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Palais de Tokyo commissions Neil Beloufa to create 'The Enemy of my Enemy'
Exhibition view of Neïl Beloufa, “The enemy of my enemy”, Palais de Tokyo (16.02 – 13.05.2018). Courtesy of the artist and Balice Hertling Gallery (Paris) Photo: Aurélien Mole © ADAGP, Paris 2018.

PARIS.- “The Enemy of my Enemy” [l’Ennemi de mon Ennemi] is a project by Neïl Beloufa (b. 1985 in Paris, lives and works in Paris), commissioned by Palais de Tokyo. It consists of a scenographic dispositive that represents a chaotic and fragmented vision of the ways in which history is written and in which power is legitimized in the contemporary era.

Drawing inspiration from official communication, memorials, war museums, and political propaganda as well as current events, advertising, and video games, the exhibition explores the interchangeability of strategies and discourses. In doing so, it plays upon the permanent ambiguity between good and evil, heroes and villains, postures and impostures.

The scenographic dispositive, specially created by the artist for this exhibition, integrates works of art, documents, images, artefacts, reproductions and objects that are constantly moved around by robotic elements according to an algorithmic programme. The dispositive thus allows for a constant reappraisal of possible associations, perspectives and meanings.

“The Enemy of my Enemy” envisages the world as a field of contradictory yet comparable strategies. In doing so, it subtly questions the place of the artist within the multiplicity of powers that it evokes, between desires of autonomy, servitude, and propaganda.

After “The unforgettable assumptions of autonomy” [ Les inoubliables prises d’autonomie ] in 2012, “The Enemy of my Enemy” is Neïl Beloufa’s second exhibition at Palais de Tokyo. This project offers a new means of apprehending the work of this young artist who has continuously questioned his own artistic practice as well as his means of production.

The elements presented were selected by the artist in collaboration with the curator, with external third-parties advising on particular subjects.

With: Anahi Alviso-Marino, Camille Blatrix, Barbara Bloom, Gregoire Beil, Johannes Büttner, Colectivo Acciones de Arte, Ellen Cantor, Grégoire Chamayou, Gustave Courbet, Christian Courrèges, LouisAuguste Déchelette, Eversim (France), Jean-Luc Godard, ECPAD - Établissement de Communication et de Production Audiovisuelle de la Défense (Ivry-sur-Seine), Massimo Grimaldi, Thomas Hirschhorn, Holy Defense Museum (Téhéran, Iran), Alfred Janniot, Jon Kessler, Elizabeth Lennard, Vann Nath, National Army Museum (Londres, Royaume-Uni), Katja Novitskova, Pablo Picasso, Sigmar Polke, William Pope L., Hito Steyerl, Joseph Tchaïkov…

Curated by Guillaume Désanges, with Marilou Thiébault and Noam Segal.

Neïl Beloufa (born in 1985 in Paris) is a French-Algerian artist who lives in Paris. He studied at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts and the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris, the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (USA); Cooper Union, New York and Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporain, Tourcoing (France).

He was nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2015, the Artes Mundi Prize (Cardiff, UK) and the Nam June Paik (Essen, Germany) in 2016. He was awarded the Prix Meurice for contemporary art in 2013, the Audi Talent Award in 2011 and the agnès b. Studio Collector Prize in 2010.

Palais de Tokyo put on his first major solo exhibition in a French art centre in 2012 (“The unforgettable assumptions of autonomy” [ Les inoubliables prises d’autonomie ], curated by Daria de Beauvais and Gaël Charbau).

Since then, many renown institutions in France and abroad have organized solo shows of his work, in particular K11 (Shanghai, 2016), the MoMA (New York, 2016), the Schinkel Pavillon (Berlin, 2015), the Institute for Contemporary Arts (London, 2014), and the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, 2013).

Neïl Beloufa also took part in the Shanghai Biennale for contemporary art in 2014, the 55th International exhibition of contemporary art at the Venice Biennale in 2013, as well as the Lyon Biennale d’art contemporain in 2013.

His work appears in many prestigious collections, such as the Musée national d’art moderne Georges Pompidou and the MoMA, as well as the Sammlung Goetz and the Julia Stoschek collections.

Neïl Beloufa is currently represented by the galleries Balice Hertling in Paris, Mendes Wood in New York and Sao Paulo, the Galleria Zero in Milan and François Ghebaly in Los Angeles.

“If there once was a time when artists came up with images that the powers that be didn’t want to see, the powers now incite, desire, consume, and paradoxically represent freedom in this way. so, how to make something which is unusable?” --Neïl Beloufa

“‘The Enemy of my Enemy’ is a snake that bites its own tail, while going around the wall that splits the geopolitical world in half.” --Marilou Thiébault

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