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Showing: Invader – ‘Invader Space Station’

Showing: Invader – ‘Invader Space Station’

by Apr 18, 2024Art News0 comments

For three months, visitors are invited to step aboard Invader Space Station to experience the Parisian artist’s most artistically and physically expansive exhibition to date. The show is being held in the modernist edifice which was once home to Libération, the newspaper whose pages the artist invaded in 2011. Upon entering, visitors are met with a barrage of sound and light emanating from an installation which occupies the entirety of the first of nine floors; the classic Space Invaders arcade game has been reimagined in physical form with the rigid, plastic lane dividers that are a common sight during road works deputizing for the alien foes. 

The exhibition has been timed to coincide with the 1500th Parisian Invader and visitors can look through a telescope to see PA_1500 adorning the exterior of the Centre Pompidou on the other side of Le Marais. Invader has described his Invasions as being like viruses. If this is indeed the case, they are now perhaps most alike to SINEs and LINEs – retroviruses which have integrated into our own DNA and now account for 35% of the human genome.  While his tiled creations may have once appeared to be incongruous additions to the City of Light, they have grown to become a fundamental part of its physical environment, as integral as Haussmanian architecture or the tricolour hanging outside public buildings. The exhibition includes an oversized map plotting the location of all of Paris’ invaders as well as individual close-up photos of each one. 

But actual tiles are conspicuous by their absence throughout the exhibition; instead, there’s an exploration of the broad spectrum of Invader’s work from stickers in the stairwells to films in a custom purpose-built cinema. Those who missed his Prints on Paper exhibition at the MGLC in Ljubljana due to COVID lockdowns now have a second chance to enjoy his 23 years of print making, this time around including a new, and as yet unreleased, series of camo prints. The exhibition also enters new territory with a dive into Invader’s obsessive collecting of Kinder Surprise toys. The clinical presentation of the actual toys is suggestive of Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy series, while their hyper-enlarged photos embrace Jeff Koon’s celebration of the kitsch and the disposable. 

The exhibition extends over 3500m2 but there are subtle and playful details throughout the show’s curation: hidden alongside over 1000 ordinary toys are a handful which Invader has customised to create proverbial Easter eggs from literal Kinder Eggs; a Rubikscubist version of the malevolent protagonist from the film Man Bites Dog has been positioned so that his semi-automatic is levelled at a blue toy with its hands raised elsewhere in the exhibition; a discretely positioned fan creates gentle ripples in the replica of the 21 metre long banner that was pulled by a plane along the Côte d’Azur back in 2021, simulating it fluttering in the wind. 

The exhibition continues until 5 May 2024 at 11 rue Béranger, 75003 Paris and tickets can be booked at https://invaderspacestation.seetickets.com

Photo credit: feralthings

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