Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Five Billion Years Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Five billion years ago, the universe began an accelerated expansion. Astronomers hypothesize that a force called "dark energy" dominated the gravity of matter and caused the universe to stop slowing down and to begin a never-ending growth spurt. With this dramatic shift, the universe launched into a state of perpetual movement. Always in flux, reality loses its ability to appear as a series of fixed reference points or as a web of consistent and reliable connections. Instead, the elusive nature of speed and time penetrates our awareness of the world and compromises the comfort of stability. In a similar way, art eludes fixed positions or places and instead glides over the visible and reveals the many layers that serve in its construction. Art can make reality denser, and can make it accelerate.

FIVE BILLION YEARS is the first chapter of a year-long program at the Palais de Tokyo. It begins a reflection not on the exhibition as a singular event – a fixed point that is isolated in time and space – but on the very notion of a program, an experience with a temporal cursor that is constantly in motion, in permanent fluctuation. As the beginning and first segment of a new program that will feature exhibitions and events over the next 12 months, FIVE BILLION YEARS builds on the Palais de Tokyo’s commitment to artists working today by embodying the uncontainable and elastic nature of contemporary art.

The rapidly expanding artistic field that is FIVE BILLION YEARS spreads throughout the Palais de Tokyo’s exhibition spaces. Incorporating both solo and group shows, FIVE BILLION YEARS also includes a multitude of events, including an international competition of chainsaw sculpture, a lecture by an astrophysicist and a music therapist, and a ballet for mini-motorcycles.


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