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Ange Leccia’s Angels

The Palais de Tokyo’s ‘Pavillon’ predicts the art of tomorrow.

“Art doesn't go to sleep in the bed made for it... Its best moments are when it forgets what its own name is”Jean Dubuffet 

This quote from the founder of Art Brut must surely be Ange Leccia’s motto. Leccia is an acclaimed artist and the director of the Palais de Tokyo’s residency programme, Le Pavillon, and each year he and his team handpick the ten most promising artists of tomorrow, often from unlikely backgrounds (this year’s selection includes an engineer, some curators, a bunch of architects, and an ex-inmate). “Being an artist, used to be a lot less transversal," explains Leccia. “Today, artists shift from one discipline to another. When coming from an unrelated background, art becomes a way of re-reading one’s past.” After all, who can discuss the relationship between police and state better than someone who was actually arrested and jailed (Russian artist David Ter-Oganian), and who better than an engineer who helped develop the GPS can talk of nature and technology (American artist Patrick Bock).

Challenging the frontiers between art and curation is another important aspect of this year’s selection. A couple of curators were chosen to be part of Leccia's gang of ten, and their presence at the Pavillon allows them to leave their role as a mediator and think of themselves as artists in their own right. For example, French, London-based curator Florence Ostende borrows mediatic techniques, from print magazine, to online format, to create a unique artistic dialogue between the two countries.

And what is the Pavillon’s artistic barometer predicting? There are definite shifts in the arts, for example, one can see an environmental consciousness, which didn’t exist before, and artists are increasingly aware of the footprint of their work and turn to alternative energy. "This never used to be much of an issue," says Leccia. An interest in architecture and urban planning also seems to be a recurring factor. For example Ramiro Guerreiro, who comes from an architecture background, now works on incorporating performances into existing monuments and highways. "The interest urban landscape makes sense," says Leccia. "In a world where art is often ephemeral, architecture is the only artwork that stays."

Palais De Tokyo, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France