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Raymond Roussel was the “greatest magnetizer of modern times” (André Breton).

Strange Flowers

Rodney Graham, Camera Obscura Mobile, 1996

Last winter, Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofia put together an exhibition of artefacts related to the writings of Raymond Roussel, France’s literary exception non pareil. Roussel’s books were the Baedekers of an immense and baffling imaginative terrain, and the show paired them with text and artworks which were effectively postcards, home movies, travel dispatches and queer keepsakes sent back from that same realm. Starting with Duchamp, it laid bare the different ways that successive artistic generations have approached Roussel’s singular vision.

RRNow comes a related exhibition in the Palais de Tokyo, in Roussel’s birthplace – Paris. Starting today, Nouvelles impressions de Raymond Roussel builds on the earlier show while adding more contemporary works whose connection to the author in question may not be readily apparent. “It did not seem necessary for their relationship to that writer to have taken the form of a…

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