RETO PULFER

Sanja Iveković

RAIMUND ABRAHAM

1:1PROJECTS

CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER

Vivien Roubaud

DANIELE BALIT

ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI

MATT MULLICAN

Christodoulos Panayiotou

Marcello Maloberti

EMANUELE GUIDI

Ann Veronica Janssens

Félix González-Torres

Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

THOMAS TEURLAI

Bernhard Rüdiger

MARYAM JAFRI

Deimantas NARKEVIČIUS

Jochen Lempert

Benoît Maire

BECKY BEASLEY

Stefania Meazza

Chris Sharp

Valérie Mazouin

Rosalind Nashashibi

Roberto Pugliese

Marlie Mul

MARIA ALICATA

Alberto Garutti

QUENTIN DEROUET

Isidoro Valcárcel Medina

KEREN DETTON

Silvano Agosti

PATRICK BERNATCHEZ

ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

Lili Reynaud-Dewar

Alexander Gutke

SLAVEN TOLJ

VINCENT VERLÉ

Cécile Poblon

Éric Mangion

PIERRE BAL-BLANC

MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP

LORENZO BENEDETTI

Gianluca d’Incà Levis

Lise Lacombe and Jean-Baptiste Alazard

GIANNI PETTENA

Carlo Scarpa

Pratchaya Phinthong

MICHAEL DEAN

Sandra Patron

VIRGINIE BOBIN

Rainer Oldendorf

MATHIEU KLEYEBE ABONNENC

Jean-Luc Moulène

GUSTAV ANDREAS WOLFGANG

TERRE THAEMLITZ

JULIETTE BLIGHTMAN

Adrienne Drake

Claire Le Restif

GIORGIO DE CHIRICO

Leander Schwazer

ANDREA VILIANI

Marta Minujín

NINA CANELL

ETIENNE BERNARD

SYLVIE BOULANGER

Emilio Prini

Nina Fiocco

VALERIO DEHÒ

CARLO GABRIELE TRIBBIOLI

Émilie Parendeau/BERNHARD RÜDIGER

ANICKA YI

Pier Paolo Pasolini

LOIS WEINBERGER

Guillaume Robert

ANDY WARHOL

JOSEF DABERNIG

ERIC DE CHASSEY

SANTIAGO SIERRA

RON TRAN

Mandla Reuter

Rometti Costales

Jean-Marie Perdrix

Letizia Ragaglia

FRANCISCO TROPA

MICHAEL E. SMITH

DIANE BLONDEAU

LAWRENCE WEINER

ILARIA BONACOSSA

Walter Pichler

Prinz Gholam

JULIE PELLEGRIN

MARIE COZETTE

JACOPO MILIANI

KP BREHMER

MARIE VOIGNIER

Dan Graham

LORRAINE CHATEAUX

Hou Hanru

Roman Ondák

CAPC – PHILIPPE THOMAS

CLÉMENCE SEILLES

Mattin

Mauricio Guillén

Tony Fiorentino

EMILIE PARENDEAU

Nathalie Ergino

Gianni Pettena & PIERRE BAL-BLANC

LEONARDO BIGAZZI

Goldschmied & Chiari

MARCEL BROODTHAERS

SIMON FRAVEGA

ROBERT BREER

CHIARA AGNELLO

Marianne Maric

Rä di Martino

ANNIE VIGIER & FRANCK APERTET (LES GENS D’UTERPAN)

SIMONE FRANGI

Antoine Nessi

R&Sie(n) François Roche, Stéphanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro

Daniele Pezzi

Sonia Leimer

Jérémy Laffon

PETER BUGGENHOUT

ENRICO BOCCIOLETTI

Isa Genzken

LUCY SKAER

JOHN CAGE

Martine Michard

Matthieu Saladin

Marcus Geiger

Julia Frank

Hans Schabus

Alessandro Rabottini

ELAINE STURTEVANT

Allan Sekula

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VINCENT VERLÉ

Born 1974, Nancy, France
Lives and works in Grenoble, France

After studying History of Arts and Cultural Engineering in Nancy, Vincent Verlé arrived in Grenoble in 2001 when integrating and administrating the artistic collective “Ici Même (Grenoble)”. He then became art critic for a local cultural weekly (Le Petit Bulletin), while at the same time collaborating as one of the contributors for the Nouvelle Galerie, a contemporary art gallery in Grenoble. In 2006, when the CAB is created, he joins the team as Manager for Public Programmes before becoming the art centre’s Curator. He took on Directorship in 2011, meanwhile continuing the program he had started to develop in 2007, concentrating on “composing and creating coherent approaches and dialogues towards and between the artworks.”

Né à Nancy, France, en 1974
Vit et travaille à Grenoble, France

Après des études en Histoire de l’art et en Ingénierie culturelle à Nancy, Vincent Verlé est arrivé à Grenoble en 2001 pour intégrer le collectif artistique Ici Même (Grenoble). Il devient ensuite critique d’art pour un hebdomadaire culturel grenoblois (Le Petit Bulletin), puis dans le même temps collaborateur à la Nouvelle Galerie, galerie d’art contemporain grenobloise. C’est en 2006, date de création du Centre d’Art Bastille qu’il rejoint l’équipe du centre d’art en devenant chargé des publics, puis commissaire des expositions qui y sont présentées. Il en prend ensuite la direction en 2011 développant la programmation qu’il a mis en place depuis 2007 en s’attachant à «  (…) composer des parcours cohérents, faire dialoguer les œuvres entre elles. Et toujours, raconter une histoire (…) » à travers elles.

Space: Centre d’Art Bastille
Project: Double Cross, from Both Sides of a Mountain

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MATHIEU KLEYEBE ABONNENC

Born 1977, Paris, France
Lives and works in Metz, France
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc seeks to question the cultural hegemony on which the evolution of contemporary societies is based. He examines the principles of dominant representation by appropriating preexisting elements and events, notably those associated with the imperial and colonial history of “developed” countries.
For Soleil politique, Abonnenc interrogates the origins of modern scientific knowledge as it is intimately associated with and facilitated by colonial domination and the destiny of the relationship between “primitive people” and their colonizers. The installation comprises documents and archives from ethnographic and entomological collections that the artist’s grandfather Émile Abonnenc gathered in Gabon and French Guyana in 1931 while working as a sanitary worker. His collection of living insects includes a mosquito that now bears his name.
The installation also presents rushes from the film in progress Secteur IX B de Prophylaxie de la Maladie du Sommeil (Section IX B Prophylaxis of Sleeping Sickness). The film explores, in fictional form, a historical event and space, using a narrative structure inspired by Michel Leiris’s travelogue L’Afrique fantôme (Phantom Africa). Narrated by two female figures whose personalities are revealed as the story unfolds, the plot takes place in several museums in France and Africa, disconnected from the dimensions of time and the outside world, and serves as a pretext for a reflection on historical collective and personal perception.

 

Nato a Parigi, Francia, nel 1977
Vive e lavora a Metz, Francia
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc è particolarmente interessato a indagare le forme di egemonia culturale su cui si è fondata l’evoluzione delle società contemporanee, esplorando i principi di rappresentazione dominanti, e appropriandosi degli elementi e degli eventi preesistenti, principalmente legati alla storia imperiale e coloniale dei Paesi cosiddetti “sviluppati”.
Per Soleil politique l’artista s’interroga sulle origini della conoscenza scientifica moderna, legata a filo doppio alla dominazione coloniale, e sul destino delle relazioni tra i popoli “primitivi” e i loro colonizzatori. L’installazione si compone di documenti d’archivio, provenienti dalle collezioni etnografiche ed entomologiche di reperti che il nonno di Kleyebe, Émile Abonnenc, aveva raccolto in Gabon e in Guyana francese nel 1931, quando lavorava come operatore sanitario. Si tratta di differenti esemplari di insetti, tra cui una zanzara che porta il nome di Abonnenc, insieme a una presentazione del materiale già girato di Secteur IX B de Prophylaxie de la Maladie du Sommeil (Settore IX B di Profilassi della Malattia del Sonno), il film sul quale l’artista sta lavorando. Questo è un film di finzione, sotto forma di esplorazione di un fatto storico e di un luogo, la cui struttura narrativa si ispira a quella impiegata da Michel Leiris nel suo diario di viaggio L’Afrique Fantôme (L’Africa fantasma). Attraverso il punto di vista di due figure femminili, delineate man mano che la sceneggiatura avanza, la trama si sviluppa in diversi spazi museali tra la Francia e l’Africa, fuori dal tempo e dal mondo, e serve da pretesto per una riflessione sulla percezione storica, collettiva e personale.

Né à Paris, France, en 1977
Vit e travaille à Metz, France
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc s’attache à interroger les formes d’hégémonie culturelle sur lesquelles s’est appuyée l’évolution de nos sociétés contemporaines. Il explore les principes de représentation dominants en s’appropriant des éléments et des événements préexistants, principalement liés à l’histoire impériale et coloniale des pays dits développés.
Pour Soleil Politique, l’artiste interroge les origines de la connaissance scientifique moderne, étroitement liée et facilitée par la domination coloniale et le destin des relations entre les peuples « primitifs » et leurs colonisateurs.
L’installation se compose de documents et d’archives issus des collections ethnographiques et entomologiques que son grand-père Émile Abonnenc avait réunies au Gabon et en Guyane française en 1931 alors qu’il travaillait comme agent sanitaire, de différents spécimens d’insectes vivants dont un moustique qui porte le nom de ce grand-père, ainsi qu’une présentation des rushes de Secteur IX B de Prophylaxie de la Maladie du Sommeil, un film en cours de réalisation. Ce dernier est une fiction sous forme d’exploration d’un fait historique et d’un espace dont la structure narrative s’inspire de celle employée par Michel Leiris dans son journal de voyage L’Afrique fantôme. Révélée à travers deux figures féminines, dont on découvre les personnages au fil du scénario, l’intrigue se déroule dans plusieurs institutions muséales entre la France et l’Afrique, en dehors du temps et du monde, et sert de prétexte à une réflexion sur les modalités collectives ou personnelles de perception de l’histoire.

Project: Soleil politique

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ANDY WARHOL

PLE-TPOMPT-032

Born 1928, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
† 1987, New York, NY, USA

Image:
Andy Warhol, Sleep, 1963© Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger (Collection of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh / Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.)

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Alberto Garutti

02_Museion_SoleilPolitique_Garutti

Alberto Garutti, Madonna, 2007

Born 1948, Galbiate, Italy
Lives and works in Milan, Italy

For Alberto Garutti, works of art only exist in the eyes of the beholder. The first person to behold any work is of course the artist himself, who observes reality and imparts different attributes to objects. It is then up to the viewer to complete the work by supplying meaning. Many of Garutti’s works are designed for public space, where the confrontation between artwork and viewer is direct, not mediated by a museum or artistic venue that houses and presents it.
In his work Alberto Garutti investigates various aspects of the human experience, including spirituality. Madonna, a ceramic statue of the Virgin Mary, originated as a commission for the Nuova Chiesa (New Church) in the parish of Trezzano sul Naviglio (Milan). Deliberately embracing the artistic tradition of religious representation, Garutti reproduces the Virgin Mary in a way that adds an element of personal experience to the relationship between the statue and the believer. Garutti achieves this by creating a white ceramic copy of a nineteenth century statue of the Madonna, but deliberately changing the way it is perceived. He takes his inspiration from time-honoured rituals that see believers flocking to touch sacred statues, but in this case, the material is not cold to the touch, but warm: an electrical system inside the sculpture heats the ceramic structure to the same temperature as the human body. This warmth adds an unexpected dimension to the believer’s physical experience, creating an element of affinity with the sculpture.

Nato a Galbiate, Italia, nel 1948
Vive e lavora a Milano, Italia

Per Alberto Garutti l’opera d’arte esiste solo nello sguardo di chi la osserva. Il primo a effettuare questa operazione è l’artista stesso, che, guardando la realtà, conferisce alle cose un aspetto diverso. Successivamente, è lo spettatore a portare l’opera a compimento, attribuendole un senso. Molti degli interventi di Garutti sono pensati per lo spazio pubblico, dove il confronto tra opera e spettatore è diretto, perché non mediato da un contesto museale o artistico che accoglie e presenta l’opera. L’artista indaga vari aspetti dell’esperienza umana, tra cui la spiritualità. Madonna è una statua in ceramica raffigurante la Vergine Maria. L’opera nasce come progetto commissionato nell’ambito del programma iconografico della Nuova Chiesa sussidiaria della parrocchia di Trezzano sul Naviglio (MI). Inserendosi nella tradizione artistica delle rappresentazioni religiose, Alberto Garutti raffigura la Vergine introducendo un elemento esperienziale tra la statua e il fedele. Realizza una copia in ceramica bianca di una statua ottocentesca della Madonna, modificandone però la percezione. Poiché nel rito spontaneo i fedeli toccano le statue sacre, l’artista ha voluto che il materiale della sua scultura al tatto non fosse freddo, bensì tiepido. Il tepore fa sembrare la statua viva e, quindi, vicina al fedele anche nell’esperienza corporea. In una sezione cava all’interno della scultura vi è infatti un sistema di riscaldamento elettrico, che permette alla ceramica di raggiungere la temperatura del corpo umano.

Image:
Alberto Garutti, Madonna, 2007, courtesy of the artist, Soleil Politique, Museion 2014. Photo: Luca Meneghel

Project: Soleil politique

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Bernhard Rüdiger

Born 1964, Rome, Italy
Lives and works in Paris, France

Project: Soleil politique

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Marcus Geiger

Marcus Geiger, Sozial, Radikal, Minimal, Kapital, 2007-2010

Marcus Geiger, Sozial, Radikal, Minimal, Kapital, 2007-2010

Born 1957, Muri, Switzerland
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria

In his work, Marcus Geiger often uses domestic materials and painstaking processes that provoke ironic ruptures between the conceptual precision with which they are treated and the stereotypical image of a comfortable interior that they convey. He explores and demystifies the meaning of the artwork as a concept, disrupting the ways in which the art market attributes value. Geiger is also interested in the “confrontation between space and art,” in which space is considered broadly to include its social, cultural, and political ramifications. In 1998, for example, he repainted the Vienna Secession red, thus transforming an architectural monument into a pictorial medium. The artist deployed the same concepts in his project for Erste Campus, the future home of the Erste Bank in Vienna.
In the context of Raumwahrnehmung (Perception of Space), a call for art projects to accompany the conversion of an abandoned brewery in Vienna into a housing complex, Geiger submitted Sozial Radikal Minimal Kapital, a minimalist proposal with decisive material and symbolic import. In the context of a social housing complex, which tends, for rational and economic reasons, to limit the living space of its inhabitants to a minimal floor area, the artist revealed the processes at work by introducing a conspicuous rupture within the project’s main layout. He removed one of the 123 planned apartments, thus leaving a gaping hole in both sides of the building, left in unfinished state and abandoned to birds and weeds. The proposal also carried concrete and financial consequences, rendering commercially unviable one of the housing development’s 123 units. Geiger thus responded in a critical way to the project brief, which raises questions concerning the current integration of art and architecture in the context of social housing and its economic conditions: “What can art provide for social housing?” How “to give access to light, air and sun?”
For the work Untitled, presented for the first time at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Marcus Geiger covered the floors of the exhibition space with material used to protect building sites, blurring the distinction between areas of the building devoted to different activities such as corridors, the project room, restaurant, entrance hall, and bookshop. His project thus confronted the desire for clarity, openness, and transparency in the modernist project. During the exhibition, this was made all the more apparent as the surfaces became dirty and worn. The project thus reflected on the sanitizing dictates of museum conservation, which, as such, isolate the work from its host environment. Paradoxically, his intervention criticized the ideology of conservation at the same time as it prevented the project from leaving its trace or interfering with the building itself.

Nato a Muri, Svizzera, nel 1957
Vive e lavora a Vienna, Austria

Le opere di Marcus Geiger utilizzano spesso materiali comuni e processi laboriosi, provocando delle rotture ironiche tra la precisione concettuale del loro trattamento e l’immagine stereotipata di un arredamento confortevole che veicolano. L’artista esplora e demistifica i significati del concetto di opera d’arte, scompigliando i meccanismi di attribuzione di valore del mercato. Geiger s’interessa al “confronto dello spazio con l’arte”, estendendo la nozione di spazio alle sue implicazioni sociali, culturali e politiche. È il caso, per esempio, di quando nel 1998 ridipinge di rosso il palazzo della Secessione di Vienna, che da monumento diventa supporto pittorico. Gli stessi principi torneranno nel suo progetto per Erste Campus, futura sede di una banca eponima a Vienna.
In occasione di Percezione dello spazio, una “call for proposal” per la trasformazione di un vecchio ristorante di Vienna in immobile destinato a uso residenziale, Geiger ha presentato Sozial Radikal Minimal Kapital (Sociale, radicale, minimale, capitale), una proposta minimalista, con una forte portata materiale e simbolica. In un contesto di edilizia popolare, istituzione economica razionale che cerca di concentrare gli abitanti nella minor superficie possibile, l’artista rivela i processi all’opera con un gesto che introduce una vistosa spaccatura nell’organizzazione dello schema guida. Geiger lascia allo stato grezzo uno dei centoventitre appartamenti previsti, creando così una grande lacuna su entrambi i lati dell’edificio, e in preda agli uccelli e alle piante selvatiche. Questo atto contiene anche una denuncia economica concreta: uno dei centoventitre elementi che rappresentano un utile finanziario nel progetto immobiliare è divenuto improduttivo. Geiger risponde così in maniera critica alla call for proposal, che si proponeva di indagare “nuove modalità di unire l’arte e l’architettura nei termini economici dell’edilizia popolare”, “che cosa possa fare l’arte per l’edilizia popolare”, e come “fare in modo che i residenti abbiano accesso a luce, aria e sole”.
Per l’opera Ohne Titel, inizialmente presentata alla Haus der Kulturen der Welt a Berlino, Marcus Geiger ricopre i pavimenti della sede della mostra con un materiale specifico per proteggere le aree di lavoro, rendendo uniformi i diversi spazi destinati ad attività differenti, come i luoghi di passaggio, la Project room, il ristorante, la reception e la libreria. Entra così in conflitto con la volontà di chiarezza, apertura e trasparenza del progetto modernista, tanto più che, per tutta la durata della mostra, la superficie si sporca e si deteriora. Il progetto è quindi una riflessione sulle sterili regolamentazioni della conservazione museale, che di fatto isolano l’opera dal suo luogo-ospite. Paradossalmente, l’intervento dell’artista critica l’ideologia della conservazione, preservando l’edificio da ogni traccia e interferenza con il progetto che accoglie.

Né à Muri, Suisse, en 1957
Vit et travaille à Vienne, Autriche

Les œuvres de Marcus Geiger utilisent souvent des matériaux domestiques et des processus laborieux, provoquant des ruptures ironiques entre la précision conceptuelle de leur traitement et l’image stéréotypée d’un intérieur confortable qu’elles véhiculent. Il explore et démystifie les significations du concept d’œuvre d’art, brouillant les mécanismes d’attribution de valeur du marché artistique. Geiger s’intéresse aussi à « la confrontation de l’espace avec l’art », la notion d’espace étant étendue à ses implications sociales, culturelles et politiques, par exemple lorsqu’en 1998 il repeint le bâtiment de la Sécession de Vienne en rouge, qui de monument devient alors support pictural. Ces principes seront reconduits dans son projet pour Erste Campus, le futur siège de banque éponyme à Vienne.
Dans le cadre de « Perception de l’espace », un appel à projets artistiques qui accompagnait la reconversion d’une ancienne brasserie à Vienne en immeuble d’habitation, Geiger a réalisé une proposition minimale avec une forte portée matérielle et symbolique. Dans un contexte de logement social, organisation économique rationnelle qui tend à concentrer les habitants sur un minimum de surface, l’artiste révèle les processus à l’œuvre avec un geste qui introduit une fissure flagrante dans l’ordonnancement du schéma directeur. Il retire un des 123 appartements prévus, laissant un trou béant des deux côtés de l’immeuble, à l’état de chantier et en proie aux oiseaux et plantes sauvages. Cet acte a aussi une portée financière concrète : un des 123 éléments de revenu de cette promotion immobilière est rendu inopérant. Geiger répond ainsi de manière critique à cet appel qui questionne les « nouvelles façons de combiner l’art et l’architecture dans les conditions économiques du logement social », « ce que peut l’art pour le logement social », comment « donner accès à la lumière, l’air et le soleil ».
Pour cette œuvre, initialement présentée au Haus der Kulturen der Welt à Berlin, Marcus Geiger recouvre les sols du lieu d’exposition avec une matière servant à protéger les zones en travaux, uniformisant les espaces spécialisés et dédiés aux différentes activités, telles que les passages, le Project room, le restaurant, le hall d’accueil et la librairie. Il entre ainsi en conflit avec la volonté de clarté, ouverture et transparence du projet moderniste, d’autant plus que, pendant la durée de l’exposition, la surface se salit et se délabre. Le projet est aussi une réflexion sur les réglementations stérilisantes de la conservation muséale, qui de fait isolent l’œuvre de son lieu-hôte. Paradoxalement, son intervention critique l’idéologie de la conservation, tout en préservant le bâtiment de toute trace et interférence avec le projet accueilli.

Image:
Marcus Geiger, Sozial, Radikal, Minimal, Kapital, 2007-2010, Soleil politique, Museion 2014. Photo: Luca Meneghel

Project: Soleil politique

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ANDREA VILIANI

Since 2013 Andrea Viliani is the director of the Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee – Madre, Naples, where he has been responsible for shows of Thomas Bayrle, Mario Garcia Torres/Alighiero Boetti, Giulia Piscitelli, Vettor Pisani, and Ettore Spalletti. He previously worked from 2009 to 2012 as Director of Fondazione Galleria Civica – Centro di Ricerca sulla Contemporaneità in Trento, where he curated and edited projects by Nedko Solakov, Rosa Barba, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Gustav Metzger, Melvin Moti, Robert Kuśmirowski, The Otolith Group, Dora García, Tris Vonna-Michell, and Alberto Garutti. In 2012 Andrea Viliani was a member of the Core Agents Group of dOCUMENTA(13) and he co-curated the related project in Kabul and Bamiyan (Afghanistan). From 2005 to 2009, Viliani was curator at the MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, where he presented an exhibition program focused on the contemporary legacy of 1960s/1970s institutional critique (including exhibitions by Giovanni Anselmo, Christopher Williams, Jeroen de Rijke-Willem de Rooij, Ryan Gander, Markus Schinwald, Adam Chodzko, Bojan Sarcevic, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Trisha Donnelly, Guyton\Walker and Seth Price). Among the 60 “players” of the 2007 Biennale de Lyon, he is a frequent contributor to FROG, Mousse, Kaleidoscope and Flash Art.

Partner: MADRE
Focus: Prepared Piano – Model for a New Institutionalism

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Prepared Piano – Model for a new Institutionalism

Round table discussion moderated by Pierre Bal-Blanc
organized in the frame of PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art – France-Italie 2014-2015

Villa Medici
Viale Trinità dei Monti, 1 – 00187 Roma
Friday May 9, 2014
10 – 12 am

The panel discussion Prepared Piano: Model for a New Institutionalism presents artists, curators, as well as the managers of places where various projects have been produced over the past few years in Europe. These projects have in common that they make novel use of cultural exchange instruments, while giving their activities both a local and international scope.

Various case studies will be presented during this panel discussion to bring back into play notions of crossdisciplinarity (Théâtre des expositions at Villa Medici), process (Per_formare una collezione at the MADRE in Naples), and plasticity of relations (Laboratoire Espace Cerveau at the IAC in Villeurbanne). The discussions as a whole will echo the desire to found “a new institutionalism”, which has developed over the past few years through initiatives coming from both artists and curators. The desire to reconfigure the institution based on the model of a community centre, laboratory, open school, and other places that are not mainly governed by market laws, is linked with the creative momentum that led to Prepared Piano. The proposed discussion aims to demonstrate that PIANO, as well as Salon Light, dedicated to independent publishing, and Vdrome, a distribution network for artist films, are today all tangible initiatives.

Pierre Bal-Blanc is the director of the CAC Brétigny. He is also an independent curator and the vice-president of the d.c.a / French association for the development of centres d’art. Since 2003, in resonance with the social thought of Charles Fourrier, he has been developing the “Phalanstère Project” within a centre d’art. This is a series of specific offerings that critically rework the principles of artwork accumulation.
His exhibition series “Living Currency” and “Draft Score for an Exhibition” negotiate the historical and contemporary analysis of the body and of strategies linked to performance in the visual arts. “The Death of the Audience “ and “Reversibility” are reflections on the consequences that the materiality of art objects has on the configuration of art-world protagonists, the role and form of cultural institutions today.

Interdisciplinary stage
Theater of Exhibitions / Villa Medici, Rome / presentation by Eric de Chassey

Conceived by the director Éric de Chassey and organised by the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici every year since 2010, the Theatre of Exhibitions has been devised as a moment of encounter between the fellows in residence and the public, as well as one of dialogue and confrontation among the artists and scholars in residence. The different spaces of Villa Medici become ephemeral stages for installations, performances, projections, readings. The concept of openness, a predisposition to dialogue and confrontation among different disciplines is the characteristic that unites the projects, which are presented. The Theatre of Exhibitions has been designed as a “multiform laboratory” which displays the diversity of artistic practices and research, thus confirming the centrality of the French Academy in Rome in contemporary creation.

Éric de Chassey is the Director of the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici since 2009. He is also Professor of Contemporary Art History at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. Since the beginning, his scientific activities have focused on the US and abstract art. He has published books and essays on XXth and XXIst century art. He has also curated numerous exhibitions, accompanied by publications such as Soulages XXIth century (Rome, Villa Medici, 2013) or Simon Hantaï (Rome, Villa Medici, 2014).

Thought’s spatialization
Space Brain Laboratory / IAC, Villeurbanne / presentation by Nathalie Ergino and Ann Veronica Janssens

Initiated in 2009 by the artist Ann Veronica Janssens and Nathalie Ergino, director of the Institut d’art contemporain, the project aims at starting from experiments in art to explore practical and theoretical research linking space and the brain. This interdisciplinary laboratory brings together the reflections and experiments of artists and scientists and also philosophers, anthropologists, art historians and theoreticians, thus providing as much coverage by neuroscience, physics and astrophysics as by hypnosis, telepathy and shamanism.

Since January, 2006, Nathalie Ergino is the director of the Institut d‘art contemporain. Former director of the School / FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (1994-2000), and of the museum of contemporary art [mac] of Marseille (2001-2005), she has curated big monographic exhibitions (Jimmie Durham, Rodney Graham, Raymond Hains, Ann Veronica Janssens, Carsten Höller) as well as collective exhibitions (Maisons-Cerveaux, Subréel).

Born in 1956 in Folkestone (UK), Ann Veronica Janssens lives and works in Brussels (BE). Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions. Since 1985, she has also participated in important group exhibitions, as well as various international biennials and in 1999 Venice where she represented Belgium with Michel François. She regularly collaborates with choreographers (Drouler Pierre and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker). Her work has been presented recently within the exhibition Passion Fruit at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and within Dynamo, A century of light in art, 1913 – 2013 at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais.

Organizing the perceptible
Vdrome / Mousse, Milano / presentation by Enrico Boccioletti

Vdrome is an online platform that offers regular, high quality screenings of films and videos directed by visual artists and filmmakers, whose production lies in-between contemporary art and cinema. Each screening is presented during a limited period, as in a movie theatre. Vdrome makes available a program of exceptional artists’ films and videos that are selected due to their importance, quality and innovative strength, many of which are only shown in the context of film festivals, exhibitions or specific surveys, being therefore of very limited access. Vdrome is an initiative conceived and promoted by Mousse, curated by Edoardo Bonaspetti, Jens Hoffmann, Andrea Lissoni and Filipa Ramos, and maintained by Enrico Boccioletti.

Enrico Boccioletti is an artist and musician active under multiple names – Death in Plains, 4SICSX, spcnvdr and Enrico B – in the fields of postconceptual, new vernacular, performance and sound, interested into incompleteness and circularity, duplication and accumulation, waste, layering, forgery, faux-real. He also works for Mousse Magazine and Vdrome.

Incarnation of the collection
Per_formare una collezione / Madre, Naples / presentation by Andrea Viliani and Alessandro Rabottini

Per_forming a collection is an on-going project designed to develop the formation of the Museo MADRE’s permanent collection in Naples. It focuses on artists of different generations whose works have been conceived as physical and mental instruments that bring together thought and action in every possible media, linking visual arts to theatre and literature. The project aims to shape a collection that is articulated over time, combining archival research with commissions for new works taking into account the role of the museum as a place of memory and preservation as well as a continuing research and production laboratory. All the works presented have a relation with the city and its history: works conceived or exhibited here, from artist who happened to exhibit in Naples or works belonging to private or public local collections.

Since 2013 Andrea Viliani is the director of the Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee – Madre, Napoli. He previously worked from 2009 to 2012 as Director of Fondazione Galleria Civica – Centro di Ricerca sulla Contemporaneità in Trento. In 2012 he was a member of the Core Agents Group of dOCUMENTA(13) and he co-curated the related position in Kabul and Bamiyan (Afghanistan). From 2005 to 2009, Viliani was curator at the MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna. Among the 60 “players” of the 2007 Biennale de Lyon, he is a frequent contributor to FROG, Mousse, Kaleidoscope and Flash Art.

Alessandro Rabottini is an art critic and curator based in London. He is Curator at Large at the Madre Museum in Naples (where he recently curated a mid-career retrospective of Padraig Timoney and the survey show of Ettore Spalletti) and served as guest curator for several international institutions. In his capacity of Curator at Large at the GAMeC in Bergamo he curated solo exhibitions of artists such as Robert Overby, Mircea Cantor, Latifa Echakhch, Victor Man, Pratchaya Phinthong, Pietro Roccasalva, Tim Rollins & K.O.S, Sterling Ruby, Tris Vonna-Michell and Jordan Wolfson.

Praising uncertainty
Salon light / cneai =, Chatou / presentation by Sylvie Boulanger

Founded in 2004 by Cneai, Salon Light became over a few years an unmissable rendez-vous for micro-publishers and artist’s publication in Paris. After exporting the concept at Vermelho gallery in Sao Paulo and the great success of Salon Light 9 at Palais de Tokyo in 2012, Salon Light keeps uniting a moving scene of artists, authors, independent publishers or composers. Books, magazines, objects, LP’s, catalogues or artist’s book, the publications are often limited editions, sometimes impossible to find in Paris, and are breaking new grounds while creating new networks in the art and publishing worlds. Performances and meetings with professionals and artists are also a key part of the event. Free for the publishers and the public, it’s accessible to all and offers visibility to a still somehow unknown field.

Sylvie Boulanger is founder and curator of Salon Light since its creation in 2004. She directs Cneai since 1997. She curated over a hundred exhibitions, published more than seventy books (artist’s books, journals, catalogues) and produced as few documentaries. She is a member of several research labs, she also contributes to academic reviews like Multitudes and lectures in art schools and universities. She was the founder of the production agency APC (Art Public Contemporain) that she directed for ten years (1990-1997) after occupying the position of associate director «exhibition and communication» within the Ministry of Culture visual arts delegation (1987-1990).

The round table discussion will be followed by a
Concert for Prepared Piano by Laurent Durupt, composer and fellow at the Villa Medici

More information at
www.pianoproject.org
info@pianoproject.org

Round table discussion organized in the frame of PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art, France-Italie 2014-2015

PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art, France–Italy 2014-2015, initiated by d.c.a / French association for the development of centres d’art, in partnership with the Institut français in Italy, the French Embassy in Italy and the Institut français, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and Fondazione Nuovi Mecenati.

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Allan Sekula

Allan Sekula, Meat Mass, 1972

Allan Sekula, Meat Mass, 1972

Born 1951, Erie, PA, USA
† 2013, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Photographer and filmmaker Allan Sekula was committed to a vision of art as a tool for critiquing and exposing reality. As a creator, historian, theoretician, and critic, for almost half a century he explored and challenged the traditional canons of photographic representation. His work took him around the world, tracing the routes of global commerce, and shipping in particular. Having grown up near the port of Los Angeles, Sekula was profoundly struck by the lifestyles of the dockers and the dynamics governing international flows of goods. His first photographic works of the 1970s reveal his interest in systems of representation and his political and social activism, as can be seen in the work Meat Mass. The work consists of black-and-white photographic documentation, a series of shots of the performance the artist staged in January 1972. Over a few weeks, Sekula stole packets of meat from various supermarkets and stored them in a freezer. He then threw the frozen steaks onto a busy road, where they were crushed by passing vehicles, symbolically interrupting the capitalist circulation of luxury goods by means of theft and waste. Rather than focusing on single shots, reminiscent of the tradition of painting, Sekula always preferred serial photographic projects that enabled him to create narrative sequences closer to film and theater than to pure photography.

Nato a Erie, PA, USA, nel 1951
† 2013, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Allan Sekula, fotografo e film-maker, si è sempre battuto affinché l’arte fosse strumento di critica attiva e di denuncia, radicata nel confronto con la realtà. Per quasi mezzo secolo, l’artista ha indagato e sfidato la rappresentazione fotografica tradizionale in qualità di creatore, storico, teorico e critico. Ha viaggiato molto per tracciare le rotte del commercio globale, in particolare del trasporto marittimo delle merci. Cresciuto nel contesto del porto di Los Angeles, Sekula è stato profondamente influenzato dai destini di chi lavora nel settore delle operazioni portuali, e dalle dinamiche che regolano il traffico di merci, soprattutto internazionale. Nei primi lavori fotografici degli anni ’70 emerge il suo interesse per i sistemi di rappresentazione, e il suo impegno in questioni politiche e sociali, come dimostra Meat Mass (Massa di carne). L’opera consiste nella documentazione fotografica in bianco e nero, presentata come una sequenza di scatti, di una performance che l’artista realizzò nel gennaio del 1972. Per alcune settimane, Sekula rubò delle confezioni di carne da vari supermercati, conservandole in un congelatore e lanciando poi le bistecche surgelate al centro di una strada trafficata, così che fossero schiacciate dai veicoli in transito. L’azione dell’artista mirava a interrompere il sistema di circolazione capitalistica dei beni di lusso, attraverso il furto e lo spreco. Invece di privilegiare il singolo scatto, più legato alla tradizione pittorica, Sekula ha sempre prediletto progetti fotografici seriali, che gli consentivano di creare una sequenza narrativa più vicina al cinema o al teatro, che non alla fotografia tout court.

Image:
Allan Sekula, Meat Mass, 1972. Photo: Allan Sekula and David Alward. © Generali Foundation

Project: Soleil politique

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Émilie Parendeau/BERNHARD RÜDIGER

Born 1980, Ambilly, France/Born 1964, Rome, Italy
Live and work in Paris, France

Émilie Parendeau chooses to recreate the works of others, not so much as a means of expressing her own concerns, but rather to renew the original works’ conditions of emergence. Bernard Rüdiger’s work with space, sound, and the body’s physical and perceptual experience is enriched by a theoretical reflection on the reality of the artwork and historical responsibility. varda sora – città – derlickln consists in a protocol which requires all of the blinds on Museion’s glass façades to be closed, with the exception of certain blinds on the top floor, which the curator will use to create a panoramic viewpoint. After visiting the exhibition on the ground floor, the encounter with the remaining openings on both sides of the building highlights the visitor experience: arriving on the fourth floor and seeing the city and surrounding area with fresh eyes. This intervention does two things: it creates a visual device that directs the gaze and raises our consciousness, and it forms two apertures that look like eyes on the walls of the museum, underlining the active role it plays in the city. The form and duration of the installation may be limited by other museum activities requiring the opening of some of the blinds.

