Retiens la nuit (Hold on to the night)

Curated by Hugo Vitrani

Aline Bouvy, Guillaume Bresson, Stelios Faitakis, Louisa Gagliardi, Olivier Kosta Théfaine, Ryan McGinley, Cleon Peterson, Evan Robarts, SKKI ©, Sean Vegezzi, Fabrice Yencko, Raphaël Zarka.

Exhibition from June 2nd to July 31st 2016
Opening June 2nd



« People whose sleep is broken always appear more or less guilty.What are they up to?
“They make the night present »
Maurice Blanchot

Night rhymes with blight. Night time, a refuge among others for a “no-future” generation stifled by the economic crisis, by heightened state security, by the harmful effects of capitalism and the life that goes (away) with it. So no holds should be barred in assassinating the dawn, that time of day when the police raid. 

History does not lie down. This has been demonstrated by the night of the Saint-Bartholomew massacres in 1572, by Kristallnacht, by nights of barricades, by the massacre of Algerians in Paris on October 17th 1961, and by the Paris shootings of November 13th 2015. Nyx, daughter of chaos, did not steal her bad Greek reputation. Her spectre also haunts the history of art, from the blue backgrounds of Giottos, the tenebrosity of Caravaggios, to Night Train Express with Wine Bottles (1989) by ‘Black Painter’ David Hammons, via black and chrome graffiti with white highlights, classic ‘burners’ that lacerate streets. 

The exhibition, which has swiped its title from a song by French rock icon Johnny, is like a stroll through the end of an inebriated night, an amble crossing fragments of wild nights, pop nights, synthetic nights, zombie nights, day-for-night nights, violent, treacherous, high-security, playful, erotic, pornographic, sleepless and standing, rise-up all night nights. The pieces that compose it – calcinated sky, stray dogs and crack addicts, shoestring prowess, not-so-articifial paradises, judicial complaints, the gentrification of rough neighbourhoods, the destruction of painting, the re-appropriation of public space, photographic memories of moments of furious and libertarian life, the body’s loss of balance in violence, scenes of gilded debauchery, intimate skits, nightmares and fantasies – all this shows that, like the nyctalopic with dilated pupils, art gets laid (down) in the crepuscular, which Baudelaire said was the accomplice of criminals –  the night can blight.

Hugo Vitrani


Hugo Vitrani is a curator, journalist and art critic. He devotes himself to highlight experimental artists and artistic forms, often related to the street. He starts the Lasco Project in 2012 which allows to urban artists to invest the labyrinth of the architecture of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He is curator for this institution of the exhibition « The Light of the Light » by Florian et Michael Quistrebert. With artist Fabrice Yencko he co-writes his first book « Chiaroscuro » in 2015 which receives le prix du Club des Directeurs Artistiques in the category « EDITION - catalogue, leaflet, brochure ». He sits from 2015 in the advisory boardf or the public commission of CNAP as a qualified person.