The Marcel Duchamp Prize is on display in China2 min
This fourth tour of the Marcel Duchamp Prize in China offers a new perspective on the French experience through eyes of the 14 artists recognised by the award. Curator Annabelle Ténèze chose to select the works through the prism of the road, in other words of movement, travel, discovery. Taking as a starting point a line by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado, "Traveller, there is no road", this project brings together works in which movement is as much subject as metaphor.
Neïl Beloufa, Brune Renault
Known for his complex installations combining video, sculpture and painting, Franco-Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa plays in the space between documentary and fiction, the plausible and the fantastic. In Brune Renault he depicts the friendly chatter of a group of young people in a road movie that reveals itself to be paradoxically frozen: the car is parked and not running, as if its passengers are on journey to nowhere, or a journey in search of themselves.
Ulla von Brandenburg, Two Times Seven II
With her drawings, fabric installations and performances, Ulla von Brandenburg invites us to travel through time and space. In her highly theatrical creation Two Times Seven II, she depicts a journey through colour: the visitor passes through curtains of mysterious fabric, without knowing what will be revealed at the end of the path.
Mircea Cantor, Aquila non capit muscas
A nomadic artist who describes himself as rootless, Mircea Cantor creates works that are simultaneously minimal, poetic and metaphysical. His latest creation Aquila non capit muscas (2018) brings the Latin proverb to life, which translates as “the eagle does not hunt flies”. He depicts a race between an eagle and a drone. Who will win this battle between the forces of nature and culture?
Clément Cogitore, Les Indes Galantes
Clement Cogitore tackles Rameau's first opera-ballet Les Indes Galantes (1735), a flagship work of French Opera. He has created a film in which baroque dance meets urban culture with the help of choreographers and dancers specialised in Krumping, a style of street dance from Los Angeles.
Latifa Echakhch, Each stencil is a revolution (“À chaque stencil une révolution”)
Socially-engaged and skilful, Latifa Echakhch's work explores the connections between political and socio-cultural realities. Each stencil is a revolution (“À chaque stencil une révolution”) is a mural installation where the blue ink of carbon paper, usually used for copying and writing, runs down the walls and onto the floor. This work invites the viewer to enter a space where revolutionary texts written in pen remain silent.
Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige, Restaged
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige became filmmakers and visual artists in the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war. In a long-term project, they explore the adventure of the Lebanese Rocket Society: in the early 1960s at the Armenian Haigazian University in Beirut, a group of students and a teacher launch the region's first rocket. The work Restaged shows the astonishing movement of the rocket through the city and the curious contrast between the urban reality and the dream of space.
Camille Henrot, Arrivals / Departures
Winner of the Venice Lion d’Or in 2013 for her video Grosse fatigue (“Heavy Burden"), Camille Henrot explores anthropological tropes, cultural borders and exoticism, as well as eroticism and even the language of the Internet age. In Arrivals/Departures, the airport is presented as a landscape of infinite possibilities, borrowed from the many unknown and mythical lands which fill its halls.
Bertrand Lamarche, The Funnel Stage
Bertrand Lamarche deconstructs the contemporary world and its forms, offering up a transformed version. In an almost science-fictional world, he reproduces buildings, trains and even a tornado using miniature models. In The Funnel Stage, images that appear to depict driving through a tunnel are in fact being taken in real time within the miniature experience unfolding in front of those same images.
Zineb Sedira, The Lovers
Currently living in London, Zineb Sedira, born in France to Algerian parents, is interested in individual, intimate histories drawn from the broader flow of major historical events, especially those which have shaped Algeria. In the works presented, we follow the protagonist who travels on a ferry between Marseilles and Algiers in a voyage full of beauty and cultural references, with the sea as a familiar yet also unknown transitional area.
The Institut français and the project
The exhibition “Toi qui chemines il n’y a pas de chemin” ("Traveller, There is No Road") is organised in Beijing at the Red Brick Art Museum, with the support of the French Embassy in China and the Institut Français as part of the 14th edition of the Croisements festival.