Nata ad Ambilly, Francia, nel 1980
Nato a Roma, Italia, nel 1964
Vivono e lavorano a Parigi, Francia

Émilie Parendeau è interessata a interpretare le opere di altri artisti, non tanto per introdurvi le sue preoccupazioni, quanto piuttosto con l’intenzione di renderle attuali in funzione delle loro condizioni di visione. Il lavoro di Bernhard Rüdiger sullo spazio, il suono, l’esperienza fisica e percettiva del corpo si nutre di una riflessione teorica sul reale del- l’opera e della sua responsabilità storica. varda sora – città – derlickln consiste in un protocollo che richiede la chiusura della totalità delle lamelle mobili delle facciate di Museion, ad eccezione di alcune lamelle dell’ultimo piano trasformato in belvedere dal curatore della mostra. In seguito alla visita della mostra al pian terreno, le aperture restanti da un lato e dall’altro dell’edificio sottolineano l’azione dello spettatore che, arrivato al quarto piano, scopre la città e il suo ambiente con uno sguardo nuovo. Quest’unico intervento vuole produrre due effetti: la costruzione di uno strumento di visione per attivare uno sguardo diretto e cosciente, e l’apparizione sulle due facciate dell’edificio di due occhi che riaffermano la posizione attiva del museo nel tessuto cittadino. La realizzazione di questa installazione, nella sua forma e nella sua durata, potrà essere limitata dalle altre attività del museo qualora richiedessero l’apertura delle lamelle mobili.

Née à Ambilly, France, en 1980. Vit et travaille à Paris, France
Né à Rome, Italie, en 1964. Vit et travaille à Paris, France

Émilie Parendeau s’attache à interpréter les œuvres d’autres artistes, moins pour y introduire ses propres préoccupations que dans l’intention de les actualiser en fonction de leurs conditions d’apparition. En prenant en charge le processus qui accompagne leur matérialisation, elle introduit des variations qui ont pour objet de rendre ces œuvres actives dans le présent. Elle a réalisé la plupart de ces activations dans le cadre d’un projet intitulé A LOUER.
Le travail de Bernhard Rüdiger sur l’espace, le son, l’expérience physique et perceptive du corps se nourrit d’une réflexion théorique sur le réel de l’œuvre et de sa responsabilité historique. Bernhard Rüdiger questionne, à travers un parallèle entre l’enseignement, ses écrits et ses productions plastiques, les fondements de la notion de forme, et, plus largement, son rapport à la société et à l’histoire contemporaine. Ses pièces invitent le spectateur à faire l’expérience d’une perception active et personnelle. Elles le placent dans un flux, au centre d’un espace et d’une temporalité qui lui sont étrangères.
L’exposition Soleil politique est l’occasion pour ces deux artistes de poursuivre à Bolzano les discussions qu’ils mènent ensemble depuis plusieurs années et de faire se rejoindre leur travail respectif dans un projet à quatre mains conçu pour l’exposition.

Project: Soleil politique

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ÉMILE OUROUMOV IN CONVERSATION WITH ÉMILIE PARENDEAU AND BERNHARD RÜDIGER

ÉMILE OUROUMOV IN CONVERSATION WITH ÉMILIE PARENDEAU AND BERNHARD RÜDIGER

varda sora – città – derlickln

Émile Ouroumov Could you describe your intervention for Soleil politique at Museion in Bolzano?
Émilie Parendeau The work’s protocol is the following: varda sora – città – derlickln consists in closing all of Museion’s shutters, with the exception of a few on the top floor. The realisation of this arrangement, in its form and duration, can be limited by other museum activities requiring that the shutters be opened.

Parendeau_Rudiger_02bis

2. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano

É.O. The work and the exhibition have a specific relation to the Bolzano context. Do you know this region, the city and the buildings emphasized by Pierre Bal-Blanc’s exhibition?
Bernhard Rüdiger I spend a lot of time in that region, and I was aware of various aspects of the context of history shared between Austria and Italy. There’s an interesting link between Bolzano and the inland region with regard to the question of power. The land in these Tyrolean valleys was feudal, whereas the peasants in the mountains were independent. Looking at the valley from the mountaintops, you see something completely different from what you see from the opposite direction. The view from the 4th floor of Museion offered a symbolic top-down point of view.

É.O. Is it also a question of Museion’s location in the middle of the city, between the historic Austrian city and the new Italianised city?
B.R. The museum is built on the boundary that is the river. One side faces the Austrian valley, the other side the Italian valley, but I’d never drawn the parallel that Pierre Bal-Blanc drew with Monumento alla Vittoria, the monumental fascist gate that towers on the site of an earlier monumental Austrian gate. This already emphasised that kind of point of passage, but from the opposite point of view.

3. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano

3. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano

É.O. This reversal of perspective leads us to the one carried out at Museion.
B.R. The exhibition highlights the fact that the museum builds this same passage from Italy to Austria and vice versa. When Émilie was invited to contribute to the exhibition, the guiding lines of the project were at an advanced stage; it’s a detail that was very important.
É.P. The invitation was probably linked to the fact that my work is often built on a context, in this case the museum and its layout. Since the exhibition had a strong link to the city, I felt that my proposal would be weak if it only addressed institutional aspects. By extending the invitation to Bernhard and his work linked to the notion of space, the point was to enrich the project through the historical and topographical perspectives it could provide.

4. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano

4. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano

É.O. How did these questions of passage and perspective-reversal affect your proposal?
É.P. The exhibition offered a reversal of the function of the museum spaces; the viewer had to enter the exhibition directly on the ground floor, which is normally a passage, and then view the city from the 4th floor, which had been turned into a belvedere, in order to finally go back downstairs and follow the suggested route through the city. Our proposal found its place in that belvedere. We were unsure if when viewers reached a practically empty room on the top floor, facing large windows, they would intuitively be able to experience looking at the city.
B.R. The gesture of opening the museum onto that broad landscape could seem romantic: the mountains, the city roofs… you’re gripped by the sublime immensity. It seemed to us that this impression is the opposite of political awareness of what’s going on in the city at the viewer’s feet.

Parendeau_Rudiger_05bis

5. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano

É.O. Whereas visiting the exhibition on the ground floor was preparation for looking at the city from the belvedere?
B.R. It was a matter of constructing a determined perspective instead of a passive contemplation, as well as introducing the question of the body and the notion of unstable balance: at what moment do you start consciously looking at what you see? The final proposal was to close some of the shutters on either side of the building (and therefore either side of the city) to create a specific field of vision that involved a movement dynamic and spatialized the bodies in the space.
É.P. It’s a shift from the theoretical proposition to the notion of experience. We did a trial during the exhibition in progress and as soon as the shutters were closed, people stopped looking at the works to approach the windows.

É.O. What role did the model play?
É.P. In the exhibition, there was a model of the building that reproduced our intervention, and two Newton’s cradles were placed in it. It’s a metaphor for what seemed to be happening in the city.
B.R. This metaphor in the state of language becomes a physical act as soon as you experiment with it. When you release the first bead, the one at the end moves, whereas the beads in the middle stay still; yet there’s a transmission of energy. The beads at the centre are an experience of the violent stability that conveys the region’s historical and social specificities. It’s something to be felt physically, like the bodies that pass from one side of the belvedere and the city to the other.

6. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano

6. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano

É.O. The exhibition brought forward the notion of architectural filter. I’m thinking for example of Gianni Pettena and his intervention linked to the fascist arcades of the Piazza della Vittoria. There is a certain equivalence of preoccupations and ways of filtering the gaze.
B.R. The two works operate in opposite ways, but actually express something very similar.

É.O. Another work in the exhibition, that of Marcus Geiger, consisted in extracting one of the apartments from a housing project, an empty space that ultimately offers a transversal perspective, enabling reflection upon architecture and town planning. Here there’s a similar act that causes the perspective to pass through the structure. It’s interesting in relation to the notion of transparency, which this building wishes to assert.
É.P. It’s a matter of withdrawing some of what’s visible in order to provide a better view. The gesture of closing some of the shutters to create openings also produced “eyes” on the building and gave it a solid body, even though it’s meant to be a point of passage, of transparency.
B.R. It sports these two eyes that look outside, a two-faced gaze in the shape of a Janus head, something that is very characteristics of the local culture.

É.O. Speaking of local culture, can we discuss the title?
B.R. It’s written in three languages spoken in the region. The Ladin expression Varda sora means “to look upon” and expresses the idea of paying attention and keeping everything right under your eyes, something that interested us in relation to these highland cultures.

É.O. Thinking again of the belvedere, is the title therefore a clue about how to use the work?
B.R. Yes, it’s an imperative form: “take a good look, look upon the thing”. Città, in Italian, means “city”. The third word is in the Tyrolean dialect and expresses the idea of looking past appearances to understand reality. So it’s kind of an instruction relating to developing a conscious perspective on the city. At the same time, people only understand a third of the title, since each of these languages is only spoken by some of the population.

É.O. It’s a collaboration that seems to go beyond individual practices.
É.P. It’s the result of both of our practices, a territory built on our shared experience. It reconsiders questions about the activation of perspective, which are important for Bernhard, through my own methods, including the production of a condition of incisiveness when regarding what is already present on-site, without adding objects.

É.O. The desire not to add objects seems to me to be very apt – since the museum itself is already an object, and not a transparent, neutral tool.

Paris, May 2015

varda sora – città – derlickln

Émile Ouroumov Pourriez-vous me décrire votre intervention pour Soleil politique au Museion de Bolzano ?
Émilie Parendeau Le protocole de l’œuvre est le suivant : varda sora – città – derlickln consiste en la fermeture de la totalité des volets du Museion, à l’exception de certains au dernier étage. La réalisation de ce dispositif, dans sa forme et dans sa durée, peut être limitée par les autres activités du musée qui imposeraient que des volets soient ouverts.

É.O. L’œuvre et l’exposition ont un rapport spécifique avec le contexte de Bolzano. Vous connaissiez cette région, la ville et les édifices mis en exergue par le projet de Pierre Bal-Blanc ?
Bernhard Rüdiger Je passe beaucoup de temps dans cette région, et j’étais conscient de divers aspects du contexte d’histoire partagée entre l’Autriche et l’Italie. Il y a un lien intéressant entre Bolzano et l’arrière-pays par rapport à la question du pouvoir. Les terres dans ces vallées du Tyrol étaient féodales, alors que dans les hauteurs les paysans étaient indépendants. Quand on regarde la vallée du haut des montagnes, on voit tout autre chose qu’à partir de la direction inverse. Le fait d’être au 4e étage du Museion proposait un point de vue symbolique du haut vers le bas.

É.O. Il est aussi question de la situation du Museion au milieu de la ville, entre la ville historique autrichienne et la ville nouvelle italianisée ?
B.R. Le musée est construit sur la limite qu’est la rivière. Il donne d’un côté sur la vallée autrichienne et de l’autre côté sur la vallée italienne, mais je n’avais jamais fait le parallèle que Pierre Bal-Blanc a fait avec le Monumento alla Vittoria, la porte monumentale fasciste qui surgit sur l’emplacement d’une précédente porte monumentale autrichienne. Cette dernière soulignait déjà un tel point de passage mais avec le point de vue inverse.

É.O. Cette inversion du regard nous conduit vers celle opérée au Museion.
B.R. L’exposition pointe le fait que le musée construit ce même passage de l’Italie à l’Autriche et inversement. Lors de l’invitation adressée à Émilie, les lignes directrices du projet étaient dans un stade avancé ; c’est une donnée qui a été importante.
É.P. L’invitation était probablement liée au fait que mon travail se construit souvent à partir d’un contexte, ici le musée et son organisation. L’exposition ayant un lien fort avec la ville, je sentais que ma proposition serait faible si elle ne visait que des aspects institutionnels. Par le fait d’associer Bernhard et son travail lié à la notion d’espace, il s’agissait d’enrichir le projet par les aspects historiques et topographiques qu’il pouvait apporter.

É.O. Quelles étaient les implications de ces questions de passage et d’inversion du regard pour votre proposition ?
É.P. L’exposition proposait une inversion de la fonctionnalité des espaces muséaux ; le spectateur devait entrer dans l’exposition directement au rez-de-chaussée qui normalement est un passage, et ensuite voir la ville depuis le 4e étage transformé en belvédère, pour qu’à la fin il redescende et fasse le parcours proposé dans la ville. Notre proposition prenait place dans ce belvédère. Nous avions un doute qu’en arrivant au dernier étage dans une salle pratiquement vide, face à de grandes vitres, le spectateur puisse intuitivement faire l’expérience de regarder la ville.
B.R. Le geste d’ouvrir le musée sur ce vaste paysage peut paraître comme romantique : les montagnes, les toits de la ville… on est happé par l’immensité sublime. Il nous a semblé que cette impression est le contraire de la prise de conscience politique de ce qui se passe au pied du spectateur dans la ville.

É.O. Alors que la visite de l’exposition au rez-de-chaussée préparait à regarder la ville depuis le belvédère ?
B.R. Il s’agissait de construire un regard déterminé plutôt qu’une contemplation passive, mais aussi d’introduire la question du corps et la notion d’équilibre instable : à partir de quel moment on commence à regarder consciemment ce qu’on voit ? La proposition finale était de fermer une partie des volets de part et d’autre du bâtiment (et donc de la ville) pour créer un champ de vision spécifique qui implique une dynamique des mouvements et spatialise les corps dans l’espace.
É.P. C’est un passage de la proposition théorique à la notion d’expérience. Nous avions fait un essai pendant l’exposition en cours et dès que les volets ont été fermés, les personnes ont cessé de regarder les œuvres pour s’approcher des fenêtres.

É.O. Quel est le rôle de la maquette ?
É.P. Dans l’exposition, il y avait une maquette du bâtiment qui reprenait notre intervention et dans laquelle étaient placés deux pendules de Newton. C’est une métaphore de ce qui semblait se passer dans la ville.
B.R. Cette métaphore à l’état du langage devient un acte physique dès qu’on l’expérimente. Quand on fait tomber la première bille, celle du fond bouge, alors que les billes du milieu sont immobiles ; pourtant il y a transmission d’énergie. Les billes au centre sont une expérience de cette stabilité violente qui traduit les spécificités historiques et sociales de la région. C’est à éprouver physiquement, comme le font les corps qui passent d’un côté à l’autre du belvédère et de la ville.

É.O. Dans l’exposition, il était question de filtre architectural. Je pense par exemple à Gianni Pettena et à son intervention liée aux arcades fascistes de la Piazza della Vittoria. Il y a une certaine équivalence des préoccupations et de la manière de filtrer le regard.
B.R. Les deux propositions opèrent d’une façon contraire, mais effectivement disent une chose très proche.

É.O. Une autre œuvre de l’exposition, celle de Marcus Geiger, consistait à retirer l’un des appartements d’un projet d’habitation, un vide qui finalement ouvre un regard transversal permettant de réfléchir sur l’architecture et l’urbanisme. Il y a ici un acte similaire qui fait traverser la structure par le regard. C’est intéressant par rapport à la notion de transparence, de laquelle ce bâtiment se revendique.
É.P. Il s’agit de retirer une partie de ce qui est visible pour mieux donner à voir. Le geste de fermer une partie des volets pour créer des ouvertures produisait aussi des « yeux » sur ce bâtiment et lui donnait un corps solide, alors même qu’il se veut un lieu de passage, de transparence.
B.R. Il est affublé de ces deux yeux qui regardent l’extérieur, un regard biface en forme de tête de Janus, ce qui est très propre à la culture locale.

É.O. En parlant de la culture locale, peut-on évoquer le titre ?
B.R. Il est rédigé dans trois langues pratiquées dans la région. L’expression ladine Varda sora veut dire « regarder par-dessus » et exprime l’idée de prêter attention et de garder tout sous les yeux, ce qui nous intéressait par rapport à ces cultures des hauts-plateaux.

É.O. En repensant au belvédère, le titre est donc un indice sur le mode d’utilisation de la pièce ?
B.R. Oui, c’est une forme impérative : « regarde bien, regarde sur la chose ». Città, en italien, c’est la ville. Le troisième mot est en dialecte tyrolien et exprime l’idée de regarder à travers les apparences pour saisir la vérité. C’est donc une forme d’instruction quant au développement d’un regard conscient sur la ville. En même temps, on ne comprend qu’un tiers du titre, chacune de ces langues n’étant pratiquée que par une partie de la population.

É.O. C’est une collaboration qui semble excéder les pratiques individuelles.
É.P. Elle est le résultat de nos deux pratiques, un territoire construit à partir de notre expérience commune. Sont reprises des questions de l’ordre de l’activation du regard, importantes pour Bernhard, à travers des manières de faire qui me sont propres, dont la production d’une condition d’acuité en regard de ce qui est déjà présent sur place, sans ajouter d’objets.

É.O. Le souhait de ne pas ajouter d’objets me semble très juste – le musée étant déjà un objet lui-même, et non pas un outil transparent et neutre.

Paris, mai 2015

Images:
1-6. Émilie Parendeau & Bernhard Rüdiger, varda sora – città – derlickln, 2015, Museion, Bolzano
Photos: (1, 3, 4, 5, 6) Émilie Parendeau, Bernhard Rüdiger / (2) Luca Meneghel

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Isidoro Valcárcel Medina

Born 1937, Murcia, Spain
Lives and works in Madrid, Spain

As an artist, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina does not aim to produce art objects, but rather to interact within a given context. Nor does he seek professional recognition for his work, and yet he continues to be a major influence on younger artists. Valcárcel Medina has never limited his practice to a specific medium; he employs cinema, organizes public events, which he documents through photography and sound recordings, and subsequently produces sound installations. In his early work, space and time play an important role. Subsequently, at the end of the 1960s, he became interested in minimalist art. At the end of the 1970s, he investigated the role of the spectator, in particular the role of passive participation. As a result of his investigation, he produced a series of “mail art” works that addressed the spectator beyond the institutional context. In the following decades, Valcárcel Medina turned to the formal language of architectural plans in his conceptual work, presenting proposals for public space that take into account diverse social needs. For his solo exhibition, Otoño de 2009 at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, rather than present a retrospective of his works in the conventional sense, Valcárcel Medina proposed a series of twenty “circumstances.” He uses this word to refer to various factors (time and space), giving rise to a series of often ephemeral interventions that challenge the accumulation of objects in museums and other art institutions. In applying his critical view of retrospectives and museum acquisitions, the artist testifies to a radical immanence and a rejection of intrinsic values. His work surpasses fixed and conventional uses and demonstrates how use can be extremely varied. The first in the series of “circumstances” took the form of an invitation card. The work The Collection Of The Museum Reina Sofia in Autumn 2009 was produced as one of the “circumstances” for the exhibition Otoño de 2009. Both an artist’s book and an exhibition catalog, the work comprises a series of detailed plans of all artworks in each room of the museum’s collection, showing their exact dimensions and distance from each other, although the works themselves are not represented. The function and spatial organization of the museum thus becomes Valcárcel Medina’s work. The “circumstances” created in response to the invitation by the Reina Sofia Museum included October 1709 – Autumn 2009, an exhibition of Valcárcel Medina’s entire body of work. The works were exhibited along with a text celebrating the three-hundred-year anniversary of an exhibition organized by the Grand Prince of Tuscany, Ferdinando de’ Medici, in 1707 and 1709 in the Santissima Annunziata, Florence. The exhibition consisted of 250 paintings from various Florentine collections, which covered the entire walls of the church from floor to ceiling. Valcárcel Medina took this historical reference and its anniversary as a model for an exhibition that covered the corridors of the Reina Sofia, thus underscoring the impossibility of viewing the works in their entirety. The anecdote appeared in another of the artist’s works, an “encyclopedic” publication titled 2000 d. de J. C. For the new millennium, Valcárcel Medina published a 2,000-page book printed on Bible paper with one event per year on each page, from the year zero to 2001. Valcárcel Medina chose events that are not included in official history. In privileging certain events rather than others, the artist creates what amounts to a personal, and thus non-hegemonic, vision of history— a reading of history by way of anecdotes. Yet, when the book is read, its content appears to be entirely correct and consistent, as if Medina had chosen to include the most important historical events. At the Reina Sofia, another “circumstance” took the form of a clock hung on a museum wall. The clock fulfilled no other function than its conventional role of telling time. Yet its presence in the museum marked the intrusion of an object of daily life, a daily constraint that is generally ignored in the museum, the latter choosing instead a contemplative suspension, impervious to the presence of real time.

Nato a Murcia, Spagna, nel 1937
Vive e lavora a Madrid, Spagna

Il lavoro di Isidoro Valcárcel Medina non aspira alla creazione di oggetti d’arte, ma all’interazione con una precisa situazione. Egli non ricerca il riconoscimento professionale in quanto artista e, tuttavia, ha una grande influenza sugli artisti delle generazioni successive alla sua. Valcárcel Medina non si è mai limitato a un solo mezzo espressivo: utilizza il cinema, organizza eventi pubblici documentati con fotografie o registrazioni audio, e propone anche installazioni sonore. Nei suoi primi lavori, lo spazio e il tempo giocano un ruolo importante. In seguito, alla fine degli anni ’60, s’interessa al minimalismo. Alla fine degli anni ’70 studia il ruolo del ricevente e, in particolare, il concetto di partecipazione passiva: ne risultano nello specifico i lavori “postali”, che si rivolgono allo spettatore al di fuori del quadro istituzionale. Durante il decennio successivo, Medina inserisce il linguaggio formale dei piani architettonici nel suo lavoro concettuale, presentando delle proposte per lo spazio pubblico che tengano conto di diverse richieste sociali.
Per Otoño de 2009, la personale dell’artista al Museo Reina Sofia di Madrid, invece di pensare a questo evento come a una retrospettiva delle proprie opere in senso classico, Valcárcel Medina ha proposto una ventina di “circostanze”: un termine particolare, che rappresenta un compromesso di vari elementi (tempo/ spazio), dando luogo a degli interventi a volte furtivi, che vanificano la questione dell’accumulo di oggetti nei musei e nelle istituzioni. L’artista mette così in atto uno sguardo critico sulle retrospettive e sulle acquisizioni museali, dando prova di un’immanenza radicale e di un rifiuto del loro valore intrinseco. Valcárcel Medina oltrepassa gli usi imposti e normati, e dimostra che tali usi possono essere molto aperti. Il biglietto d’invito è la prima di queste “circostanze”.
La seconda opera è stata realizzata come una “circostanza” proposta per Otoño de 2009. L’oggetto, tra libro d’artista e catalogo di mostra, è composto da una serie di schemi minuziosi, ottenuti dalla misura delle dimensioni delle opere e delle distanze tra le opere in ognuna delle sale del museo, senza che le opere siano rappresentate. L’insieme del funzionamento e dell’organizzazione spaziale del museo diventa in questo modo l’opera di Valcárcel Medina. Alle altre “circostanze”, che rispondono alla proposta di una retrospettiva fattagli dal museo, si aggiunge una mostra dell’insieme del lavoro di Valcárcel Medina. Le sue opere sono state presentate al Reina Sofia con un testo che celebrava i trecento anni di una mostra, che il principe Ferdinando di Toscana aveva organizzato nel 1707 e nel 1709 nel Chiostro dell’Annunciazione a Firenze, facendo installare duecentocinquanta dipinti provenienti da collezioni fiorentine, che coprivano per intero le pareti fino al soffitto. L’artista ha attinto da questa storia per proporre, nella data della ricorrenza, lo stesso modello di mostra e ha interamente coperto un corridoio del Reina Sofia, rinnovando con questo gesto la questione dell’impossibilità di comprendere tutte le opere.
L’aneddoto ricompare in un’altra opera dell’artista, una pubblicazione “enciclopedica” intitolata 2000 d. de J.C. Per celebrare il nuovo millennio, Valcárcel Medina ha realizzato un libro di duemila pagine in carta velina, che elenca un avvenimento all’anno e a pagina, dall’Anno Zero al 2001 selezionando degli eventi che non compaiono nella storia ufficiale. Privilegiando alcuni fatti storici piuttosto che altri, l’artista costruisce un racconto che può essere compreso come una visione personale, e dunque non egemonica, della storia. È una lettura della storia per aneddoti, ma, quando si scorre il libro, il suo contenuto appare talmente preciso e denso da fare pensare che l’artista abbia voluto scegliere gli avvenimenti più importanti.
Sempre al Reina Sofia, un’altra “circostanza” consisteva in un orologio appeso alla parete di una sala del museo. L’orologio non ha altro ruolo se non quello di uso comune, cioè di indicare l’ora. Tuttavia, la presenza di questo oggetto nel museo segna l’intrusione del quotidiano, di una regola della vita di tutti i giorni che generalmente viene dimenticata all’interno di uno spazio espositivo, a profitto di una sospensione contemplativa e refrattaria alla presenza del tempo reale.

Né à Murcia, Espagne, en 1937
Vit et travaille à Madrid, Espagne

Le travail d’Isidoro Valcárcel Medina ne vise pas la création d’objets d’art, mais plutôt l’interaction avec une situation donnée. Il ne cherche pas la reconnaissance professionnelle en tant qu’artiste, et néanmoins ne cesse d’influencer les artistes des générations ultérieures. Valcárcel Medina ne s’est jamais limité à un médium spécifique : il utilise le cinéma, organise des événements publics documentés par la photographie ou l’enregistrement audio, et propose aussi des installations sonores. Dans ses premières œuvres, l’espace et le temps jouent un rôle important ; par la suite, à la fin des années 1960, il s’intéresse au minimalisme. À la fin des années 1970, il étudie le rôle du récepteur, en particulier la participation passive ; en résultent notamment ses travaux « postaux » qui s’adressent au spectateur en dehors du cadre institutionnel. Pendant la décennie suivante, Medina intègre le langage formel des plans architecturaux dans son travail conceptuel, présentant des propositions pour l’espace public qui prennent en compte diverses demandes sociales.

Otoño de 2009, Circumstancias (carton d’invitation) (2009)
A l’occasion de Otoño de 2009, son exposition personnelle au Musée Reina Sofia (Madrid), plutôt que de penser cet événement comme une rétrospective de ses œuvres au sens classique du terme, Valcárcel Medina a proposé une vingtaine de « circonstances » : un mot singulier qui représente une équation de plusieurs éléments (temps/espace), donnant lieu à des interventions parfois furtives qui désamorcent la question de l’accumulation d’objets dans les musées et les institutions. L’artiste met ainsi en acte son regard critique sur les rétrospectives et les acquisitions muséales, faisant preuve d’une immanence radicale et d’un refus de la valeur intrinsèque. Il dépasse les usages imposés et normés et démontre que ces usages peuvent être très ouverts. Le carton d’invitation est la première de ces « circonstances ».

La Colección del Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía en Otoño de 2009 [La collection du musée Reina Sofia, Automne 2009] (2009)
Cette œuvre a été réalisée en tant qu’une des « circonstances » proposées pour Otoño de 2009. L’objet, entre livre d’artiste et catalogue d’exposition, est composé d’une série de plans minutieux obtenus par la mesure des dimensions des œuvres et les distances entre elles dans chacune des salles du musée, les œuvres n’étant pas elles-mêmes représentées. L’ensemble du fonctionnement et de l’organisation spatiale du musée deviennent ainsi l’œuvre de Valcárcel Medina.

2000 d. de J.C. (2001)
Aux autres « circonstances » répondant à la proposition d’une rétrospective qui lui avait été faite par le musée, vient s’ajouter une exposition de l’ensemble du travail de Valcárcel Medina. Ses œuvres étaient présentées au Reina Sofia avec un texte célébrant les trois cents ans d’une exposition que le prince Ferdinand de Toscane avait organisée en 1707 et 1709 dans le Cloître de l’Annonciation à Florence et pour laquelle il avait installé 250 peintures issues de collections florentines, de manière à couvrir entièrement les murs jusqu’au plafond. L’artiste s’est saisi de cette histoire pour proposer à la date anniversaire le même modèle d’exposition et a couvert entièrement un couloir du Reina Sofia, reconduisant ainsi par cet accrochage l’impossibilité d’appréhender toutes les œuvres.
L’anecdote apparaît dans une autre pièce de l’artiste, une publication « encyclopédique » intitulée 2000 d. de J.C. À l’occasion du nouveau millénaire, Valcárcel Medina a réalisé un livre de 2000 pages en papier bible qui répertorie un événement par an et par page depuis l’année zéro jusqu’à 2001. Valcárcel Medina a cherché des événements qui ne figurent pas dans l’histoire officielle. En privilégiant certains faits historiques plutôt que d’autres, l’artiste construit un récit qui peut être compris comme une vision personnelle d’histoire, et donc non-hégémonique. C’est une lecture de l’histoire par l’anecdote ; néanmoins quand on parcourt le livre, son contenu paraît tellement juste et consistant que s’il avait voulu choisir les événements les plus importants.

Otoño de 2009, Circumstancias (horloge murale) (2009)
Au Reina Sofia, une autre « circonstance » était une horloge accrochée sur une cimaise du musée. L’horloge ne remplit rien d’autre que son rôle habituel, c’est à dire donner l’heure. Pourtant la présence de cet objet dans le musée marque l’intrusion du quotidien, d’une règle de la vie généralement oubliée dans le musée au profit d’une suspension contemplative et étanche à la présence du temps réel.

Project: Soleil politique

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CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER

Born 1974, Göttingen, Germany
Lives and works in Berlin and Leipzig, Germany

Clemens von Wedemeyer makes experimental and short fiction films that combine different influences and modes of writing. Procession is part of a triptych, The Cast, conceived for the exhibition of the same title presented at the MAXXI National Museum of XXIst Century Arts in Rome in 2013. The Cast depicts the history of “the most powerful weapon of modern society”: the film industry from the perspective of Rome. In the triptych’s third episode, a procession is formed of the bodies of auditioned extras, a labor force of American mass-produced cinema that emerged in the 1950s. In a long black-and-white take, the artist restaged an incident from 1958 at the Cinecittà, the Italian “Hollywood” studios founded by Benito Mussolini in 1937. During the film, the film critic and historian Mino Argentieri recounts, in a documentary-style voice-over, the uprising of thousands of extras who interrupted the filming of Ben Hur, a monument of cinema given the scale of its production. The casting of extras was delegated in black market conditions to the Christian Association of the Festival of Italian Film, while William Wyler’s epic production did not meet all the candidates’ hopes of employment.
The camera follows the procession of unemployed extras in reverse, from the climax of the riot to its beginnings, breaking with the theatrical “fourth wall” and culminating in a shot of the waiting actors. The procession was enacted by protestors who are currently occupying the Teatro Valle Occupato, the oldest theater in the Roman capital, which has become a symbol of cultural resistance following the withdrawal of public funding.

Nato a Göttingen, Germania, nel 1974
Vive e lavora a Berlino e a Lipsia, Germania

Clemens Von Wedemeyer è regista di film sperimentali e di cortometraggi di finzione, che mescolano diverse influenze e tipologie di scrittura. Procession (La processione) è un elemento del trittico The Cast, sviluppato in precedenza nella mostra eponima del 2013 al MAXXI. The Cast s’interessa alla storia romana dell’“arma più potente della società moderna”, vale a dire l’industria cinematografica. In questa parte del trittico si tratta della processione delle comparse che fanno i provini, nuova manodopera di massa delle produzioni americane degli anni ’50 del Novecento. Attraverso lunghi piani sequenza in bianco e nero, l’artista rende nuovamente attuale un episodio avvenuto nel 1958 a Cinecittà, la Hollywood italiana inaugurata da Mussolini a Roma nel 1930. Nel film, il tono documentario di Mino Argentieri, critico e storico del cinema, racconta la sommossa di migliaia di comparse che provocò l’interruzione delle riprese di Ben Hur, divenuto per la grandezza e la maestosità della sua messinscena un vero e proprio monumento del cinema. I provini furono passati al mercato nero dall’Associazione Cristiana del Festival del Film Italiano e il film di genere peplum di William Wyler non soddisfece tutte le speranze di assunzione.
La videocamera filma la processione degli sventurati nel percorso inverso, dall’acme all’origine, si rivolge al pubblico e si blocca sugli attori in attesa. Gli interpreti, infatti, sono i militanti che oggi occupano il Teatro Valle Occupato, il più antico teatro della Capitale e simbolo della resistenza culturale dopo il disimpegno delle partnership pubbliche.

Né à Göttingen, Allemagne, en 1974ù
Vit et travaille à Berlin et Leipzig, Allemagne

Clemens Von Wedemeyer réalise des films expérimentaux et des courts métrages de fiction qui croisent différentes influences et mode d’écriture.
Procession est un élément du triptyque The Cast précédemment développé dans l’exposition éponyme présentée au MAXXI en 2013. The Cast traite de l’histoire romaine de l’arme la plus puissante de la société moderne, l’industrie cinématographique. Dans ce volet, le cortège est celui des corps de figurants auditionnés, nouvelle main d’œuvre de masse des productions américaines pendant les années 1950. Par de longs plans-séquence noir et blanc, l’artiste réinscrit dans l’actualité un incident survenu en 1958 à la Cinecitta, le Hollywood de Mussolini bâti à Rome en 1930. Dans le film le ton documentaire de Mino Argentieri, critique et historien du cinéma, raconte le soulèvement des milliers de figurants qui provoqua l’interruption du tournage de Ben-Hur, monument du cinéma par l’ampleur de sa mise en scène. Les auditions au casting sont déléguées au marché noir par l’Association Chrétienne du Festival du Film Italien et le péplum de William Wyler ne satisfait pas tous les espoirs d’embauche.
La caméra filme la procession des désavoués à l’envers, de son acmé à son origine, brise le quatrième mur et s’arrête sur les acteurs en attente. Les interprètes sont en fait les militants occupant actuellement le Teatro Valle Occupato, le plus ancien de la capitale romaine et devenu symbole de la résistance culturelle suite au désengagement des partenaires publics.

Project: Soleil politique

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Ann Veronica Janssens

Born 1956, Folkestone, United Kingdom
Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium
Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions such as Serendipity at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels, Are you experienced at the Espai d’art contemporani Castelló, the Museum Morsbroich Leverkusen, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Kunstverein München, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, the Kunsthalle Bern and [mac] Marseille.
Since 1985 she has also participated in important group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Power Plant – Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, Ontario, the Generali Foundation in Vienna, the Chisenhale Gallery and Hayward Gallery in London, Witte de With and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Kunstverein in Munich as well as various international biennials (Sydney, Istanbul, São Paulo, Seoul, and in 1999 Venice, where she represented Belgium with Michel François).
In 2000, she visited Berlin within the program of the DAAD. She regularly collaborates with choreographers (Drouler Pierre and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker). Since 2009 she has also initiated with Nathalie Ergino the Laboratory Space Brain IAC Villeurbanne. Her work has been presented within the exhibition Passion Fruit at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and on the occasion of the exhibition Dynamo. A century of light in art, 1913-2013 at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. Ann Veronica Janssens is the author of a public commission for the chapel of St Vincent de Grignan, opened May 25, 2013.

Focus: Prepared Piano – Model for a New Institutionalism
Partner: IAC

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Prepared Piano – Model for a new Institutionalism

Round table discussion moderated by Pierre Bal-Blanc
organized in the frame of PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art – France-Italie 2014-2015

Villa Medici
Viale Trinità dei Monti, 1 – 00187 Roma
Friday May 9, 2014
10 – 12 am

The panel discussion Prepared Piano: Model for a New Institutionalism presents artists, curators, as well as the managers of places where various projects have been produced over the past few years in Europe. These projects have in common that they make novel use of cultural exchange instruments, while giving their activities both a local and international scope.

Various case studies will be presented during this panel discussion to bring back into play notions of crossdisciplinarity (Théâtre des expositions at Villa Medici), process (Per_formare una collezione at the MADRE in Naples), and plasticity of relations (Laboratoire Espace Cerveau at the IAC in Villeurbanne). The discussions as a whole will echo the desire to found “a new institutionalism”, which has developed over the past few years through initiatives coming from both artists and curators. The desire to reconfigure the institution based on the model of a community centre, laboratory, open school, and other places that are not mainly governed by market laws, is linked with the creative momentum that led to Prepared Piano. The proposed discussion aims to demonstrate that PIANO, as well as Salon Light, dedicated to independent publishing, and Vdrome, a distribution network for artist films, are today all tangible initiatives.

