High Tension | 8 winners of the Marcel Duchamp Prize

High Tension | 8 winners of the Marcel Duchamp Prize

Picture : Nightlife © Cyprien Gaillard

Reuniting some of the winners of the Marcel Duchamp Prize (created in 2000 by the ADIAF, Association for the International Diffusion of French Art), this exhibition demonstrates the tremendous vitality and diversity of the French contemporary art scene. It brings together 8 artists strongly committed to their uncompromising approach to today’s world. A sensitive and sometimes critical approach that takes into consideration the circulation of information, the impact of new technologies, urban developments and the memory of warring conflicts…  

These artists challenge an art walled in by its own history. They observe the world and remap the contemporary landscape. Reacting to political and social evolutions, they act in response to current events and denounce their excesses.   
High-tension, meaning the refusal of neutrality coming from artists in debate with contemporary society and its contradictions. Here, art is message, reflection and field of investigation. But also, High-tension meaning the transmission of energy: by manipulating images or constructing imaginary spaces, these artists show us a high voltage world; a world reinvented yet founded on reality and imbued with poetry.  

The openning ceremony in Beijing will be livestreamed by LeTV the 27 May at 3 pm, don't miss it ! Clic here to follow it. 

The artists
Mathieu Mercier ( born in 1970, Marcel Duchamp Prize 2015)
Kader Attia (born in 1970 – Marcel Duchamp Prize 2016)
Latifa Echakhch (born in 1974 – Marcel Duchamp Prize 2013)
Cyprien Gaillard (born in 1980 – Marcel Duchamp Prize 2010)
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (born in 1965 – Marcel Duchamp Prize 2002)
Laurent Grasso (born in 1972 - Marcel Duchamp Prize 2008)
Julien Prévieux (born in 1974 – Marcel Duchamp Prize 2014)
Tatiana Trouvé (born in 1968 - Marcel Duchamp Prize 2007)

Alfred Paquement, commissaire of the exhibition, comments on the works of the eight artistes 

Alfred Pacquement is an art historian and museum curator.  He has been the Director of the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Delegate to the Plastic Arts, Director of the Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris and of the Musée national d’art modern, Centre Pompidou from 2000 to 2013.  He is the curator of numerous exhibitions, some of the most recent being Richard Serra in Doha, Takis in the Palais de Tokyo, ‘Invitation au Voyage’ in the Centrale, Brussels (with the ADIAF), Lee Ufan, Anish Kapoor and Olafur Eliasson at the Château de Versailles as well as Alexander Calder, Joan Miro and Giuseppe Penone in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The author of many catalogue introductions and monographies, he is Honorary Director of the Musée national d’art modern. 

Laurent Grasso, Elysée, 2016 

35mm film, 16'29', looped
Soundtrack by Nicolas Godin
courtesy of the artist, Edouard Malingue Gallery and Galerie Perrotin
© Laurent Grasso / ADAGP, Paris, 2017

Grasso seeks to reach the limit of what is possible: his film is a real introspection on a place of power, in this case the office of the Elysée Palace, the personal office of the President of the French Republic. The camera switches to scanning the decor and furnishings of a room that is in principle impenetrable, detailing the personal objects and files found therein. The film blends the present with the past and emphasizes the continuity of power in a space charged with history.

Cyprien Gaillard, Nightlife, 2015 

3D motion picture, DCI DCP
 14:56 min

Copyright Cyprien Gaillard
Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers
Soundtrack © BLACK MAN’S WORLD Performed by Alton Ellis, (P) 1970 Sanctuary

Nightlife is a visual and sound fresco shot in 3D in which images spectacularly sweep across sites that evoke dramatic events. In a veritable hallucinatory dive, supported by Alton Ellis' throbbing music, the camera revolves around a sculpture of Rodin destroyed by an attack, overlooks the Berlin Olympic Stadium during a fireworks display and comes to a stop on the tree planted by black athlete Jesse Owens who won 4 medals in front of Hitler at the Olympic Games in Berlin.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Riyo, 1999 

35 mm film (color, stereo sound, Japanese with English subtitles, format 4:3)
10:00 min
Courtesy: The artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin Photo: © Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

Riyo, shot in Kyoto, is part of a cycle of very personal portraits of cities that includes Central filmed in Hong Kong and Beaches in Rio de Janeiro. While the landscape scrolls along a track by the river, two teenagers talk in voice-messages on their mobile phone. Through these evocative images of travel and displacement, the emotional perception of a place is reflected just as the "rooms" are that the artist installs at his exhibitions.

