number of workshops. Pawel Althamer again uses his art as a means of opportunity for others, and offers the Centre Pompidou as a place of possibility for young creation in order to allow them to develop their creativity thanks to the tools proposed by the institution (collections, documentation, audio-visual equipment, technicians, curators, publications etc.). His contribution to the exhibition consists of a film tracing the project’s process and the group’s different exchanges.

However, Pawel Althamer’s real interest lies in digging the grittier question of what does it mean to form an artistic collective today, especially within the context of an institutional exhibition. In concentrating purely on the process of collaboration between these young artists, he puts to one side their individual artworks and shifts the emphasis away from the idea of an artist star. Coming from a variety of origins, practices and media, artists today no longer function according to the more “romantic” mode of artistic groups. Is this notion outdated, or can it be revived? Working with young artists allows Pawel Althamer to dialogue with a new generation full of questions concerning their own future in a world which operates according to the rules of competition and competitiveness. In the Centre Pompidou therefore inverses a process such as that launched by Jeffrey Deitch in New York with his project Artstar, which imitates a television reality show and aims to highligh t an artist star.

Publication Pawel Althamer – In the Centre Pompidou Ed. Anna Hiddleston and Françoise Bertaux Collection Espace 315 Editions du Centre Pompidou Format 17 x 22 cm, 80 pp. Bilingual French / English Text by Christine Macel, Interview of Pawel Althamer by Joanna Mytkowska

Curators Christine Macel, Curator in Musée national d’art moderne, Head of the Contemporary Art Department Joanna Mytkowska, Curator in Musée national d’art moderne Assisted by Anna Hiddleston, Assistant Curator


only in german

Pawel Althamer
In the Centre Pompidou
Kuratoren: Christine Macel, Joanna Mytkowska, Anna Hiddleston

mit Celine Ahond, Ziad Antar, Liliana Basarab, Veaceslav Druta, Adriana Garcia Galan, Kapwani Kiwanga, Elise Mougin, Vincent Olinet, Emilie Pitoiset, Koki Tanaka, Adam Vackar