From May 3rd to August 6th 2012, the Centre Pompidou is presenting a monographic exhibition of the artist Anri Sala.
Following Philippe Parreno in 2009, Jean-Michel Othoniel in 2011 and preceding Adel Abdessemed and Mircea Cantor invited in the Fall of 2012, this exhibition is part of the series which the Centre Pompidou is devoting to mid-career artists of the French scene.
Designed for the Galerie Sud of the Centre Pompidou and conceived by the artist, this unprecedented installation is a work in itself, akin to a symphony, made up of four recent films - shown in a precise time sequence, forming a loop of one hour - as well as objects and photographs. The films carry the visitor away to different locations : Sarajevo, in an evocation of the 1992-95 siege (1395 Days without Red, 2011), Berlin, with a Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic dome (Answer Me, 2008), Bordeaux with a deserted music-hall (Le Clash, 2010) and, finally, the famous Aztec site of Tlatelolco in Mexico City (Tlatelolco Clash, 2011).
Through the films, following an elaborate spatializing of their sound, the Galerie Sud will be turned into a music box, in which a symphony by Tchaikovsky will take turns with an instrumental version of the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and drum rhythms.
The exhibition also plays with the very space of the Galerie Sud, its location at street level and
its visual continuity with the cityscape: standing on the edge between fiction and reality,
the visitors of the installation face passers-by strolling past the Centre Pompidou. However,
they are constantly brought back to the present by the playing of ten snare drums (Doldrums, 2008) which spring to life periodically. The sculpture No Window No Cry, made up of a small music box set into one of the windows of the exhibition gallery next to a “bubble” blown into the glass, plays, when activated, a simplified version of the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (The Clash, 1981),
a tune which also resonates throughout Le Clash and Tlatelolco Clash, two of the films being shown. Heard in the three works, this very tune lures the spectator away from reality into fiction.
Title Suspended (2008), one of the two works by the artist in the Centre Pompidou’s collection, completes the installation along with two photographs.