21 Jun 2019
08 Sep 2019



With: Aderemi Adegbite, Shishir Bhattacharjee, Biquini Wax, Chelsea Culprit, Ndidi Dike, Ema Edosio, Kadara Enyeasi, Falz, Dex Fernandez, Dina Gadia, Ha.Mü, Amir Kamand, Farrokh Madhavi, Maine Magno, Pow Martinez, Leeroy New, Emeka Ogboh, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Adeola Olagunju, Ashfika Rahman, Mahbubur Rahman, Fernando Palma Rodriguez, John Jayvee del Rosario, Barbara Sanchez-Kane, Mamali Shafahi, Reza Shafahi, Justin Shoulder, Mohammad Shoyeb, Manuel Solano, Newsha Tavakolian, Stephen Tayo, Tercerunquinto, Timmy Harn, Traición Maria, Jeona Zoleta Zombra... + Lulu (Chris Sharp, Martin Soto Climent and their artists)


Visual artists, creators, fashion designers, experimenters, tattooists, musicians: a good fifty artists are taking over the Palais de Tokyo and will be presented without any geographical grouping, mostly via new productions and in situ interventions. The exhibition will be presented as an imaginary, multiple and complex city, without borders, messy, staggering and creative: an unpredictable laboratory, which is always in motion and being (re)constructed.
Raw and head-spinning hangings, mysterious landscapes, luminous or opaque zones, backrooms and traps: the presentation of the show has been conceptualised by the architect Olivier Goethals, according to the rhythms of day and night, from profusion to desaturation, alternating between monographic zones and terrains for encounters. He has elaborated an architectural pathway which reveals and accentuates the lines of force in the Palais de Tokyo’s building, which is here being envisaged as an immense common area, like “places where the thoughts of the world encounter the thoughts of the world”. (1)


Word from the curators

Between skyscrapers and shacks, urgency and patience, megacities are undergoing a chaotic expansion, mingling transfers of capital with technological connexions in financial centres, generating urban margins with numerous inequalities. This vast, disorderly movement transforms cities into ceaseless work sites, favouring imaginary deviations. The artists which then emerge are thus the flâneurs of the 21st century, the hackers of our responses to an urban environment which is often functional and standardized.

DHAKA, LAGOS, MANILA, MEXICO CITY and TEHRAN: all of them are subjectively chosen rhizomatic architectures, guided by a curiosity about the moment. All five are expressions of a tissue of contradictions, as seen in their saturated traffic which coexists with digital networks which supposedly work fluidly. Quite clearly, these megacities are very different from one another. Their cultural, political and social singularities teem with numerous narratives which are all side-tracks providing glimpses into their identities, devoid of anything that could be univocal.

Spoiler: these megacities are not the subject of the exhibition City Prince/sses. They are the context for a research, a playground, in which creators sample the multiple layers that make them up so as to extract an outsized hybridization, in constant metamorphosis.

Since the first edition of the Dhaka Art Summit in 2012, the capital of Bangladesh has attracted the attention of the international art world. But what mattered was seeking out its vitality beyond this biannual event and seeing how such an artistic scene is organised, above all in the absence of galleries. In this respect, DHAKA astonishes thanks to its discreet power. Here, artists have been developing independent militant sites, where their friends can be invited through the backdoor. They are aware of the fragility of certain folk traditions, like the numerous rickshaws whose craft paintings are disappearing, to be replaced by digital prints, or by the saloons of the Uber car company. So it is that artists are attempting to document a memory that is sometimes wavering, while elaborating approaches in which the grip of history goes through the very inflexions of a dream world.

Download the full press release


(1) Edouard Glissant, in La Cohée du Lamentin, Poétique V, Gallimard, 2005

Leeroy New, Série Aliens of Manila, 2014
Luciano Calderon
Amir Kamand, Untitled, 2018
Stephen Tayo, Ibeji series, 2017 – 2019
Ashfika Rhaman, The Last Audience, 12 photos 2017 – 2019
Mehraneh Atashi, Flotsam, Jetsam, Lagan, and Derelict, 2018, Grazer
General information

75116 Paris
Tél. : 01 81 97 35 88
Open everyday, except Tuesday, from noon to midnight.




Curator: Hugo Vitrani
Associated Curator: Fabien Danesi


Marika Bekier