Pierre Bal-Blanc is the director of the CAC Brétigny. He is also an independent curator and the vice-president of the d.c.a / French association for the development of centres d’art. Since 2003, in resonance with the social thought of Charles Fourrier, he has been developing the “Phalanstère Project” within a centre d’art. This is a series of specific offerings that critically rework the principles of artwork accumulation.
His exhibition series “Living Currency” and “Draft Score for an Exhibition” negotiate the historical and contemporary analysis of the body and of strategies linked to performance in the visual arts. “The Death of the Audience “ and “Reversibility” are reflections on the consequences that the materiality of art objects has on the configuration of art-world protagonists, the role and form of cultural institutions today.

Interdisciplinary stage
Theater of Exhibitions / Villa Medici, Rome / presentation by Eric de Chassey

Conceived by the director Éric de Chassey and organised by the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici every year since 2010, the Theatre of Exhibitions has been devised as a moment of encounter between the fellows in residence and the public, as well as one of dialogue and confrontation among the artists and scholars in residence. The different spaces of Villa Medici become ephemeral stages for installations, performances, projections, readings. The concept of openness, a predisposition to dialogue and confrontation among different disciplines is the characteristic that unites the projects, which are presented. The Theatre of Exhibitions has been designed as a “multiform laboratory” which displays the diversity of artistic practices and research, thus confirming the centrality of the French Academy in Rome in contemporary creation.

Éric de Chassey is the Director of the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici since 2009. He is also Professor of Contemporary Art History at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. Since the beginning, his scientific activities have focused on the US and abstract art. He has published books and essays on XXth and XXIst century art. He has also curated numerous exhibitions, accompanied by publications such as Soulages XXIth century (Rome, Villa Medici, 2013) or Simon Hantaï (Rome, Villa Medici, 2014).

Thought’s spatialization
Space Brain Laboratory / IAC, Villeurbanne / presentation by Nathalie Ergino and Ann Veronica Janssens

Initiated in 2009 by the artist Ann Veronica Janssens and Nathalie Ergino, director of the Institut d’art contemporain, the project aims at starting from experiments in art to explore practical and theoretical research linking space and the brain. This interdisciplinary laboratory brings together the reflections and experiments of artists and scientists and also philosophers, anthropologists, art historians and theoreticians, thus providing as much coverage by neuroscience, physics and astrophysics as by hypnosis, telepathy and shamanism.

Since January, 2006, Nathalie Ergino is the director of the Institut d‘art contemporain. Former director of the School / FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (1994-2000), and of the museum of contemporary art [mac] of Marseille (2001-2005), she has curated big monographic exhibitions (Jimmie Durham, Rodney Graham, Raymond Hains, Ann Veronica Janssens, Carsten Höller) as well as collective exhibitions (Maisons-Cerveaux, Subréel).

Born in 1956 in Folkestone (UK), Ann Veronica Janssens lives and works in Brussels (BE). Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions. Since 1985, she has also participated in important group exhibitions, as well as various international biennials and in 1999 Venice where she represented Belgium with Michel François. She regularly collaborates with choreographers (Drouler Pierre and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker). Her work has been presented recently within the exhibition Passion Fruit at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and within Dynamo, A century of light in art, 1913 – 2013 at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais.

Organizing the perceptible
Vdrome / Mousse, Milano / presentation by Enrico Boccioletti

Vdrome is an online platform that offers regular, high quality screenings of films and videos directed by visual artists and filmmakers, whose production lies in-between contemporary art and cinema. Each screening is presented during a limited period, as in a movie theatre. Vdrome makes available a program of exceptional artists’ films and videos that are selected due to their importance, quality and innovative strength, many of which are only shown in the context of film festivals, exhibitions or specific surveys, being therefore of very limited access. Vdrome is an initiative conceived and promoted by Mousse, curated by Edoardo Bonaspetti, Jens Hoffmann, Andrea Lissoni and Filipa Ramos, and maintained by Enrico Boccioletti.

Enrico Boccioletti is an artist and musician active under multiple names – Death in Plains, 4SICSX, spcnvdr and Enrico B – in the fields of postconceptual, new vernacular, performance and sound, interested into incompleteness and circularity, duplication and accumulation, waste, layering, forgery, faux-real. He also works for Mousse Magazine and Vdrome.

Incarnation of the collection
Per_formare una collezione / Madre, Naples / presentation by Andrea Viliani and Alessandro Rabottini

Per_forming a collection is an on-going project designed to develop the formation of the Museo MADRE’s permanent collection in Naples. It focuses on artists of different generations whose works have been conceived as physical and mental instruments that bring together thought and action in every possible media, linking visual arts to theatre and literature. The project aims to shape a collection that is articulated over time, combining archival research with commissions for new works taking into account the role of the museum as a place of memory and preservation as well as a continuing research and production laboratory. All the works presented have a relation with the city and its history: works conceived or exhibited here, from artist who happened to exhibit in Naples or works belonging to private or public local collections.

Since 2013 Andrea Viliani is the director of the Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee – Madre, Napoli. He previously worked from 2009 to 2012 as Director of Fondazione Galleria Civica – Centro di Ricerca sulla Contemporaneità in Trento. In 2012 he was a member of the Core Agents Group of dOCUMENTA(13) and he co-curated the related position in Kabul and Bamiyan (Afghanistan). From 2005 to 2009, Viliani was curator at the MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna. Among the 60 “players” of the 2007 Biennale de Lyon, he is a frequent contributor to FROG, Mousse, Kaleidoscope and Flash Art.

Alessandro Rabottini is an art critic and curator based in London. He is Curator at Large at the Madre Museum in Naples (where he recently curated a mid-career retrospective of Padraig Timoney and the survey show of Ettore Spalletti) and served as guest curator for several international institutions. In his capacity of Curator at Large at the GAMeC in Bergamo he curated solo exhibitions of artists such as Robert Overby, Mircea Cantor, Latifa Echakhch, Victor Man, Pratchaya Phinthong, Pietro Roccasalva, Tim Rollins & K.O.S, Sterling Ruby, Tris Vonna-Michell and Jordan Wolfson.

Praising uncertainty
Salon light / cneai =, Chatou / presentation by Sylvie Boulanger

Founded in 2004 by Cneai, Salon Light became over a few years an unmissable rendez-vous for micro-publishers and artist’s publication in Paris. After exporting the concept at Vermelho gallery in Sao Paulo and the great success of Salon Light 9 at Palais de Tokyo in 2012, Salon Light keeps uniting a moving scene of artists, authors, independent publishers or composers. Books, magazines, objects, LP’s, catalogues or artist’s book, the publications are often limited editions, sometimes impossible to find in Paris, and are breaking new grounds while creating new networks in the art and publishing worlds. Performances and meetings with professionals and artists are also a key part of the event. Free for the publishers and the public, it’s accessible to all and offers visibility to a still somehow unknown field.

Sylvie Boulanger is founder and curator of Salon Light since its creation in 2004. She directs Cneai since 1997. She curated over a hundred exhibitions, published more than seventy books (artist’s books, journals, catalogues) and produced as few documentaries. She is a member of several research labs, she also contributes to academic reviews like Multitudes and lectures in art schools and universities. She was the founder of the production agency APC (Art Public Contemporain) that she directed for ten years (1990-1997) after occupying the position of associate director «exhibition and communication» within the Ministry of Culture visual arts delegation (1987-1990).

The round table discussion will be followed by a
Concert for Prepared Piano by Laurent Durupt, composer and fellow at the Villa Medici

More information at
www.pianoproject.org
info@pianoproject.org

Round table discussion organized in the frame of PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art, France-Italie 2014-2015

PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art, France–Italy 2014-2015, initiated by d.c.a / French association for the development of centres d’art, in partnership with the Institut français in Italy, the French Embassy in Italy and the Institut français, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and Fondazione Nuovi Mecenati.

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Goldschmied & Chiari

CAP-Goldshmied Chiari-009

Goldschmied & Chiari, La démocratie est illusion, 2014

Sara Goldschmied born 1975, Vicenza, Italy and Eleonora Chiari born 1971 Rome, Italy
Live and work in Rome and Milan, Italy
Goldschmied & Chiari (formerly Goldiechiari) was founded in 2001 by Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari. Using installation, video and photography, they explore the concepts of history and memory in terms of the division between amnesia and deletion/reconstruction and reflection. Analyzing specific moments in recent political history, they demonstrate the opacity of memory, together with the strategies employed to wipe out truths or create new ones. They focus too on sexuality and female identity interpreted as the products of real and imaginary experiences imposed by society and the ambient culture.
They have had solo exhibitions at MACRO in Rome, Museion in Bolzano and Centro d’Arti Visive Pescheria in Pesaro, Italy. The duo has also taken part in numerous group shows in venues like Castello di Rivoli, Torino (2012), the MoCA Shanghai (2010), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Córdoba (2007), the Musée de Grenoble (2007) and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (2007). Their work has been presented at the biennials in Venice (2009), Tel Aviv (2010) and Dublin (2011).

Image:
Goldschmied & Chiari, La démocratie est illusion / La democrazia è illusione. Photo: Aurélien Mole, 2014

Project: La démocratie est illusion
Focus: For secret eyes only. Marcella Beccaria in conversation with Goldschmied & Chari

 

Goldschmied & Chiari è un duo di artiste fondato nel 2001. Le loro opere esplorano i concetti di storia e di memoria al confine tra amnesia e cancellazione, tra ricostruzione e rimosso. Analizzando specifici momenti della storia recente, dimostrano l’opacità della memoria e le strategie impiegate per insabbiare la verità e costruirne altre narrazioni. Ugualmente nella loro ricerca concentrano il proprio sguardo sulla sessualità e l’identità femminili, interpretate come il prodotto di esperienze reali e immaginarie imposte dalla società e dalla cultura. Le loro opere sono state esposte al MACRO di Roma, al Museion di Bolzano e al Centro d’arti visive Pescheria di Pesaro, al Museo di arte contemporanea di Cordoba, al MOCA di Shangai, al MAMbo di Bologna e al Castello di Rivoli di Torino. Hanno partecipato alla Biennale di Venezia (2009), Tel Aviv (2010) e Dublino (2011). Hanno vinto il Premio dei giovani artisti italiani del Castello di Rivoli nel 2012.

 

Goldschmied & Chiari est un duo d’artistes fondé en 2001 par Sara Goldschmied et Eleonora Chiari. Leurs œuvres proposent une recherche sur les concepts d’histoire et mémoire, clivées entre amnésie et effacement, reconstruction et réflexion. Elles ont analysé des moments spécifiques de l’histoire politique récente, en montrant visuellement l’opacité du souvenir et les stratégies utilisées pour effacer des vérités ou en créer des autres. Elles touchent également aux thèmes liés à la sexualité et à l’identité féminine, interprétées comme le produit d’expériences réelles et imaginaires imposées par la société et la culture. Leur travail a fait l’objet d’expositions au MACRO (Rome), Museion (Bolzano), au Centro d’Arti Visive Peschiera (Pesaro), au Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Cordoue), au MOCA (Shanghai), au MAMbo (Bologne) et au Castello di Rivoli (Turin). Elles ont participé aux Biennales de Venise (2009), Tel Aviv (2010) et Dublin (2011). Elles sont lauréates du Prix des Jeunes Artistes Italiens du Castello di Rivoli en 2012.

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Marcella Beccaria in conversation with Goldschmied & Chiari

 FOR SECRET EYES ONLY

With great coherence, Goldschmied & Chiari have been investigating the role of women artists born in Italy, a country where contradictions seem endless and belonging to a specific historical time in which events, spread around through the web sometimes even before they take place, relentlessly shake off the concreteness of reality, redrawing the concept of truth. In recent years, Goldschmied & Chiari have also investigated the idea of the nation, and, focusing on facts which Italians seem to prefer to forget, produced Genealogia di damnatio memoriae. The series consists of tall trees on which the artists carved lists of dates and places to represent the sequence of tragic events that run in Italian history. I meet the artists in the gardens of the Castle of Rivoli, where the three trees, which they worked on for the exhibition La storia che non ho vissuto [History I did not live through] in 2012, are planted.

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1. Genealogia di damnatio memoriae Torino 1965-1982, 2012

Marcella Beccaria I often find myself watching how visitors behave when facing these works. The connection with the tragic reality that each tree tells – from the terrible events occurred in Italy from 1969 up to the killing of Pasolini, and then the series of murders at the hands of the Red Brigades in Italy – often happens gradually, as if history revealed itself slowly, and only to those who really care for it.

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2. Genealogia di Damnatio Memoriae 1965-1981, 2009

Goldschmied & Chiari Genealogie di damnatio memoriae are a series of works we worked on for four years, from 2009 to 2013. They consist of trees which have been carved but are living, hence still enduring seasonal changes and the normal growth and life of trees, suggesting a relationship with history in constant evolution and change. It is this relationship that we address and which involves, as you noted, the development of a certain kind of relationship with the people who come into contact with the works – something that entails a gradual unveiling.M.B. Last year there was a further evolution, I would say. New works that expand to investigate the history of Europe and a new type of relationship with the visitor, whom I think you aim to “captivate” in an almost etymological sense of the term and with many references to the performances of early century illusionists.

G.&C. Research on Italian history of the seventies led us to explore the countless international geopolitical connections related to the Western bloc strategies during the Cold War. Following these connections, we often came across the strong influence and the role of intelligence agencies in defending the State and interfering with the domestic politics and the agenda of countries belonging in the Atlantic Pact. This way of acting behind the scenes of democracy – bypassing the eyes of citizens with cunning cover-up tricks and manipulating information – has many similarities with the way illusionists, through their stage machines, speed of action and clever talk enact their trickeries.

M.B. So the result of your interest for the two activities is the large installation Hiding the Elephant, which you presented in Brest?

G.&C. Yes, with the title intended in the literal sense. The work refers to the extraordinary performance which the illusionist Harry Houdini held in 1918 at the Hippodrome in New York, where he made an elephant disappear in front of a crowd of thousands. Our work consists of 160 two-dimensional head silhouettes suspended in midair. Each has its twin, carrying on one side a digital portrait and on the other a mirror surface. All the characters portrayed are presidents, politicians, poets and journalists who “mysteriously” disappeared, were exiled or persecuted for political reasons during the cold war, and victims of international actions by Western intelligence agencies. Like in a magic trick, these face silhouettes hang at different heights, and when moving produce different shadow and light effects on the walls.

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3. Dispositivo di rimozione #5, 2010

M.B. One has to stop in the exhibition room for a while to make contact with this work.

G.&C. Once in a while, the area around the work is filled with dense smoke which conceals the faces, making them hazy and unrecognizable. Then the smoke gradually vanishes, revealing the faces clearly. In this installation, the metaphor of Houdini’s trick is staged via the smoke, the light, and the reflections of the mirrors, reproducing the disappearance/removal of the history of the characters portrayed and the covert actions in which they were involved.

M.B. In this exhibition the idea of illusion also includes the way in which the different works engage with each other. There are “magic boxes” that reflect in large mirrors, with smoke appearing to seep out of the boxes themselves and entering the reflected world, and there are “tricks” that seem to hark back to the dawn of the history of cinema.

G.&C. Yes, it’s as if the works were in constant interaction with each other, and changed with time and the viewers. Using mirror as the material of choice for many of the works makes the show relational and open to the constant change of context. La démocratie is always changing depending on weather and daylight. The face silhouettes of Hiding the Elephant revolve on themselves, and lit by direct light they cast shadows and send reflections all over the room, sometimes blinding visitors for a few seconds, creating an effect of movement and life in the installation itself. The reflections also find their way into the other room, casting shadows on the Fragments (2014) video and on the Medusa Mirrors (2014). The Boîtes Magiques [Magic Boxes] (2014) are in turn reflected in the smoke-stained mirrors, creating the illusion that the colored smoke is seeping through the boxes while it is instead actually smeared on the surface of the Medusa Mirrors.

M.B. In Brest the exhibition route begins with a strong statement, La démocratie est illusion, written with large reflecting letters in an almost gothic typeface. Where does the quote come from?

G.&C. This is the first work of the series, and was born as a watercolor, to be then transformed into an installation, and finally into the title of the Brest and Genoa exhibitions. La démocratie est illusion [Democracy is an illusion] (2014), located at the entrance of the exhibition, challenges the visitor and introduces the installation Hiding the Elephant. The reflecting surface of the letters produces an optical effect, making them appear like windows into another dimension, as if there were a twin room on the other side of the wall, forcing the viewer to look carefully and not to be deceived by appearances. What we like to explore is the similarity in the practice of deception and illusion in representing reality between stage magic and intelligence agency procedures. By making his trick realistic, the magician deceives the spectator and makes him blind to the stage, producing a sense of childlike wonder and disbelief. The relationship between stage magic and intelligence agency procedures is that the public wants to be other-directed, it does not want to find out about the trick. The question lies in the “the difference between believing and seeing, between believing one sees and seeing between, catching a glimpse – or not” (Jacques Derrida).

Project: La démocratie est illusion
Protagonists: Goldschmied & Chiari
Spaces: Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Villa Croce Museo d’Arte Contemporanea

 

Con grande coerenza, da anni Goldschmied & Chiari indagano il loro ruolo di artiste donne, figlie di un Paese come l’Italia, nel quale le contraddizioni sembrano inesauribili e di un preciso tempo storico nel quale gli eventi, diffusi attraverso il web talvolta ancora prima di accadere, si scrollano con insistenza dalla concretezza del reale, ridisegnando il concetto di verità. In anni recenti, Goldschmied & Chiari si sono interrogate sull’idea di nazione, e soffermandosi su fatti che gli italiani sembrano preferire dimenticare, hanno realizzato Genealogia di damnatio memoriae. La serie consiste in alberi di alto fusto sui quali le artiste incidono nella forma di elenchi di date e luoghi la tragica sequenza di sangue che corre nella storia italiana. Incontro le artiste nel giardino del Castello di Rivoli, dove sono piantati i tre alberi che hanno sviluppato nel 2012, in occasione della mostra La storia che non ho vissuto.

Marcella Beccaria Spesso mi ritrovo ad osservare come i visitatori si comportano davanti a queste opere. L’incontro con la tragica realtà che ciascun albero racconta – dalla sequenza di stragi accadute in Italia dal 1969 fino all’assassinio di Pasolini e poi la serie di omicidi ad opera delle Brigate Rosse a Torino – è spesso graduale, è come se la storia si svelasse lentamente, e solo per coloro che davvero la cercano.

Goldschmied & Chiari Le Genealogie di damnatio memoriae sono il ciclo di opere alle quali abbiamo dedicato gli ultimi quattro anni di ricerca, dal 2009 al 2013. Sono alberi viventi intagliati, come tali sono suscettibili alla trasformazione data dal ciclo delle stagioni e dalla crescita e dalla vita dell’albero, suggerendo un rapporto con la Storia in continua evoluzione e cambiamento. È questa relazione che ci interessa e che include, come dici, lo sviluppo di un certo tipo di relazione con chi incontra l’opera, pensando proprio a uno svelamento graduale. 

M.B. Lo scorso anno c’è stata un’evoluzione ulteriore direi. Nuove opere che si allargano a indagare la storia europea e un nuovo tipo di relazione con gli spettatori, che mi sembra vogliate “accattivare”, nel senso quasi etimologico del termine e con molteplici riferimenti alle pratiche degli illusionisti di inizio secolo.

G.&C. La ricerca sulla storia italiana degli anni Settanta ci ha portato a esaminare la molteplicità di connessioni geopolitiche internazionali connesse alle strategie del blocco occidentale durante la guerra fredda. Seguendo queste connessioni ci siamo imbattute più volte nella forte influenza e nel ruolo dei servizi segreti nella difesa dello Stato e nelle ingerenze nel determinare la politica interna e l’agenda degli Stati appartenenti al patto atlantico. Questo modo di agire dietro le quinte della democrazia – aggirando lo sguardo della cittadinanza con abili trucchi di insabbiamento e manipolazione dell’informazione – ha molte similitudini con la pratica e il modo di operare degli illusionisti che attraverso macchine sceniche, velocità d’azione e affabulazione mettono in scena i propri prestigi.

M.B. Quindi il risultato dell’interesse per le due pratiche è la grande installazione Hiding the Elephant che avete presentato a Brest?

G.&C. Si, con il titolo inteso in senso letterale: occultando l’elefante. L’opera si riferisce alla spettacolare performance del mago Harry Houdini che nel 1918 all’ippodromo di New York fece scomparire un elefante di fronte a migliaia di spettatori. L’opera consiste di 160 sagome di teste bidimensionali, sospese nello spazio espositivo. Ognuna di esse ha la sua gemella, composta su un lato da un ritratto fotografico digitale e sull’altro da una superficie specchiante. Tutti i personaggi ritratti sono presidenti, politici, poeti e giornalisti “misteriosamente” scomparsi, esiliati o perseguitati durante la guerra fredda per motivi politici e vittime di operazioni internazionali dei servizi segreti occidentali. Come in un trucco magico, queste silhouettes di volti sono sospese a diverse altezze e si muovono producendo differenti effetti di proiezione di ombre e luci sulle pareti.

M.B. Bisogna sostare per un po’ nella sala espositiva per entrare in contatto con questo lavoro.

G.&C. Ciclicamente lo spazio dell’opera è invaso da un fumo denso che nasconde i volti e li rende confusi e irriconoscibili. Il disvelamento avviene dopo pochi minuti di attesa, nei quali pian piano il fumo si dirada, mostrando chiaramente i visi. Nell’installazione la metafora dell’illusione di Houdini viene messa in scena grazie al fumo, alla luce e alle riflessioni degli specchi, riproducendo la sparizione/rimozione della storia dei personaggi ritratti e delle operazioni segrete nelle quali erano coinvolti.

M.B. In questa mostra l’idea di illusione include anche il modo in cui le diverse opere entrano in relazione le une con le altre. Ci sono “scatole magiche” che si riflettono in grandi specchi, con l’illusione che del fumo esca dalle stesse scatole ed entri nel mondo riflesso, ci sono “trucchi” che sembrano guardare anche agli albori della storia del cinema.

G.&C. Si, è come se le opere fossero in continuo dialogo fra loro e cambiassero con il passare degli spettatori e del tempo. La scelta di utilizzare lo specchio come materiale di molti dei lavori rende la mostra relazionale e suscettibile al continuo cambiamento del contesto. La démocratie si modifica continuamente a seconda delle condizioni atmosferiche e della luce del giorno. Le silhouettes dei visi di Hiding the Elephant ruotano su sé stesse, illuminate da una luce diretta producono ombre e riflessioni in tutta la sala accecando a volte per pochi secondi lo spettatore, producendo un effetto di movimento e vita dell’installazione stessa. Le riflessioni invadono l’altra sala e proiettano le loro ombre sul video Fragments (2014) e sugli specchi Medusa Mirrors (2014). Le scatole magiche (Boîtes Magiques, 2014) si riflettono a loro volta negli specchi stampati con fumo, creando l’illusione nella riflessione che siano le scatole stesse a produrre il fumo colorato stampato sulla superficie dei Medusa Mirrors.

M.B. A Brest il percorso della mostra inizia con una dichiarazione forte, La démocratie est illusion, che avete sviluppato con grandi lettere specchianti, in grafia quasi gotica. Da dove viene la citazione?

G.&C. Si tratta del primo lavoro della serie e nasce come acquerello, successivamente viene trasformato in una installazione e nel titolo della mostra di Brest e Genova. La démocratie est illusion (2014), che si trova all’ingresso del percorso espositivo, provoca lo spettatore e lo introduce all’installazione Hiding the elephant. La superficie specchiante produce un effetto ottico, nel quale le lettere sembrano l’ingresso per un’altra dimensione, come se ci fosse una sala gemella al di là del muro. Sfida lo spettatore a guardare attentamente e a non farsi ingannare dalle apparenze.
Ciò che ci interessa è la similitudine nella pratica dell’inganno e  dell’illusione nella rappresentazione della realtà da parte della magia scenica e della politica dei servizi segreti. Rendendo il trucco realistico, il mago inganna lo spettatore e lo rende cieco di fronte al palco, restituendo una sensazione di stupore infantile e incredulità. La relazione tra la magia e le pratiche dei servizi segreti sta nel fatto che il pubblico vuole essere etero-diretto, non vuole scoprire il trucco. La questione si gioca nella “differenza tra credere e vedere, tra credere di vedere e intravedere o meno” (Jacques Derrida).

Images:
1. Goldschmied & Chari, Genealogia di damnatio memoriae Torino 1965-1982, 2012. Courtesy Catsello di Rivoli
2. Goldschmied & Chari, Genealogia di Damnatio Memoriae 1965-1981, 2009
3. Goldschmied & Chari, Dispositivo di rimozione #5, 2010

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CHIARA AGNELLO

Chiara Agnello is artistic director of Careof, a non-profit organization for the promotion of contemporary artistic research active in Milan, that since 1987 encourages cultural experimentation in all its forms, in particular the work of young artists. Careof positions itself as a privileged mediator between artists, curators, critics and a non-specialist audience, through a rich program of exhibitions and educational documentation services around the visual arts held at DOCVA and the residency program for creative FDV Residency Program.

Project: Piano – alto!
Space: Careof DOCVA

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH CHIARA AGNELLO, CAREOF DOCVA

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH CHIARA AGNELLO, CAREOF DOCVA

Vincent Honoré Can you introduce Careof, its history, missions and programmes?
Chiara Agnello Since 1987 Careof fosters the development of contemporary art practice with passion, creativity and expertise. Since then, Careof is a place where young and established artists can be inspired, exchange views and be encouraged to experiment, debate and grow.
Since 2002 Careof is located at Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, an industrial building from the early 20th century, which was originally meant for the construction, maintenance and sale of railway and tram material, and today is a youthful centre of cultural production.
In December 2013 with a new project nominated Taking Careof, we  created a new work team which pursues the organisation’s objectives updating its strategies,  transforming the cultural project into a sustainable one, increasing collaborative networks with professionals. Foster the development of artistic work, research and education is still one of our goals in conjunction with becoming a reference point for videoart in Italy and abroad.
Careof has various spaces and resources: an exhibition space of approximately 160 square metres; video and book archive held at DOCVA – Documentation centre for visual arts, born in collaboration with Viafarini; a residency programme for international artists and curators; a bookshop with new Italian and foreign publications.

V.H. “Experimentation” is a word that appears often in your mission statement: I am curious to know how you define “experimentation” in the field of contemporary art and in the framework of an institution.
C.A. Within a no profit organization as Careof the word experimentation is closely related to the continuous questioning of the organizational processes and the ability to be flexible in the face of opportunity, to changes in society and of the public we work with.
Obviously we have a well-defined mission, but the goals that we set are a response to the reading of our context. They can then change and evolve with time. An example is the focus on the video archive, which during our 26 years of history has acquired different roles and weights.

V.H. How do you foresee the future of an institution like yours in a context in which globalised museums and institutions become such powerful players, absorbing all energies, audiences and funding?
C.A. Careof is characterized by the ability to read the context and be an active part of the community we refer. We have the ability to observe the artistic practices in their multifaceted and multiform varieties, giving space also to the emerging ones.
We have the capacity to act with different strategies, giving space to the experimentation in a time which research and development are becoming less valued. For these reasons we believe that institutions like ours must continue to exist alongside the powerful players.

V.H. What is your mission with archive and archiving and how does it differ from collecting?
C.A. The video archive includes over 7,000 pieces and is the most important collection of videoart in Italy. The catalogue holds over 6,000 artworks, from the first experiments made in the 70s to work by the latest generations, and about 1,000 videos documenting exhibitions, conferences, performances and art events of international relevance.
One of Careof’s main activities is the filing, preservation and promotion of contemporary art material. In fact the archive also includes catalogues, specialised magazines, artists’ portfolio and photographs in all sorts of formats. The collection is an important resource to understand the development of contemporary art research over the past 40 years and specifically in Italy.
Careof has decided to make the archive perform, so we can spark a reflection that doesn’t only contemplate history, but it allows it to re-live, be modernized, enriched and expanded.
Through the video archive we develop exhibitions, residency and research projects.
We are archiving in order to support the artists and their work, share and pass on the knowledge and let everyone know the contemporary art scene. This is probably the main difference from collecting.

V.H. PIANO intends to create a network of art spaces working together, exchanging and interacting. Why did you decide to join the project and how are you participating in it?
C.A. Inside the mission of Careof there is the vocation to work with Italian and international institutions as we believe that through the exchange between cultures and people we can generate an enrichment.
We then responded to Stefania Meazza, curator of the project Piano – Alto! with enthusiasm. The project has provided for young Italian and French artists a period of residence at the centers involved: MAGP Cajarc / Maisons Daura, Saint-Cirq Lapopie, Chapelle Saint-Jacques, Saint-Gaudens and the BBB, centre d’art, Toulouse, in France; Dolomiti Contemporanee and Careof, in Italy. There have been several meetings between us to investigate the practices and activities of each organization. The choice of artists was facilitated by a pre-selection made by the institutions, offering a list of candidates to others. The selected artists are: Guillaume Robert, Lise Lacombe, Jérémy Laffon, Nina Fiocco and Daniele Pezzi.

Space: Careof DOCVA
Protagonist: Chiara Agnello
Project: Piano – alto!

Vincent Honoré Puoi presentare Careof, la sua storia, la sua mission e il suo programma?
Chiara Agnello Dal 1987 Careofpromuove lo sviluppo della pratica artistica contemporanea con passione, creatività e competenza. Sin dalla sua nascita, Careof è un luogo in cui artisti giovani e riconosciuti possono trarre ispirazione, scambiare le proprie visioni e trovare stimolo per sperimentare, discutere e crescere.
Dal 2002 Careof ha la propria sede presso la Fabbrica del Vapore a Milano, un edificio industriale risalente all’inizio del XX secolo, originariamente dedicato alla costruzione, alla manutenzione e alla vendita di materiale ferroviario e tramviario. Oggi è un centro per la produzione culturale.
Nel dicembre 2013, con un nuovo progetto intitolato Taking Careof, abbiamo creato una nuova squadra di lavoro che persegue gli obiettivi dell’organizzazione attraverso l’aggiornamento delle sue strategie, trasformando il progetto culturale secondo princípi di sostenibilità e incrementando le reti di collaborazione tra professionisti del settore. La promozione dello sviluppo della pratica artistica, della ricerca e dell’educazione è tuttora uno dei nostri principali obiettivi, insieme alla volontà di diventare un punto di riferimento per la videoarte in Italia e all’estero.
Careof ha diversi spazi e risorse: uno spazio espositivo di circa 160 metri quadrati; un archivio video e una biblioteca collocati presso il DOCVA – Centro di documentazione per le arti visive, nato in collaborazione con Viafarini; un programma di residenze per artisti e curatori internazionali; un bookshop con nuove pubblicazioni italiane e straniere.

V.H. “Sperimentazione” è un termine che ricorre spesso nei vostri statement: sono curioso di sapere quale senso date alla parola “sperimentazione” nell’ambito dell’arte contemporanea e nella cornice di un’istituzione.
C.A. Per un’istituzione no profit come Careof il termine “sperimentazione” è strettamente correlato alla continua ridefinizione dei processi organizzativi e alla capacità di essere flessibili di fronte alle opportunità, ai cambiamenti sociali e alle trasformazioni del pubblico con cui lavoriamo.
Ovviamente abbiamo una mission ben definita, ma gli obiettivi che ci poniamo sono una risposta all’analisi costante del contesto in cui operiamo. Essi possono quindi cambiare ed evolvere nel tempo. Un esempio di questo approccio è l’interesse dedicato all’archivio video, che nel corso di 26 anni di storia ha acquisito un ruolo e un peso sempre diversi.

V.H. Qual è il futuro di un’istituzione come Careof nel contesto attuale, in cui musei e istituzioni globalizzati assumono un crescente potere, assorbendo tutte le energie, le categorie di pubblico e le risorse economiche?
C.A. Careof è caratterizzato dalla capacità di leggere il contesto e di svolgere un ruolo attivo all’interno della comunità cui si rivolge. Siamo in grado di osservare le pratiche artistiche nelle loro sfaccettate e multiformi declinazioni, dando spazio ai fenomeni emergenti.
Sappiamo agire attraverso diverse strategie, mettendo in primo piano la sperimentazione in un momento in cui la ricerca e lo sviluppo sono sempre meno valorizzati. Per queste ragioni crediamo che le istituzioni come la nostra debbano continuare a esistere accanto alle realtà più influenti.

V.H. Qual è la vostra mission nell’ambito dell’archiviazione e come si differenzia dall’atto del collezionare?
C.A. L’archivio video include più di 7.000 lavori e costituisce la più importante collezione di videoarte in Italia. Il catalogo comprende più di 6.000 opere, dai primi esperimenti realizzati negli anni Settanta fino al lavoro delle generazioni più giovani, e circa 1.000 video che documentano mostre, conferenze, performance ed eventi artistici di rilevanza internazionale.
Una delle principali attività di Careof è la schedatura, la conservazione e la promozione del materiale artistico contemporaneo. L’archivio comprende infatti anche cataloghi, magazine specializzati, portfolio e fotografie di artisti in ogni formato. La collezione è un’importante risorsa per comprendere lo sviluppo della ricerca artistica contemporanea negli ultimi 40 anni, in particolare in Italia.
Careof ha deciso di dare all’archivio una natura performativa, in modo da poter sviluppare riflessioni non solo di carattere storico, ma anche in grado di rivivere, essere riattualizzate, arricchite e sviluppate.
Attraverso l’archivio video sviluppiamo progetti espositivi, di residenza e di ricerca. L’archivio è per noi uno strumento per sostenere gli artisti e il loro lavoro, per condividere e trasmettere la conoscenza e per permettere a ognuno di conoscere la scena dell’arte contemporanea. È questa probabilmente la differenza maggiore con una comune collezione.

V.H. PIANO mira a creare una rete di spazi artistici che lavorino insieme, attraverso processi di scambio e interazione. Perché avete deciso di aderire al progetto e come si realizza la vostra partecipazione?
C.A. Alla base della mission di Careof vi è la vocazione di lavorare con istituzioni italiane e internazionali, perché crediamo che attraverso lo scambio tra le culture e le persone sia possibile generare ricchezza.
Abbiamo quindi risposto con entusiasmo all’invito di Stefania Meazza, curatore del progetto Piano – Alto!. Il progetto ha permesso a giovani artisti italiani e francesi di compiere un periodo di residenza nei centri coinvolti: MAGP Cajarc / Maisons Daura, Saint-Cirq Lapopie, Chapelle Saint-Jacques, Saint-Gaudens e il BBB, centre d’art di Tolosa, in Francia; Dolomiti Contemporanee e Careof, in Italia. Abbiamo organizzato diversi incontri tra noi per analizzare le pratiche e le attività di ogni organizzazione. La scelta degli artisti è stata agevolata da una pre-selezione fatta dalle istituzioni, ciascuna delle quali ha presentato una lista alle altre. Gli artisti selezionati sono: Guillaume Robert, Lise Lacombe, Jérémy Laffon, Nina Fiocco e Daniele Pezzi.

