Fresh Hell

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Untitled (Sisters), 2006 © Courtesy of the artists & Palais de Tokyo
Fresh Hell
Curated by: Adam McEwen

13, Ave du Président Wilson
75016 Paris
October 19th, 2010 - January 16th, 2011
Opening: October 19th, 2010 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM

16th Arrondissement
+33 (1) 47 23 54 01
Wed-Mon 12pm - 12 am
conceptual, sculpture


Les salles du Palais de Tokyo ressemblent à l’atelier d’un artiste, qui ressemble au cerveau d’un artiste – et le cerveau d’un artiste ressemble lui-même à un paysage. Un paysage dans lequel une forme de geste est appelé à se déployer. La notion de progrès, dans ce contexte, n’a qu’une valeur indicative: elle doit sans cesse être réinventée de toutes pièces. L’expression Fresh Hell est souvent attribuée à tort à Shakespeare, généralement à Macbeth; mais Dorothy Parker en est la véritable auteure. Cet exemple d’infime glissement historique est révélateur. à même le plancher de l’atelier, l’histoire avance à la manière d’un chaos enchevêtré et organique, à l’intérieur duquel l’artiste navigue, se demandant par où passer.

Following on from Ugo Rondinone and Jeremy Deller, the Palais de Tokyo invites Adam McEwen the New York based British artist to take on the role of curator and come up with an out-of-the-ordinary-project.

The rooms at the Palais might stand in for the artist’s studio, which might stand in for the artist’s mind – which is a landscape, and the landscape demands some kind of gesture. ‘Progress’ in this context is temporary. It needs to be reinvented afresh, endlessly. The phrase Fresh Hell is often misattributed to Shakespeare, presumably from Macbeth, but in fact it comes from Dorothy Parker. This quiet piece of historical slippage seems appropriate. History uncoils in a tangled, organic mess across the studio floor, and the artist picks through it, looking for what to do next.

By mapping the artist's brain, desires, and influences, the carte blanche gives a fresh slant on the creative process and aesthetic correlations. In the wake of Ugo Rondinone in 2008 and Jeremy Deller in 2009, Adam McEwen (British artist living in New York) hatches an extraordinary scheme and creates a dialogue between medieval sculpture and conceptual art, vaults and attempts to levitate, forgotten artists and those already blessed by history. When faced with this history, what stance can an artist take today? Everything has been done already? Great, now we can finally get to work!

The exhibition FRESH HELL dives into history, recent or distant, but doesn't bore through the strata. Instead, it skims horizontally and nonlinearly, generating multiple paradoxes and stirring up a breath of fresh air that is constantly sucked away by ghostly shadows.

Adam McEwen