Parade is Guillaume Leblon’s first exhibition in Paris for 10 years. As such it serves as a kind of summary of his work over the past decade, which brings together his at-times dizzying variety of interests and approaches along with the numerous contexts that he has traversed, in particular since his move to New York in 2015 and a period spent working in a studio in Guadalajara in Mexico between 2018 and 2022.
Guillaume Leblon is a sculptor who conceives of the exhibition as a physical experience rather than as a simple walk-through between objects. Each of his exhibitions responds to a site and to an institution, seeking out blind spots and shedding light upon relations of power. They foreground the concrete and material relationships between the public, the works and the space, and are imagined as a landscape to be crossed: at the Palais de Tokyo, the exhibition takes place at the frontier between the inside and the outside, with the exhibition continuing to unfold on the esplanade and within the fountain.
Every exhibition by an artist is on some level a form of self-portraiture, and this is especially true for Guillaume Leblon, in whose œuvre autobiography holds a central place. For this exhibition, he re-interprets his work, producting new links, recreating past works and mixing them with new productions.
The title of his exhibition plays on the double meaning of the term “parade” in French. In one sense, shared with English, it suggests staging an event which can be either carnivalesque or authoritarian. In French, it also suggests subterfuge, feint or trickery. It reflects in this way Guillaume Leblon’s work as a whole, which offers a vast repertoire of sculptural vocabularies from statuary to assemblage, from organic forms to architectural construction, whilst at the same time deploying mystery and ellipsis: his work is not summed up in themes or discursive figures, but instead composes with what is visible, with a perception of the world and a history of forms, with emotions and sensations.
His work at times strikes a melancholic note, which leads him to unsettle the rigorous neo-classical layout of the Palais de Tokyo’s esplanade by barring it with an uprooted tree and littering the basin with dismembered umbrellas in a scene of catastrophic disruption that echoes the uncertainties of the present and its turmoil, both societal and climatic.
Curator : François Piron
The exhibition Parade is supported by Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris-Bruxelles.
The work Face contre terre was produced with support from and in collaboration Paprec. The work Gardienne was produced with support by Dalle Nogare Marble Project. The Palais de Tokyo wishes to thank gallery ProjecteSD and the Fonds de donation Emerige for their help.
The work Face contre terre was produced with support from and in collaboration Paprec.
The work Gardienne was produced with support by Dalle Nogare Marble Project.
The Palais de Tokyo wishes to thank gallery ProjecteSD and the Fonds de donation Emerige for their help.