Centre Pompidou, Paris

F-75004 Paris

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artists & participants


press release

Inspired by a science-fiction novel from the Polish writer Stanislaw Lem, Le Nuage Magellan (The Magellanic Cloud) is the first thematic group exhibition to be presented in the project room of the Centre Pompidou, the Espace 315.

Referring to the visionary projects of Modernist architect Oskar Hansen, new works by six contemporary artists: Michael Hakimi, David Maljkovic, Paulina Olowska, Dan and Lia Perjovschi, Maya Schweizer and Clemens von Wedemeyer, look at Modernism as a social project and an aesthetic code, mainly through its architectural and urbanistic expression.

The Linear Cities (LCS, 1968), one of the exhibited projects by Polish architect Oskar Hansen (1922-2005), derived from the idea of completely transforming human settlement, replacing the existing centric, ineffective cities, with linear, egalitarian structures. Hansen’s radical philosophy resulted in highly advanced projects, such as the Auschwitz monument design (1958), a straight asphalt road cutting across the site of the former camp. Hansen’s unimplemented projects are a utopia from the times when the faith that such visions can be turned into reality was still possible, whilst today, confronting failure remains one of art’s few privileges.

Echoing this historical reference, the works presented in Le Nuage Magellan propose different strategies for apprehending Modernism and its impact on collective memory.

In his installations, Berlin-based artist Michael Hakimi (1968) processes architectural and urban-space landscapes into abstract forms, translating contemporary fears and the catastrophic atmosphere of the media news into fantastic and futuristic landscapes. Croatian artist David Maljkovic (1973) tries to go beyond the limitations of the historical discourse, proposing his own futurological perspective. In the work Scenes for the New Heritage III, made especially for this exhibition, he tries to invent new rituals that could revive a now defunct monument to the heroes of former Yugoslavia. Polish artist Paulina Olowska tried to revitalise one of Warsaw’s emblematic, and then forgotten neon. To raise the required funds and to highlight the problem of Warsaw’s dilapidating historical neon signs, she organised an exhibition that featured a collage of several of them, and paintings conceptually interpreting their history. The Romanian artists Dan Pe rjovschi (1961) and Lia Perjovschi (1961) are cultural activists, translating and transforming their local artistic tradition. Dan works by placing his visual comments and jokes (cartoons, graffiti) directly on the walls of museums and galleries, while Lia has recently been making drawings about her personal interpretation of history. Clemens von Wedemeyer (1974, German) and Maya Schweizer (1976, French), use classic cinematographic genres and images to create an interpretative framework for contemporary phenomena. In their new film Metropolis (2006), Fritz Lang’s eponymous anti-utopia constitutes a reference grid for reflecting on the uncontrolled growth in contemporary China.

The exhibition is curated by Joanna Mytkowska, curator at the Musée National d’art moderne, assisted by Micha Schischke, curatorial assistant.

A catalogue with an essay by Joanna Mytkowska and interviews with the artists will be published alongside the exhibition.


only in german

Kurator: Joanna Mytkowska

Künstler: Oskar Hansen, Michael Hakimi, David Maljkovic, Paulina Olowska, Dan Perjovschi / Lia Perjovschi, Maya Schweizer / Clemens von Wedemeyer