10 BEST EXHIBITIONS OF 2016
By Crash redaction
DISCOVER THE 10 BEST EXHIBITIONS OF 2016 THROUGH CRASH EYE
MARGUERITE HUMEAU – PALAIS DE TOKYO
Many of the art world’s biggest institutions struggle with their sense of timing. No stranger to these difficulties, the Palais de Tokyo often fails to anticipate trends in the international art landscape (in 2015, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris stole the spotlight with Co-Workers, which gave France a late primer in post-Internet art). In spite of that fact, Rebecca Lamarche Vadel, a curator at the Palais de Tokyo, appears determined to situate Paris within the real-time debate surrounding the major concerns of her generation. Following Ed Atkins and David Douard, she organized a magnificent exhibition earlier this year to showcase the work of Marguerite Humeau, a French artist living in London (after attending the Royal College of Art) whose work responds to the issues tackled by the philosophers of “speculative realism.” Her exhibition at the Palais builds on these inquiries by imagining a world without humans, exploring a form of thought existing independently of humanity by adopting a non-human point of view. Based on Jared Diamond’s book The Third Chimpanzee – which posits language as the mutation that enabled humans to dominate all other species – the artist researched the funerary rituals of elephants to imagine what the world might be like if the pachyderm had evolved beyond the level of humans. In an exhibition organized as a “biological showroom,” the artist employs colors that represent the chemical composition of bodies, while injecting substances like Datura and hormones. The exhibition shines most in the artist’s ability to communicate her complex theoretical foundation in a clear and spectacular format.