Image:
1. Careof, new venue at Fabbrica del Vapore. Photo: Andrea Astesiano for Maxdesign

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Hou Hanru

Hou Hanru (born in 1963 in Guangzhou former Canton, China) is an art curator and critic who lives in Paris and San Francisco.
He received degrees from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and moved from China to France in 1990. He lived 16 years in Paris before moving to San Francisco in 2006. He worked at the San Francisco Art Institute as Director of Exhibitions and Public Program and Chair of Exhibition and Museum Studies from 2006 to 2012. He is co-director of the first World Biennale Forum (Gwangju, 2012). He is director of MAXXI.
He has curated numerous exhibitions including China/Avant-Garde (1989), Parisien(ne)s (1997), Cities On The Move (1997-2000), Shanghai Biennale (2000),Gwangju Biennale (2002), Venice Biennale (French Pavilion, 1999, Z.O.U. – Zone Of Urgency, 2003, Chinese Pavilion, 2007), Nuit Blanche (2004, Paris), the 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005), the 2nd Tirana Biennial (2005), the 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007), Global Multitude (Luxembourg 2007), Trans(cient)City (Luxembourg 2007), EV+A 2008 (Limerick), The Spectacle of the Everyday, The 10th Lyon Biennale (Lyon, 2009), the 5th Auckland Triennial (Auckland, New Zealand, May-August 2013).
He has been consultant and advisor in many international institutions including Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Kumamoto Museum of Contemporary Art (Kumamoto, Japan), De Appel Foundation (Amsterdam), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), Times Museum of Contemporary Art (Guangzhou), Today Art Museum (Beijing), Deutsche Bank Collection (Frankfurt), Kadist Art Foundation (San Francisco/Paris), Asian Art Archive (Hong Kong), etc. and served on the juries of many international awards including the Hugo Boss Prize (Guggenheim Museum), Chinese Contemporary Art Award (Beijing), Ars Fennica (Helsinki), Prix International d’Art Contemporain de la Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco (Monaco), etc.
He contributes regularly to international art magazines including Flash Art International, Art in America, Art Asia Pacific, Yishu, Art-It, etc. and served as guest/advisory editor for some of them.
A selection of his writings was published as On The Mid-Ground by Timezone 8, 2002.
His recent books include Paradigm Shifts, Walter & McBean Galleries exhibitions and public programs, San Francisco Art Institute, 2006-2011, San Francisco Art Institute, 2011 (with Mary Ellyn Johnson).
He has also taught and lectured in various artistic and educational institutions including Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam), HISK (Antwerp /Ghent), and numerous universities, museums, etc. across the world.

Partner: MAXXI

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Tony Fiorentino

Tony Fiorentino, Do you remember, 2013

Tony Fiorentino, Do you remember, 2013

Born 1987, Barletta, Italy
Lives and works in Milan, Italy
Tony Fiorentino was born in Barletta in 1987. After his studies, he moved to Carrara where he attended the Academy of Fine Arts and founded a space for young rising artists’ solo and collective exhibits. The work of Tony Fiorentino is characterized by a continuous search for expression and experimentation through several materials and practices. Objects, thoughts and actions turn into compositions that display a narrative and poetic impact, by which he comments visually on our human condition with all our troubles as well as our social and existential issues. In 2007 he won a scholarship that allowed him to attend the Anotati Skoli Kalon Tecknon in Athens for a year. He then moved to Amsterdam and London. In 2013, he was invited to the CSAV Artist Research Laboratory at Antonio Ratti’s Foundation, with the visiting professor Matt Mullican. He won several awards as an emerging artist, among which the Talent Prize-Meta Energia at the MACRO Museum, Rome (2012). He was invited to take part in several exhibitions in Italy and abroad, among which are: Concrete Ghost – Cinque Mostre, American Academy in Rome (2014); Contemporary locus 5, Domus Lucina, Bergamo (2013), Dominium melancholiae, Spazio Salenbauch, Venice (2013); Ragazze, Viafarini, Milan (2013); Off site / Not in place #3, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lissone (2013); Underneath the Street, the Beach, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2012); Open House, Reappropriation & Possession, Salon Flux, London (2012); Officine dell’Arte, Viafarini/Careof/DOCVA, Milan (2010). He currently lives and works in Milan.

Project: From & To

 

Tony Fiorentino nasce a Barletta nel 1987. Studia presso l’Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara, dove fonda uno spazio espositivo per giovani artisti emergenti. Nel 2007 grazie a una borsa di studio frequenta per un anno l’Anotati Skoli Kalon Tecknon di Atene. Successivamente si trasferisce a Amsterdam e a Londra. Nel 2012 vince il Talent Prize – Meta Energia, Museo Macro Pelanda, Roma (2012). Tra le principali mostre in Italia e all’estero: Concrete Ghost – Cinque Mostre, American Academy in Rome (2014); Dominium melancholiae, Spazio Salenbauch, Venezia (2013); Off site / Not in place #3, Underneath the Street, the Beach, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino (2012); Open House, reappropriation & possession, Salon Flux, Londra (2012); Officine dell’Arte, Viafarini/Careof/Docva, Milano (2010). Vive e lavora a Milano.

 

Né à Barletta en 1987. Vit et travaille à Milan. Il a étudié à l’Académie des Beaux-arts de Carrara ou il a fondé un espace d’exposition pour les jeunes artistes émergents. En 2017, grâce à une bourse d’études, il fréquente l’Anotati Skoli Kalon Tecknon d’Athènes. Il s’installe ensuite à Amsterdam puis à Londres. En 2012 il remporte le Prix Talent – Energie Voyage, Musée MACRO Pelanda, Rome (2012). Principales expositions en Italie et à l’étranger : Concrete Ghost ‘Cinque Mostre’, American Academy, Rome (2014), Dominium melancholiae, Spazio Salenbauch, Venise (2013), Off site / Not in place #3, Underneath the Street, the Beach, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2012); Open House, reappropriation & possession, Salon Flux, Londres (2012), Officine dell’Arte, Viafarini/Careof/Docva, Milan (2010).

Image:
Tony Fiorentino, Do you remember, 2013

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LORRAINE CHATEAUX

Lorraine Châteaux, Cowri, 2013

Lorraine Châteaux, Cowri, 2013

Born 1986
Lives and works in Ivry sur Seine, France
Graduate from the DNSEP / Master’s Degree of the Villa Arson in 2012. Recent collective exhibitions: Des corps compétents (la modification) in 2013 and Heart of Darkness in 2012 in Centre d’Art de la Villa Arson, STATION – Encounters At The End Of The World in 2013 in Sèvres, and Les Contenances de la Table at Galerie Territoires partagés in Marseille. A solo exhibition (Fat Lava) is in preparation for 2015 at Galerie 5UN7 in Bordeaux.
I lived for almost twenty years in social housing built in the 1970s by Jean Renaudie, whose utopian architecture, star-shaped, did not allow the furniture to fit properly. This maladjustment wrought in me, as if I were an architect or a designer, the desire and the necessity to rethink objects and forms surrounding us. I consider that my practice would be one of a forward-looking engineer, or of an anthropologist, who seeks to understand shapes and to anticipate them. This restatement of objects, tinged with foolishness, attempts, in the age of digital revolution and 3D printers, to put into perspective our relationship with objects, and to determine its essence, its immutable nature.

Project: From & To

 

Nata nel 1986, vive e lavora a Ivry-sur-Seine. Ottiene il diploma DNSEP della Villa Arson nel 2012. Mostre collettive recenti: Des corps incompétents (la modification) nel 2013 e nel 2012 alla Villa Arson, STATION – Encounters At The End Of The World nel 2013 a Sèvres e Les Contenances de la Table alla Galerie Territoires partagés di Marsiglia. Una personale, Fat Lava, è in preparazione per il 2015 presso la Galerie 5UN7 di Bordeaux.

 

Née en 1986. Vit et travaille à Ivry-sur-Seine. Diplômée du DNSEP de la Villa Arson en 2012. Expositions collectives récentes : Des corps compétents (la modification) en 2013 et Heart of Darkness en 2012 à la Villa Arson, STATION – Encounters At The End Of The World en 2013 à Sèvres, et Les Contenances de la Table a la Galerie Territoires partagés à Marseille. Une exposition personnelle, Fat Lava, est en préparation pour 2015 à la Galerie 5UN7 de Bordeaux.

Image:
Lorraine Châteaux, Cowri, 2013

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Sanja Iveković

Born 1949, Zagreb, Yugoslavia
Lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia

Sanja Iveković is associated with the “Nova Umjetnička Praksa” (New Art Practice), a generation of Croatian artists who emerged in the 1960s and sought to renew artistic practice and assert its place in society. Using collaborative strategies, she has produced performances, collages, sculptures, and installations that privilege themes of gender, identity, and memory. In a patriarchal culture, her politically inspired work challenges the stereotypical construction of female identity and its substantial political role in history. The figure of Rosa Luxemburg, assassinated for her radical political position in 1919, is a major inspiration for the artist. In 2001, at the Casino Luxembourg, Iveković appropriated the Gëlle Fra (The Golden Woman), a monument dedicated to Luxembourgish volunteers who fought in the 20th Century wars. The statue became a pregnant Lady Rosa of Luxembourg, her pedestal inscribed with the words “Resistance,” “Kultur,” “Kapital,” “Virgin,” “Madonna,” and “Bitch.”
In response to an invitation to produce a work for the city of Aalborg in Denmark, Sanja Iveković proposed rebuilding a monument designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in memory of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Inaugurated in Berlin in 1926, the monument was destroyed by the Nazis in 1935. For the new version of the anti-Fascist memorial, the artist plans to gather the bricks needed to rebuild it with the help of international donations. During the exhibition Soleil politique, Iveković will launch the project with a public appeal.

 

Nata a Zagabria, Yugoslavia, nel 1949
Vive e lavora a Zagabria, Croazia

Sanja Iveković fa parte della “Nova Umjetnička Praksa” (Nuova Pratica Artistica), generazione di artisti croati che vuole rinnovare la pratica dell’arte e rivendicare la propria iscrizione nella società. Attraverso delle strategie collaborative, l’artista realizza performance, collage, sculture o installazioni legate ai temi che predilige: le questioni di genere, l’identità e la memoria. In una cultura patriarcale, il lavoro impegnato di Iveković mette a confronto la costruzione identitaria e stereotipata della donna a quello che è il suo autentico ruolo politico nella storia. La figura di Rosa Luxemburg, assassinata a causa delle sue idee politiche, è un punto di riferimento per l’artista. Nel 2001, al Casino Luxembourg, Lussemburgo, Iveković trasforma la scultura della Gëlle Fra (Donna dorata), monumento in onore dei soldati lussemburghesi. La statua diventa Lady Rosa of Luxembourg, e questa volta è incinta: sulla base del nuovo monumento l’artista iscrive le parole “Résistance”, “Kultur”, “Kapital”, “Virgin” e “Madonna”.
Invitata a eseguire un’opera per la città di Aalborg, in Danimarca, Sanja Iveković propone di ricostruire un monumento ideato da Mies van der Rohe in omaggio a Rosa Luxemburg e Karl Liebknecht (Berlino, 1926), distrutto dai nazisti nel 1935. Per la nuova versione del memoriale antifascista, l’artista desidera riunire i mattoni necessari alla riedificazione attraverso una colletta internazionale. In Soleil Politique, Sanja Iveković inaugura questo progetto con il lancio di un annuncio pubblico.

Née à Zagreb, Yugoslavie, en 194

9
Vit et travaille à Zagreb, Croatie

Sanja Iveković est associée à la « Nova Umjetnička Praksa » (Nouvelle Pratique Artistique), génération d’artistes croates qui vise à renouveler la pratique de l’art et revendique son inscription dans la société. À travers des stratégies collaboratives, elle réalise des performances, collages, sculptures ou installations liées à ses thématiques de prédilection : le genre, l’identité et la mémoire. Dans une culture patriarcale, son travail de nature engagée confronte la construction identitaire et stéréotypée de la femme et son véritable rôle politique dans l’histoire.
Rosa Luxemburg, assassinée à cause de ses positions politiques, est une référence majeure pour l’artiste. En 2001, au Casino Luxembourg, Iveković réinvestit la Gëlle Fra (femme dorée), monument dédié aux soldats luxembourgeois. La statue devient Lady Rosa of Luxembourg, cette fois en gestation. Sur son socle sont inscris les mots « Résistance », « Kultur », « Kapital », « Virgin » et « Madonna ».
Suite à l’invitation à produire une œuvre pour la ville d’Aalborg au Danemark, Sanja Iveković propose de rebâtir un monument conçu par Mies van der Rohe en hommage à Rosa Luxemburg et Karl Liebknecht (Berlin, 1926) et détruit par les nazis en 1935. Pour la nouvelle itération du mémorial antifasciste, l’artiste souhaite rassembler les briques nécessaires à sa réédification par une collecte internationale. Dans le cadre de Soleil Politique, Sanja Iveković inaugure ce processus par le lancement d’un appel public.

Project: Soleil politique

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Rosalind Nashashibi

PLE-TPOMPT-056

Born 1973, Croydon, United Kingdom
Lives and works in Liverpool, United Kingdom

Image:
Rosalind Nashashibi, The Prisoner, 2008, 16 mm film, 5 minutes. © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Claire Le Restif

AppleMark

Holder of a Master’s Degree in Art History / Curatorial Studies from the University of Rennes (France), Claire Le Restif was born in 1967. Independent curator from 2001 to 2003, she has been director of Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, since March 2003, where she invited artists like Lara Almarcegui, Leonor Antunes, Mircea Cantor, Peter Coffin, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Aurélien Froment, Geert Goiris, Friedrich Kunath, Mathieu Mercier, Bojan Sarcevic, Jessica Warboys… She has organized exhibitions in different places: Attitudes, Genève, unsthausbaselland, Basel, the Smack Mellon Center, Brooklyn, the Kunsthalle Palazzo, Basel, AKSANAT Art Center, Istanbul, Kunstverein, Nürnberg, Academia de Bellas Artes, Madrid. She taught by the past at the University and at the School of Fine Arts.
Claire Le Restif conceives curating as a consideration of the context in which she works, not to answer a request but to offer to the public the current artistic peculiarity. Known for its will to cultivate the ground and to give their chance to young artists, le Crédac associates an excellent politics in term of artistic choice with a search for closeness with the public.
She is a member of IKT, International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art.

Project: The Registry of Promise
Space: Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac

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Vincent Honoré in conversation with Claire Le Restif, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH CLAIRE LE RESTIF, LE CRÉDAC, IVRY-SUR-SEINE

Vincent Honoré How was the Crédac created and what is its fundamental purpose?
Claire Le Restif The art centre was created in 1987, instigated by artists and political will. It is one of the first art centres in Île-de-France. Situated in Ivry-sur-Seine, the Crédac is a place whose visitors comprise locals from Ivry and French residents passing through the region or from Paris to visit the exhibitions or attend meetings. The question of public transit is central, as is the relationship between Paris and its outskirts.
Although the art centre is the location of the artist’s project above all, it remains no less a laboratory for the transmission of art, its questions, utopias and forms.

V.H. The Crédac is one of many art centres that form a dynamic network in France and without which a large proportion of contemporary culture and art would undoubtedly be inaccessible. How does its DNA differentiate it in this network?
C.L.R. The art centre is a public place. Also the project that I am developing strives to eliminate as far as possible the notion of personal taste or aesthetic line to the benefit of exhibiting a wider range of creativity and its aesthetic and critical issues. I express more of a relationship with art by inviting artistic projects that develop different issues embodied by forms that interpret the wealth of current artistic expression. I also regard certain forms of publication as spaces to ‘curate’. We do not publish exhibition booklets but a free publication called Le Mecca. It provides information about activity issues at the Crédac, the planning and mediation alike. It also opens an additional avenue for reinterpretation and memory.
Lastly, there is Royal Garden, a virtual world extension of Crédac’s artistic mission. It’s a sort of virtual review montage, a multidisciplinary place of production and critical, theoretical and artistic exquisite corpse.

6. Lara Almarcegui, Ivry souterrain

2. Lara Almarcegui, Ivry souterrain, 2013

V.H. There is a fundamental phrase in the presentation of the centre: ‘an art centre is not just a space defined in terms of square metres. For artists it is also a place for intellectual, critical and technical mentoring.’ I would like you to elaborate on this notion of mentoring.
C.L.R. An art centre is not just a place measured in square metres, a showcase… For the artists it is a place to carry out research, to experiment and for intellectual, critical and technical support. It is a place for artistic yet all too often illegitimate, freedom.
When I talk about mentoring, it is regarding the artists for whom we are benchmarks when required, but it is also the mentoring that has been instigated between art centres.

V.H. I am more interested in the programme than the exhibition in my interviews with institution directors, both for the project PIANO and CURA. magazine. That is, in the structure behind a vision, a dynamic and a horizon for a place, a project and a team. This problem interests me all the more as the gap between spheres of intellectual strength or experiment and sanctuaries of global culture is widening (without personal preference for one or the other). In your opinion, what is the role of an art centre director in 2014?
C.L.R. To ensure that the venues at best develop and consolidate, and in the worse case scenario they are sustained! We have to be in permanent contact with the artists and liaise with civil society, another mission that is important in my eyes! But the context in which we work is very important. It should be taken into consideration in a peaceful but also resistant way (laughter). To support what we believe should be stated and exhibited, sometimes against the advice of fashion, the art market and public taste!
To explain our relationship with art, to feel part of the cultural heritage of an exhibition history as a source for reflection even about the history of recent art, whilst putting to the test our ability to continue to invent new forms of exhibits and more broadly new ways of working together.

3. View of the exhibition Mathieu Mercier

3. View of the exhibition Mathieu Mercier. Sublimations, 2012

V.H. Charles Esche described his ideal museum as being inherently uncertain: simultaneously and integrally a community centre, a laboratory, an institute and a gallery. A place where the production is not necessarily ‘productive,’ but a continual process of reconfiguration and a form open to incomplete architecture. How did you structure the curatorial approach to the venue, the institution?
C.L.R. The programme that I drew up for the Crédac when I arrived was very bound to the context and the topography of the underground location, situated until 2011 within the foundations of the Jeanne Hachette Centre, built by the architect Jean Renaudie between 1970 and 1975. To kick off, I set up an exhibition in two parts called La partie continue (The Games Goes On), a small show to present the goals of my programme. The project was initially inspired by this unusual venue, the sloping white cube and compromised geometry. This title bore the notion of continuous and discontinuous play. Having formulated the concepts of citing, misappropriation, mixing and borrowing, it was more the loss of the notion of authority, of ownership and the calling into question of inheritance that interested me.
We left this venue for a factory built in 1913. La Manufacture has thus resumed its original production studio activity: studios in which artists can create, mature and produce; studios for artistic practices, experimentation and mediation for different audiences; studios for discussion and reflection during workshops, meetings and debates.

V.H. PIANO wishes to create a space for exchange and dialogue between Italian and French art venues. Why did you want to participate and what programme are you offering?
C.L.R. We have the impression, most notably with Sandra Patron and Lorenzo Benedetti, that the role of art centres is not studied, analysed and promoted enough. I feel it is crucial to defend the role played by art centres in implementing networks for artistic presentation on a European level.
How would a museum collection become established today if the network of European art centres ever disappeared? What issues would occur for an artistic community without a local venue for peripheral circulation? Lastly, how does the economic crisis endanger the art ecosystem?
I had an in-depth discussion concerning these questions with Chris Sharp who had his project The Registry of Promise in mind. My idea was to set up an association of four dynamic venues that he is also in regular contact with: the Fondazione Giuliani in Rome, Parc Saint Léger in Pougues-les-Eaux and De Vleeshal in Middelburg.

5. Boris Achour,

4. Boris Achour, Une partie d’Assemblée, 2012

 

Vincent Honoré Comment a été créé le Crédac et quelle est sa mission fondamentale ?
Claire Le Restif Le Centre d’art a été créé en 1987 à partir d’une initiative d’artistes et d’une volonté politique. Il est un des centres d’art pionniers en Île-de-France. Situé à Ivry-sur-Seine, le Crédac est un lieu dont le public est constitué à la fois d’Ivryens et de métropolitains qui traversent la région ou qui viennent de Paris pour visiter les expositions ou assister à des rencontres. Cet enjeu de déplacement des publics est central, comme l’est la relation qu’entretient Paris avec sa périphérie.
Bien que le centre d’art soit avant tout le lieu du projet de l’artiste, il n’en demeure pas moins un laboratoire de transmission de l’art, de ses questions, de ses utopies et de ses formes.

V.H. Le Crédac fait partie des nombreux centres d’art qui forment en France un réseau dynamique, et sans qui une grande part de la culture contemporaine et de l’art contemporain ne serait certainement pas visible. Dans ce réseau, quel est son ADN, sa différence ?
C.L.R. Le centre d’art est un lieu public, aussi le projet que je développe tente de gommer le plus possible la notion de goût personnel ou de ligne esthétique au profit de l’exposition d’un état élargi de la création, de ses enjeux esthétiques et critiques. J’énonce davantage un rapport à l’art en invitant des projets artistiques qui développent des enjeux différents incarnés par des formes traduisant la richesse des langages artistiques actuels. Je considère aussi que certaines formes de publication sont des espaces à « curater ». Nous n’éditons non pas des journaux d’exposition mais une publication gratuite intitulée Le Mecca. Elle donne des indications sur les enjeux des activités du Crédac, la programmation comme les actions de médiation. Elle ouvre également une voie supplémentaire, celle de la relecture et de la mémoire.
Enfin, il y a Royal Garden, véritable prolongement sur le mode virtuel du projet artistique du Crédac. C’est une sorte de revue virtuelle hirsute, un lieu de production pluridisciplinaire, un cadavre exquis critique, théorique et artistique.

V.H. Dans la présentation du centre, il y a cette phrase fondamentale : « un centre d’art n’est pas simplement un espace qui se définit en mètres carrés. C’est aussi, pour les créateurs, un lieu de compagnonnage intellectuel, critique et technique ». J’aimerais que vous reveniez sur cette notion de compagnonnage et que nous la définissions davantage.
C.L.R. Un centre d’art ce n’est pas simplement un lieu, des mètres carrés, une vitrine… C’est, pour les artistes, un lieu de recherche, d’expérimentation, d’accompagnement intellectuel, critique et technique. C’est un lieu de permission pour les artistes, mais qui reste trop souvent encore illégitime.
Lorsque j’aborde l’idée du compagnonnage, c’est envers les artistes pour lesquels nous sommes des référents lorsqu’ils ont besoin d’aide, mais c’est aussi le compagnonnage que l’on met en place entre centres d’art.

V.H. Dans mes entretiens avec des directeurs d’institutions, tant pour le projet PIANO que pour CURA. magazine, je m’intéresse davantage au programme qu’à l’exposition. Davantage à la structure qui sous-tend une vision, une dynamique et un horizon pour un lieu, un projet et une équipe. Cette problématique m’intéresse d’autant plus que l’écart entre zones de résistances intellectuelles ou d’expérimentations et temples de la culture globale se creuse (sans aucune préférence personnelle pour l’un ou l’autre). Selon vous, quel est le rôle d’un directeur de centre d’art en 2014 ?
C.L.R. Faire en sorte que les lieux, au mieux se développent et se consolident, et au pire qu’ils se maintiennent ! Il faut être en contact permanent avec les artistes et faire le lien avec la société civile, autre mission qui est, à mes yeux, importante. Mais le contexte dans lequel nous travaillons importe beaucoup. Il faut tour à tour en tenir compte de manière pacifiée mais aussi hostile (rires). Maintenir ce qui nous semble devoir être énoncé et exposé, parfois contre l’avis de la mode, du marché de l’art, du goût du public !
Exposer notre rapport à l’art, se sentir héritiers d’une histoire de l’exposition comme support de réflexion, jusqu’à l’histoire de l’art récente, tout en mettant à l’épreuve notre capacité à inventer toujours de nouvelles formes d’expositions et plus largement de nouvelles manières de travailler ensemble.

V.H. Charles Esche a décrit son musée idéal comme étant fondamentalement incertain : à la fois simultanément et intégralement, centre communautaire, laboratoire, institut, galerie. Un lieu où la production n’est pas obligatoirement « productive », un lieu en permanente reconfiguration, une forme ouverte à l’architecture incomplète. Comment avez-vous structuré l’approche curatoriale du lieu, de l’institution ?
C.L.R. Le programme que j’avais défini pour le Crédac à mon arrivée était très lié au contexte et à la topographie du lieu underground, situé jusqu’en 2011 dans les fondations du Centre Jeanne Hachette, construit par l’architecte Jean Renaudie entre 1970 et 1975. Pour démarrer, j’avais mis en place une exposition en deux volets intitulée La partie continue, un petit manifeste pour présenter les enjeux de mon programme. Le projet était inspiré au départ par ce lieu à la topographie singulière, le white cube en pente et à la géométrie contrariée. Ce titre portait en lui la notion de jeu entre continuité et discontinuité. Une fois les concepts de citation, de détournement, de mixage et d’emprunt posés, c’était davantage la disparition de la notion d’autorité, de propriété, et la remise en question des héritages qui m’intéressaient.
Nous avons quitté ce lieu pour une usine construite en 1913. La Manufacture est ainsi rendue à son activité initiale d’atelier de production : ateliers de création, de mûrissement et de production pour les artistes ; ateliers de pratiques artistiques, d’expérimentation et de médiation pour les différents publics ; ateliers de discussion et de réflexion lors de workshops, de rencontres et de débats.

V.H. PIANO veut créer un espace d’échange et de dialogue entre des lieux d’art italiens et français. Pourquoi avez-vous souhaité participer et quel programme proposez-vous ?
C.L.R. Nous avions le sentiment, avec Sandra Patron et Lorenzo Benedetti notamment, que le rôle des centres d’art n’était pas assez étudié, analysé et mis en avant. Il me paraît essentiel de défendre le rôle joué par les centres d’art dans la mise en place de réseaux de diffusion artistique au niveau européen.
Comment se constituerait la collection d’un musée aujourd’hui si d’aventure le réseau des centres d’art européens disparaissait ? Quels seraient les enjeux d’une communauté artistique sans lieu de diffusion périphérique et de proximité ? Enfin, comment la crise économique met en danger l’écosystème de l’art ?
J’avais un échange riche sur ces questions avec Chris Sharp qui avait en tête son projet The Registry of Promise. J’ai eu l’idée de mettre en place une association de quatre lieux dynamiques et qui sont également en dialogue régulier avec lui. La Fondazione Giuliani à Rome, le Parc Saint Léger à Pougues-les-Eaux et le centre d’art de Vleeshal à Middelburg.

Images:
1. Mandla Reuter, The Agreement, Vienna, 2011, armoire, 198 x 129 x 85 cm. Installation view Galerie Mezzanin, 2011. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Mezzanin. Photo: Karl Kühn
2. Lara Almarcegui, Ivry souterrain, 2013, book, 80 pages, 11 x 18 cm, 22 black-and-white illustrations, 2000 copies. Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy of the artist & Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam. Exhibition Lara Almarcegui. Ivry souterrain, 19 April – 23 June 2012
3. View of the exhibition Mathieu Mercier. Sublimations, 20 January – 25 March 2012, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac. Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy of the artist
4. Boris Achour, Une partie d’Assemblée, 2012, video, 15 mn. Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy of the artist. Exhibition Boris Achour. Séances (Sessions), 13 April – 3 June 2012

Space: Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac
Protagonist: Claire Le Restif
Project: The Registry of Promise

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Sandra Patron

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Sandra Patron dirige depuis 2007 le Parc Saint Léger, Centre d’art contemporain où elle a curaté entre autre les expositions personnelles de Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Oscar Tuazon, Simon Starling, Alain Bublex ou encore Gabriel Kuri. Depuis son arrivée, elle a structuré le pôle résidences du centre d’art avec la mise en place de La Grande Ourse et des Résidences Secondaires, placé la production des artistes au cœur du projet hors-les-murs, et développé l’ancrage international du lieu notamment par l’invitation faite chaque année à des commissaires étrangers.
De 1998 à 2007 Sandra Patron a dirigé triangle france à Marseille, artist run space intégrée au Triangle Art Trust, où elle développa notamment un festival bisannuel de performances (action-man-œuvres), des résidences croisées à Hambourg et Barcelone et des expositions de la jeune scène française à l’étranger, à Los Angeles, New York et Vilnius.
Elle est actuellement Présidente de d.c.a / association de développement des centres d’art, vice-présidente de triangle France et membre du comité d’acquisition du cnap (Centre national des arts plastiques).

Project: The Registry of Promise
Space: Parc Saint Léger

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Vincent Honoré in conversation with Sandra Patron, Parc Saint Léger, Pougues-les-Eaux

VINCENT HONORE IN CONVERSATION WITH SANDRA PATRON, PARC SAINT LEGER, POUGUES-LES-EAUX

Vincent Honoré What was behind the creation of the art centre in 1998?

Sandra Patron There are two factors behind the creation of the art centre: first of all one man’s passion for contemporary creation, Bernard Bardin, then chairman of the General Council of Nièvre. He wanted this rural area to be rooted, in no ordinary dated nostalgia, but in the times and the questioning that it generates. Then as this region has been hit hard by de-industrialisation and an exodus towards cities, leaving entire sections of its heritage empty. This was notably the case with Pougues-les-Eaux, a spa resort that has been abandoned since the end of the ’70s. Local councillors were hoping to breathe new life into these sites without knowing exactly how to tackle the problem. In any case, chances are that a contemporary art centre had not been envisaged by most of them. Many had their reservations, and the discussions were heated, only Bernard Bardin’s pugnacity enabled the project to come to fruition. 

7_Wilfrid Almendra

2. Wilfrid Almendra, Le Splendid, 2013

V.H. How would you describe the art centre’s unique DNA in relation to other similar structures?

S.P. I think it is the characterful site that prompted me from the outset to consider the artistic project a time to offer artists rather than as a space to be invested. Residencies enable that, in addition to the off-site programme, insofar as we can at certain moments encourage long production processes, at other times react very quickly to requests that require technical expertise made possible by the scope of our local partners.
Paradoxically, the isolation of the site – or in any case its isolation from the art scene – is in my view a constituent part of the project, its strength and originality, this isolation enables a quite unique quality of concentration, for the team as well as for the artists. It also often enables often strong and sometimes friendly links to be formed between us. There is a lovely text by Giorgio Agamben on this matter of friendship and complicity acting as a powerful driving force to create a space for sharing and production, I have great faith in this idea, and there again, our setting is conducive to this type of approach.
Regarding projects that could characterise the way in which we envisage production processes, two examples come to mind: Lili Reynaud-Dewar came here to develop a project around the Black Maria, this first movie production studio conceived by Edison. For several months, the PSL was transformed into a film factory, a loyal troop rallied around his project, costume designers, actors, make-up artists and musicians, the films were shot on site, they were put together on site, the exhibition made this production process perceptible. Likewise Alain Bublex spent over a year on and off at the art centre in 2011 to produce a motorbike prototype in partnership with a local engineering school specialising in the car industry. In the global context in which we work, forging ahead, I realise that this way of working is a real luxury, for myself as well as my team of course, but also and above all for the artists. 

Parc Saint Léger

3. Parc Saint Léger

V.H. You started managing the art centre in 2007. Have you modified the programme or changed the focus of the centre, or quite the opposite do you want to anchor a heritage?

S.P. When I started, I kept the constituent parts of the project: the residency, the scheduling in situ as well as off-site but yes, there have been many changes. I wholeheartedly wanted the place to be anchored on a European level not only through the programme choices but also by inviting foreign curators every year. The residencies were reviewed: one, Les Résidences Secondaires, devoted to emerging artists, the other, La Grande Ourse, is a research residency at the crossroads of disciplines (theory, practical, graphic design) that I organise every year with art schools in Bourges, Cergy, Dijon and the graphic design centre in Chaumont. The off-site programme was reviewed, probably because, at the start, I was quite unsettled by this project and the sociocultural deviations that could result. Not really knowing how to address the question, I simply decided that we were going to do what we knew how to do: to produce artworks with artists. The person in charge of off-site programme was previously a cultural mediator, I decided to recruit an exhibition curator, and this simple decision completely changed the direction.

V.H. Parc Saint Léger is a complex structure that regroups a set of cultural facilities: exhibition space, residencies, publications, off-site actions. How do you combine all these activities into one coherent programme? 

Gabriel Kuri, bottled water branded water. Installation view

4. Gabriel Kuri, bottled water branded water. Installation view

S.P. I do not aspire to combine our different activities at all costs, but I actually worked to make synergy possible, and at the same time – and this is essential for me, for it to be possible for there to be no synergy. For our Résidences Secondaires for example, three month residences devoted to the emerging European scene), we select the artists one year in advance, we initiate discussions with them well ahead, we discuss the off-site programme with them, and very often there is a specific context that stimulates them, so we make this link between the residency and the off-site programme. But sometimes, the artists just need time for a break, for research, to bathe in the Loire and to smoke a cigarette by the fire, and that is fine with us too.

V.H. The location is rural. What bearing does its location have on your programme?

S.P. In concrete terms its rural location means that there is no power struggle with anyone: not in the art world as geographically you are not treading on anyone’s toes, nor locally as up against performing arts centres that are more easily identifiable, art centres are still as strange as UFOs. This lack of any threat to anyone brings great freedom on a daily basis. I am not sure for example that a project like Breathing House by Jean-Pascal Flavien would have been so simple to organise in an urban setting, with the numerous rules involved and the representatives to meet and to convince.

V.H. PIANO wants to create a space for exchange and dialogue between Italian and French art venues. Why did you want to participate and what programme are you proposing?  

S.P. Four years ago, I wished to become involved in the d.c.a office (that initiated PIANO) alongside Claire Le Restif, director of the Crédac, to encourage art centre networking on a European level. The reasons are pragmatic, strategic and artistic at the same time: pragmatic as there is less and less funding, and networking enables us to raise funds to produce our projects; strategic as in the cultural arena in France, we have been isolated for too long from the international scene and its players and there is a need for us, in terms of visibility, impact and symbolic power, to bridge this gap; artistic of course as directing an art centre sometimes means a certain amount of solitude and discussions with colleagues, a fortiori those with other thought processes, are vital. I am for example delighted about the discussions that I have at the moment with Chris Sharp, the curator of our exhibition for PIANO, The Registry of Promise, an exhibition with a literary construction in four chapters. His relationship with art, his approach, the way in which he works with artists, the way in which he perceives this very strange profession known as exhibition curator, is all very refreshing and a source of inspiration for me.

Simon Starling, THEREHERETHENTHERE (la Source). Installation view

5. Simon Starling, THEREHERETHENTHERE (la Source). Installation view

Space: Parc Saint Léger
Protagonists: Sandra Patron
Project: The Registry of Promise

 

Vincent Honoré Quelles sont les raisons qui ont présidé à la creation du centre d’art en 1998 ?

Sandra Patron La création du centre d’art résulte de deux facteurs : tout d’abord la passion d’un homme, Bernard Bardin, alors président du Conseil Général de la Nièvre, pour la création contemporaine. Il souhaitait ancrer ce territoire rural, non dans une quelconque nostalgie passéiste, mais bien dans son époque et les questionnements qu’elle suscite. Ensuite, parce que cette région a subi de plein fouet la désindustrialisation et l’exode vers les grandes villes, laissant des pans entiers de son patrimoine vacant. C’était notamment le cas de la station thermale de Pougues-les-Eaux, en déshérence depuis la fin des années ’70. Les élus locaux étaient à la recherche d’une nouvelle vie pour ces lieux sans savoir exactement comment envisager le problème, en tout cas, il est fort à parier que créer un centre d’art contemporain n’était pas, pour la majorité d’entre eux, une solution envisagée. Les réticences furent nombreuses, et les débats passionnés, seule la pugnacité de Bernard Bardin a permis au projet de voir le jour. 

V.H. Comment définir l’A.D.N. du centre d’art, ce qui le singularise par rapport à d’autres structures similaires ?

