Exposition Charlemagne Palestine
Photo : Paul Allain
Sculptures, paintings, visual and acoustic installations, films, concerts... Charlemagne Palestine’s exhibition at the mahJ is the first of its kind in a French museum. Combining past creations and his most recent works, his installation in the former stables takes us into the very heart of his fascinating universe, in which stuffed toys play a leading role.
Born Chaim Moshe Palestine in Brooklyn in 1947, as a child he joined the Stanley Sapir Jewish choir to help overcome his stuttering. Raised in a family from Odessa, he was torn between a traditional Jewish education and his interest in experimental artistic forms. In the 1970s he combined singing, chime bells, organ and piano to create a physical, vibratory relationship with space and his and his audience’s bodies.
Charlemagne Palestine adapts his performances to the contexts and instruments he uses, entering into an intense dialogue with the host location. The stuffed toys he collects and exhibits personify and concretise the all-embracing, animist dimension of his creations: they are the ideal audience, the totems, the cherished but lost community he is trying to reconstruct.
Charlemagne Palestine has recently exhibited at the Kunsthalle in Vienna and the Witte de With in Amsterdam.
In 2017, his exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York resulted in a book of essays and discussions published by Presses du réel.
Marie Canet and Fanny Schulmann