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Palais de Tokyo opens exhibition celebrating the work of a pioneer of scientific cinema
Jean Painlevé, La Pieuvre, 1928, Photogramme du film © les documents cinématographiques Paris

PARIS.- Jean Painlevé (1902- 1989), considered a pioneer of scientific cinema, made more than two hundred films. At first Painlevé was looked down upon by the scientific community, which considered cinema unworthy or inadequately serious as a tool for inquiry. Yet he was soon noticed by the Surrealists, who admired the evocative formal vision of his films. Painlevé’s universe contains rich, interconnected elements that are often misunderstood: The intersection between art and science, the documentary tool adopted as a fictional delimitation of the natural, the political (in his antifascist engagement). Another under-considered aspect of Painlevé’s output is his side fabrication of commercial products, from fabric to wallpaper and jewelry stamped with the obsessive iconography of his films, such as seahorses, seaweed, and shrimp.

In 1934, Jean Painlevé founded the Club des Sous l’Eau (The Underwater Club) with captain Yves le Prieur. The association, made up of amateur adventure enthusiasts, inventors, artists and treasure-hunters, was dedicated to the promotion and development of techniques for filming and photographing underwater. The first diving club in the world, the group participated in the discovery and domestification of an underwater wilderness that had been until then completely unexplored.

In 2012, like hermit crabs investigating the empty shell of an old gastropod, a group of people (artists, curators, musicians, researchers, designers) reactivated the Club des Sous l’Eau by organizing evening meetings in bars, diving baptisms, screenings, conferences and concerts. The club became a means of testing the methodologies of an experiment; an exhibition would be only one of the possible results of this experiment. The cinematic tool and the exhibition are envisaged here as metaphors of each other: These instruments for the display and classification of the real are both technological devices intending to conserve the natural kingdom that they themselves supplant. Today, the crystallized ruins of this disappeared world sleep in subaquatic depths. To resurface into the present, they are waiting for a pearl- diver to reassemble their poetics anew.

With: Louis Boutan, Jean Comandon, Louis de Corlieu, Ligia Dias, Stéphane Devidal, Philippe Halsman, Geneviève Hamon, Marie Jager, Sachin Kaeley, Yves Le Prieur, Genêt Mayor, Christian Newby, Noyade (Lemoine & Minkkinen), Jean Painlevé, Pierre Paulin, Bruno Persat, Mary Ping, Florian & Michael Quistrebert, Clément Rodzielski, Analia Saban, We Are The Painters, Pedro Wirz (with the collaboration of Christian Rothmaler) and Gerda Åkesson

Today's News

June 21, 2013

First European retrospective of the work by Philip-Lorca diCorcia opens in Frankfurt

Getty Research Institute partners with the National Gallery for British art sales databases

James Turrell's first solo exhibition in a New York museum since 1980 opens at the Guggenheim

Two masterpieces by El Greco never previously offered at auction headline Sotheby's sale

Under My Skin: Nudes in Contemporary Photography opens at Flowers Gallery

David LaChapelle presents two powerful series in France for the first time

Victorian & British Impressionist masters to be offered at Christie's in July

Landmark exhibition at Haus der Kunst in Munich presents works by Ivan Kožarić

Exhibition of images of David Bowie made by fashion photographer Brian Duffy opens at Foam

Wear Your Dreams: St. Martin's Press publishes the memoir of iconic tattoo artist Ed Hardy

Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts Ltd. to show 20 hidden drawings by close friend of Abraham Lincoln

Ambra Medda launches content and marketplace site devoted to collectible design at its best

Sam Douglas's first solo exhibition in England opens at Carslaw St. Lukes Gallery

Bonhams to sell naval sword presented by 'The Sailor Prince', later King William IV, to a hero

Palais de Tokyo opens exhibition celebrating the work of a pioneer of scientific cinema

UNESCO warns Syrian heritage sites endangered

Nine large-scale sculptures installed in Riverside Park South in Manhattan

RM Auctions announces new Paris sale to take place during Retromobile Week

Outstanding jewelry sales total $5.3 million at Bonhams New York

Design studio Haberdashery and artist Julian Abrams launch Freq to celebrate 2013's summer solstice

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Pissarro painting seized in WW II turns up in exhibition at the Marmottan Museum

2.- First comprehensive retrospective of Mark Tobey's work in Italy opens in Venice

3.- Apple-1 still tops the list of most-wanted tech collectibles

4.- Desire, love, identity: British Museum explores LGBTQ histories

5.- Exhibition focuses on the Nazi period and the acquisitions made during those years

6.- Tate Modern opens the UK's first major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for 20 years

7.- MFA Boston reaches agreement with estate to retain 18th century porcelain

8.- Anish Kapoor's Descension installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park

9.- United States pavilion opens with Mark Bradford's "Tomorrow Is Another Day"

10.- Venice's 57th International Art Exhibition is a tonic for global woes

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