S.P. Je crois que c’est le lieu, avec ses caractéristiques, qui m’a amené dès le départ à envisager le projet artistique comme un temps à offrir aux artistes plus que comme un espace à investir. Les résidences permettent cela, ainsi que la programmation hors les murs, dans la mesure où nous pouvons à certains moments impulser des processus de production longs, à d’autres moments réagir très vite à des demandes qui supposent de mobiliser des compétences techniques qui sont rendues possibles par l’étendue de nos partenaires à l’échelle locale.
Paradoxalement, l’isolement du lieu – ou en tout cas son isolement de la scène artistique – me semble constitutif du projet, il en fait sa force et sa singularité, cet isolement crée une qualité de concentration dans le travail assez unique, tant pour l’équipe que pour les artistes. Il permet également de créer entre nous des liens souvent forts, parfois amicaux. Il y a un très joli texte de Giorgio Agamben sur cette question de l’amitié et de la complicité comme un puissant moteur pour créer un espace de partage et de production, je crois beaucoup à cette idée, et là encore, notre contexte favorise ce type d’approche.
Concernant des projets qui pourraient caractériser la façon dont nous envisageons les processus de production, deux exemples me viennent à l’esprit : Lili Reynaud-Dewar est venue développer un projet autour de la Black Maria, ce premier studio de cinéma imaginé par Edison. Pendant plusieurs mois, le PSL s’est alors transformé en usine à film, une troupe fidèle s’est retrouvée autour de son projet, costumiers, acteurs, maquilleurs, musiciens, on a tourné les films sur place, on les a monté sur place, l’exposition matérialisait ce processus de production. Idem avec Alain Bublex qui, en 2011, a passé plus d’un an par intermittence au centre d’art pour produire un prototype de moto en partenariat avec une école d’ingénieur locale spécialisée dans l’industrie automobile. Dans le contexte global qui est le nôtre, celui d’une fuite en avant généralisée, je mesure à quel point cette façon de travailler est un luxe, pour moi et mon équipe bien sûr, mais aussi et surtout pour les artistes. 

V.H. Vous avez pris la direction du centre d’art en 2007. Avez vous infléchi la programmation ou changé les missions du centre, ou au contraire avez-vous souhaité ancrer un héritage ?

S.P. À mon arrivée, j’ai conservé les éléments constitutifs du projet : la résidence, la programmation in situ et la programmation hors les murs mais oui, les évolutions ont été nombreuses. J’ai voulu résolument ancrer le lieu à l’échelle européenne non seulement par les choix de programmation mais également par l’invitation faite tous les ans à des commissaires étrangers. Les résidences ont été remaniées : l’une, Les Résidences Secondaires, dédiée aux artistes émergents, l’autre, La Grande Ourse, est une résidence de recherche à la croisée des disciplines (théorie, pratique, design graphique) que je produis tous les ans avec les Écoles d’art de Bourges, Cergy, Dijon et le pôle graphisme de Chaumont. La programmation hors les murs a été repensée, sans doute parce que, au départ, j’étais assez déstabilisée par ce projet et les dérives socio-culturelles qu’elle pouvait entraîner. Ne sachant pas vraiment comment aborder la question, j’ai simplement décidé que nous allions faire ce que nous savions faire : produire des œuvres avec des artistes. La chargée de programmation hors les murs était auparavant une médiatrice culturelle, j’ai décidé de recruter une commissaire d’exposition, et cette simple décision a complètement changé le curseur.

V.H. Le Parc Saint Léger est une structure complexe qui regroupe un certain nombre d’équipements culturels : espace d’expositions, résidences, publications, actions hors les murs. Comment unifier toutes ces activités dans un programme cohérent ? 

S.P. Mon souhait n’est pas d’unifier les différents pôles de notre activité à tout prix mais j’ai effectivement travaillé à rendre possibles les synergies, et en même temps – et c’est un point essentiel pour moi, à rendre possible le fait qu’il puisse ne pas y avoir de synergie. Pour nos Résidences Secondaires par exemple (résidences de trois mois dédiées à la scène émergente européenne), nous choisissons les artistes un an avant leur venue, nous entamons le dialogue avec eux bien en amont, nous leur parlons de la programmation hors les murs, et bien souvent il y a un contexte de travail qui les stimule, nous faisons alors ce lien entre la résidence et la programmation hors les murs. Mais parfois, les artistes ont juste besoin d’un temps de pause, de recherche, de baignade dans la Loire et de cigarette fumées au coin du feu, et cela nous va très bien aussi.

V.H. Le lieu est situé en territoire rural. En quoi sa situation informe votre programmation ?

S.P. Etre installé dans un territoire rural, concrètement, cela signifie que vous n’êtes un enjeu de pouvoir pour personne : ni pour le milieu de l’art car géographiquement vous ne marchez sur les plates-bandes de personne, ni localement car face aux structures de spectacle vivant, plus facilement repérables dans les formes qu’elles manipulent, les centres d’art font encore figure d’ovni. N’être un enjeu de pouvoir pour personne confère au quotidien une grande liberté d’action. Je ne suis pas sûre par exemple qu’un projet comme la Breathing House de Jean-Pascal Flavien aurait été si simple à monter dans un terrain urbain, avec sa multiplicité de réglementation et d’interlocuteurs à rencontrer et à convaincre.

V.H. PIANO veut créer un espace d’échange et de dialogues entre des lieux d’art italiens et français. Pourquoi avez vous souhaité participer et quel programme proposez-vous ?  

S.P. Il y a quatre ans, j’ai souhaité m’investir dans le bureau de d.c.a (qui est à l’initiative de PIANO) au côté de Claire Le Restif, directrice du Crédac, précisément pour cette question de mise en réseau des centres d’art à l’échelle européenne. Les raisons sont tout à la fois pragmatiques, stratégiques et artistiques : pragmatiques car les financements se raréfient, et le travail en réseau nous permet de bailler des fonds pour produire nos projets ; stratégiques car en France, culturellement, nous nous sommes trop longtemps isolés de la scène internationale et de ses acteurs et qu’il y a nécessité pour nous, en terme de visibilité, d’impact et de pouvoir symbolique, à combler ce retard ; artistiques bien sûr car diriger un centre d’art engendre parfois de grands moments de solitude et que les échanges avec des collègues, à fortiori ceux qui ont d’autres logiciels de pensés, sont vitaux. Je suis par exemple ravie des échanges que j’ai en ce moment avec Chris Sharp, le commissaire de notre exposition pour PIANO, The Registry of Promise, une exposition de facture littéraire en quatre chapitres. Son rapport à l’art, sa démarche, la façon dont il travaille avec les artistes, la façon dont il conçoit ce métier très étrange qu’on appelle commissaire d’exposition, tout cela est source d’oxygénation et d’inspiration pour moi.

Images:
1. Oscar Tuazon & Eli Hansen, IT WAS ONE OF MY BEST COMES, exhibition view, 2010. © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger
2. Wilfrid Almendra, Le Splendid, 2013. © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger
3. Parc Saint Léger. © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger
4. Gabriel Kuri, bottled water branded water, exhibition view, 2013. © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger
5. Simon Starling, THEREHERETHENTHERE (la Source), exhibition view, 2009. © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger

 

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Gianni Pettena & PIERRE BAL-BLANC

Born 1940, Bolzano, Italy
Lives and works in Fiesole, Italy
Born 1965, Ugine, France
Lives and works in Paris, France

The collaborative project Architettura “corretta” (“Correct” Architecture) proposed by the architect Gianni Pettena and the exhibition’s curator, Pierre Bal-Blanc, takes the form of a written and visual conversation. The exchange focuses on the archeology of the museum, its environment and history, by referring to a number of references as they manifest themselves concretely throughout the exhibition.
The title of the conversation is taken from a project undertaken by Pettena in 1981 (the catalog of which is presented in the exhibition) that sought to question a given space through the perspective and participation of other architects. As if the words of this “conversation in action” had become a reality, the historical or aesthetic references that are cited leave the immaterial realm to take on physical form in the exhibition space itself. The conversation gave rise not only to the exhibition of the works, but also an intervention on Museion’s ground floor glass partition walls.
The intervention comprises an enlarged projection of Marcello Piacentini’s plans for the arcades on the Piazza della Vittoria in Bolzano, a neoclassical architecture dating from the Mussolini period. The museum’s glass walls act as the kind of architectural filter elaborated in the Renaissance treatise written by Sebastiano Serlio (an edition of which is shown in the exhibition). The plans are tautologically superimposed onto the doors that filter the flow of traffic in and out of the building, which is characterized by an attempt to distance itself from the ideology of conquest in favor of transparency. In this way, the proposition raises questions concerning the legacy of the Fascist era: the reconstruction, restoration, or deconstruction of Fascist monuments and the role of the museum in such a debate.

Nato a Bolzano, Italia, nel 1940
Vive e lavora a Fiesole, Italia
Nato a Ugine, Francia, nel 1965
Vive e lavora a Parigi, Francia

L’intervento, proposto in tandem dall’artista e architetto Gianni Pettena e dal curatore della mostra Pierre Bal-Blanc, assume la forma di una conversazione epistolare e visiva. Questo scambio coinvolge l’archeologia del museo nel suo ambiente e nella sua storia, attraverso diversi riferimenti richiamati nella mostra in modo concreto.
Il titolo della conversazione è preso in prestito da un progetto realizzato da Pettena nel 1981 (il cui catalogo è presente in mostra), che esaminava uno spazio attraverso i punti di vista e gli interventi di altri architetti. Come se le parole di questa “conversazione in atti” diventassero realtà, i riferimenti estetici o storici citati abbandonano il registro immateriale per prendere corpo nello spazio. La conversazione genera l’esposizione delle opere evocate, ma anche un intervento sulle porte divisorie in vetro al piano terra di Museion: una proiezione ingrandita dei progetti di Marcello Piacentini per i portici di Piazza della Vittoria a Bolzano, architettura neoclassica radicata in epoca mussoliniana.
Le superfici in vetro del museo agiscono come il filtro architettonico, messo a punto nel Rinascimento in un trattato di Sebastiano Serlio (una copia del quale è presente in mostra). I progetti si sovrappongono alle vetrate in modo tautologico, e filtrano i flussi di circolazione dentro e fuori dall’edificio, che cerca di distaccarsi dall’ideologia conquistatrice a vantaggio della trasparenza. In questo modo la proposta affronta le questioni relative al patrimonio dell’epoca fascista: la ricostruzione, il restauro o la distruzione dei suoi monumenti, così come il ruolo del museo all’interno di questa riflessione.

Project: Soleil politique

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Lise Lacombe and Jean-Baptiste Alazard

Lise Lacombe, from the series La Tierce des Paumés, 2012

Lise Lacombe, from the series La Tierce des Paumés, 2012

Lise Lacombe grew up in Aveyron (south-west France). During her teenage years, she armed herself with an Olympus 0M30 that would ground her in stock photography. She left for the city Toulouse, where she graduated form art school and got a diploma in Photography-Photo manipulation from the Gobelins School in Paris. During these formative two years, she personified her photographic practice. Using first a Yashika Mat, then a Hasselblad, she stuck to the square format that characterizes her work and turned to photo-reporting. In her professional work, she lived among journalists; the disgust she felt towards the confrontation between the so called “media” and photography moved her towards a more independent and creative work, as an independent reporter.
Alone, she left for various countries: Kosovo, Israel, Palestinian territories, Ethiopia… and Naves, in Aveyron. There, she sharpen her tools, creating series that testify to social events while searching for a deeper, more subjective expression.

Jean-Baptiste Alazard was born in Aveyron to a family of farmers. He grew up in Aubrac and left for Toulouse in 2003 to do a technical diploma in broadcast at Arènes, then Paris to enter the Fémis in 2006 and then became an editor. At the same time, he personalized his practice as a cinematographer through the creation of the documentary Le Cinquième Quartier, and the feature length fiction Moussem Le Morts, selected in the international competition at the Festival de Belfort, 2010. The same year, he began working on trans-media works with Mittlewerk Express. In 2011, he returned to the south of France to direct La Tierce des Paumés, a collaboration with photographer Lise Lacombe. His movie, that comes as a result of this project, La Buissonière was awarded the Prix Georges de Beauregard.

Project: Piano – alto!

 

Lise Lacombe (1985) è nata ed è cresciuta nell’Aveyron (sud ovest della Francia). Dopo la laurea in Arti Visive a Tolosa, ottiene il diploma di Fotografia e Editing dell’Immagine all’École des Gobelins di Parigi. Nel corso di questi due anni, personalizza la sua pratica fotografica. Con una Yashika Mat e poi una Hasselblad, si dedica al formato quadrato, caratteristico del suo lavoro, e si orienta al reportage. La frequentazione dell’ambiente giornalistico la porta verso un lavoro più indipendente e creativo, secondo il registro del reportage d’autore. Affina il suo sguardo grazie ai viaggi, realizzando delle serie che si propongono come testimonianza dei fatti della società ma con uno sguardo personale. La fotografia è uno strumento personale assoluto che dà vita alle sue esperienze.

Jean-Baptiste Alazard, dopo aver ottenuto un diploma di audiovisivo a Tolosa, entra alla Fémis nel 2006 e diventa montatore. In parallelo, sviluppa la sua attività di cineasta attraverso il documentario con Le Cinquième Quartier o il lungometraggio di fiction con Moussem Les Morts, selezionato al Festival di Belfort 2010 nella competizione internazionale. Lo stesso anno, allarga il suo lavoro alle opere trans-media con Mittelwerk Express. Nel 2011, fa ritorno nel sud della Francia per realizzare La Tierce des Paumés, in collaborazione con la fotografa Lise Lacombe. Il film La Buissonière, frutto di questa collaborazione, ottiene il premio Georges de Beauregard.

 

Née en 1985, Lise Lacombe a grandi en Aveyron. Après une licence d’Arts-Plastiques à Toulouse, elle s’oriente vers le reportage. La fréquentation du milieu journalistique la déporte vers un travail plus indépendant et créatif dans le registre de la photographie d’auteur. Elle aiguise son regard en voyageant, créant des séries qui témoignent de faits de société tout en recherchant l’expression profonde du regard subjectif. La photographie est un outil personnel absolu qui donne vie à ses propres expériences.

Né en 1985, Jean-Baptiste Alazard vit en Aveyron. Après l’obtention de son BTS Audiovisuel à Toulouse, il entre à La Fémis en 2006 et devient monteur. Parallèlement, il développe sa pratique de cinéaste à travers le documentaire avec Le Cinquième Quartier ou le long-métrage de fiction avec Moussem Les Morts, sélectionné au Festival de Belfort 2010 en compétition internationale. La même année, il étend son travail aux œuvres transmédias avec Mittelwerk Express. En 2011, il rentre dans le sud de la France pour réaliser La Tierce des Paumés, en collaboration avec la photographe Lise Lacombe. Son film issu de ce projet La Buissonière remporte le prix Georges de Beauregard.

Image:
Lise Lacombe, from the series La Tierce des Paumés, 2012. Courtesy of the artist

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JACOPO MILIANI

Born 1979, Florence, Italy
Lives and works in Milan, Italy

Jacopo Miliani develops his work mostly through installations, photography and performance. His research examines the role of clean representation systems to cognitive and empirical process. In some of his works, it reuses and modifies old photos or images from the world of art and cinema. His use these images to question a specific distortion and the disenchantment with the practices of the viewer. Yet before we get to these images Miliani questions the mental condition that causes a person to reach them. For him, the issues are more important than answers.

Né à Florence, Italie, en 1979
Vit et travaille à Milan, Italie

Le travail de Jacopo Miliani se développe principalement à travers des installations, photographies et performances. Sa recherche questionne le rôle des systèmes de représentation propres aux processus cognitif et empirique. Dans certaines de ses œuvres, il réutilise et modifie de vieilles photos ou images du monde de l’art et du cinéma. Son utilisation des images pointe une distorsion spécifique et le désenchantement à l’égard des pratiques du spectateur. Mais avant d’arriver à ces images, Miliani s’interroge l’état mental qui amène une personne à ces dernières. Pour lui, les questions sont plus importantes que les réponses.

Project: Double Cross, From Both Sides of a Mountain

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JACOPO MILIANI IN CONVERSATION WITH ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

JACOPO MILIANI IN CONVERSATION WITH ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

Jacopo Miliani Let’s start with a reflection on our collaboration for the Double Cross project. We have been working independently on the spaces and on the exhibition project; later, during preparation, there was dialogue and listening between the two projects. I would define our collaboration as a mutual influence on narrative fiction. What is your opinion on this?
Alessandro di Pietro I would say that our cooperation has had, from the outset, a predisposition not to be explicit. The placement on two different floors of the CAB [Centre d’Art Bastille] made it impossible for a direct visual relationship between the various elements of our installations, but intensified the dialogue between two different methods of semantic re-elaboration in space.
Both projects are based on the appropriation of pre-existing narrative structures: yours on Howard Fast’s short story Not with a Bang, and mine on the end scene of Peter Greenaway’s film A Zed and Two Noughts.
The floor separating us seems to have worked as a filter that has allowed us to meet the expectations of our work. At the same time it must have produced some information that created a connection between us on a sign level: for example the use of the text and the circle shape.

2. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

2. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

3. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

3. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

A.D.P. As you told me, in Fast’s Not with a Bang a man sees a hand turning off the sun; he goes back home, and tells his wife and neighbors during an evening game of bridge. The rest of the group does not believe what the man saw, but that night was a particularly dark and cold one.
How do you expect people to orientate themselves between the textual information partially concealed inside what you call fictional carpets?
J.M. The story is divided into three phases, which are represented by (transparent and black) resin casts of hands. The hands are open in the act of picking up, and relate to round-shaped objects. These abstract signs, completely open, are placed on colored carpets that recall a domestic interior, and hide and reveal the three pages of the Fast’s story. The level of representation is thus opaque in the relationship between the clues on a narrative level and the shapes/actions that remain suspended. The viewer/reader/detective has a central role, although not being inside the scene.

4. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

4. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

5. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

5. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

J.M. The CAB is located in a defensive stronghold, on top of a mountain, mainly accessible through a strange spherical cableway. Do you think that the location of the CAB affected the narrative process? Could we define your ‘props’ as clues suspended in time?
A.D.P. When arranging the props in space I definitely tried to exploit the grotto-like space on the first floor of the CAB.
For this reason, all the props were exhibited on a modular display made with vertical concrete, steel and foam elements hanging from above like stalactites, exploiting the various heights of the vault of the ceiling. The arrangement does not follow a hierarchy of importance or a real narrative chronology, and the props are not the remains of an action which has already taken place, but are prospectively active. They are raw elements of a story that will take place soon and that will be a re-enactment of the last part of A Zed and Two Noughts.

6. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

6. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

7. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

7. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

A.D.P. Until recently, I had the feeling that working on cinema or literature could create a misunderstanding as regards the intention of creating a tribute or a monument to the director or to the wonderful story. Now I view that concern as very generic, and I recognize that the fiction reacts to its perception so naturally that it can be mistaken for a landscape. What do you think about this? How do you move among the signs that a story offers you? What is the distance you put between yourself, your practice and the story object?
J.M. I like the idea of landscape, and in the case of the CAB we could talk of a view. In the days I was working, I observed how individuals or the groups of tourists that stroll around the summit to observe Grenoble from above are comparable with the relationship we have with images, language and representation. I wonder how in front of this vastness of relationships one could define a common gaze. The signs of history are hence countless like the facets of a view. For this reason I chose this story by Howard Fast that highlights how the main character feels different in front of a vision which he perceives as a common experience. The killing of the Sun by a hand remains an image on hold from where I started and cyclically return to.

8. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

8. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

9. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

9. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

J.M./A.D.P. As regards the constant fruition within the imaginative process, we could say that this was also the central theme of two workshops, which we conducted in parallel, with a few young Grenoble artists. With their imagination, we worked starting from two strong images from the stories we had taken as a reference: the hand that turns the sun off in Fast’s story and the figures of the twins in Greenaway’s film.

10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

Jacopo Miliani Iniziamo con una riflessione sulla nostra collaborazione all’interno del progetto Double Cross. Abbiamo lavorato indipendentemente sullo spazio e sul progetto espositivo; in seguito, in fase di allestimento, c’è stato dialogo e ascolto tra i due progetti. Definirei la nostra collaborazione come un’influenza reciproca sulla narrazione fittizia. Cosa ne pensi a proposito?
Alessandro di Pietro Direi che la nostra collaborazione ha avuto, sin dall’inizio, una predisposizione a non essere esplicita. La disposizione su due piani del CAB [Centre d’art Bastille] ha reso impossibile una diretta correlazione visiva tra i vari elementi delle nostre installazioni, ma ha accentuato il dialogo tra due diverse metodologie di rielaborazione semantica nello spazio.
Entrambi i progetti si fondano su appropriazioni di strutture narrative pre-esistenti: il tuo sul racconto breve Not with a Bang di Howard Fast, mentre il mio sulla scena finale di A Zed and Two Noughts di Peter Greenaway.
Il piano che ci ha diviso sembra aver funzionato come un filtro che ci ha permesso di rispettare le aspettative sul nostro lavoro. Allo stesso tempo deve aver rilasciato delle informazioni che ci hanno messo in connessione a livello segnico: per esempio l’uso del testo e la figura del cerchio. 

A.D.P. Come mi hai raccontato, in Not with a Bang di Howard Fast un uomo vede una mano che spegne il sole; torna a casa, ne parla con la moglie e i vicini durante una partita serale di bridge. Il resto del gruppo non crede alla visione dell’uomo, ma quella sera è particolarmente oscura e fredda.
Come ti aspetti che le persone si orientino tra le informazioni testuali parzialmente occultate all’interno di quelli che tu chiami ‘fictional carpets’?
J.M. La storia è divisa in tre momenti che sono raffigurati da calchi di mani in resina (trasparenti e neri). Le mani sono aperte nell’atto di prendere e si relazionano a oggetti dalla forma circolare. Questi segni astratti, del tutto aperti, sono posti su moquette colorate che richiamano l’interno domestico e nascondono e rivelano le tre pagine del racconto di Fast. Il piano della rappresentazione risulta opaco nella relazione tra gli elementi indiziari a livello narrativo e le forme/azioni che rimangono sospese. Lo spettatore/lettore/detective ha un ruolo centrale, pur non trovandosi all’interno della scena.

J.M. Il CAB si trova dentro una roccaforte difensiva, sulla cima di una montagna per lo più accessibile grazie a una strana teleferica dalla forma sferica. Pensi che il luogo del CAB abbia influito sul processo narrativo? Possiamo definire i tuoi ‘props’ come indizi sospesi nel tempo?
A.D.P. Sicuramente nella configurazione spaziale dei ‘props’ ho cercato di lavorare sullo “spazio grottoso” del primo piano del CAB.
Per questo motivo, tutti i ‘props’ sono stati esposti su un display modulare formato da elementi verticali di cemento acciaio e gommapiuma che scendono dall’alto come stalattiti sfruttando le varie altezze della volta del soffitto. L’allestimento non segue una gerarchia di importanza o una reale cronologia narrativa e i ‘props’ non sono residui di un’azione già accaduta, ma sono ancora in potenza. Sono elementi crudi di una narrazione che avverrà prossimamente e che consisterà in un re-enactment dell’ultimo capitolo di A Zed and Two Noughts.

A.D.P. Fino a poco tempo fa, avevo la sensazione che lavorare sul cinema o sulla letteratura potesse generare un misunderstanding riguardo l’intenzione di creare un tributo o un monumento al regista o alla grande storia. Di recente, questa mi sembra un’idea molto generalista e riconosco che la finzione reagisce alla propria percezione in maniera così naturale da poterla scambiare per un paesaggio. Cosa ne pensi? Come ti muovi tra i segni che una storia ti propone? Qual è la distanza che interponi tra te, la tua pratica e l’oggetto narrativo?
J.M. Mi piace l’idea di paesaggio, nel caso del CAB potremo parlare di panorama. Durante i giorni di lavoro, ho osservato come le singole persone o i gruppi di turisti che si muovono sulla vetta per osservare Grenoble dall’alto siano paragonabili al rapporto che abbiamo con le immagini, il linguaggio e la rappresentazione. Mi chiedo come davanti a tale vastità di relazioni sia possibile definire lo sguardo comune. I segni di una storia sono quindi infiniti come le sfaccettature di un panorama. Per questo motivo ho scelto questo racconto di Howard Fast che mette in luce come il protagonista si senta diverso davanti a una visione da lui percepita come esperienza comune. L’uccisione del sole da parte di una mano resta un’immagine sospesa da cui sono partito per poi ritornarci ciclicamente.

J.M./A.D.P. A proposito della fruizione costante nel processo immaginativo, potremmo dire che questo è stato anche il tema centrale di due workshops, da noi condotti in modo parallelo, con alcuni giovani artisti di Grenoble. Con la loro immaginazione abbiamo lavorato a partire da due immagini forti provenienti dalle narrazioni da noi prese come riferimento: la mano che spegne il sole del racconto di Fast e le figure dei due gemelli nel film di Greenaway.

Images:
1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang. Courtesy the artist, CAB Grenoble, Frutta, Rome and Studio Dabbeni, Lugano
3, 4, 7, 8, 11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props, Courtesy the artist and CAB Grenoble

Protagonists: Jacopo Miliani, Alessandro di Pietro
Project: Double Cross. From Both Sides of a Mountain
Space: Centre d’art Bastille

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ANNIE VIGIER & FRANCK APERTET (LES GENS D’UTERPAN)

Annie Vigier born 1965 and Franck Apertet born 1966
Live and work in Paris, France

Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet have been working together under the name “les gens d’Uterpan” since 1994. They have developed a creative process that progressively subverts the standard field of choreography. Their work questions the norms that govern the living arts and exhibiting, touching on several points and involving among other things an exploration of the body’s limits and the conventions of representation.
One of their most recent projects, Géographie-, is part of the process re|action they started in 2008, which numbers more than fifteen different works. Géographie- is a score for a group of performers conceived according to the spatial limits of the venue. The performers are recruited in the area where the show will be presented. The perimeter is defined by the movements of the dancers and determines the architecture inside which the choreography is performed (created using the tools and materials available on site). The presence of the dancers follows a schedule that is not communicated to the public and can only be perceived through the sound and vibrations emanating from the structure.
Géographie-Bolzano 2013, coproduced by the Transart Festival, Fondazione Museion, and CAC Brétigny, was presented at Museion from September 18 to 22, 2013, and was a sort of prelude to the exhibition Soleil politique proposed by Pierre Bal-Blanc.

Annie Vigier, nata nel 1965 e Franck Apertet nato nel 1966
Vivono e lavorano a Parigi, Francia

Nel 1994 Annie Vigier e Franck Apertet fondano il collettivo “les gens d’Uterpan” e avviano un processo creativo che progressivamente trasgredisce gli standard della coreografia.
Nel loro lavoro si interrogano sulle norme che governano le “arti viventi” e le esposizioni. Le loro ricerche toccano diversi punti e riguardano, oltre ad altri aspetti, un’esplorazione dei limiti del corpo e delle convenzioni della rappresentazione.
Uno dei loro lavori più recenti, Géographie- (Geografia-), fa parte del processo intitolato re|action iniziato nel 2008 che comprende più di una quindicina di lavori differenti. Géographie- è una partitura per un gruppo di interpreti concepita in funzione dei limiti spaziali del luogo che l’accoglie. Gli interpreti vengono reclutati nel luogo di presentazione della coreografia. Il perimetro è definito dai movimenti dei danzatori e determina l’architettura (realizzata con i mezzi e materiali reperibili e disponibili in loco) all’interno della quale si svolge la coreografia. La presenza o l’assenza dei ballerini segue un orario che non è comunicato al pubblico, ma è percepibile solamente dal suono e dalle vibrazioni meccaniche dei materiali emanate dall’architettura.
La performance Géographie-Bolzano 2013, coprodotta dal Festival di Transart, Fondazione Museion e CAC Brétigny, è stata presentata a Museion di Bolzano dal 18 al 22 settembre 2013 e ha costituito una sorta di preludio alla mostra Soleil politique.

Project: Soleil politique

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Dan Graham

Born 1942, Urbana, IL, USA
Lives and works in New York, NY, USA

Dan Graham’s career spans various artistic genres: performance, film, video, photography, installations, architecture, and music. He has always tried to include the viewer in his works, with varying levels of participation being essential to complete each piece. Given that viewers do not approach works from one direction alone, in his architectural projects and video installations Graham challenges and deconstructs the Renaissance theory of perspective.
In 1984, in collaboration with the architect Marie-Paule MacDonald, he presented his proposal for a museum devoted to the French-American artist Gordon Matta-Clark.
It includes a memorial honoring the artist, a museum, and a research center. The model features a series of houses of the same size, one of which plays host to the museum. The design for the latter drew inspiration from one of Matta-Clark’s projects, Splitting, created in New Jersey in 1974, in a working-class neighborhood featuring the typical suburban housing built after the war. In his proposal, Graham both underlines how Gordon Matta-Clark’s project highlights the system of division and distribution of residential buildings in space, and sets out to “rematerialize” Matta-Clark’s conceptual work and equate urban planning and conceptual art.
Homes for America reveals another area that Dan Graham has been interested in since the 1960s: postmodern architecture and models of urban life. This work, in the style of a photographic reportage, explores the American suburbs and their rows of identical homes.

Nato a Urbana, IL, USA, 1942
Vive e lavora a New York, NY, USA

La carriera artistica di Dan Graham attraversa diversi linguaggi: performance, cinema, video, fotografia, installazioni, architettura e musica. L’artista ha sempre cercato di includere nei suoi lavori lo spettatore, con vari livelli di partecipazione, in quanto indispensabile alla realizzazione dell’opera. Dato che il punto di vista dello spettatore non è unico né unidirezionale, nei suoi progetti architettonici e nelle sue installazioni video Graham decostruisce la teoria della prospettiva rinascimentale. Nel 1984 Dan Graham, in collaborazione con l’architetto Marie-Paule MacDonald, presenta la proposta per un museo dedicato all’artista franco- americano Gordon Matta-Clark. La proposta comprende un memoriale in onore dell’artista, un museo e un centro di ricerca sull’urbanistica. Il modellino consiste in una serie di case della medesima dimensione, una delle quali ospita il museo. Il design di quest’ultimo si ispira a uno dei progetti di Matta-Clark, Splitting (Spaccature), realizzato nel 1974 in New Jersey, in un quartiere di case operaie tipiche dei sobborghi americani del dopoguerra. Nella sua proposta, Graham da una parte sottolinea come il progetto di Gordon Matta Clark evidenzi il sistema di divisione e distribuzione degli edifici abitativi nello spazio; dall’altra, rimaterializza il lavoro concettuale di Matta-Clark e crea una forte relazione tra urbanistica e arte concettuale. Homes for America (Case per l’America) è un altro esempio dell’interesse dell’artista, manifestato già negli anni ’60, per l’architettura e per i modelli di vita urbana proposti nella cultura quotidiana del postmodernismo. Si tratta di una serie di fotografie di taglio giornalistico, dedicate agli spazi della periferia americana e alla serialità delle sue abitazioni.

Project: Soleil politique

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JULIE PELLEGRIN

Since 2007, Julie Pellegrin has been working as the director of the Art Centre of La Ferme du Buisson. She aims to create a dialogue between contemporary art and other art forms (with a particular emphasis on theatre and dance), as well as social science (economics, philosophy, anthropology), focusing on the significance of processes and experimentation in the performative dimension of art. She mixes solo (Isabelle Cornaro, Seulgi Lee, Gianni Motti, Denis Savary, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Diogo Pimentao, Julien Bismuth, Phill Niblock) and group exhibitions (A Choreographed Exhibitions, Treasures for Theatre, The Yvonne Rainer Project) mixed with publications, talks and performances. Author of over a dozen of artist monographs and artists’ books, Julie Pellegrin recently published, together with fellow curator Mathieu Copeland, a collective anthology entitled Choreographing Exhibitions. In 2013, she co-curated Nuit Blanche Paris with Chiara Parisi. They invited 40 international artists to produce large-scale artworks showcased across the city in public space, to offer spectators a chance to experience time-based works by Fujiko Nakaya, Rosa Barba, Michael Portnoy, Peter Watkins, Chantal Akerman, Hassan Khan, Liam Gillick or Martin Creed ‒ as well as reenactments of historical works like Palle Nielsen’s The Model or Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Helicopter String Quartet.

Julie Pellegrin è direttore del Centre d’art La Ferme du Buisson dal 2007. La sua ricerca è incentrata sul dialogo tra arte contemporanea e altre arti (in particolare il teatro e la danza), e con le scienze sociali (economia, filosofia, antropologia), e si concentra sul significato dei processi e la sperimentazione nella dimensione performativa dell’arte. Il suo programma consiste in una combinazione di mostre personali (Isabelle Cornaro, Seulgi Lee, Gianni Motti, Denis Savary, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Diogo Pimentao, Julien Bismuth, Phill Niblock), collettive (A Choreographed Exhibitions, Treasures for Theatre, The Yvonne Rainer Project), pubblicazioni, incontri e performance. Ha pubblicato oltre una dozzina di monografie e libri d’artista e di recente, con Mathieu Copeland, l’antologia Choreographing Exhibitions. Nel 2013 ha curato con Chiara Parisi la Nuit Blanche di Parigi invitando oltre 40 artisti a produrre istallazioni e opere su larga scala sparse per il territorio della città.

Julie Pellegrin dirige le Centre d’art de la Ferme du Buisson depuis 2007 où elle développe un programme centré sur la performativité à travers des expositions monographiques (Julien Bismuth, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Isabelle Cornaro, Phill Niblock) et collectives (Une exposition chorégraphiée, Treasures for Theatre, The Yvonne Rainer Project), des événements et des livres. Elle a été co-directrice artistique de la 11e édition de Nuit Blanche Paris avec Chiara Parisi. Les artistes y proposaient une expérience de la durée et de la dérive en imaginant des œuvres à l’échelle de la ville (Fujiko Nakaya, Rosa Barba, Michael Portnoy, Peter Watkins, Chantal Akerman, Liam Gillick, Avi Mograbi…) parallèlement à la réactivation de pièces historiques (The Model de Palle Nielsen ou le quartet pour hélicoptères de Karlheinz Stockhausen). Outre une quinzaine de monographies et livres d’artistes, Julie Pellegrin vient de publier avec Mathieu Copeland un ouvrage collectif intitulé Chorégraphier l’exposition.

Space: CAC de la Ferme du Buisson
Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH JULIE PELLEGRIN, CAC DE LA FERME DU BUISSON, NOISIEL

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH JULIE PELLEGRIN, CAC DE LA FERME DU BUISSON, NOISIEL

Vincent Honoré Can you tell us about the missions of La Ferme du Buisson, and explain what makes this place unique in France?
Julie Pellegrin Located on an exceptional site in the outer suburbs of Paris, La Ferme du Buisson is a multidisciplinary cultural centre of national and international standing. It comprises a contemporary art centre, a national theatre containing 7 concert and performance spaces, and a cinema. This configuration, which is unique in France, makes the place a perfect example of the de-compartmentalisation of disciplines. In addition to missions common to all centres d’art (research and prospecting, supporting creativity and distribution), our centre d’art is a resonance chamber for all of La Ferme’s activities. So the programme revolves around three axes: performance, multidisciplinarity and experimentation with exhibition formats.
By basing my work on an approach that sees performance as an active principle of category-transgression, I’ve endeavoured—since my arrival eight years ago—to bring contemporary art into dialogue with other artistic disciplines (theatre, dance, music, cinema) or with disciplines outside of art (economics, philosophy, anthropology…). In our ways of working, in the subjects explored or in our activities directed at the public, we try never to disconnect the art scene from the social, political and cultural spheres. The contemporary centre d’art is a place that is open and in motion, establishing local roots and international collaborations, through a programme of exhibitions and publications, performances, meetings and screenings.

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2. Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jesus and Barabbas puppet show performance / installation, 2011

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3. Rainer Ganahl, I Wanna be Alfred Jarry, 1897/2012

V.H. When and why was this centre d’art created?
J.P. The centre d’art was an integral part of the initial plan for La Ferme du Buisson. The institution was created in 1990 at the end of a major renovation of the old “model farm” of the Menier chocolate factories. It was saved from destruction thanks to a mobilisation by residents and local politicians who understood the importance of preserving industrial heritage and creating a high-calibre cultural centre for the new city of Marne-la-Vallée, which was then under construction.

