October 18 - November 1, 2023 - 229LAB, Paris


Petits Objets is a group exhibition showcasing works by 13 international artists and art collectives curated by Dušan Josip Smodej. Opening concurrently with Paris+ par Art Basel, the exhibition analyses the mechanisms of the art market from its inside.

“What’s that package up there in the luggage rack?’ ‘Oh, that’s a MacGuffin.’ ‘What’s a MacGuffin?’ ‘Well, it’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.’ ‘But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands.’ ‘Well, then, that’s not a MacGuffin.” Alfred Hitchcock: The 39 Steps

Set in an ex-law office between Place Vendôme and the Louvre gardens, Petits Objets explores the power relations between the art and luxury-goods markets and the link between the capitalist dynamics of surplus-value and the libidinal dynamics of surplus-enjoyment. Reevaluating art’s position in the free market and questioning its auratic value, artworks are juxtaposed with collectibles and even vernacular items in a presentation oscillating between a cabinet of curiosities and a luxury showroom. In a word play to objet petit a, the unattainable object of desire in Lacanian psychoanalysis, Petits Objets questions the internal mechanisms behind the action of buying (not primarily ornamental) art. Objet petit a is behind desire – it’s “off stage” in relation to fantasmatic desire and therefore seems to be completely indeterminable, but still very relatable to the inner workings of the art and luxury markets.

Arianna Marcolin –  Baseera Khan – The Cool Couple – Epos 257  – Francois Dallegret – G. Olmo Stuppia  – Irwin

Jusuf Hadžifejzović – Marley White –  Marya Kazoun – Matteo Vettorello –  Nada Zeineh –  Stefano Cagol

Organised by 229 LAB in collaboration with OOU Nomadic Gallery with support of the Czech Cultural Centre Paris, Saleh Barakat Gallery, Cassata Drone Expanded Archive,, Atelier Burcy d’Arts Club and My Art Guides.