Le Corbusier, <em>Nature Morte</em>, 1922, Oil on canvas, Donation by the artist, 1955 Center Pompidou, Paris Museé National d’Art Moderne - Center de Création Industrielle AM 3345 P | Courtesy of Center Pompidou x West Bund Museu
The semi-permanent exhibition The Voice of Things, organised in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou of Paris, reunites a selection of iconic works, ranging from the avant-garde of the early 1900s - a witness to the revolution of aesthetic norms and of the status of art itself - to the more recent creations of artists that question our globalised world. The exhibition winds through the vast spaces of Galleries 1 and 2 of the West Bund Museum and presents, in chronological order, important works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Jean Tinguely, Tatiana Trouvé and Haegue Yang among others. The title of the exhibition is derived from the English translation of Le Parti Pris des Selected, the iconic collection of prose poems of the poet and French resistance fighter Francis Ponge (1899-1988), published in 1942 during the Second World War. In this collection, the poet describes the beauty of banality and suggests embracing a new way of seeing things, attributing them with life. It is exactly this sort of exploring our rapport with things/objects, the redefining of their roles and the deconstruction of their original function which is a through-line for the exhibition. It is an occasion not to be taken for granted and of great academic importance, offering an opportunity to view works up close that most Chinese have only been able to see in publications or online.