One hour train from Paris, go to Lille and watch “Time go by”

It will take you just a one hour trip on TGV from Gare du Nord in Paris to Lille – a beautiful North France city- and discover a great modern art exhibition.

“Passage du Temps” is a part of François Pinault Foundation collection dedicated to photo, light, film and video art from the seventies to today. François Pinault is a business man who has gathered a rich collection of modern art, part of which is permanently exhibited in Venice at Palazzo Grassi.

The Lille exhibition is part of a cultural local event called Lille 3000, it takes place in the city’s former mail sorting building, located just behind the railway station. It has three levels, on the floor, you enter in a colored light installation by Dan Flavin (1973) which comes on the catalogue’s cover.


This level is dedicated to the seventies, showing several artists works, among which photographic works by Cindy Sherman (autoportraits as bus passengers and “Murder Mystery Series” characters ), a “Drinking Sculpture” by Gilbert and John, up to a recent (2001) video installation by Bruce Nauman “Test Tape Fat Chance John Cage” an automatic tape recording of his empty studio at night.

The first floor is divided in two parts, one called “let’s play”, with Gilbert and George, Cindy Sherman and Pierre et Gilles.


“le renard” by Pierre et Gilles (1999)

The other part is called “cinema stories” and shows very interesting pieces, particularly “Self Portrait As a Fountain” by Paul Pfeiffer (about Hitchcock’s “Psycho”), and a beautiful shot by Pierre Huyghe called ” l’Ellipse” ( he has filmed actor Bruno Gantz walking across a Paris bridge over the Seine, as a “missing part” between two sequences of Wim Wenders‘ film ” the american friend“, staring the same actor, in the same place, twenty years before. His shot is shown between the two parts of Wender’s film.)

In the upper level, you’ll find an explanation to the exhibition’s title “Passage du Temps” in the gorgeous Bill Viola’s “Going Forth by Day” (five video pieces all around a room.).


You won’t miss Gary Hill“s hypnotic “Midnight Crossing”. And on the other side of this second floor, dedicated to “Living and Surviving Stories”” don’t miss the astonishing “Rapture ” by the Iranien artist Shirin Neshat : a choreography between a group of men in a closed city and a group of veiled women in an open land up to the sea, each group filmed on separate screens facing each other.

And many, many more. If you’re interested in modern art, you don’t want to miss it.
It’s up to January 6, opened everyday – even January 1 – from 10 to 19, up to 21 on Fridays and Saturdays. You’re not allowed to take picture, but you can find some in the catalogue for 30 euros.

“Passage du Temps” le Tri Postal, avenue Willy Brandt Lille tel 33(0)3 59 57 94 00. Entrance 6 euros. You can make reservation from France dialing 0891 56 3000 or on line at :

There are two railway stations in Lille : the closest to the exhibition is called “Lille Flandres”, the other called “Lille Europe” is not far either : about 400 meters. Make reservation for your train on :

Trains to Lille leave from Paris Gare du Nord. Before you get on the train, don’t forget to valid your ticket putting it in the yellow devices you’ll find in front of the platforms.



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