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HUMPTY \ DUMPTY. Cyprien Gaillard at Palais de Tokyo, Paris | 19.10.2022-08.01.2023

Editors’ Choice

HUMPTY \ DUMPTY, Cyprien Gaillard’s new project for autumn 2022, takes the form of an exhibition in two chapters presented simultaneously at the Palais de Tokyo and the Lafayette Anticipations. With this project, he offers a reflection on time – its traces, its effects and the relationships that man enters into with it.

Image above: Photographic Document (Reference for HUMPTY \ DUMPTY), Paris, March 2022 © Cyprien Gaillard Photo credit: Max Paul

Inspired by the current era, in which Paris is frenetically restoring its most prestigious monuments in preparation for the Olympic Games while removing the traces of wear and tear, Cyprien Gaillard shows how the city is a privileged terrain for the expression of entropy (decay, disorder and unpredictability) and how, in turn, man seems compelled to fight against this process. By exploring the edges, the nooks and crannies and the spaces of dissent, he examines our longing for order, permanence and consistency, and looks for narratives that point to possible new forms of equilibrium.

DEEDS NEWS - HUMPTY DUMPTY - Palais de Tokyo - photo Max Paul
Document photographique, Tour Eiffel et échafaudages, Paris. Référence pour HUMPTY \ DUMPTY de Cyprien Gaillard, Paris, 2022. Crédit photo : Max Paul, 2021.

The title HUMPTY \ DUMPTY comes from Lewis Carroll’s novel Through the Looking-Glass and refers to the egg-shaped figure that fell off the wall and cannot return to its original state despite many attempts.

HUMPTY, the first chapter of the exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, presents a selection of works never before shown in France, as well as other works by invited artists. Through allusions to the relationship between the body and architecture, abandoned territories, war and invasive species, Cyprien Gaillard draws a portrait of our relationships to collapse and reconstruction. In doing so, he paints a negative portrait of our obsession with the preservation of living things and the conservation of things, as well as the constant temptation to maintain or return to a certain order of the world.

As part of Lafayette Anticipations, the second chapter of the DUMPTY exhibition, the artist revives a work that seems to have been forgotten. This monumental sculpture, erected in 1979 in the heart of the newly built Horloge district, consists of a man squatting on a rock, armed with a sword and a shield. The automaton’s last movements date from 2003, since when it has been paralysed and gradually abandoned to a colony of pigeons and erosion. Cyprien Gaillard proposes here a rebirth for this sculpture in which the movements of its constant struggle against time can be resumed.


Palais de Tokyo
13 Av. du Président Wilson
75116 Paris, France


Wednesday, 19 October 2022 until Sunday, 08 January 2023


Regular price:

€ 12.00               

Reduced fee

over 60 years old: € 9.00                 

18-25 years old: € 9.00   

students: € 9.00        

Maison des artistes: € 9.00

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