There is no denying that Palais de Tokyo is one of our favourite places. Every time we visit this deconstructed and beautiful venue, we leave feeling inspired and excited. True to form, the latest installation does not disappoint! Delivering the WOW factor as soon as you enter the building.
Yesterday we took the children – our 7 year old twins – and it was indeed an experience, for them and for us.
Before launching into what we discovered, you need to know that the latest showcase is called INSIDE.
” A group exhibition that is a voyage within, an exploration of self, and a unique experience that transforms the building into a body to be traveled”
On arrival, this concept is brought to life with a cavernous plastic space -age like tunnel, weaved above your head and spanning two thirds of the ground floor! At first you think it’s just for observation, but on closer inspection the hands and feet of children and adults start to visibly appear, pushing through the membrane ,as they attempt to crawl through the narrowing web like tubes. You then, suddenly realise it’s actually an interactive artwork! The extensive plastic pipeline looks scary but irresistibly inviting nonetheless! We hadn’t even got to the desk to pay and our boys were pleading to get up there and have a go!
Tickets bought – we headed to the desk, where we had to book our slot for the cocoon like experience. 3 o’ clock was the first available appointment, so we took it and used the two hours we had to wait, to explore #INSIDE!
It is important to warn you, that although the show is phenomenal and super creative there are a couple of shockers which you may prefer the children NOT to see. These included some disturbing sounds and images- some of a sexual nature – that MLP would deem inappropriate. At one point we scurried past a narrow corridor with bright lit images of people lying in a morgue! We also swiftly hot-footed our way past the bowling machine, installed to fling stones at a wall stuffed with hair. When we realised it was a reminder that women are still stoned to death in certain countries – we hurried on, feeling ill prepared for the questions ( from our boys) that we weren’t really sure how to answer. It was poignant but perhaps too much information for out little ones.
Thankfully a security-guard circumvented our arrival to the next presentation. He saw the boys and felt that what we were about to encounter would not suit our offspring, and kindly took us through a different door to continue our journey. Bless him!
So, there are probably at least four works of art that you may want to think twice about- in terms of the family experience, but the rest is pure MAGIC.
The white room filled with beautifully constructed sculptures, the house that is raining on the inside, the mini cinemas’, broadcasting footage that opens your mind – will engage and impress you without doubt! But for the little people la piece de la resistance is the Sheila Hicks installation. Colourful, vibrant and inviting it is the artistic equivalent of candy. A modern-day Alice in Wonderland sign would say ‘enjoy me‘, ‘play with me‘ ‘have fun with me‘. But, the words were not necessary – within seconds of laying their eyes on this vast, rainbow inspired space, the boys were off – but we had no choice but to prise them from their new play domain as the clock approached 3pm.
Time to head back to the ‘plastic web ceiling construction’ which by now was filling MLP with dread. What if we fall? Was the biggest concern! But the boys had no fears. After being told the rules and given a fixed timeframe (15 minutes) we headed into what felt like the vortex! The plastic was strong (thank god!) but the desire to explore was short-lived as MLP was suddenly frozen with fear. Having never previously suffered from vertigo or claustrophobia, this was a bit of a surprise, but it happened!
The boys practically swam their way through- enjoying the danger of it and the bizarre nature of the thing! They twisted, turned, giggled and yelped, tumbling and slipping from one curve to another in unadulterated wonder.
They loved it. MLP didn’t so much but that doesn’t mean you won’t.
This exhibition is on until January. Don’t miss it. Whether you go on your own or take the children. It is a must.
Tip – Get there early to book your slot for the plastic tunnel.
Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris. Free for children under 12, €10 for adults €8 for seniors.
Inside – until January 2015
Love MLP x