V.H. Beyond its art production and distribution mission, how do you define the political and civic role played by La Ferme du Buisson?
J.P. Our interview is taking place in a very worrying context in France, marked by the recent attacks, the rise of right-wing extremism, and unprecedented budget cuts leading to the closure of more and more centres d’art, theatres and other cultural places. Although our role within the city can sometimes seem trifling, the current context is making it absolutely indispensable. Art is a formidable tool against all fundamentalisms, because it makes it possible to form a critical mind, to develop complex sensory experiments, and because it’s a forum for sharing, open to alterity. As history has demonstrated, art doesn’t have to be politically engaged to constitute a subversive force, but I still make my programming choices with a view to considering the idea of actuality—in the Deleuzian sense of the term: as an evolving embodiment of a concept—by giving forms and spaces to questions that pervade our time, whether they be economic, ecological, postcolonial, feminist or otherwise. In support of this, La Ferme du Buisson is doing great mediation and awareness-raising work directed at visitors from the every walk of life. It seems to me that this art education role is vital, particularly in our location on the periphery of Paris’s cultural offering, and with regard to sectors of the public said to be “alienated” or “restricted”.

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4. Julien Bismuth, Untitled, 2015

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5. Naotaka Hiro, Untitled drawings, 2015

V.H. PIANO wishes to create a forum for exchange and dialogue between Italian and French art centres. Why did you want to participate and what programme are you proposing?
J.P. In this period when people are turning inward, international collaborations that make it possible to exchange points of view, practices and sometimes funding, are vitally important. In this sense, the cooperative projects developed by d.c.a are highly stimulating. In the context of PIANO, we’ve initiated a large project with Museo Marino Marini in Florence, entitled Alfred Jarry Archipelago, which we are sharing with a Belgian partner, M – Museum Leuven. A few years ago with Keren Detton (director of centre d’art Le Quartier in Quimper), we started taking an interest in the figure of Ubu Roi and in Jarry’s work more generally. Since Jarry had very close links with the futurists, and Italy is home to many pataphysics societies, and Ubu regularly serves as a metaphor for illustrious Italian politicians, we asked Alberto Salvadori and Leonardo Bigazzi to join in our research.
It’s not a project on Jarry, but from Jarry. Since a whole swathe of today’s art and performance seems to be infused with a typically Jarryesque transgressive power, we summoned the author to serve as the posthumous curator of the whole project. This project takes the form of an archipelago in which each island-chapter unfolds in a different place and in a different form. Three group exhibitions were held at Le Quartier, at La Ferme du Buisson and at Museo Marino Marini, and a set of performances took place in the context of the Playground Festival in Leuven. We’ll be meeting with the three other curators (Leonardo Bigazzi, Keren Detton and Eva Wittocx) in 2016 to organise the first edition of the Performance Day festival at La Ferme du Buisson, and again in 2017 for an important publication assembling all of the chapters.

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6. Nathaniel Mellors, Giantbum – Stage 2 (Theatre), 2008, The Object (Ourhouse), 2010 and Giantbum – Stage 1 (Rehearsal), 2008

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7. Nathaniel Mellors, The Object (Ourhouse), 2010

Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago
Space: CAC de la Ferme du Buisson
Protagonist: Julie Pellegrin

Vincent Honoré Pouvez-vous nous présenter les missions de la Ferme du Buisson, et ce qui en fait un lieu unique en France ?
Julie Pellegrin Implantée sur un site exceptionnel en « grande banlieue » de Paris, la Ferme du Buisson est un centre culturel pluridisciplinaire d’envergure nationale et internationale. Il concentre un centre d’art contemporain, une scène nationale composée de 7 salles de spectacles et de concerts et un cinéma. Il s’agit d’une configuration unique en France qui en fait un lieu exemplaire en matière de décloisonnement des disciplines. En plus des missions communes à tous les centres d’art (recherche et prospection, soutien à la création et diffusion), ce centre d’art est une caisse de résonance de l’ensemble des activités de la Ferme. La programmation s’est donc concentrée autour de trois axes : performance, pluridisciplinarité et expérimentation autour des formats d’exposition.
En m’appuyant sur une approche de la performance comme principe actif de transgression des catégories, je me suis attachée depuis mon arrivée il y a 8 ans à faire dialoguer l’art contemporain avec d’autres disciplines artistiques (théâtre, danse, musique, cinéma) ou extra-artistiques (économie, philosophie, anthropologie…). Dans nos manières de travailler, les sujets abordés ou nos actions en direction des publics, nous tentons de ne jamais dissocier la scène artistique des sphères sociale, politique et culturelle. Le centre d’art contemporain est un lieu ouvert et en mouvement, développant autant un ancrage local que des collaborations internationales, à travers un programme d’expositions et d’éditions, de performances, de rencontres et de projections.

V.H. Quand et pourquoi ce centre d’art a-t-il été créé ?
J.P. Le centre d’art fait partie intégrante du projet initial de la Ferme du Buisson. L’institution a été créée en 1990 au terme d’un grand chantier de rénovation de l’ancienne « ferme-modèle » des usines de chocolat Menier. Elle été sauvée de la destruction grâce à la mobilisation d’habitants et d’élus, conscients de l’intérêt de préserver le patrimoine industriel et de proposer un lieu culturel d’envergure pour la ville nouvelle de Marne-la-Vallée alors en construction.

V.H. Comment définir – au-delà de sa mission de production et de diffusion artistique – le rôle politique et citoyen joué par la Ferme du Buisson ?
J.P. Je réponds à cette interview dans un contexte français très préoccupant, marqué par les récents attentats, la montée de l’extrême-droite, les coupes budgétaires sans précédents entraînant des fermetures de plus en plus nombreuses de centres d’art, de théâtres et autres lieux culturels. Si notre rôle au sein de la cité peut parfois nous paraître dérisoire, le contexte actuel le rend absolument indispensable. Parce qu’il permet de se forger un esprit critique, de développer des expériences sensibles complexes, et parce qu’il est un espace de partage ouvert à l’altérité, l’art est un formidable outil contre tous les fondamentalismes. Comme l’histoire l’a démontré, l’art n’a pas besoin d’être « engagé » pour constituer une force subversive, mais mes choix de programmation s’attachent tout de même à considérer l’idée d’actualité – au sens deleuzien du terme : comme un concept incarné, en devenir – en donnant des formes et des espaces à des questions qui traversent notre époque, qu’elles soient économiques, écologiques, postcoloniales, féministes, ou autres. Pour accompagner cela, la Ferme du Buisson développe une formidable action de médiation et de sensibilisation en direction des publics les plus divers. Ce rôle d’éducation artistique qui nous incombe me semble vital, particulièrement dans la situation périphérique que nous occupons en regard de l’offre culturelle parisienne, et à l’égard des publics dits « éloignés » ou « empêchés ».

V.H. PIANO veut créer un espace d’échange et de dialogues entre des lieux d’art italiens et français. Pourquoi avez-vous souhaité participer et quel programme proposez-vous ?
J.P. Dans cette période de repli sur soi, les collaborations internationales qui permettent d’échanger points de vue et pratiques et parfois financements, sont d’une importance capitale. En ce sens, les projets de coopération développés par d.c.a sont extrêmement stimulants.
Dans le contexte de PIANO, nous avons initié avec le Museo Marino Marini à Florence un vaste projet intitulé Alfred Jarry Archipelago, auquel nous avons associé un partenaire belge : le M Museum à Louvain. Il y a quelques années, nous avons commencé avec Keren Detton (directrice du centre d’art Le Quartier à Quimper) à nous intéresser à la figure d’Ubu Roi et plus largement à l’œuvre de Jarry. Parce que Jarry avait entretenu des liens très étroits avec les futuristes, que l’Italie abrite de nombreuses sociétés de pataphysiques, et qu’Ubu sert régulièrement de métaphore pour d’illustres politiciens italiens, nous avons proposé à Alberto Salvadori et Leonardo Bigazzi de s’associer à notre recherche.
Il ne s’agit pas d’un projet sur mais à partir de Jarry. Parce que tout un pan de l’art et de la performance actuel nous semblait traversé par une puissance de transgression typiquement jarryesque, nous avons convoqué l’auteur comme commissaire posthume de l’ensemble du projet. Ce dernier prend la forme d’un archipel où chaque chapitre-île prend place dans un lieu différent, sous une forme différente. Trois expositions collectives se sont ainsi tenues au Quartier, à La Ferme du Buisson et au Museo Marino Marini, et un ensemble de performances dans le cadre du festival Playground à Louvain. Nous nous retrouverons avec les trois autres commissaires (Leonardo Bigazzi, Keren Detton et Eva Wittocx) en 2016 pour organiser la première édition du festival Performance Day à la Ferme du Buisson, puis en 2017 pour une importante publication réunissant l’ensemble des chapitres.

Images:
1. Mike Kelley, Spread-Eagle, 2000 and The Poetry of Form: Part of an Ongoing Attempt to Develop an Auteur Theory of Naming,1985-1996, La Ferme du Buisson, Courtesy du Centre national des arts plastiques, FNAC 01-006 et FNAC 03-267
2. Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jesus and Barabbas puppet show performance / installation, 2011, La Ferme du Buisson, Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ – London
3. Rainer Ganahl, I Wanna be Alfred Jarry, 1897/2012, La Ferme du Buisson, Courtesy the artist and Kai Matsumiya – New York
4. Julien Bismuth, Untitled, 2015, La Ferme du Buisson, Courtesy the artist and galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois – Paris
5. Naotaka Hiro, Untitled drawings, 2015, La Ferme du Buisson, Courtesy the artist and The BOX Gallery – Los Angeles
6. Nathaniel Mellors, Giantbum – Stage 2 (Theatre), 2008, The Object (Ourhouse), 2010 and Giantbum – Stage 1 (Rehearsal), 2008, Courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery – London, La Ferme du Buisson
7. Nathaniel Mellors, The Object (Ourhouse), 2010, La Ferme du Buisson, Courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery – London
All images: Installation views, Alfred Jarry Archipelago : La Valse des pantins – Acte II, La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, 2015. © Émile Ouroumov

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THOMAS TEURLAI

Thomas Teurlai, Camping sauvage, 2012

Thomas Teurlai, Camping sauvage, 2012

Born 1988, Meaux, France
Lives and works in Vladivostok and Geneva, Switzerland
Graduated from DNAP at Beaux-arts de Nantes and DNSEP (Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique) at the Villa Arson in Nice in 2009. Young création of villa de Nice Award with a one year residency. He has entered into many collaborations with Quentin Euverte and Ugo Schiavi. His solo exhibitions include: Chopper Desk, The Fish Factory, Stodvarfjordur (2012); Klaus Nomi auf L.S.D., Picto, Geneva (2011).
Among his group exhibitions: Le trou, Villa Bernasconi, Geneva (2012); Mauvais Coups Pour Trois Fois Rien, Hangar Alstom, Nantes (2011); Le Laboratorium, Arles (2011); 345 Elder, The Broadway Space, New York (2007).
Solo exhibition as part of the Modules – Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013-2014).

Project: From & To

 

Nato nel 1988, vive e lavora a Vladivostok e a Ginevra. Ottiene il diploma DNSEP alla Villa Arson nel 2009. Tra le sue mostre personali: Chopper Desk, The Fish Factory, Stodvarfjordur (2012); Klaus Nomi auf L.S.D., Picto, Ginevra (2011); Modules – Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, al Palais de Tokyo, Parigi (2013-2014). Fra le mostre collettive, segnaliamo: Le trou, Villa Bernasconi, Ginevra (2012); Mauvais Coups Pour Trois Fois Rien, Hangar Alstom, Nantes (2011); Le Laboratorium, Arles (2011); 345 Elder, The Broadway Space, New York (2007).

 

Né en 1988, vit et travaille à Vladivostok et Genève. Diplômé du DNSEP à la Villa Arson en 2009. Parmi ses expositions personnelles : Chopper Desk, The Fish Factory, Stodvarfjordur (2012); Klaus Nomi auf L.S.D., Picto, Geneve (2011); Modules – Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, au Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013-2014). Parmi ses expositions collectives : Le trou, Villa Bernasconi, Genève (2012); Mauvais Coups Pour Trois Fois Rien, Hangar Alstom, Nantes (2011); Le Laboratorium, Arles (2011); 345 Elder, The Broadway Space, New York (2007).

Image:
Thomas Teurlai, Camping sauvage, 2012

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GUILLAUME MANSART IN CONVERSATION WITH DIANE BLONDEAU, VIVIEN ROUBAUD AND THOMAS TEURLAI

GUILLAUME MANSART IN CONVERSATION WITH DIANE BLONDEAU, VIVIEN ROUBAUD AND THOMAS TEURLAI

A Dystopian Sculpture

Guillaume Mansart It’s the first time you’ve worked together. Here you’re offering a joint production. In what sense was this collective dynamic important?
Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud and Thomas Teurlai The From & To project was based on the idea of a collaborative exchange between young French and Italian artists. The three of us already knew each other. We got along well and lived in more or less the same area. Each of us having been separately involved in several collaborations, we were aware that this presented an advantage in terms of energy, labour power and letting go.

G.M. Beyond the spirit of intellectual competition, one senses that this collective logic is also efficient when it comes to production.  At the work-creation stage, a distinctive organisational logic can already be discerned…
D.B, V.R., T.T. This is something that creeps into our practices and into those of quite a few artists of our generation. Primarily out of pure pragmatism: how can something be created with few resources? By inventing our tools, by making do with whatever we have at our disposal. When it’s finished, the work might appear to “take a stand against traditional principles”, but more than anything else this is because we have no choice! It’s a flaw that becomes a quality. 

G.M. What is the meaning of the title Jambe de botte?
D.B, V.R., T.T. It’s the literal translation of “bootleg”, an English term that designates pirate recordings of concerts or studio albums. The term also designates the art of “turntablism”, which consists in constructing a single piece of music out of several others. Jambe de botte served as a shapeless title, like melted plastic.

G.M. For the creation of this piece, you tested several types of material, ultimately choosing plastic from melted garden chairs. There’s a certain irony in the fact that plastic chairs are turned into a kind of “missile sculpture”. Why did this material stand out?
D.B, V.R., T.T. This brings us back to production circuits and pragmatism. How a combination of gestures can produce an image. We very empirically tested hundreds of combinations. Then we took a deckchair, burned it with a flamethrower, and the result was perfect. We work on the French Riviera, where the dumps are full of this kind of furniture. We were conscious of reflecting the dystopian faults of this strange place that, when you remove the glamour of the sun and palm trees, smells of cheap suntan lotion, melted poodles and social violence.

G.M. How were the forms of the different sculptures created?
D.B, V.R., T.T. We aligned casts found in an abandoned train parts foundry, in such a way that we were able to create cylinders that could be spun like record players. We poured the plastic and suddenly we had Scud missiles.

G.M. Could you explain the “archaeo-acoustic” notion behind your project?
D.B, V.R., T.T. It’s a fairly vague discipline situated between acoustics, archaeology and charlatanism, and its aim is to find pre-Edison sound recordings through sound imprints accidentally recorded on different types of object. Since sound is a vibration, in principle it can be inscribed on the media it comes into contact with.

G.M. The forms of the various sculptures evoke something of a warlike world. Added to these forms is a sound that gives the space a stressful atmosphere. How is this sound produced?
D.B, V.R., T.T. From the outset we planned to create forms that could be “played” in the space. Then everything developed very spontaneously. The day before the exhibition opened, we had to make up our minds to bring the sculptures into the exhibition venue. Once they were set up, we took a playback head and placed it on one of the rotating Scuds and it was Fallujah in the centre dart. The perfect tautology.

G.M. Although object and device diversion and DIY are found in your respective works, I get the impression that the question of sculpture is fairly new. In fact, in your piece one finds “historical” questions liked to sculpture: materiology, volume, casting techniques, a plinth…  Does Jambe de botte enable you to tackle new fields of investigation?
D.B, V.R., T.T. We considered simple questions that are not at all historical. A plinth is practical. It keeps the work at a distance and prevents a Scud from falling on someone. Plastic is more solid than margarine, etc.  Above all, this project confirmed that in the middle of personal practices and trajectories, it’s essential to regularly make time for collective periods and keep making use of resourcefulness.

March 2015

Protagonists: Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud, Thomas Teurlai
Project: From & To

Une sculpture dystopique

Guillaume Mansart C’est la première fois que vous travailliez ensemble. Ici, vous faites une proposition de production partagée. En quoi cette dynamique collective a-t-elle été importante ?
Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud et Thomas Teurlai L’idée à la base du projet From & To, c’était un échange collaboratif entre des jeunes artistes français et italiens. Tous les trois, nous nous connaissions déjà, nous nous entendions bien et nous vivions plus ou moins au même endroit. Après plusieurs collaborations chacun de notre coté, nous étions conscients de l’intérêt que cela représentait en matière d’énergies, de force de travail et de lâcher prise.

G.M. Au-delà de l’émulation intellectuelle, on sent que cette logique collective trouve aussi une efficience dans la question de la production. Dans l’étape de réalisation de l’œuvre on peut déjà lire une logique d’organisation propre…
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est quelque chose qui traine dans nos pratiques comme dans celles de pas mal d’artistes de notre génération. D’abord par pur pragmatisme : comment réalise-t-on quelque chose avec peu de moyen ? En inventant nos outils, en faisant avec ce que l’on a sous la main. À l’arrivée, peut-être que le travail semble « s’affirmer contre les logiques traditionnelles », mais c’est plus par défaut qu’autre chose ! C’est un défaut qui devient une qualité. 

G.M. Que signifie le titre Jambe de botte ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est la traduction littérale de « bootleg », un terme anglais qui désigne les enregistrements pirates de concerts ou de studio. Le terme désigne aussi l’art du « turntablisme » qui consiste à construire un seul morceau de musique à partir de plusieurs. Jambe de botte faisait un titre informe, comme du plastique fondu.

G.M. Pour la réalisation de cette pièce, vous avez testé plusieurs types de matériaux, pour au final vous arrêter sur du plastique provenant de chaises de jardin fondues. Il y a une forme d’ironie dans le fait de transformer des chaises en plastique en sorte « sculpture missile ». Pourquoi ce matériau s’est-il imposé ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. On en revient aux circuits de productions et au pragmatisme. Comment une combinaison de gestes simples peut « faire image ». Nous avons testé de manière très empirique des centaines de combinaisons. Puis nous avons pris un transat, nous l’avons brûlé au lance-flammes, et le résultat était parfait. Nous travaillions sur la Côte d’Azur, les décharges sont pleines de ce type de mobilier. Nous avions conscience de renvoyer les travers dystopiques de cet étrange endroit qui, dégagé du côté glamour du soleil et des palmiers, sent la crème solaire bon marché, le caniche fondu et la violence sociale.

G.M. Comment les formes des différentes sculptures ont-elles été créées ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. Nous avons aligné des moules trouvés dans une fonderie de pièces de trains abandonnées, de manière à pouvoir créer des cylindres que l’on pourrait faire tourner comme des phonographes. Nous avons coulé le plastique et d’un coup nous avions des missiles Scud.

G.M. Pourriez vous expliciter la notion d’ « archéo-acoustique » qui est à l’origine de votre projet ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est une discipline assez obscure qui se situe entre l’acoustique, l’archéologie et le charlatanisme, et qui entend retrouver des enregistrements sonores pré-Edison à travers des empreintes sonores qui auraient été enregistrées accidentellement sur différents types d’objets. Puisque le son est une vibration, il peut censément s’inscrire sur les supports avec lesquels il entre en contact.

G.M. Les formes des différentes sculptures évoquent un univers plutôt guerrier, à ces formes s’ajoute un son qui installe dans l’espace d’exposition une atmosphère anxiogène. Comment se son est-il produit ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. Dès le début nous envisagions de créer des formes que l’on pourrait « jouer » dans l’espace. Ensuite, tout s’est enchainé de manière très spontanée. Nous avons dû nous résoudre, la veille du vernissage, à amener les sculptures dans le lieu d’exposition. Une fois qu’elles étaient installées, nous avons pris une tête de lecture que nous avons posé sur un des SCUD rotatifs et c’était Fallujah dans le centre d’art. Tautologique à souhait.

G.M. Si le détournement d’objets ou de dispositifs et le DIY sont présents dans vos travaux respectifs, j’ai l’impression que la question de la sculpture est assez nouvelle. En effet, on retrouve dans votre pièce des questions « historiques » liées à sculpture : matériologie, volume, techniques de moulage, socle, … Jambe de botte vous permet-elle d’engager de nouveaux champs d’investigation ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. On s’est posé des questions simples qui ne sont en rien historiques. Un socle c’est pratique, ça tient à distance et ça évite qu’un SCUD tombe sur quelqu’un. Le plastique c’est plus solide que la margarine, etc. Ce projet nous a surtout confirmé qu’il était indispensable au sein de pratiques et de trajectoires personnelles d’aménager régulièrement ces temps collectifs et de continuer à jouer de débrouille.

Mars 2015

Image:
1. Diane Blondeau / Vivien Roubaud / Thomas Teurlai, Jambes de bottes, 2014, mixed media. Photo: Villa Arson / Jean Brasille

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SANTIAGO SIERRA

Born 1966, Madrid, Spain
Lives and works in Madrid, Spain

In his work, Santiago Sierra exposes the power structures underlying our everyday lives. Since the 1990s, he has produced numerous projects based on reallife situations of exploitation and marginalization encountered in various parts of the world. His works are a critical revisitation of minimalism, combined with performance practices presented in the form of video, film, and photography. In many cases, the artist pays those willing to take part in his projects, thus underlining the way in which the underprivileged are exploited in modern society. Dientes de los ultimos gitanos de Ponticelli (Teeth of the last gipsies of Ponticelli), which was presented in 2009 on the occasion of a solo show at the MADRE Museum in Naples, entails both an action in the public space and one inside the museum. The project examines the situation in the working-class neighborhood of Ponticelli, east of Naples, where social tensions run high. On the billboards in the area, the artist presented photographic enlargements of the clenched teeth of the last two families of Roma gypsies living in a local encampment before they, too, were evicted. This abstract rendering of a detail—in this case the teeth of those concerned—renders the individuals unrecognizable but exposes the Roma people to the public gaze, highlighting their presence in the area and their anger and despair at their impotence in the face of their plight.

Nato a Madrid, Spagna, nel 1966
Vive e lavora a Madrid, Spagna

Nel suo lavoro, Santiago Sierra denuncia le strutture di potere che operano nella vita di tutti i giorni. Dalla metà degli anni ’90, Sierra realizza numerosi progetti partendo da situazioni reali di sfruttamento e di marginalizzazione, riscontrate in diverse parti del mondo. I suoi lavori consistono in una rivisitazione critica del minimalismo, cui sono associate pratiche performative restituite poi da video, film e fotografie. In molti suoi progetti, l’artista cerca di retribuire in denaro chi si rende disponibile per le sue performance di denuncia, sottolineando così il meccanismo di sfruttamento ai danni dei più deboli che caratterizza la società moderna. Dientes de los ultimos gitanos de Ponticelli (Denti degli ultimi gitani di Ponticelli) è stato presentato nel 2009 in occasione di una mostra personale di Sierra al Museo MADRE di Napoli, e prevede sia un’azione in uno spazio pubblico e sia un intervento all’interno del museo. Nato da un confronto diretto dell’artista con la realtà di Ponticelli, quartiere operaio a est di Napoli carico di tensioni sociali, il progetto ha visto la presentazione, negli spazi cittadini riservati ai cartelloni pubblicitari, di ingrandimenti fotografici dei denti digrignati delle ultime due famiglie di zingari che abitavano il campo Rom di Ponticelli prima che fosse sgomberato. Attraverso un processo di astrazione e di riduzione al dettaglio della bocca, Sierra ha reso irriconoscibile il singolo individuo, ma, esponendo i Rom pubblicamente, ha anche evidenziato la presenza della comunità, mostrando la disperazione e la rabbia delle persone che ne facevano parte per l’impotenza a cui erano stati condannati.

Project: Soleil politique

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KP BREHMER

Born 1938, Berlin, Germany
† 1997, Hamburg, Germany
Klaus Peter Brehmer, who went by the name of KP Brehmer as a reference to DKP, the German Communist Party, was one of the leading exponents of the German art movement Capitalist Realism. Interested in giving art a more dynamic role in everyday life and society, Brehmer analyzes in his works the growing presence of the media and media language in Western consumerist society. His oeuvre spans painting, graphics, books, films, musical arrangements, and installations. The famous series Korrektur der Nationalfarben, gemessen an der Vermögensverteilung (Correction of national colors according to distribution of wealth) uses recognizable graphic elements such as colors, charts, and diagrams to elicit a reflection on the way in which society’s visual systems influence the individual. The two crossed flags form a portrait of German society, its social changes and political tendencies. The colors are proportioned to convey various statistics on the distribution of wealth in the country. The left-hand flag interprets data from 1970, dividing German families into three income brackets represented by the national colors: red for those earning less than 1500 marks, black for those earning between 1500 and 3000 marks, and yellow for those taking home more than 3000 marks. The right-hand flag uses the same colors to represent the increase in per capita earnings between 1950 and 1969 according to occupation: black for white-collar workers, red for bluecollar workers and pensioners, and yellow for professionals. The fact that the two flags are crossed over represents the inextricable link between social class and distribution of wealth.

Nato a Berlino, Germania, nel 1938
† 1997, Amburgo, Germania
Klaus Peter Brehmer, diventato KP Brehmer in riferimento all’acronimo del partito comunista tedesco, DKP, è stato uno dei maggiori esponenti della corrente tedesca denominata “Realismo capitalista”. Interessato a rendere più dinamico il ruolo dell’arte nella vita quotidiana e nella società, Brehmer analizza nelle sue opere la crescente presenza dei media e del loro linguaggio nella società consumistica occidentale. Le sue ricerche trovano forma in lavori pittorici e grafici, in pubblicazioni, film, arrangiamenti musicali e installazioni. Korrektur der Nationalfarben, gemessen an der Vermögensverteilung (Correzione dei colori nazionali, in rapporto alla distribuzione del reddito) è una serie di opere nelle quali, attraverso codici grafici riconoscibili come colori, didascalie e diagrammi, l’artista invita lo spettatore a riflettere sul modo in cui i sistemi visivi della società influenzino l’individuo. Due bandiere incrociate diventano il ritratto della società tedesca e, al contempo, l’interpretazione degli sviluppi sociali e delle tendenze politiche al suo interno. I colori e la superficie delle bandiere veicolano una serie di informazioni statistiche sulla distribuzione del reddito in Germania. Nella bandiera di sinistra, che fa riferimento al 1970, le famiglie tedesche sono suddivise in base al loro reddito in tre fasce, identificate dai tre colori nazionali: rosso per chi guadagna meno di 1500 marchi, nero per redditi compresi tra i 1500 e i 3000 marchi, giallo per oltre i 3000 marchi. La bandiera di destra, utilizzando gli stessi tre colori, indica la crescita del reddito pro capite tra il1950eil1969inbasealtipodi attività svolta: nero per gli impiegati, rosso per gli operai e i pensionati, giallo per i lavoratori autonomi. L’intersecarsi delle due bandiere vuole rappresentare la stretta relazione che esiste tra la distribuzione della ricchezza e l’appartenenza a una determinata classe sociale.

Project: Soleil politique

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JULIETTE BLIGHTMAN

PLE-TPOMPT-076

Born 1980, Farnham, United Kingdom
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Image:
Juliette Blightman, This World Is not My Home, 2010, window, paint, rug, chair, song, brazier, fire, environmental dimensions. © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger (Courtesy: Jacopo Menzani)

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Roberto Pugliese

Roberto Pugliese, Risuonanti pressioni materiche, 2014

Roberto Pugliese, Risuonanti pressioni materiche, 2014

Born 1982, Naples, Italy
Lives and works in Bologna, Italy
Roberto Pugliese was born in Naples in 1982. He earned his Master degree in Electronic Music at the Conservatorio San Pietro in Majella, Naples. He teaches at the same institution (Music Systems, Sound Art and Laboratory for Electro-acoustic and Informatics), he creates sound installations, plays and composes music. His research is inspired by two artistic movements: sound art and kinetic and programmed art. By using mechanical tools controlled by a software that interact one with the other, as well as with the environment and the observer, he investigates sound phenomena and analyzes the processes of the human psyche. His art explores the relationship between man and technology, and at the same time he keeps a particular focus on its visual quality and aesthetics. His works in permanent collections are to be found at ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany. He was awarded the Honorary mention for sound art and music, Ars electronica Linz (2013). Selected solo shows: Concerto per natura morta, Studio la Città, Verona (2014); Echi liquidi, TRA, Treviso ricerca arte, Treviso (2013); Gervasuti Mix, omaggio a Cage, Gervasuti Foundation, Venice (2012); Unexpected Machines, Galerie Mario Mazzoli, Berlin (2011). Selected group shows: Noise, 55. Venice Biennale, collateral event, Venice (2013); Ghostbusters, Charlottenburg Museum, Copenhagen, Oscillator, Science Gallery, Trinity college, Dublin (2013); Data Deluge, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas (2012).

Project: From & To

 

Roberto Pugliese nasce a Napoli nel 1982. Consegue la laurea in Musica Elettronica presso il Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella di Napoli, dove oggi insegna. La sua ricerca trae energia essenzialmente da due correnti, la sound art e l’arte cinetica e programmata. Servendosi di apparecchiature meccaniche pilotate da software, esplora nuove prospettive di ricerca sui fenomeni legati al suono e alla psiche umana. Opere in collezione permanente: ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germania. Tra le principali mostre personali: Concerto per natura morta, Studio la città, Verona (2014); Gervasuti Mix, omaggio a Cage, Fondazione Gervasuti, Venezia (2012). Tra le recenti mostre collettive: Noise, 55a Biennale di Venezia, evento collaterale; Oscillator, Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublino (2013); Data Deluge, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas (2012). Vive e lavora a Bologna.

 

Né à Naples en 1982. Vit et travaille à Bologne. Diplômé de musique électronique au Conservatoire de San Pietro a Majella de Naples, ou il enseigne maintenant. Ses travaux de recherche tirent leur énergie principalement de deux courants : l’art sonore et l’art cinétique et programmé. En utilisant des équipements mécaniques pilotés par logiciel, il explore de nouvelles pistes de recherche sur les phénomènes liés au son et la psyché humaine. Œuvres dans la collection permanente du ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Allemagne. Principales expositions personnelles : Concerto pour nature morte, Studio la città, Vérone (2014), Gervasuti Mix, hommage a Cage, Fondation Gervasuti, Venise (2012). Expositions récentes : Noise, 55e Biennale de Venise, Oscillator, Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin (2013), Data Deluge, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas (2012).

Image:
Roberto Pugliese, Risuonanti pressioni materiche, 2014. Photo: Michele Alberto Sereni. Courtesy Studio la Città, Verona

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MICHAEL E. SMITH

2487-18

Born 1977, Detroit, MI, USA
Lives and works in Detroit, MI, USA

Image:
Michael E. Smith, Untitled, 2014. Wire harness; variable dimensions. View of the exhibition The Promise of Moving Things (curator: Chris Sharp), Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, 2014. Photo: André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy of the artist, Clifton Benevento, New York & Michael Benevento, Los Angeles.

Project: The Registry of Promise

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RAIMUND ABRAHAM

Born 1933, Linz, Austria
† 2010, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Between the late 1950s and the early 1970s, architects like Raimund Abraham, Walter Pichler, and Hans Hollein revisited the conventions of modernism, giving rise to what is commonly known as Austrian avant- garde architecture. Abraham’s creations are grounded in the basic notion of horizon, the point where sky and earth meet: his buildings embody this encounter. His work draws on utopian visions, narratives, and poetry, and his youthful imaginary architecture – drawings and models of which are shown here – ­is accompanied by brief poetic compositions that explain his architectural ideas. After working on the design for a house in 1963 with Walter Pichler, a project called House for Two Friends, Raimund Abraham began to create a series of models for houses. He saw the home as an architectural paradigm springing from the encounter between abstract forms and the landscape. The Austrian architect presented a series of houses based on archetypal shapes and solids (the square, cube, circle, sphere, dot, line, and surface) and devoted to his closest friends, most of whom were artists or architects. The designs were not constructed but represent original interpretations of human dwellings in the post-modern era. In Haus mit permanentem Schatten (House with Permanent Shade), the shade forms a protective shelter. In Haus mit Blumenwänden (House with Flower Walls), the flowers that make up the walls of the house wilt and fall to the ground, creating a connection between the lifespan of the building and the processes of disintegration that characterize the world of nature. Drawing inspiration from the billowing drapery in Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, the project Haus mit Vorhängen (House with Curtains) is devoted to the artist’s partner: Abraham imagines a house in which volumes and spaces, light and shade are constantly changing, and the wind seems to blow from inside the building. In all of these projects the distinctive elements of each design merge with the building itself.

 

Nato a Linz, Austria, nel 1933
† 2010, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tra la fine degli anni ’50 e la prima metà degli anni ’70, architetti quali Raimund Abraham, Walter Pichler e Hans Hollein rivedono le convenzioni del modernismo per dare vita a quella che è comunemente nota come la (neo)avan-guardia architettonica austriaca.
Le creazioni di Abraham si sviluppano a partire dall’idea fondamentale di orizzonte, il punto in cui terra e cielo si incontrano e dove gli edifici danno corpo a questo incontro. L’opera dell’architetto si nutre di utopie, narrazioni e poesia. L’architettura immaginaria, elaborata da Abraham negli anni giovanili, e qui illustrata da disegni e modelli, è accompagnata da brevi componimenti poetici che spiegano la visione architettonica del loro ideatore. Stimolato dal progetto per la realizzazione di una casa, pensato nel 1963 insieme a Walter Pichler e intitolato House for Two Friends (Casa per due amici), Raimund Abraham lavora a una serie di modelli abitativi. La casa diventa così per lui un paradigma architettonico, nato dalla collisione tra forme astratte e paesaggio. L’architetto austriaco propone una serie di case basate su figure e volumi archetipici (quadrato, cubo, cerchio, sfera, punto, linea e superficie), e dedicate ai suoi amici più stretti, per lo più artisti e architetti. I progetti non vengono realizzati, ma rimangono considerazioni originarie sull’abitare umano in un’epoca postmoderna. In Haus mit permanentem Schatten (Casa con ombra permanente), l’ombra proiettata dalla parete diviene una pelle trasparente, che forma un rifugio protettivo sul terreno. In Haus mit Blumenwänden (Casa con pareti di fiori) i fiori che costituiscono i muri dell’abitazione appassiscono e cadono al suolo, legando la vita della casa al processo di disintegrazione del mondo vegetale. Ispirata ai movimenti dei panneggi del dipinto botticelliano La Nascita di Venere, Haus mit Vorhängen (Casa con tende) è dedicata alla compagna dell’artista: Abraham immagina una casa in cui pieni e vuoti, luce e ombra si alternano costantemente, e dove il vento sembra provenire dall’interno dell’edificio. In tutti questi esempi, gli elementi che caratterizzano ogni proposta diventano l’edificio stesso.

