40th anniversary of the Centre Pompidou

To mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Centre Pompidou, famous masterpieces from the collection of the Centre Pompidou-Musée National d’Art Moderne have been arranged to create a map, in the middle of which stands the magnificent mobile by Calder 31 janvier, which Jean-Paul Sartre described as “une petite fête”. This work enters into a dialogue with, amongst others, Cerith Wyn Evans’s hanging work A=P=P=A=R=I=T=I=O=N, inspired by the poetry of Mallarmé.


Alexander Calder, 31 janvier, 1950

Calder's aerial artworks revolutionised the history of art and contemporary music by introducing the notions of indeterminacy and chance. Composers like Earle Brown were invited to create "open works". Alexander Calder spent his life working towards a symbiosis between the acoustic and the visual. Jean-Paul Sartre understood this as early as 1946, when he spoke evocatively of "wind harps", a "little hot jazz" and "lyrical inventions" to describe the mobile, this "object defined by its movement, which has no existence outside itself".


Cerith Wyn Evans , A=P=P=A=R=I=T=I=O=N, 2008

Cerith Wyn Evans produces protean work in which perceptual questions are superimposed on an interplay of poetic reconfiguration. He was once an assistant director to film maker Derek Jarman and he has never lost the sense of stage management nor the elegance that he learned from Jarman. Although texts and quotations are often the starting point for Wyn Evans’s installations, the various translations and restatements that he subjects them to transform them into sound or light signals which can then initiate a dialogue with the venue that displays them. Cerith Wyn Evans joined forces with Throbbing Gristle, an English experimental music group formed in 1975, to create this sound installation, which takes its name from the poet Stéphane Mallarmé. A = P = P = A = R = I = T = I = O = N is a new take on the mobile, an open sculpture invented by Calder. The shimmering surface of the disc-shaped sound panels modifies one’s perception of this sculpture in motion, sometimes going so far as to annihilate the initial sense of monumentality to reveal an indeterminate state, suspended between appearance and diffraction in space. The installation mutates into a spatialised concert, an electric polyphony which remains in a state of constant renewal as the public move about.

40 Ans Pompidou

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