Dangerous on-the-way at Palais de Tokyo

Parsons Paris has recently had the honor of partnering with the Palais de Tokyo, the largest center for contemporary art in Europe of the solo show of Australian artist/ Parsons Paris faculty member Mel O’Callaghan. Dangerous on-the-way continues her reflections about ritual as a transformative expression of the human condition combining sculpture, video, and performance.

Parsons Paris students have teamed up with Mel and the Palais de Tokyo to be part of the performance, To Hear With My Eyes. The performance is based upon the ecstatic trance and ritual postures developed by renowned 20th century anthropologist Dr Felicitias D. Goodman, founder of the Cuyamungue Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Students had the honor to work with the current directors of the Institute who lead their training workshops and who will perform with students for the beginning weeks of the exhibition. In addition to performing, this opportunity has been coordinated by Parsons Paris students coordinators of this performance, Katia Porro (MA History of Design & Curatorial Studies Students) and Azul Diaz.

Dangerous on-the-way was conceived as an immersive journey in several stages navigating the confines of consciousness: each room, either bathed in light or plunged into darkness, echoes the changing states of the self. This psychological pathway also transports the visitor from one culture to another – thus oscillating between the here and the elsewhere.


For those in Paris, there will be a Roundtable Friday, February 10th at 7:00pm at the Palais de Tokyo that will bring together academics and practitioners dealing with altered states of consciousness in 20th century anthropological studies and research in ritual and material cultures in Malaysian Borneo. Faculty members Mel O’Callaghan (Time) and Emmanuel Cohen (French, Bodies in Space) will join in the conversation.

Dangerous on-the-way is on at Palais de Tokyo until May 8, 2017. Performances with Parsons Paris students take place Monday—Friday (closed Tuesdays) at 7:30pm, and weekends at 2pm and 5pm. If you visit the exhibition, share your images online with the hashtags #MelOCallaghan and #DangerousOnTheWay.

Previously, Parsons Paris students have had the opportunity to participate and perform in two other of Mel’s works: DO DISTURB 2 at Palais de Tokyo (April 2016), and Nuit Blanche 2016 (under the artistic direction of Palais de Tokyo).


Check out more creative endeavors on the History of Design & Curatorial Studies blog.

Images provided by artist Mel O’Callaghan.