Jérôme Joy and David Ryan. Nothing at All, Idiorythmic Modes of Coexistence

23 Jun 2016 – 11 Sep 2016

Palais de Tokyo

Île-de-France, France


Travel Information

  • routes 32, 42, 63, 72, 80, 92
  • line 9 / Iéna and Alma Marceau stations
  • line C / Pont de l’Alma station

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With Nothing at All, Idiorythmic Modes of Coexistence, the artists Jérôme Joy and David Ryan question the reality of the world with the poetic licence that has characterised their approach since their first collaboration, back in the early 1980s.


Using actual events as the basis of their work, the project is deployed both within the Palais de Tokyo itself as well as at the heart of a specific geographic area, situated in Brittany, yet whose precise location the artists wish to keep under wraps. The narrative they develop recounts the birth of the clover hunter, a character personified by David Ryan, as well as the course of events related to his existence, and its uncertainties.

Through drawing, video or sound and musical creation, the artists combine autobiographical and fictional elements to explore the notion of coexistence. Their work deals with limitations and thresholds, upside down worlds and re-enchantment. Therefore, the clover hunter is not merely an imaginary character, but navigates between fiction and reality. Sometimes his dreams communicate and interact with the people willing to welcome them into their reality, leaving fragile forms emerge; evidence of exchanges, relations and relationships that can exist in both the visible and in the invisible.

The art project developed by Jérôme Joy and David Ryan gleans inspiration from their respective personal histories and the social and political reality of the 1980s. Particularly influenced by the unrest in Ireland and the political and economic context of the time, while also involved in the post-punk protest movement, their mutual scepticism towards institutions and the world of art led to the start of their collaboration. In recent years, they have developed artistically poetic work, which is both committed and discreet, and continues to question forms of liberty and the pursuit of happiness with delicacy, tenderness and kindness.

Curator : Katell Jaffrès

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