Kader Attia, Reflecting Memory, 2016 

Video HD, 48’
Courtesy Kader Attia, Galleria Continua, Galerie Nagel Draxler, Lehmann Maupin, Galerie Krinzinger

For several years Attia has been developing a reflection on the theme of "Repair", evoking both the physical wounds, due to wars for example, as well as those that fall within the intellectual or historical domain as the sequelae of colonization. In this visual essay, he focuses on the issue of amputation and the ghost limb of mutilated persons, combining interviews with different specialists, physicians as philosophers, and others with victims. The social and political connotations go through here, as in his other researches, the work of the artist.

Latifa Echakhch, La déposssession, 2014 

Toile de théâtre apprêtée, peinture, tube acier et sangles / Theater canvas, painting, steel tube and straps
Dimensions variables / Variable dimensions
Toile : 1000 x 1000 cm
Vue de l’exposition / View of the exhibition “All around fades to a heavy sound”, kamel mennour, Paris, 2014 © Latifa Echakhch
Photo. Fabrice Seixas
Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris

Echakhch modifies the context in which the objects she holds are exposed and gives them a dramatic resonance. An immense theater curtain with a blue and limpid sky collapses just like the image of a crumbling civilization. Out of the theater, this setting that should serve as a backdrop for joyful or tragic romances occupies the exhibition space here and seems to evoke a drama about which we know nothing. The artist's work possesses a narrative potential that still retains its mystery.

Julien Prévieux, What Shall We Do Next ? (sequence #2), 2014 

Vidéo HD/2K, 16'47'', 2014
Courtesy Jousse entreprise gallery

Prévieux discovers hidden sections of the cultural repertoire. He analyzes social functions, whether in the corporate world or in information technology, and draws on new and often ironic configurations. He is interested in places of the emergence of ideas as here patents deposited by companies for the gestures related to the tools that we will use in the future. The film draws on a choreography that is directly inspired by these movements of the body induced by technological research.

Tatiana Trouvé, Les indéfinis, 2015

Plexiglas, bronze patiné, métal, bois, tissus, cuivre, béton / Plexiglas, patinated
bronze, metal, wood, fabric, copper, concrete
209 x 450 x 600 cm / 82 1/4 x 177 1/8 x 236 1/4 inches
Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Sculptures or installations, the proposals of Tatiana Trouvé reveal an ambiguity with respect to reality, turning out to be pure mental constructions when they are deployed in space. They often take everyday objects but their positioning or the combination of materials send them in-between. The artist invents confusing architectural volumes, and places his sculptures unexpectedly, playing on the fragmentation of spaces and the ruptures of scale.

Mathieu Mercier, Untitled (work in progress), 2013-2017

Mehdi Chouakri

Mathieu Mercier is inspired the modernist avant-garde’s experience, which he recycles with an ironic distance. His sources of inspiration are the everyday objects, in the same way than Marcel Duchamp, and the Historical Design or geometrical abstraction. He trapped the visitor with accumulating consumer products in shop windows, as if they were discovered in a shopping mall. Each collected object responds to a function which is not that of its appearance and therefore represents an enigma for the viewer. 

About the ADIAF
The ADIAF is a group of 400 contemporary art collectors who are intensely committed to the creative process.  Driven by private collectors, supported by sponsor companies and working in close partnership with public institutions, the ADIAF’s mission is to contribute to the international outreach of the French art scene, and to promote the spirit of art collecting. 

About the Marcel Duchamp Prize
The Marcel Duchamp Prize is the largest award for young French creators identified by collectors of contemporary art such as the Association pour la Association for the International Dissemination of French Art (ADIAF). Organized from the outset in partnership with the Centre Pompidou, this collector's prize intends to bring together the most innovative artists and confront all of the artistic forms.  Each year, it honours one winner from among four French artists or artists residing in France working in the field of the plastic and visual arts: installation, video, painting, photography, sculpture …


Exhibition Curator: Alfred Pacquement, assisted by Daphné Mallet
27.05.2017 - 27.08.2017


Red Brick Art Museum

Hegezhuang, Cuigezhuang Village

Chaoyang district, Beijing, Beijing


Phone : 010-8457 6669


Exhibition Curator: Alfred Pacquement, assisted by Daphné Mallet
06.06.2017 - 23.07.2017


Times Museum

Times Rose garden III, Huangbianbei Rd, Baiyun Avenue

Baiyun district, Guangzhou, Guangdong


Phone : 020 2627 2363






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Cultural programme at the Institut français in Beijing



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