Nothing at All: David Ryan & Jérôme Joy at Palais de Tokyo

Visual artist David Ryan and composer/musician Jérôme Joy recount the birth and life events of a clover hunter, played by Ryan, through a combination of drawings, videos and sounds.

David Ryan & Jérôme Joy | Exhibition at Palais de Tokyo | Urban Mishmash, Paris
David Ryan, Eternal Refuge - Introduce, 2013. Courtesy Palais de Tokyo, Paris

With the exhibition, Nothing at All – Idiorhythmic Modes of Coexistence, composer/musician Jérôme Joy and visual artist David Ryan combine autobiographical and fictional elements to explore the notions of coexistence and realities of the world. Through drawings, videos and sounds, the artists grapple with the ideas of limitations and thresholds in a poetic manner – an approach that has characterised their works since their first artistic collaboration in the early 1980s.

“I don’t see why my inventions and ideas are more important than anyone else’s. I believe we all have our own realities – no matter how singular they are – and they all coexist without any real need to prioritise one over another, or exclude some and attach more importance to others. We suggest a reorganisation and readjustment of the exchange, the experience and of (life) experiences, so that each and every one of us can develop our own pace (rather than surrender to the generalised, abstract ones that society imposes on us) and live with these continual adjustments. It’s very lively. Numerous possibilities open up; variations, alternatives, small worlds and these tenuous margins interest me, they require deadlines and time limits (nothing absolute or ideal for this): it’s there.” – Jérôme Joy

The artists have been inspired by their respective personal histories and social and political realities of the 1980s, particularly by the troubles in Ireland and the political and economic environment prevalent at that time. Triggered by their mutual scepticism towards institutions and the world of art, their collaboration has, in the recent years, veered towards the development of discreet and artistically poetic work that continues to question notions of liberty and the pursuit of happiness with delicacy, tenderness and kindness.

David Ryan & Jerome Joy | Exhibition at Palais de Tokyo | Urban Mishmash, Paris
Portrait of the Clover Hunter. Working Document 2010
Courtesy Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Using actual events as the basis of their work, the project unfolds at the current exhibition at Palais de Tokyo, Paris as well as at a yet-undisclosed geographical area in Brittany. The artists’ narrative recounts the birth of a clover hunter, played by David Ryan, as well the course of life events and uncertainties of his life. The character of the clover hunter oscillates between fiction and reality and sometimes his dreams communicate with the people willing to welcome them into their reality creating exchanges, relationships and forms that can exist in both the visible and the invisible.

The exhibition Nothing at All – Idiorhythmic Modes of Coexistence runs through September 11, 2016 at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.


Where: Palais de Tokyo, 13, avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
Dates: June 23, 2016 to September 11, 2016
Timings: From noon to midnight, every day except Tuesdays
Tariff: €10 (Full), €8 (Reduced)
More information: Palais de Tokyo’s website

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