Project: Soleil politique

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Marta Minujín

Marta Minujín, El obelisco acostado, 1978

Marta Minujín, El obelisco acostado, 1978

Born 1943, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina

A pioneer of happenings and performance art, “soft sculptures” and video art, the Argentine artist Marta Minujín often uses ephemeral materials like cardboard, cloth, and foodstuffs to create works that are both monumental yet fragile. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s Pop Art, Minujín’s works take a satirical approach to consumerism and express a strong critique of the events that shaped Argentina’s history. One example of the latter is El obelisco acostado, presented in the exhibition in the form of documentation. Created for the first São Paulo Biennale, the project consisted of a life-size copy of the obelisk in Plaza de la Republica in Buenos Aires, built at the end of the 1930s and now something of a national symbol. The artist’s version was horizontal rather than vertical, enabling viewers to enter and walk the length of the 64-meter sculpture. Inside, two screens showed video footage of the original obelisk filmed over a 24-hour period, including the celebrations for Argentina’s World Cup victory in 1978. El obelisco acostado was the first in a series of works Minujín conceived as a subversive take on the major monuments of Western tradition.

Nata a Buenos Aires, Argentina, nel 1943
Vive e lavora a Buenos Aires, Argentina

L’artista argentina Marta Minujín è stata una pioniera nei campi dell’happening e della performance art, delle “sculture morbide” e della videoarte. Utilizza spesso materiali effimeri come cartone, tessuto e cibo per creare opere monumentali, ma al contempo fragili. Ispirati alla Pop Art di Andy Warhol, i lavori di Marta Minujín esprimono un approccio satirico verso il consumismo e una forte presa di posizione rispetto alle vicende storiche dell’Argentina: ne è un esempio la sua opera El obelisco acostado (L’obelisco adagiato), presente in mostra sotto forma di documentazione. Creato per la prima Biennale di San Paolo, il progetto consiste nella realizzazione di una copia di uguali dimensioni dell’obelisco che si trova in Plaza de la Republica a Buenos Aires, costruito alla fine degli anni ’30 del Novecento e diventato simbolo nazionale argentino. L’artista cambia l’orientamento del monumento, ponendolo in posizione orizzontale invece che verticale.
In tal modo lo spettatore vi può entrare e percorrerne tutti i sessantaquattro metri di lunghezza. All’interno, due monitor proiettano delle videoregistrazioni realizzate nell’arco di ventiquattr’ore dall’obelisco originale, tra cui spiccano le immagini dei festeggiamenti per la vittoria dell’Argentina ai Mondiali di calcio del ’78. El obelisco acostado è la prima di una serie di opere, nelle quali Marta Minujín si propone di demistificare i grandi monumenti della tradizione occidentale.

Image:
Marta Minujín, El obelisco acostado, 1978. 1st Latin American Biennial of São Paulo. Courtesy of the artist

Project: Soleil politique

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CAPC – PHILIPPE THOMAS

Born 1951, Nice, France
† 1994, Paris, France

In December 1987, the French artist Philippe Thomas founded the agency readymades belong to everyone® in New York. One year later, he opened another in France, Les Ready Made appartiennent à tout le monde®. The idea sprang from a reflection on the limits of modern art history and the functioning of the market. Thomas’s work examines and redefines the functions and characteristics of the museum institution, the art object, the public, and the creator of the work. The agency enabled anyone to become an artist: just buy a work and you can be credited as its creator. In this way, when the Bordeaux museum of contemporary art, the CAPC, purchased Thomas’s work La Collection de Mr Georges Venzano, it automatically became the creator of the work, as the caption reads. The piece was bought in 1990 on the occasion of the exhibition Feux Pâles. The CAPC commissioned Thomas’s agency to produce and curate the piece and write the texts for the catalogue. La Collection de Mr Georges Venzano consists of an enormous wall-mounted photograph of images of museum façades that Mr. Venzano, an imaginary character invented by Philippe Thomas, has photographed and reviewed, building up a collection. Over 40 years, the collector systematically classified French museums, yet without applying any kind of aesthetic criteria or revealing anything about the collections inside them.

Nato a Nizza, Francia, nel 1951
† 1994, Parigi, Francia

Nel dicembre del 1987 l’artista francese Philippe Thomas fonda a New York l’agenzia readymades belong to everyone® (I ready-made appartengono a tutti). Un anno dopo, ne apre una omonima anche in Francia (Les Ready Made appartiennent à tout le monde®). Questa decisione è il frutto di una riflessione approfondita sui limiti della storia dell’arte moderna e dei meccanismi del mercato. Il lavoro di Thomas analizza e ridefinisce le funzioni e le caratteristiche dell’istituzione museale, dell’oggetto artistico, del pubblico e dello stesso autore dell’opera. L’agenzia, infatti, propone a chiunque di diventare artista: è sufficiente acquistare un’opera, per potersene attribuire la paternità. In tal modo, il museo d’arte contemporanea di Bordeaux, il CAPC, comprando l’opera di Philippe Thomas La Collection de Mr Georges Venzano (La collezione di Mr Georges Venzano), ne è divenuto automaticamente l’autore, come si legge nella didascalia del lavoro. L’opera è stata acquistata nel 1990 in occasione della mostra Feux Pâles. L’agenzia di Thomas, su invito del CAPC, fungeva da realizzatore, curatore e autore dei testi del catalogo. La Collection de Mr Georges Venzano consiste in una enorme fotografia a parete di immagini di facciate di musei, che Mr Venzano, personaggio di fantasia inventato da Philippe Thomas, ha fotografato e recensito, creando così una collezione. In quarant’anni di lavoro, il collezionista ha classificato i musei francesi in maniera sistematica, senza utilizzare alcun criterio estetico e senza far trasparire nulla delle collezioni conservate in ciascuna istituzione.

Project: Soleil politique

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Pratchaya Phinthong

Born 1974, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
Lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand

Pratchaya Phinthong’s works bring together remote situations that would otherwise remain extraneous. The physical and semantic connections and shifts that he forges reveal new angles on social, geographic, and economic scenarios. The viewer is invited to bridge the apparent distance between the elements chosen by Phinthong, as happens in the piece Broken Hill, in which a copy of the skull of the first human found in Africa, together with other related materials, become the elements of a performance. When the skull was discovered, in 1921, in Broken Hill (now Kabwe, Zambia) the English colonial authorities had it taken to the Natural History Museum in London. The skull kept in the Lusaka National Museum in Zambia is a copy of the original find. The first version of the performance, presented in London in 2013, involved the guide from the Lusaka museum, Kamfwa Chishala, who recounted the finding and removal of the skull, as he normally does during his museum tours in Zambia. Phinthong asked the African museum to lend him its copy of the skull and purchased another copy on the internet to display in Lusaka for the duration of the loan. The installation on show here comprises a skull bought online, a series of photographs documenting Kamfwa Chishala’s experiences in London, and a case that is a reproduction of the one in the London museum containing the original skull.

Nato a Ubon Ratchathani, Thailandia, nel 1974
Vive e lavora a Bangkok, Thailandia

Le opere di Pratchaya Phinthong mettono in relazione situazioni agli antipodi, che, altrimenti, resterebbero lontane. Le connessioni e gli spostamenti, sia semantici sia fisici, che l’artista stabilisce in questo modo fanno emergere nuovi punti di vista su contesti sociali, geografici ed economici. Lo spettatore è invitato a colmare la distanza apparente tra gli elementi selezionati da Phinthong nei propri lavori. È il caso di Broken Hill, in cui una copia del teschio del primo essere umano trovato in Africa, insieme ad altri materiali correlati, diventa la scenografia per una performance. Quando il teschio fu scoperto, nel 1921, nella località allora chiamata Broken Hill (oggi Kabwe, Zambia), le autorità coloniali inglesi lo trasferirono presso il Natural History Museum di Londra. Il museo nazionale di Lusaka, in Zambia, ne espone invece una copia. Nella prima versione della performance presentata nel 2013 a Londra, è stato coinvolto Kamfwa Chishala, guida del museo di Lusaka, per spiegare ai visitatori la storia del teschio, del ritrovamento e della sostituzione, ciò che fa normalmente nei suoi tour in Zambia. Phinthong ha chiesto in prestito la copia del teschio al museo africano e ha acquistato su Internet un’altra copia, da esporre a Lusaka per tutto il periodo del prestito. L’installazione qui esposta è costituita da un teschio acquistato online, da una serie di fotografie che raccontano l’esperienza di Kamfwa Chishala a Londra, e da una cassa che riproduce quella contenente il teschio originale nel museo londinese.

Project: Soleil politique

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Vivien Roubaud

Vivien Roubaud, Système frigorifique, eau, 220v, 2012

Vivien Roubaud, Système frigorifique, eau, 220v, 2012

Born 1986, Vouziers, France
Lives and works in Nice, France
Graduated of DNSEP with distinction at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art of Villa Arson (Nice) in 2011. Among his recent group exhibitions: Saison 17, Lieu Commun, Toulouse (2013); Sunshine & Precipitation Part 2, Catalyst Arts, Belfast (2012); WATT, La Station, Nice (2012); Young & Restless, Vidéochroniques, Marseille (2012); Demain c’est loin, Galerie de la Marine, Nice (2011). Solo exhibition as part of the Modules Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent at the Palais de Tokyo (2013-2014).
I often say that I use “objects that make us live,” in a sense, I try to extract unused qualities or hidden properties from these objects. The active mixtures that I make, bring together and confront, take on a form in precarious, unstable balancing acts. In order to bypass the functions and disorganize the know-how, we have to adopt a distant view in terms of what we know, or think we know, without ever falling into fascination, but instead with the intention of raising questions and inciting curiosity. Freeing an object also means reprogramming it, or handling its side effects. Static objects are set in motion, while those that usually move tend towards petrified states. Some systems come undone, returning to a lost state. They unravel so much that they go back to the “crude”, or heterogeneous pre-production state of an un-elaborated product. By making bridges between disciplines, and by combining or defragmenting fields and categories, it is possible to make one or more frameworks tremble, but without being able to extract ourselves from them completely. The point is then to re-examine and reinterpret the connections and ties that can join together the fragments and abolish the frontier between methods and materials. The game consists in regulating this unruliness.

Project: From & To

 

Nato nel 1989, vive e lavora a Nizza. Ottiene il diploma DNSEP, con il massimo dei voti, alla Villa Arson nel 2011. Fra le sue mostre collettive recenti: Saison 17, Lieu Commun (Tolosa 2013), SUNSHINE & PRECIPITATION Part 2, Catalyst Arts (Belfast, 2012), WATT, La Station (Nizza, 2012), YOUNG &RESTLESS, Vidéochroniques (Marsiglia, 2012), Demain c’est loin, Galerie de la Marine (Nizza, 2011). Mostra personale nell’ ambito di Modules – Fondazione Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, al Palais de Tokyo, 2013-2014.

 

Né en 1986, vit et travaille à Nice. Diplômé en 2011 du DNESP, avec félicitation du jury, à l’École nationale supérieure d’art de la Villa Arson. Parmi ses expositions collectives récentes : Saison 17, Lieu Commun (Toulouse, 2013), SUNSHINE & PRECIPITATION Part 2, Catalyst Arts (Belfast, 2012), WATT , La Station (Nice, 2012), YOUNG & RESTLESS, Vidéochroniques (Marseille, 2012), Demain c’est loin, Galerie de la Marine (Nice, 2011). Exposition personnelle dans le cadre des Modules – Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, au Palais de Tokyo, 2013-2014.

Image:
Vivien Roubaud, Système frigorifique, eau, 220v, 2012

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GUILLAUME MANSART IN CONVERSATION WITH DIANE BLONDEAU, VIVIEN ROUBAUD AND THOMAS TEURLAI

GUILLAUME MANSART IN CONVERSATION WITH DIANE BLONDEAU, VIVIEN ROUBAUD AND THOMAS TEURLAI

A Dystopian Sculpture

Guillaume Mansart It’s the first time you’ve worked together. Here you’re offering a joint production. In what sense was this collective dynamic important?
Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud and Thomas Teurlai The From & To project was based on the idea of a collaborative exchange between young French and Italian artists. The three of us already knew each other. We got along well and lived in more or less the same area. Each of us having been separately involved in several collaborations, we were aware that this presented an advantage in terms of energy, labour power and letting go.

G.M. Beyond the spirit of intellectual competition, one senses that this collective logic is also efficient when it comes to production.  At the work-creation stage, a distinctive organisational logic can already be discerned…
D.B, V.R., T.T. This is something that creeps into our practices and into those of quite a few artists of our generation. Primarily out of pure pragmatism: how can something be created with few resources? By inventing our tools, by making do with whatever we have at our disposal. When it’s finished, the work might appear to “take a stand against traditional principles”, but more than anything else this is because we have no choice! It’s a flaw that becomes a quality. 

G.M. What is the meaning of the title Jambe de botte?
D.B, V.R., T.T. It’s the literal translation of “bootleg”, an English term that designates pirate recordings of concerts or studio albums. The term also designates the art of “turntablism”, which consists in constructing a single piece of music out of several others. Jambe de botte served as a shapeless title, like melted plastic.

G.M. For the creation of this piece, you tested several types of material, ultimately choosing plastic from melted garden chairs. There’s a certain irony in the fact that plastic chairs are turned into a kind of “missile sculpture”. Why did this material stand out?
D.B, V.R., T.T. This brings us back to production circuits and pragmatism. How a combination of gestures can produce an image. We very empirically tested hundreds of combinations. Then we took a deckchair, burned it with a flamethrower, and the result was perfect. We work on the French Riviera, where the dumps are full of this kind of furniture. We were conscious of reflecting the dystopian faults of this strange place that, when you remove the glamour of the sun and palm trees, smells of cheap suntan lotion, melted poodles and social violence.

G.M. How were the forms of the different sculptures created?
D.B, V.R., T.T. We aligned casts found in an abandoned train parts foundry, in such a way that we were able to create cylinders that could be spun like record players. We poured the plastic and suddenly we had Scud missiles.

G.M. Could you explain the “archaeo-acoustic” notion behind your project?
D.B, V.R., T.T. It’s a fairly vague discipline situated between acoustics, archaeology and charlatanism, and its aim is to find pre-Edison sound recordings through sound imprints accidentally recorded on different types of object. Since sound is a vibration, in principle it can be inscribed on the media it comes into contact with.

G.M. The forms of the various sculptures evoke something of a warlike world. Added to these forms is a sound that gives the space a stressful atmosphere. How is this sound produced?
D.B, V.R., T.T. From the outset we planned to create forms that could be “played” in the space. Then everything developed very spontaneously. The day before the exhibition opened, we had to make up our minds to bring the sculptures into the exhibition venue. Once they were set up, we took a playback head and placed it on one of the rotating Scuds and it was Fallujah in the centre dart. The perfect tautology.

G.M. Although object and device diversion and DIY are found in your respective works, I get the impression that the question of sculpture is fairly new. In fact, in your piece one finds “historical” questions liked to sculpture: materiology, volume, casting techniques, a plinth…  Does Jambe de botte enable you to tackle new fields of investigation?
D.B, V.R., T.T. We considered simple questions that are not at all historical. A plinth is practical. It keeps the work at a distance and prevents a Scud from falling on someone. Plastic is more solid than margarine, etc.  Above all, this project confirmed that in the middle of personal practices and trajectories, it’s essential to regularly make time for collective periods and keep making use of resourcefulness.

March 2015

Protagonists: Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud, Thomas Teurlai
Project: From & To

Une sculpture dystopique

Guillaume Mansart C’est la première fois que vous travailliez ensemble. Ici, vous faites une proposition de production partagée. En quoi cette dynamique collective a-t-elle été importante ?
Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud et Thomas Teurlai L’idée à la base du projet From & To, c’était un échange collaboratif entre des jeunes artistes français et italiens. Tous les trois, nous nous connaissions déjà, nous nous entendions bien et nous vivions plus ou moins au même endroit. Après plusieurs collaborations chacun de notre coté, nous étions conscients de l’intérêt que cela représentait en matière d’énergies, de force de travail et de lâcher prise.

G.M. Au-delà de l’émulation intellectuelle, on sent que cette logique collective trouve aussi une efficience dans la question de la production. Dans l’étape de réalisation de l’œuvre on peut déjà lire une logique d’organisation propre…
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est quelque chose qui traine dans nos pratiques comme dans celles de pas mal d’artistes de notre génération. D’abord par pur pragmatisme : comment réalise-t-on quelque chose avec peu de moyen ? En inventant nos outils, en faisant avec ce que l’on a sous la main. À l’arrivée, peut-être que le travail semble « s’affirmer contre les logiques traditionnelles », mais c’est plus par défaut qu’autre chose ! C’est un défaut qui devient une qualité. 

G.M. Que signifie le titre Jambe de botte ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est la traduction littérale de « bootleg », un terme anglais qui désigne les enregistrements pirates de concerts ou de studio. Le terme désigne aussi l’art du « turntablisme » qui consiste à construire un seul morceau de musique à partir de plusieurs. Jambe de botte faisait un titre informe, comme du plastique fondu.

G.M. Pour la réalisation de cette pièce, vous avez testé plusieurs types de matériaux, pour au final vous arrêter sur du plastique provenant de chaises de jardin fondues. Il y a une forme d’ironie dans le fait de transformer des chaises en plastique en sorte « sculpture missile ». Pourquoi ce matériau s’est-il imposé ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. On en revient aux circuits de productions et au pragmatisme. Comment une combinaison de gestes simples peut « faire image ». Nous avons testé de manière très empirique des centaines de combinaisons. Puis nous avons pris un transat, nous l’avons brûlé au lance-flammes, et le résultat était parfait. Nous travaillions sur la Côte d’Azur, les décharges sont pleines de ce type de mobilier. Nous avions conscience de renvoyer les travers dystopiques de cet étrange endroit qui, dégagé du côté glamour du soleil et des palmiers, sent la crème solaire bon marché, le caniche fondu et la violence sociale.

G.M. Comment les formes des différentes sculptures ont-elles été créées ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. Nous avons aligné des moules trouvés dans une fonderie de pièces de trains abandonnées, de manière à pouvoir créer des cylindres que l’on pourrait faire tourner comme des phonographes. Nous avons coulé le plastique et d’un coup nous avions des missiles Scud.

G.M. Pourriez vous expliciter la notion d’ « archéo-acoustique » qui est à l’origine de votre projet ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est une discipline assez obscure qui se situe entre l’acoustique, l’archéologie et le charlatanisme, et qui entend retrouver des enregistrements sonores pré-Edison à travers des empreintes sonores qui auraient été enregistrées accidentellement sur différents types d’objets. Puisque le son est une vibration, il peut censément s’inscrire sur les supports avec lesquels il entre en contact.

G.M. Les formes des différentes sculptures évoquent un univers plutôt guerrier, à ces formes s’ajoute un son qui installe dans l’espace d’exposition une atmosphère anxiogène. Comment se son est-il produit ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. Dès le début nous envisagions de créer des formes que l’on pourrait « jouer » dans l’espace. Ensuite, tout s’est enchainé de manière très spontanée. Nous avons dû nous résoudre, la veille du vernissage, à amener les sculptures dans le lieu d’exposition. Une fois qu’elles étaient installées, nous avons pris une tête de lecture que nous avons posé sur un des SCUD rotatifs et c’était Fallujah dans le centre d’art. Tautologique à souhait.

G.M. Si le détournement d’objets ou de dispositifs et le DIY sont présents dans vos travaux respectifs, j’ai l’impression que la question de la sculpture est assez nouvelle. En effet, on retrouve dans votre pièce des questions « historiques » liées à sculpture : matériologie, volume, techniques de moulage, socle, … Jambe de botte vous permet-elle d’engager de nouveaux champs d’investigation ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. On s’est posé des questions simples qui ne sont en rien historiques. Un socle c’est pratique, ça tient à distance et ça évite qu’un SCUD tombe sur quelqu’un. Le plastique c’est plus solide que la margarine, etc. Ce projet nous a surtout confirmé qu’il était indispensable au sein de pratiques et de trajectoires personnelles d’aménager régulièrement ces temps collectifs et de continuer à jouer de débrouille.

Mars 2015

Image:
1. Diane Blondeau / Vivien Roubaud / Thomas Teurlai, Jambes de bottes, 2014, mixed media. Photo: Villa Arson / Jean Brasille

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RETO PULFER

Born 1981, Bern, Switzerland
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Project: The Registry of Promise

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MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP

Mélanie Bouteloup is a co-founder and the current director of Bétonsalon – Centre for art and research. Over the last ten years, she has curated numerous projects in various forms that anchor research in society on process-based, collaborative and discursive levels, following different time spans, in cooperation with various local, national and international organizations. In 2012, Mélanie Bouteloup is associate curator with artistic director Okwui Enwezor of the Paris Triennale – an event organised on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Communication/DGCA, the Centre National des Arts Plastiques and the Palais de Tokyo.

Mélanie Bouteloup è cofondatrice e direttrice del Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche. Nel corso degli ultimi dieci anni ha curato numerosi progetti in varie forme che ancorano la ricerca nella società attraverso livelli discorsivi, collaborativi e processuali, che seguono differenti temporalità; progetti che sono stati realizzati in cooperazione con varie organizzazioni locali, nazionali e internazionali. Nel 2012 Mélanie Bouteloup è stata curatrice associata del direttore artistico Okwi Enwezor alla Triennale di Parigi, un evento organizzato su iniziativa del Ministero della cultura e Comunicazione/DGCA, Centro Nazionale delle Arti Plastiche e del Palais de Tokyo.

Mélanie Bouteloup est co-fondatrice et directrice du centre d’art et de recherche Bétonsalon. Au cours des dix dernières années, elle a dirigé de nombreux projets visant à ancrer l’art en société, en partenariat avec de nombreuses organisations locales, nationales et internationales. En 2012, Mélanie Bouteloup est commissaire associée auprès du directeur artistique Okwui Enwezor de La Triennale – manifestation organisée à l’initiative du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication/DGCA, par le Centre national des arts plastiques et le Palais de Tokyo. En 2014, Mélanie Bouteloup est nommée Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres par le Gouvernement français.

Project: Exercizing Doubt: Exhibition as Research
Space: Bétonsalon

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP, BÉTONSALON - CENTRE D'ART ET DE RECHERCHE, PARIS

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP, BÉTONSALON - CENTRE D'ART ET DE RECHERCHE, PARIS

Vincent Honoré What prefigured the creation of Bétonsalon in Paris? Is there a precedent or theoretical model for the space?
Mélanie Bouteloup Bétonsalon was born in 2003 from the assembling of a group that included artists from the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris and art historians, especially from the École du Louvre. We came together around the shared view that Paris lacked places that were midway between art school and institution, places where it was possible to test ideas, make mistakes and show the work of unestablished artists, whether they were still students or were older but unrecognised. At that time, there was Public near the Centre Pompidou and this provided a model, and also the Paris Project Room, which was an important place for the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris.

V.H. How does Bétonsalon fit into its environment, and how is it different from other spaces in Paris?
M.B. Today the Bétonsalon Centre for Art and Research is located in the 13th arrondissement in Paris, on the ground floor of Paris 7 University. It is one of the few independent art centres located on a university campus in France. Because of this, we enjoy a special relationship with the Ministry of education and we are developing a programme that questions standardised forms of knowledge production, classification and distribution. I think art centres have a role to play, supporting art research and rearticulating the position of education, research and creativity in society.

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2. Bétonsalon façade

V.H. Has Bétonsalon’s mission evolved over the course of its 10-year existence?
M.B. As the years and meetings have passed, the organisation has become more professional and its ambitions have asserted themselves. The opening of the Centre for art and research in 2007 was a key moment. At that time we met many university researchers and students whom we gradually got to know well. Bétonsalon’s activities develop in a process-based, discursive way in collaboration with a variety of local, national and international organisations. Today the programming is conceived according to various formats and timeframes, and includes several annual exhibitions interspersed with associated events. Different seminars and workshops are also organised in collaboration with professors from Paris Diderot University.

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3. Bétonsalon façade

V.H. How might one conceive of the possibility of spaces for independent programming in the face of accelerated globalisation, a ubiquitous art market and the hitting power of the largest institutions?
M.B. I think flexible, small-scale organisations like Bétonsalon are needed to preserve this possibility of experimenting with ways of working that involve direct dialogue, even joint construction, with other non-profit organisations. Faced with this crisis situation, there is an urgent need to reconsider how we do things. Cross-disciplinary navigation tactics need to be invented. This could be done as soon as renewed conception of the territory of art could be agreed: a conception of art that favours what’s happening instead of what’s seen, processes instead of objects. An art centre should make the social and cultural frictions of the present perceptible.

4. Exhibition view, Le jour d'après, Bétonsalon - Centre d'art et de recherche

4. Exhibition view, Maryam Jafri. Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche

V.H. Under these conditions, what are the responsibilities of the director of an art centre?
M.B. The responsibility of the whole staff of an art centre is therefore enormous. We have to challenge ourselves, working as closely as possible with the region by maintaining a network of relationships that should be broadened day by day to increase the number of collaborations. To me, an art centre is a contact zone (in Mary Louise Pratt’s sense) in which heterogeneous positions are brought together with the goal of producing new ways of conceiving and influencing a globalised world in crisis.

V.H. PIANO wants to create a network of Italian and French art centres, an exchange zone. Why did you want to join this project and what will you be presenting?
M.B. I wanted to join this project because it fits perfectly with our ambition to be a member of a network of contacts from a variety of backgrounds extending beyond France’s borders. I had a fascinating discussion with Emanuele Guidi, director of ar/ge kunst in Bolzano, about the desire for a research-exhibition, that is to say an exhibition format that makes it possible to work with a diverse group of artists and researchers who all contribute to reflecting on a problem or question. Emanuele Guidi joined forces with Clémence Seilles, I worked with Maryam Jafri. And we built our exhibition with Virginie Bobin, associate curator in charge of the visitors’ project at Bétonsalon. Le jour d’après takes as its point of departure a collection of photographs that show the independence ceremonies of around twenty countries in Asia and Africa, collected by the artist over the past few years with the help of a constellation of researchers. It is a reflection on how history is written. Therefore it is crucial to be able to hear voices other than the official ones, hence the invitation extended to the Italian collective Invernomuto to come and contribute to the exhibition.

1. Exhibition view, Le jour d'après, Bétonsalon - Centre d'art et de recherche

5. Exhibition view, Maryam Jafri. Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche

Vincent Honoré Qu’est-ce qui a préfiguré la création de Bétonsalon à Paris ? L’espace a-t-il un précédent ou un modèle théorique ?
Mélanie Bouteloup Bétonsalon est né en 2003 du rassemblement d’un groupe d’artistes de l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris et d’historiens de l’art notamment issus de l’Ecole du Louvre. Nous nous sommes réunis autour du constat qu’il manquait à Paris des lieux intermédiaires entre l’école d’art et l’institution, des lieux où tester des idées, faire des erreurs et montrer le travail d’artistes non établis, qu’ils soient encore étudiants ou plus âgés mais méconnus. A l’époque, il y avait Public près du Centre Pompidou qui a constitué un modèle, mais aussi Paris Project Room, qui a été un lieu important pour l’école des Beaux-Arts de Paris.

V.H. Comment Bétonsalon s’inscrit dans l’environnement qui est le sien, et quelle est sa différence par rapport aux autres espaces parisiens ?
M.B. Le centre d’art et de recherche Bétonsalon est aujourd’hui situé dans le 13ème arrondissement de Paris, au rez-de-chaussée de l’Université Paris 7. Il est un des rares centres d’art indépendants implantés dans un campus universitaire en France. De ce fait, nous bénéficions de relations privilégiées avec l’Education nationale et développons un programme qui questionne les formes normalisées de production, de classification et de distribution du savoir. Je pense que le centre d’art a un rôle à jouer pour accompagner la recherche en art et réarticuler la position de la pédagogie, de la recherche et de la création en société.

V.H. Est-ce que la mission de Bétonsalon a évolué au cours de ses 10 années d’existence ?
M.B. Au fur et à mesure des années et des rencontres, la structure s’est professionnalisée et les ambitions se sont affirmées. L’ouverture du centre d’art et de recherche en 2007 constitue un moment clé. Nous avons alors rencontré de nombreux chercheurs et étudiants du milieu universitaire avec lesquels nous nous sommes peu à peu familiarisés. Les activités de Bétonsalon se développent de manière processuelle et discursive, en collaboration avec une variété d’organisations locales, nationales et internationales. Conçue selon divers formats et temporalités, la programmation comprend aujourd’hui plusieurs expositions annuelles ponctuées d’événements associés. Différents séminaires et ateliers sont de plus organisés en collaboration avec des professeurs de l’Université Paris Diderot.

V.H. Comment concevoir la possibilité d’espaces de programmation indépendants face à une globalisation accélérée, à un marché de l’art omniprésent et à la puissance de frappe des plus grandes institutions ?
M.B. Je pense que des structures flexibles de petite échelle comme Bétonsalon sont nécessaires pour conserver cette possibilité d’expérimenter des manières de travailler en dialogue direct, voire en co-construction, avec d’autres acteurs associatifs. Face à cette situation de crise, il est urgent de repenser nos manières de faire. Des tactiques de navigation transversale doivent être inventées. Cela pourra se faire à partir du moment où une conception renouvelée du territoire de l’art pourra être entendue : une conception de l’art qui privilégie ce qui se passe plutôt que ce que l’on voit, les processus plutôt que les objets. Un centre d’art doit rendre sensible les frictions sociales et culturelles du présent.

V.H. Dans ces conditions, quelles responsabilités pour un directeur de centre d’art ?
M.B. La responsabilité pour toute l’équipe d’un centre d’art est donc énorme. Il s’agit de se remettre en question, travailler au plus près du territoire en entretenant un réseau de relations qu’il convient d’étendre au jour le jour pour multiplier les collaborations. Un centre d’art est pour moi une zone de contacts (au sens de Mary Louise Pratt) où des positions hétérogènes sont assemblées dans le but de produire de nouvelles façons de penser et d’agir sur un monde globalisé, en crise.

V.H. PIANO veut créer un réseau de centres d’art italiens et français, une zone d’échange. Pourquoi avez-vous souhaité rejoindre ce projet et qu’allez-vous présenter ?
M.B. J’ai souhaité rejoindre ce projet car il correspond parfaitement à notre ambition d’être partie prenante d’un réseau d’interlocuteurs issus d’horizons variés au-delà des frontières françaises. J’ai engagé une discussion passionnante avec Emanuele Guidi, directeur de ar/ge kunst à Bolzano, autour de l’envie de l’exposition-recherche, c’est-à-dire un format d’exposition qui permet de travailler avec un groupe d’artistes et de chercheurs à géométrie variable qui tous contribuent à réfléchir autour d’un problème ou d’une question. Emanuele Guidi s’est rapproché de Clémence Seilles et moi de Maryam Jafri. Et c’est avec Virginie Bobin, commissaire associée en charge du projet des publics à Bétonsalon, que nous avons construit notre exposition. Le jour d’après prend comme point de départ une collection de photographies représentant les cérémonies d’indépendance d’une vingtaine de pays en Asie et en Afrique, rassemblées par l’artiste au cours de ces dernières années grâce à une constellation de chercheurs. Il s’agit alors de réfléchir à comment l’Histoire s’écrit. Il est alors crucial de pouvoir entendre d’autres voix que celles officielles, d’où l’invitation faite au collectif italien Invernomuto de venir intervenir dans l’exposition.

Images:
1-3. Bétonsalon façade
4-5. Exhibition views, Maryam Jafri. Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’arte et de recherche. Photos: Aurélien Mole

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ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI

Born 1918, Milan, Italy
† 2002, Milan, Italy

The renowned Italian designer Achille Castiglioni spent his life conceiving and testing industrial products, working with his brothers Pier Giacomo and Livio. Famous for the irony that characterised his creations, his designs are always tinged with a subtle parody of the avant-garde, expressing the disillusionment of the generation that grew up after the provocations of futurism and the utopia of rationalism.
In June 1940, Castiglioni, while still a student at the Milan Polytechnic, presented Professor Piero Portaluppi with a project entitled Gruppo Rionale Fascista (Fascist District Complex), for his architectural composition exam. The project consisted of two square, parallel blocks connected by a horizontal slab, and the accompanying model was made out of two slices of cheese cut perfectly to scale. The texture of the cheese is amusingly reminiscent of travertine marble, the Fascist regime’s favourite architectural material. The entire project was presented in minute detail, with plans showing floor layouts, cross-sections and pediments. And even the purposes of the various areas were defined, with an armoury, a gym and a communal building, as well as offices and rooms for the “Balilla” Italian Fascist Youth Movement.
Critics view this project as containing the seeds of the themes that would go on to underpin his entire oeuvre, including the use of ready-mades, and more importantly, references to Italian futurism: Boccioni, for example, also employed a variety of materials, including foodstuffs, in his artistic compositions.

Nato a Milano, Italia, nel 1918
† 2002, Milano, Italia

Achille Castiglioni, noto designer italiano, si dedica insieme ai fratelli Pier Giacomo e Livio alla progettazione e sperimentazione di prodotti industriali. Noto per l’ironia che caratterizza le sue creazioni, progetta ammiccando a una sorta di parodia dell’Avanguardia. Esprime in questo modo la disillusione di una generazione cresciuta dopo le provocazioni del futurismo e le utopie del razionalismo.
Nel giugno del 1940 Castiglioni, studente al Politecnico di Milano, si presenta all’esame di composizione architettonica presso la cattedra di Piero Portaluppi con il progetto per un gruppo rionale fascista: due volumi squadrati e paralleli, collegati da una piastra orizzontale. Il modello dell’edificio è realizzato con due fette di formaggio tagliate perfettamente in scala. La trama del formaggio ricorda quella del travertino, materiale caro alle architetture realizzate sotto il Regime. Il progetto proposto dal futuro designer è sviluppato in maniera accurata, rappresentando in planimetria piante, sezioni e frontoni. Sono anche previste le destinazioni d’uso degli spazi, tra cui: l’armeria, la palestra, l’arengario, gli uffici e i locali per i balilla, il fascio femminile.
La critica ha visto in questo progetto un primo riferimento a elementi caratteristici della successiva ricerca di Achille Castiglioni: non solo il ready-made, ma anche e soprattutto citazione del futurismo italiano. Boccioni, infatti, aveva già utilizzato materiali diversi e commestibili nella composizione estetica.

Project: Soleil politique

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MICHAEL DEAN

Michael Dean

hnnnhhnnn-hnnnhnnnnh (Analogue Series), 2014

Born 1977, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Lives and works in London, United Kingdom

Image:
Michael Dean, hnnnhhnnn-hnnnhnnnnh (Analogue Series), 2014, book, ink, 16 x 23 x 9 cm. Courtesy the artist, Herald St. London, Supportico Lopez Berlin

Project: The Registry of Promise

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SIMON FRAVEGA

Born 1981, Pertuis, France
Lives and works in Marseille, France

Simon Fravega works as artist and performer. He takes seriously the virtues of disguisement and anecdote. In action, he copies the ‘other’ (athletes, rockers, western characters and hula hoop dancers), and studies the gestures that define and replay them by decontextualizing them. The nature of these gestures staggers them: they are no longer reflexes but human constructions, even at the hands of the artist’s choreography. Combining this deferred dubbing activity to a flow of micro-narratives, Simon Fravega weaves a reflection on the gap between facts and representations. And under the guise of humour and the absurd, it identifies something essential in the great game of the world.

Né à Pertuis, France, en 1981
Vit et travaille à Marseille, France

Simon Fravega déploie un travail de plasticien et de performer. Il prend très au sérieux les vertus du déguise- ment et de l’anecdote. En action, il se cale sur les autres (sportifs, rockeurs, personnages de western ou danseurs de hula hoop), étudie les gestes qui les définissent et les rejoue en les décontextualisant. La nature de ces gestes chancelle alors : ils ne sont plus réflexes mais constructions humaines, voire, aux mains de l’artiste, chorégraphies. Mêlant cette activité de doublage différé à un flux de micro-récits, Simon Fravega tisse une réflexion sur l’écart entre les faits et leurs représentations. Et sous couvert d’humour et d’absurde, il identifie quelque chose d’essentiel dans le grand jeu du monde.

