It Never Ends
John M Armleder & guests
From 2 April to 1 November 2020
With It Never Ends, a carte blanche given to the Swiss artist John M Armleder, KANAL-Centre Pompidou will open the six floors of its Showroom one last time before its renovation and reopening, scheduled for 2023. With this carte blanche given to one of the leading artists of contemporary art, KANAL-Centre Pompidou confirms its desire to grow by continuing to experiment, following the example of KANAL Brut.
Painter, sculptor, installation designer, performer, archivist, curator, collector, publisher, bookseller, gallerist and more, John M Armleder (b. 1948, lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland) is one of the defining figures of the last 50 years in art. At KANAL-Centre Pompidou, the artist is invited to take over the Showroom areas of the former Citroën garage for more than six months: on the six rough floors, Armleder proposes, in dialogue with a series of new monumental installations that he specifically designed for the site, a constellation of exhibitions, events and meetings offering the opportunity to plunge into his world and that of those he loves.
It Never Ends is a multidimensional and lively artistic proposal in constant movement. This is the most ambitious project Armleder has been asked to design to date. It Never Ends is a paradoxical proposition: it is a solo exhibition, but composed by multiple authors. It is, in a sense, a ‘Chinese portrait’ of its creator, for whom questions of hospitality, collaboration and friendship have always been central.
It Never Ends is organized first of all around a public space, freely accessible seven days a week, and occupying the first two floors of the building. At the entrance, the artist designed a bar, a meeting place, a ticket office and a cloakroom. A monumental installation based on scaffolding from Armleder’s site, housing objects, plants, screens … is like an exhibition within the exhibition, linking the ground floor and the first floor, where the artist will produce, on the spot, the largest ‘pour painting’ he has ever made. A library experiment (imagined and realized in collaboration with the CIVA) and a co-working space will complete this free public space.
The exhibition continues on the upper floors, each of the vast floors being occupied by Armleder separately. Inside, and in connection with a series of large immersive installations, the artist designed a programme of exhibitions in the form of open conversations and invitations to other artists, from Brussels among others. The exhibition, structured according to three main sequences (April–June, July–August, September–October), themselves subdivided into programmes with varying rhythms and designed to bring the exhibition to life, will moreover be inhabited, activated and transformed continuously by a programme of concerts, performances and meetings, a programme which fills different spaces according to the artists’ proposals. Organized on a weekly basis, and designed by the artist with the same level of importance as the exhibitions, this ‘live’ programme will host a nightly event every Thursday, linked to four themed weekends throughout the project.
It Never Ends is an experiment that deals with the powers of time as it acts in the works. It does not conclude a period of Armleder’s work, but potentially opens as many new ones towards the future. The artist proposes here to inscribe the art that interests him in the present moment, woven out of all that makes it special, elusive, fluctuating and free, like his own oeuvre, proving, if it had to be demonstrated, the extent to which he is an artist of his time.
Themed weekends and KANAL Festival: programme available in the spring of 2020
The Showroom 0 and Showroom 1 areas are open seven days a week and offer free access to a bar and a meeting place designed with John M Armleder, as well as an architecture library proposed by CIVA and a co-working space.