Summer days are meant for wandering the air-conditioned halls of museums—and what could be better than one with two new, thrilling solo shows? Opening today at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris are Mika Rottenberg, a self-titled show from the absurdly wonderful video artist, and FOXP2, the first major solo by fantastical installation artist Marguerite Humeau.
Buenos Aires-born, New York City-based Rottenberg presents several of her films in a labyrinthine exhibition that will plunge visitors into her disjointed, surreal world. The visceral film "Bowls Balls Souls Holes" journeys from a sullied, humid motel room to a Harlem bingo hall, where viewers encounter a champion bodybuilder, the Guinness World Record holder for the most clothespins pinned to one's face (161), and other characters with unique talents. The uncanny and immersive experience isn't always pleasant, but you won't be able to tear yourself away.
In another part of the museum, Marguerite Humeau, the young, French artist known for her exploration of myths and fantasies, reenacts the origins of life. For the research-based exhibition—what the artist calls a "biological showroom"—the artist worked closely with linguists and paleontologists to develop a musical track that mimics the very moment when chimpanzees developed language—the moment when a gene called FOXP2 mutated and the first homo sapiens came into existence.
Had the gene not mutated, giant elephants would have dominated the earth. Her digital image "FOXP2," named for this all-important gene, depicts one of these giant elephant that never came to be. The immersive installation with its dyed carpet and almost ten-foot-tall sound sculptures hovers in a limbo between the present and a primordial time when our existence was entirely uncertain.
Palais de Tokyo
June 23 – September 11
13 Avenue du Président Wilson