Considered one of the most creative spaces in Paris, Palais de Tokyo is also the only museum open until midnight in the city. Crane.tv visits the museum -- situated in the eponymous building, the 'Palais de Tokyo' was built in 1937 and is located near the Trocadéro. It is a "space for production, reflection and today's challenging art, but with a structure that is pro-active and flexible," according to director Marc-Olivier Wahler.
Wahler studied art history and philosophy and went on to teach art history and English literature at the Lycée Blaise Cendrars Neuchâtel. He co-founded the Centre d'Art Neuchâtel (CAN) for six years becoming artistic director, opting for a truly international programme. Before being appointed director of the Palais de Tokyo in 2006, he directed the Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art -- an independent center for contemporary art in New York.
A professional background in education, combined with a passion for philosophy and anthropology, has influenced his curating style. Wahler admits that from a young age, the question of how an ordinary object can be transfigured into a work of art intrigued him. Believing that a curator should have the vision to be able to say and write it, by inventing his own grammar and writing style.
The building itself re-opened in 2001 with a new interior design by French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, who selected an urban style (concrete floor, wall and roof). No permanent collections are housed in this space; rather, temporary exhibits are spread over the large open plan area reminiscent of a construction site, with a trailer for a ticket booth.
The Palais de Tokyo is definitely a must-see for any art enthusiast, and central Paris assuredly has an area for experimental artists to express themselves.
Text by Natasha Seagrove for Crane.tv
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