This article was originally published by Art21 in June, 2014.
In the first week of January, I found myself in Paris. It was raining and we had just walked down the Champs Élysées, where endless streams of vendors sold funnel cake, crêpes, spätzle, pretzels, paella, beer, wine, glögg, roasted nuts, chocolate, plastic mobile-phone cases, stuffed animals, stickers, illuminated wands, carnival hats—mile upon mile of everything one would never keep was suddenly available. Everyone gathered to mill about in proximity of warm, sweet smells and clean, reflective surfaces. Children skated around an ice rink that contained rotating, life-size plastic bears, their paws stuffed into skates; the ice was melting, pooling and muddy on the sidewalk. In one photo opportunity, a large vitrine of poorly stuffed, animatronic animals bobbed their heads out of sync with blaring house music. Arriving at the Palais de Tokyo after that hot mess to see Philippe Parreno’s Anywhere, Anywhere Out of the World (23/10/2013 – 12/01/2014) was perfect: I couldn’t tell if I’d entered the subconscious of our consumer-driven mania or a prophetic vision of our collective future. read more