The exhibition by Algerian-French artist Kader Attia and French artist, poet and scholar Jean-Jacques Lebel fits right into Palais de Tokyo’s experimental bent. Attia, winner of the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2016, the Joan Miro Prize 2017, and the Yanghyun Art Prize 2017, and Lebel have created less of an exhibition, and more of a research lab that stems from an exchange of their perspectives, creative partnership, and longstanding friendship.
Amongst the numerous works on display tackling key questions of civilisation are two main installations. One considers the fabrication in and by media of “the absolute Other” – which they define as a violent entity constantly inciting fear along the lines of Satan, The Savage or The Terrorist, while the second addresses Imperialist war crimes such as humiliation, rape and torture throughout history. Works by Marwa Arsanios, Sammy Baloji, Alex Burke, Gonçalo Mabunda, Driss Ouadahi and PEROU – Pôle d’Exploration des Ressources Urbaines are also presented, adding to a discourse provided by objects that the duo have collected and define as “enigmatic” and “polysemic”, charged with latent energy that “transmit coded discourse”.
The range of media – from visual and sound work through to found objects, masks and film – from the international group of artists fall under a Felix Guattari-inspired “collective assemblage of enunciation”, they explain in their curatorial remit. Exploring varied perspectives, criteria and forms of critique and evaluation, One and Other is the starting point of a transcultural laboratory out to reveal how objects are imbued with barely discernable energy, meaning and poetry.