press release

“What we have to interrogate is brick, concrete, glass, our table manners, our utensils, our tools, the way we manage our time, our rhythms.” Georges Perec, L’infra-ordinaire, ed. Seuil, 1989

The project Playtime borrows its title from the film in which Jacques Tati turns a town into a playground, humorously revealing the pre-planned and absurd progression of modernity. The site that the project focuses on - the 13th’s ZAC Paris Rive Gauche ‘city university’, a new area made of concrete and glass - resembles Tativille. It is an area is growing with inherent utopias: the rehabilitation of a former industrial area, the « open blocks », a basic layout of solid and empty spaces following the concept developed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc, « the university within the city » where knowledge is mixed with urban activities… The journalist Frédéric Edelmann wrote in Le Monde on Sunday 23 March 2008: « The architectural outfit [seen as a collection of buildings] is so present that we might mistake it too for an another element of the decor, but it is necessary to enter into its game in order to understand how, behind this complex appearance, volumes and circulations are organised. » To explore the development of the area’s urban planning is to discover a construction site: a grid of paths leading nowhere, unnamed streets, uncultivated gardens, virtual simulations of the area in the future… Playtime questions this space, revealing what Perec refers to as “left-overs”, in other words, what is unnoticed, « time, people, cars and clouds » .

Playtime focuses on “usages”, to be understood as ways to act within a context that is governed by codes (rules, arrangements, speeches…), which modify or organize our interpretations and actions. The quotidian repetition of these actions modifies or confirms our interpretations of this context. The “usage” is the fruit of habits that remain linked to how well the amenities work: principally the to-ing and fro-ing of the workers and students (metro / work / metro), opening and closing hours of shops… People say the area lacks life. This remark could be translated as a lack in the fictional potential of the area, that is, in the possible interpretations that it generates. Playtime intends to place small interventions at the heart of common daily activity: How does the use that we make of a place define our freedom to act in it? Which fictions does the development plan of the Zac Paris Rive Gauche enable? If it is a question of emancipation, emancipation happens through playing with the contracts that control the way in which we look at a work, watch a performance, have a party, or meet someone new. The works presented in Playtime articulate a basis for potential fictions, a starting point for inventing usages.

Playtime aims to explore the social interactions existing in this particular context through an exhibition of objects and actions, proposed by artists working within the visual arts, theatre, architecture, dance… The arrangement of their propositions will create situations composed of actors, accessories and backdrops. The works might serve as the rules of the game, stage directions or as found objects, witnesses, messengers. Somewhere between performance and exhibition, whether occurring at a scheduled time or being shown on request, the process of exhibiting and the exchange of words are at the core of Playtime.

It is therefore a question of ‘temps de jeu’ (playtime), parenthetical to the everyday, organised according to certain rules, more or less operational. An exhibition that writes itself (how will it construct itself), as much as it disappears (in its ephemeral character).

only in german


mit Fanny Adler & Vincent Madame, Atelier Bow-Wow , Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Katinka Bock, Simon Boudvin & Vincent Ganivet, Francois Chaignaud, Guillaume Constantin, Julio Cortazar & Dora Garcia & Loreto Martinez Troncoso, Das Dingbat , Fanny de Chaille, Jean-Charles de Quillacq, Jochen Dehn, Florent Delval, Michael Eric Dietrich, Driessens & Verstappen, Chloe Dugit-Gros, Dario Escobar, FormContent , Ryan Gander, Yves-Noel Genod, Dominique Gilliot, Daniel Gustav Cramer & Haris Epaminonda, Jeune Fille Orrible , Patrick Killoran, Jiri Kovanda, Seulgi Lee, Nicolas Memain & Denis Moreau, Ivana Müller, Roman Ondák, Carole Perdereau, Philippe Quesne, Paul Ramirez-Jonas, Dan Rees, Seconds couteaux , Bertrand Segers & Matthieu Garcia Lamolla, Yann Serandour, Virginie Thomas, Guido van der Werve, Adrien Vescovi, Annie Vigier & Franck Apertet, W , Raphael Zarka