Julio Le Parc, Palais De Tokyo

As part of the Palais De Tokyo’s “SOLEIL FROID” exhibition part of the 1st level is dedicated to the work of Julio Le Parc.

 ”Generally speaking, I have tried, through my experiments, to elicit a different type of behavior from the viewer […] to seek, together with the public, various means of fighting off passivity, dependency or ideological conditioning, by developing reflective, comparative, analytical, creative or active capacities.” says Le parc.

An artist of historical importance and an influential figure in contemporary art, Julio Le Parc´s work is to be considered as ’immersive art’, in which, through Le Parc’s study of light and movement, the visitor is invited to discover new ways of interacting with certain objects and situations.

This show may not be for everyone (especially people who do not like op art, mirrors and flashing lights which feature regularly), however I very much enjoyed this presentation of Le Parc’s work. Many of the ’participatory’ works were causing great excitement among the kids and everyone was getting involved in finding out what could be done with the objects Le Parc presented, from this point of view I felt the show was a great success as often engaging kids with modern art is a real challenge.

After passing through a room of dangling mirrored flaps we are presented with early kinetic works made up using minimal shapes and colours, leading onto more recent works including a giant sphere made of red glass and several paintings. After, follows the main bulk of the participatory work, made up of objects including fans, ping pong balls, wooden blocks and punch bags. Here for me the work really took off. Argentinian born Julio le Parc is well known for being ‘socially conscious’ and was expelled from France in May 1968, after participating in the Atelier Populaire and its protests against major institutions he is also a defender of human rights and has fought against dictatorship in Latin America.

On initial inspection the second section of the exhibition turns the gallery space into a fairground. You can throw balls at targets of evil figures or punch sandbags depicting different characters – “judge”, “journalist”, “poet”, “artist”, “critic”, etc. Play darts with an “imperialist” in the bullseye; and transverse a terrain made of wobbling wooden blocks which make gun shot noises when tilted and trigger strobe lights. This is Relational Art successfully working within a gallery space (Note: Nicholas Bourriaud was a co-founder of Palais de Tokyo) and embodies a sense of inquisitive discovery but reveals itself to have dark political undertones.

Julio Le Parc ★★★

13, avenue du Président Wilson,
75 116 Paris



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