Saturday, 9 November 2013

Reflecting the Palais de Tokyo

The Palais de Tokyo is an art gallery in Paris' 16th arrondissement dedicated to modern and contemporary art. It was built in 1937 for the International exhibition dedicated to art and technology. It was conceived as a gallery for the modern-art collections of both the French state and the city of Paris. The monumental stone-clad building is composed of two wings. The Eastern wing is home to the Modern Art Museum of Paris, the western, state-owned wing, has had a more troubled past.

Superceded in its' original purpose by the Centre Pompidou in 1976, it fulfilled a number of roles until, in the early 1990s, the culture ministry decided to install a cinema museum under its roof. €12.2 million were spent gutting the interior only for the project to be dropped following a change of government in 1997. The structurally weakened building envelope/shell stood abandoned until in 1999 the ministry announced it would become home – provisionally – to a ‘centre for contemporary creation’.

I was there last week visiting the Philippe Parreno exhibition, as part of my research for a lesson I planned to give to my students. It was dusk when I came out of the museum. The light and reflections, in the formal pond to the south of the museum were beautiful.

Throw in a few leaves and the reflections look even better.

Then add some flood lighting.

As a final touch add 1 x No. Eiffel Tower.

Hello Paris. You're so beautiful!

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