09 Dec 2022
18 Dec 2022



For the Palais de Tokyo's 20th anniversary, artists, practitioners and researchers take the pulse of the art center and its building, investigate its multiple stories and identities, its repressed desires and its traumas. Freely drawing inspiration from institutional psychotherapy, creators from every fields of study explore the different ways to examine the space and take care of a cultural institution. 

The Palais de Tokyo - this 85 year old living body - keeps traces, both physical and symbolical, of its successive uses. Built in 1937 at the site of a carpet manufactory, itself installed on a land previously occupied by an orphenage and a soap factory, it was the first French modern art museum until it was replaced by the Musée d’art et d’essai, followed by the Centre national de la photographie et de l’éphémère Palais des arts de l’image. Abandonned, squatted, it was also the subject of many aborted projects - often forgotten about - until it was reborn for the first time in 2002, then in a greater version in 2012 as Institution nationale dédiée à la création contemporaine. Now considered as the biggest art center in Europe, it is a witness of its eventful and sometimes erratic history, which includes the history of French cultural politics in favour of the visual arts. 

"Le grand désenvoûtement" is a long-temr project which offers, through the practices and knowledge of artists and researches, to pay a renewed attention to rumours, ailments, beliefs and invisible determinations which we collectively inherit. This first chapter takes the form of an exhibition, discussions and performances to begin a introspective work on a building often put to the test and its multiple inhabitants. It is also a study of how to write stories of the self, as a well as a wider reflexion on how to work with others and hospitality. Works of art, rituals and encounters set up for the occasion will invite the visitors to make the ghosts if the Palais de Tokyo speak, in order to renew the vision of the challenges facing a cultural institution today. 

General information

Palais de Tokyo
13 avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris



Pénélope Ponchelet