Project: Double Cross, From Both Sides of a Mountain

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DANIELE BALIT

Daniele Balit is a curator, theoretician and art historian living in Paris. He holds a PhD in Contemporary Art History from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, in which he has investigated the impact of sound-based practices on exhibition contexts. He’s the founder of Birdcage: an itinerant sound gallery producing in situ interventions. She is a founding member of the non-profit curatorial platform 1:1projects. www.dbarchives.net

Project: Red Swan Hotel

 

Curatore indipendente, critico e storico dell’arte, vive a Parigi. Nell’aprile 2012 ha conseguito un dottorato all’Università La Sorbonne Paris 1, attraverso il quale ha indagato le origini delle sperimentazioni sonore e l’impatto del suono sui contesti espositivi. Nel marzo 2009 ha dato avvio a Birdcage, galleria sonora itinerante e site specific. È tra i fondatori della piattaforma curatoriale non-profit 1:1projects.

 

Daniele Balit est commissaire d’expositions, théoricien et historien de l’art, vivant à Paris. Il est membre fondateur de la plateforme curatoriale 1:1projects à Rome et initiateur de Birdcage, espace itinérant autour des pratiques sonores. Il est docteur de recherche à l’université La Sorbonne – Paris 1, avec une thèse qui porte sur l’origine des expérimentations sonores et sur leur impact dans les contextes d’exposition. Daniele Balit a exposé et développé des projets à Rome, Paris, Melbourne, Pékin, Prague, Milan, Anvers.

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JEAN-MAX COLARD IN CONVERSATION WITH 1:1PROJECTS (MARIA ALICATA, DANIELE BALIT, ADRIENNE DRAKE)

JEAN-MAX COLARD IN CONVERSATION WITH 1:1PROJECTS (MARIA ALICATA, DANIELE BALIT, ADRIENNE DRAKE)

Jean-Max Colard How did the project of Red Swan Hotel, that comprises a residency and two exhibitions in Rome and Chatou, begin?
1:1projects (Maria Alicata, Daniele Balit, Adrienne Drake) The project began by setting up a think tank that allowed us to share our different experiences and stories (both as individuals, but also as members of two different communities: the 1:1projects curatorial collective in Rome and the CNEAI in Chatou). We quickly identified the archive as our research thread, starting from what seemed to us quite a strong paradox inherent to the practice of archiving ephemera as the CNEAI is doing: the idea of conserving forms that have a short existence, trying to inscribe them in longer temporalities. A bit like collecting butterflies!
It’s true that such a paradox, epitomized by the FMRA collection (whose acronym in French reads ‘ephemera’) is a peculiarity of the archive format. In a way, all archives are ephemeral. The stories they preserve are there to be rewritten each time, to be brought to a new life on the occasion of each new display. That’s why Ben Kinmont’s motto “on becoming something else” could have been ours as well. Particularly if we think about the current moment in which there’s a search for a continuous migration of the artwork: through different mediums, formats, and notably through a network of interpersonal relations, as Kinmont’s projects suggest. This is something that became more and more relevant as we researched the archive material at CNEAI. Gradually, our research took the form of a historical perspective on some individuals, institutions and groups, who share similar preoccupations and who are trying to articulate them – or should we say, with Seth Price, to disperse them – through a variety of media.

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J.M.C. Why this title?
1:1 Red Swan Hotel is the title of the exhibition held at MACRO, and draws direct inspiration from Irish author Flann O’Brien’s 1939 novel At Swim-Two-Birds. The novel’s protagonist, a rather idle and drunken university student, spends much of his time writing short stories in which each of the characters’ own stories eventually begin to interconnect and overlap. As in the novel, in which the various protagonists meet at the Red Swan Hotel to plot the overthrow of the writer’s authority, so did the works in the exhibition reflect on the concept of the “authorship of the artist” and the “uniqueness of the artwork.” Wetlands Hero, the title of the show at CNEAI, is simply an anagram of Red Swan Hotel.

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J.M.C. How did you work all together?
1:1 The starting point of the project was a curatorial residency at CNEAI in June 2014. This was the occasion to approach and study the archive both individually and as a group. Each of us initially focused on our own personal curatorial interests and research, but at this stage we shared a common discussion on artists and their practices, which led to the identification of authorship as a crucial topic for the project. Gradually, we defined the group of artists we wanted to include in the first show in Rome, which was a selection of predominantly French artists. In reality, it was quite immediate not only for their works, but also because it was an opportunity to show historical artists such as Pascal Doury and Michel Journiac, who are not well known in Italy.
As we defined the second step of the project – evolving from the concept of authorship and singularity of the artwork to the role of the artist as curator – we worked more specifically in relation to the site of the CNEAI collection (such as Yann Sérandour’s work based on CNEAI’s own production of editions), together with artists and works from the first show, such as Ben Kinmont (with Promised Relations and archive material from Congratulations). We also included Italian artist Maurizio Nannucci and Jonathan Monk, whose practice is based on collaboration and appropriation.

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J.M.C. What are the continuity and the main differences between Rome and Chatou exhibitions?
1:1 As the play with the anagram suggests, Wetlands Hero is both a continued investigation into some of the issues that we had addressed previously in Red Swan Hotel, but also a shift in focus to the role of artist as curator, and to the space of action between art and its transmission. Some of the same artists are present in both shows, but there are artists and works “unique” to each. It was important, therefore, that each exhibition had a distinct title, but that were still directly connected in order to create continuity from one show to the next. Wetlands Hero seemed particularly fortuitous because it also very appropriately makes reference to CNEAI’s physical location – on the Île des Impressionnistes – and pays homage to the artists participating in both shows: makers of quiet heroic gestures.

J.M.C. How did you consider the collections of CNEAI?
1:1 A very interesting aspect that we soon seized upon during our residency on the Île des Impressionnistes is that the specificity of the CNEAI’s collection is related to its function as a platform for the distribution of art. This is of course true for any archive, the issues of access and display being at the center of its operations. But in the case of the FMRA archive, the whole idea of collecting editions and ephemera is really centered on exploring the possibilities of circulation and transmission of this specific type of art object. We were confronted with this very interesting dialectic between the fetishism of the collector (impulsive collecting, accumulation and preservation of ephemera…) and the endeavor of distributing it, which often implicates the questioning of the aura of the art object itself. With the exhibitions we wanted to emphasize such types of dualities. We then coupled a more classical way of selecting some wonderful material from the archive (such as the Pascal Doury’s or Michel Journiac’s files) with a different mode of relating to it – perhaps more focused on its meta-discourses. This was done by involving some figures for which archiving, collecting, re-framing, displaying, editing or distributing is at the core of their practice, and who contribute with their hybrid activities to the critical thinking and redefinition of the field. In other words, we wanted to share with these artists and their productions the processes of activating the archive. That was for us the most coherent way to present the FMRA collection, and also a response to some of the lines of research that emerged through the material itself.

Images:
1-4. Wetlands Hero, installation views, CNEAI, 2015

Project: Red Swan Hotel
Space: CNEAI
Protagonists: 1:1projects, Maria Alicata, Daniele Balit, Adrienne Drake

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LUCY SKAER

Born 1975, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Lives between London and Glasgow, United Kingdom

Project: The Registry of Promise

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VIRGINIE BOBIN

Virginie Bobin is a curator and writer, with a specific interest for performance, experimental forms of artistic research, the role of art, artists and art institutions in the public sphere, and formats that go beyond exhibition-making. Prior to joining the team of Bétonsalon – Centre for Art and Research in Paris as Associate Curator and Head of education, she has worked at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (2013-14); Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2010-13); and Performa, the New York Biennial of Performing Arts (2009). She has curated several long-term, collective projects across Europe and the United States including, most recently, Composing Differences, a program of workshops, talks and events at MoMA PS1, MoMA Recording Studios and e-flux space in New York. She has been Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal from 2011 to 2014.

Virginie Bobin è curatrice e critica, con un interesse specifico per la performance, le forme sperimentali di ricerca artistica, il ruolo dell’arte, degli artisti e delle istituzioni nella sfera pubblica e per i formati che vanno al di là dell’exhibition-making. Prima di unirsi al Bétonsalon – Centre for art and research di Parigi come curatrice associata e direttrice del dipartimento educativo, ha lavorato presso il Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art a Rotterdam (2013-14); Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2010-13); e Performa, the New York Biennial of Performing Arts (2009). Ha curato numerosi progetti collettivi e a lungo termine in Europa e negli Stati Uniti, che includono, tra i più recenti, Composing Differences, un programma di workshop, presentazioni ed eventi al MoMa PS1, MoMa Recording Studios e e-flux space a New York. È stata editor associata del Manifesta Journal tra il 2011 e il 2014.

Virginie Bobin est curatrice et critique, avec un intérêt particulier pour la performance, les formes expérimentales de recherche artistique, le rôle de l’art, des artistes et des institutions artistiques dans la sphère publique, et les formats qui excèdent celui de l’exposition. Avant de rejoindre Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche comme Commissaire associée, en charge du projet des publics, elle a travaillé au Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art à Rotterdam (2013-14); aux Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2010-13); et à Performa, la Biennale de Performances de New York (2009). Elle a réalisé plusieurs projets curatoriaux et de recherche collaboratifs en Europe et aux Etats-Unis, dont récemment Composing Differences, à MoMA PS1, au MoMA Recording Studio et à e-flux space à New York. Entre 2011 et 2014, elle a été Associate Editor de Manifesta Journal.

Project: Exercizing Doubt: Exhibition as Research
Space: Bétonsalon

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Jean-Marie Perdrix

Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013

Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013

Born 1966, Bourg-en-Bresse, France
Lives and works in Paris, France
He studied at the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Arts Plastique in Paris and at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg. His work has been exhibited at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts du Mans (2012), at the Desiré Saint Phalle gallery in Mexico City (2010) and at the Contemporary Art Space in Marseille (2003 and 2004), among other venues. He has participated in several group exhibitions, including at the National Gallery of Tbilisi (1994), at Le Magasin in Grenoble (1991), as well as other institutions.

Image:
Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013, cast of copper alloy, carbon and ash, 25 x 77 x 33 cm

Project: The Registry of Promise

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CÉLINE FLÉCHEUX IN CONVERSATION WITH JEAN-MARIE PERDRIX

CÉLINE FLÉCHEUX IN CONVERSATION WITH JEAN-MARIE PERDRIX

Céline Flécheux Thepiece presented in the exhibition at the Fondazione Giuliani in Rome curated by Chris Sharp is called Bronze of Lost Flesh. You produced it in Burkina Faso. Why are the means of production so important in your work?
Jean-Marie Perdrix I have been working with bronze smiths in Burkina for 20 years. I have developed a process with them to recycle plastic waste substituting wood and enabling waste to be collected. They won the innovation award in Bamako, where a permanent workshop has been built. It was a veritable North-South collaboration implemented in stages. I developed and produced projects on my scale to initiate this workshop to recycle and mould household objects. The objects that I produce are from an economy where every moment is appreciated.

C.F. How did you come up with the idea of a bronze animal?
J.-M.P. First of all, my partners are bronze smiths (Burkina has a tradition for bronze) and I had the opportunity to experiment with small bronze pieces. This is what happened: during casting the crucible leaked by accidentand the molten bronze mixed with the coal and ash at the bottom of the oven; I salvaged this what I found beautiful scoria and I thought that I would like a cast with this entity. Hence the idea of bronze ‘of lost flesh,’ that I then wanted to use it to form a horse or a dog.
These animals are totems for my partners, but I did not know that. Of course, I am not involved in the animal’s death. Horse is found in the butcher’s shop in Ouagadougou; as for dogs, there is a whole unofficial network for dead dogs.

Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013

2. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013

C.F. What does ‘bronze of lost flesh’ mean exactly?
J.-M.P. The title is very important, as a misappropriation of the traditional lost-wax bronze casting process. Usually, to smelt bronze, a crucible is surrounded by coal and the forced air increases the temperature. When I have modelled the animal’s head (horse or dog) or a part of its body in clay, I burn it until bones turned to ash are all that remain. I thus made a ceramic that I fill with coal and air again, reproducing the initial crucible. I mix my molten bronze in the coal, in the bones and everything else, as if I had brought together all the production stages of a traditional bronze. The resulting bones, ash, coal and bronze mixture makes it lighter. What is important here is that the bronze finds its own way through the blend of ash and bits of grit. Therefore, I cannot predict what image I will obtain after the leak, once the piece is removed from the mould. Salif Dermé, my bronze smith partner, often says that I am looking for magic, as the image that will be obtained is not known in advance. He fully understood that I was exploring the opportunities available in this country.

3. Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 1, 2012

3. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 1, 2012

C.F. Did you invent this process?
J.-M.P. I will outline two things. First of all, Salif encounters many western artists who come to Burkina specifically to make bronzes, but generally what they want, is a bronze that is produced more cheaply than in Europe. They are not interested in the local economy, or in the means of production. They are seeking the same image as their model, but in bronze. For my work, in contrast, I am not looking for an impression of the skin, nor the image of the body, as the casting is less important than capturing the journey the bronze has made in the mould between the coal and the bones reduced to dust. I end up with an object that bears the marks of the smelting and burning with a sort of bronze lacework that contrasts with the intensity of the method.
Then, regarding the method itself, I had seen small objects produced directly from a cast before. I even have a necklace of peanuts made like that. But I changed the scale and starting point. I chose an animal and a much larger size, so that the way the bronze penetrates the mould is much more random.

Jean-Marie Perdrix, Chien et chienne à la chair perdue, 2012

4. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Chien et chienne à la chair perdue, 2012

C.F. Is the horse that you are exhibiting at the Fondazione Giuliani unique?
J.-M.P. Each piece is unique. To date, I have produced three horses and five dogs. This kind of piece takes a while to make as the coal burns very slowly. The coal that was burnt in the head was in equal measure with the coal used to make the bronze. In the piece presented in Rome, the mouth of the horse disappeared, because the concentration of ash was too high and the liquid bronze did not reach the end of the mould, it disappeared in the blend formed by the coal, ash and bones. That is why the object obtained is a distortion of the image expected. The horse is dead, the neck is therefore already very narrow, as it is no longer attached to the withers the volume disappears. As for the ear, it is straight as if the animal were still alive and listening. In another piece, another horse, I achieved an open mouth with the outline of worn down teeth, but without the ears. When I work with dogs, the body is often incomplete; sometimes it is difficult to recognise the animal in the final form.

5. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 2, 2012

5. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 2, 2012

C.F. Do you consider bronze as precious?
J.-M.P. In these horses and dogs, the quality of the bronze is very poor, because they are the reverse of what is traditionally sought in bronze. Bronze is not there to add any additional market value to the piece: my partners are experienced bronze smiths and my work is linked to their economy. A very rich texture is achieved through a direct and intense process. The interior density is visible. To some extent, with the horse the history of the process used to achieve the object and the object itself are contemplated in equal measure.

6. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Chien à la Chair Perdue 2, 2013

6. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Chien à la Chair Perdue 2, 2013

C.F. Should your work be considered from an anthropological point of view?
J.-M.P. The geographical origin of these ‘bronzes of lost flesh’ is important: these pieces bear a mental subjectivity linked to the imagination of a developing African country. I am delighted that the outer appearance has a Baroque style. Indeed, I strive to make objects that have a certain timelessness (it is not important whether they were made now or ten years ago) and universality (I am not meticulous regarding specific cultural elements). At the same time, my work follows in the tradition of great sculptors and, in certain respects, witchcraft with skin, hair, fetishes, horns and teeth: anything from an animals that conjures up its symbolic aspect. The recipe for making these pieces is very exciting, like in the devil’s workshop. I didn’t choose sheep, goats or cows, as these animals are meat. I chose dogs and horse. These are meat, but above all they are also animals closely related to man. There is something disturbing about working with a dead animal as the starting point; predation and sacrificing animals comes to mind. But I do not reduce animals to a metaphor. A dead dog is more moving than the mass unemployment of young Africans. What I do with these animals is only possible because my partners are very cooperative, armed with a good knowledge of the land and a long-standing friendship. But I practice sculpture, not art brut. These objects are exhibited in galleries, contemporary art fairs, exhibitions and collections, for my artistic practice takes into account the objects per se as well as the whole process that results in a horse’s head produced with the ‘bronze of lost flesh.’

 

Céline Flécheux Lapièce que tu présentes à la Fondazione Giuliani à Rome dans l’exposition de Chris Sharp s’intitule Bronze à la chair perdue. Elle a été réalisée au Burkina Faso. Pourquoi les modes de production importent tant dans ton travail ?
Jean-Marie Perdrix Je travaille au Burkina avec des artisans bronziers qui sont mes partenaires depuis 20 ans. J’ai développé avec eux un procédé de recyclage des déchets plastiques qui est un substitut du bois permettant une collecte des déchets. Ils ont gagné un premier prix d’innovation à Bamako, où ils ont construit un véritable atelier qui est pérennisé. Il s’agit d’une véritable coopération Nord-Sud qui s’est mise en place par étapes. Pour monter cet atelier de recyclage et de moulage d’objets utilitaires, j’ai fait toute la recherche du développement en auto-production avec des projets qui étaient à mon échelle. Les objets que je produis sont issus d’une économie dont tous les moments sont pensés.

C.F. Comment es-tu arrivé à l’idée d’un animal en bronze ?
J.-M.P. D’abord, mes partenaires sont des bronziers (le Burkina a une tradition du bronze ancestrale) et il m’est arrivé de faire des expériences avec de petites pièces en bronze. Voilà comment ça s’est passé : par accident, lors d’une coulée, le creuset a fuité et la quantité de bronze en fusion s’est mélangée au charbon et à la cendre au fond du four ; j’ai récupéré cette scorie que j’ai trouvée très belle et j’ai pensé que je voulais avoir un moulage avec cette matérialité-là, de là l’idée de bronze « à la chair perdue », que j’ai souhaité réaliser ensuite avec un cheval ou un chien.
Ces animaux sont des totems de mes partenaires, mais je ne le savais pas. Bien entendu, je n’interviens pas dans la mort de l’animal. On trouve le cheval en boucherie à Ouagadougou ; quant au chien, il y existe tout un circuit informel où les chiens morts circulent.

C.F. Que signifie exactement « bronze à la chair perdue » ?
J.-M.P. Le titre est très important, car c’est un détournement du procédé traditionnel du bronze à la cire perdue. Normalement, pour fondre du bronze, on met un creuset dans une enceinte de charbon et avec de l’air pulsé, on monte la température. Quand j’ai surmodelé en argile la tête de l’animal (le cheval ou le chien) ou une partie de son corps, je le brûle jusqu’à ce qu’il ne reste que les os en cendres. J’ai fabriqué ainsi une céramique que je remplis à nouveau de charbon et d’air, reproduisant le creuset initial. Je mélange mon bronze en fusion dans le charbon, dans les os et tout cela, comme si j’avais rassemblé en une fois les étapes de fabrication d’un bronze traditionnel. L’amalgame os-cendres-charbon-bronze, qui est le résultat, me permet d’alléger l’ensemble. Ce qui est important, ici, c’est que le bronze doit trouver son propre chemin dans le mélange entre la cendre et les escarbilles. Donc, je ne peux pas prévoir quelle image j’obtiendrai après la coulée une fois la pièce démoulée. Salif Dermé, mon partenaire bronzier, me dit souvent que je cherche la magie, car on ne connaît pas à l’avance l’image que l’on va obtenir. Il a parfaitement compris que je menais une expérience avec les possibilités que je pouvais trouver dans ce pays.

C.F. Est-ce toi qui a inventé ce procédé ?
J.-M.P. Je distinguerai deux choses. D’abord, Salif voit beaucoup d’artistes occidentaux qui viennent au Burkina spécialement pour faire des bronzes, mais ce qu’ils veulent, en général, c’est un bronze moins cher que ce qu’ils auraient eu à payer en Europe. Ils ne s’intéressent ni à l’économie locale, ni aux moyens de production. Ils recherchent la même image que leur modèle, mais en bronze. Dans mon travail, au contraire, je ne recherche ni l’empreinte de la peau, ni l’image du corps, car c’est moins le moulage qui compte que la saisie du trajet du bronze dans le moule entre le charbon et les os réduits en poussière. J’obtiens un objet qui porte les marques de la fusion et des brûlures avec une espèce de dentelle de bronze qui contraste avec la violence du procédé.
Ensuite, quant au procédé à proprement parler, j’avais déjà vu des petits objets réalisés à partir d’un moulage direct, j’ai même un collier de cacahuètes fait comme cela. Mais j’ai changé d’échelle et de point de départ. J’ai choisi un animal et une taille beaucoup plus grande, donc la manière qu’a le bronze de pénétrer le moule est beaucoup plus aléatoire.

C.F. Le cheval que tu exposes à la Fondazione Giuliani est-il une pièce unique ?
J.-M.P. Chaque pièce est unique. À ce jour, j’ai réalisé trois chevaux et cinq chiens. Ce genre de pièce est long à faire car le charbon a brûlé très lentement. On a utilisé autant de charbon qui a brûlé dans la tête que de charbon qui a servi à faire le bronze. Dans la pièce montrée à Rome, la gueule du cheval est perdue, parce qu’il y avait une concentration de cendres trop importante et le bronze liquide n’est pas arrivé pas jusqu’au bout du moule, il s’est perdu dans le mélange formé par le charbon, la cendre, les os. C’est pour cela que l’objet obtenu est une distorsion de l’image attendue. Le cheval est mort, donc le cou est déjà très étroit, car il n’est plus rattaché au garrot, il a perdu tout son volume. Quant à l’oreille, elle est dressée comme si l’animal écoutait encore, vivant. Dans une autre pièce, un autre cheval, j’ai obtenu une gueule ouverte avec l’empreinte de l’usure des dents, mais sans les oreilles. Quand je travaille avec des chiens, le corps n’est souvent pas entier, on a même un peu de peine à reconnaître l’animal dans la forme obtenue.

C.F. Accordes-tu une valeur précieuse au bronze ?
J.-M.P. Dans ces pièces, les chevaux et les chiens, la qualité du bronze est à peu près au niveau zéro, parce qu’elles sont l’envers de ce qu’on cherche à faire traditionnellement en bronze. Le bronze n’est pas là pour donner un surplus de valeur marchande à la pièce : mes partenaires sont bronziers, ils savent le faire, mon travail est lié à leur économie. Ce qu’on obtient, c’est une grande richesse de texture par un procédé direct et assez brutal. La densité intérieure est visible. En quelque sorte, c’est autant l’objet que l’histoire du procédé pour obtenir l’objet que l’on contemple avec le cheval.

C.F. Ton travail est-il à comprendre du point de vue anthropologique ?
J.-M.P. L’origine géographique de ces « bronzes à la chair perdue » est importante : ce sont des pièces qui portent avec elles toute une subjectivité mentale liée à l’imaginaire d’un pays africain en développement. Que l’aspect extérieur soit baroque me plaît beaucoup. En effet, je cherche à faire des objets qui ont une certaine intemporalité (il n’y a pas grand intérêt de savoir qu’ils sont faits maintenant ou il y a dix ans) et une universalité (je ne convoque pas des éléments pointus de la culture). En même temps, mon travail s’inscrit à la fois dans la tradition des grands sculpteurs et, à certains égards, dans le registre de la sorcellerie avec des peaux, des poils, des fétiches, des cornes, des dents : tout ce qui dans l’animal convoque son aspect symbolique. L’espèce de cuisine pour faire ces pièces est très excitante, comme dans l’atelier du diable. Je n’ai pas choisi le mouton ou la chèvre, ni la vache, car ces animaux-là sont de la viande. J’ai choisi le chien et le cheval, qui peuvent être de la viande, mais qui sont surtout des animaux proches de l’homme. Il y a quelque chose de dérangeant à travailler à partir d’un animal mort ; on est dans des idées de prédation et de sacrifice animal. Mais je ne réduis pas l’animal à une métaphore. On s’émeut plus sur le cadavre d’un chien que sur le chômage de masse des jeunesses africaines. Ce que je fais avec ces animaux n’est possible que parce qu’il y a une grande coopération entre moi et mes partenaires, une bonne connaissance du terrain et une amitié de longue date. Mais je fais de la sculpture, pas de l’art brut. Ces objets sont montrés dans des galeries, des foires d’art contemporain, des expositions et dans des collections, car ma pratique artistique compte aussi bien les objets à proprement parler que tout le processus qui mène à une tête de cheval réalisée avec du « bronze à la chair perdue ».

Images:
1-2. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013, cast of copper alloy, carbon and ash, 25 x 77 x 33 cm
3. ean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 1, 2012, cast of copper alloy, carbon and ash, 29 x 59 x 21 cm. Courtesy Jean-Marie Perdrix & Desiré Saint Phalle, Mexico City. Photo: Enrique Macias
4. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Chien et chienne à la chair perdue, 2012, cast of copper alloy, coal and ashes, 32 x 33 x 16 cm & 37 x 29,5 x 15cm, 24 & 25 kg. Courtesy Jean-Marie Perdrix & Desiré Saint Phalle, Mexico City. Photo: Enrique Macias
5. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 2, 2012, cast of copper alloy, carbon and ash, 29 x 59 x 21 cm (Private collection). Photo: Philippe Munda
6. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Chien à la Chair Perdue 2, 2013, cast of copper alloy, coal and ashes,14 x 39 x 32.5 cm. Coutesy Jean-Marie Perdrix & Desiré Saint Phalle, Mexico City. Photo Jean-Marie Perdrix

Protagonist: Jean-Marie Perdrix
Project: The Registry of Promise

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Antoine Nessi

2487-09

Born 1985, Paris, France
Lives and works in Paris, France

Image:
Antoine Nessi, Unknown Organs, 2014. Stainless steel, aluminium, brass, galvanized steel; variable dimensions. View of the exhibition The Promise of Moving Things (curator: Chris Sharp), Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, 2014. Photo: André Morin / le Crédac

Project: The Registry of Promise

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CLÉMENCE SEILLES

Born 1984, Besançon, France
Lives and works between Paris, France and Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Her work has been exhibited internationally: Moucharabieh, Triangle, Marseille (2015); 100 ans plus tard, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014); Universal Studio, galerie Torri, Paris (2014); What do you write when men are puking into plastic bags,Chert gallery, Berlin (2014); La vie est un songe, Parc Saint Leger, Pougues-les-eaux (2013) ; La chute, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); Hotel Abisso,Centre d’art contemporain de Genève, Geneva (2013); The day after, Van Horbourg and Le foyer, Zurich (2012).

Née à Besançon, France, en 1984
Vit et travaille entre Paris, France et Amsterdam, Pays Bas

Son travail a été exposé internationalement: Moucharabieh,Triangle, Marseille (2015) ; 100 ans plus tard, Palais de Tokyo, Paris(2014), Universal Studio, galerie Torri, Paris (2014) ; What do you write when men are puking into plastic bags,Chert gallery, Berlin (2014) ; La vie est un songe, Parc Saint Léger, Pougues-les-eaux (2013) ; La chute, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013) ; Hotel Abisso,Centre d’art contemporain de Genève, Genève (2013) ; The day after, Van Horbourg et Le foyer, Zurich (2012).

Project: Exercizing Doubt: On Exhibition as Research

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DOROTHÉE DUPUIS IN CONVERSATION WITH CLÉMENCE SEILLES

DOROTHÉE DUPUIS IN CONVERSATION WITH CLÉMENCE SEILLES

Dorothée Dupuis Could you talk about your formal influences? What do you look at? How do you think? How has your training as a designer informed how you produce forms in the exhibition sphere? It seems that the language of abstraction is still important for you. In what sense do you think you’re tackling it in a new way?
Clémence Seilles I regularly go back and see images by my classical masters: Tatlin, Sottsass, Sonia, as well as Robert Delaunay, Superstudio, Hélio Oiticica, the Gelatin collective… to mention only a handful of “dirty artists” who have navigated or are navigating, casually and doubtfully, between applied arts and fine arts. Primordial shapes like circles, triangles, squares… enable me to concentrate more on narratives, circumstances and processes. I proceed from what societies tangibly produce to build themselves. I visit companies dealing in supplies or construction equipment, and go to rendering plants and product assembly factories. I idly drive through industrial estates in Italy, France, Germany and Holland. On YouTube I watch guitar swirling in garages and industrial plastic machining. In China, Russia, Morocco, Jamaica and Mexico, I study wire mesh houses, terracotta vehicles, simple and exuberant displays, custom cars, street amenities for chance meetings… I’m fascinated by amusements, even the most modest: a subwoofer in a pot with holes, a fish-shaped gun barrel in the bar of a deck chair… I adore permissive societies. The work Bassin ouvert (Open Basin) at ar/ge kunst in Bolzano, which first appeared at Triangle in Marseille, is a desire to create a social space within that of art, where people are invited to create a critical product. In this context, the work is at once an everyday object and something fantastical: a fountain, a long swimming pool, in which shapes and materials follow directly from the research I mentioned a moment ago. Although my training as a designer informs manipulations of conventions (much more than manipulations of shapes), the exhibition sphere, which is not very familiar with functional services and devices, opens up a fertile field of experiments that are more complicated to develop in the commercial sphere.

Cl+®mence Seilles - argekunst web 11

2. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

D.D. You do a lot of collaborative projects with your “gang”. You’re invited to organise birthdays (Triangle, ar/ge kunst); your friends cross Europe to work with you; you share the fee money; you sell cocktails and t-shirts; you teach; you occupy squats and villas. Are you more of a Fassbinder, Wako or Beverly Hills 90210?
C.S. I’m from Montboucons. It’s the Beverly Hills of Besançon in Franche-Comté. A gang can be Philip K. Dick (Ubik) and Kerouac (The Dharma Bums) living in the City of Quartz (Mike Davis), flirting on Less Than Zero (Bret Easton Ellis) with the risk of ending up like in The Postman Always Rings Twice (James M. Cain), alone and condemned. I try to combine sustainable economic efficiency with the risk of alienation. The gang – made up of artists, designers, composers, curators and architects who are all fanatical about hard beats – lives between Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris, and is heterogeneous and multifarious. There’s no unifying manifesto, exclusive dogma, or even a name. The action hierarchies are healthy, made of individuals who do their singular research and can take turns implementing or supporting a project. Drama is part of this game that we haven’t really found rules for, but experience has shown us that the virtues of fraternity bring tangible added value to our critical ambitions and to the wellbeing of our respective lives. To name a few of these creations that I’m surrounded by: the Krux, a giant, well-equipped collective studio for periods of production, big parties and ‘afters coalitions’. PostNorma, a fabulous squat conquered and dissolved in one year, which generated workshops and various events. The Dirty Art department, an institutional bouillabaisse that made lots of meetings and journeys possible. SANKS, a design company among friends. Cicciolinas, unifying techno parties. Secret Castles, a contemporary art festival/summer camp hybrid…

Cl+®mence Seilles - argekunst web 01

3. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

D.D. How do you reconcile the “post-hippie” aspect of your methodology with the need for rigour linked to the idea of artistic commitment? What is you position in all of this relative to institutions and the art market?
C.S. I see the “hippie” position, this sort of non-conformist, as a necessary step, even if it’s only temporary, time enough to identify our views and strengthen them while freeing ourselves from commodities as much as possible. I don’t want to marginalise myself on a desert island and live my life with my group, I simply want to avoid getting sucked up by the art market, so I have time to create. I believe in a market that’s integrated into society, and it is precisely by being active in different spheres and markets (art, design, performance) that one can build a new kind of expert position. My artistic commitment is romantic. It is to create an optimal climate for creativity, establishing circumstances that produce autonomous strengths and attitudes without excluding myself from society – quite the opposite. I practice lateral thinking and oblique strategies. Oblique Strategies is a set of cards invented by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1974. Each card contains a cryptic phrase or comment to meditate on, one that can be used to overcome a creative block or dilemma. Lateral thinking is the opposite of vertical or conventional thinking, which rejects an idea if its application hasn’t been validated. It is based on imagination and on putting forward impossible, absurd, unrealistic theories in order to create springboards towards other ideas that are themselves achievable. Embodied in my practice, this means that I go off into fairly diverse application areas and development structures, working with people who are also very different and sometimes have polar opposite ways of thinking. This makes it more tiring and difficult to exist in different markets instead of only one, since people still have a strong tendency (less in English-speaking countries) to recognise only a single profession for each person. This is why I tirelessly dodge having to justify myself as an artist or a designer and explain why I created the “dirty artist” designation, which symbolises that universal position of the creator before the historical split between applied arts and fine arts.

Cl+®mence Seilles - argekunst web 18

4. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

Project: Exercizing Doubt. Exhibition as Research
Space: ar/ge kunst Galerie Museum 
Protagonist: Clémence Seilles

Dorothée Dupuis Peux-tu me parler de tes influences formelles ? Qu’est-ce que tu regardes, comment tu penses ? Comment ta formation de designer informe-t-elle ta production de formes dans le domaine de l’exposition ? Le langage de l’abstraction reste, semble-t-il, important pour toi, en quoi penses-tu t’y confronter de façon nouvelle ?
Clémence Seilles Je vais régulièrement revoir des images de mes maîtres classiques : Tatlin, Sottsass, Sonia comme Robert Delaunay, Superstudio, Hélio Oiticica, le collectif Gelatin… pour ne citer qu’une poignée de ‘dirty artists’ ayant navigué ou navigant avec désinvolture et doute entre les arts appliqués et les beaux-arts. Les formes primordiales telles cercles, triangles, carrés… me permettent de me concentrer davantage sur les narrations, les circonstances et les procédés. Je pars de ce que les sociétés produisent de tangible pour se construire. Je visite les compagnies de fournitures, d’équipement de chantiers, des usines de transformations de matériaux, d’assemblage de produits, je conduis désœuvrée dans les zones industrielles d’Italie, de France, d’Allemagne et de Hollande, je visionne sur YouTube du swirling de guitare en garage et de la chaudronnerie plastique industrielle. En Chine, Russie, Maroc, Jamaïque et Mexique, j’étudie les maisons en grillages, les véhicules en terre cuite, les étalages sommaires comme exubérants, les customs de voitures, les aménagements de rue pour réunions fortuites… je suis passionnée par le détournement, même les plus modestes : caisson de basse dans marmite trouée, canon de fusil à poisson dans barre de chaise longue… J’adore les sociétés permissives. L’œuvre Bassin ouvert à ar/ge kunst à Bolzano, et avant dans sa première apparition à Triangle à Marseille, est un désir de créer un espace social dans celui de l’art où des acteurs sont invités à réaliser une production critique. L’œuvre, dans ce contexte, est à la fois objet d’usage et de fantasme : une fontaine, un bassin de nage, dont formes et matériaux découlent directement des recherches évoquées plus hauts. Si ma formation de designer informe des manipulations d’usages (bien plus que de formes), le domaine de l’exposition, peu familier aux services et dispositifs fonctionnels, m’ouvre un champ fertile d’expérimentations, plus compliquées à développer dans le domaine commercial.

D.D. Tu fais beaucoup de projets collaboratifs avec ta “bande”, on t’invite pour organiser des anniversaires (Triangle, ar/ge kunst), tes amis traversent l’Europe pour travailler avec toi, vous partagez l’argent des cachets, vous vendez des cocktails, des t-shirts, vous enseignez, vous occupez des squats et des villas, tu es plutôt Fassbinder, Wako ou Beverly Hills 90210 ?
C.S. Je viens des Montboucons, c’est le Beverly Hills de Besançon en Franche-Comté. Une bande, ça peut être Philip K. Dick (Ubik) et Kerouac (les clochards célestes) qui vivent dans City of quartz (Mike Davis), flirtent sur Less than zero (Bret Easton Ellis) avec le risque de finir comme dans Le facteur sonne toujours deux fois (James M. Cain), seul et condamné. J’essaye de combiner efficacité économique durable et risque d’aliénation. La bande, constituée d’artistes, designers, composeurs, commissaires, architectes, tous boulimiques de rythmes durs, vit entre Berlin, Amsterdam et Paris, et est hétérogène et multiple. Il n’y a pas de manifeste fédérateur, de dogme excluant, de nom même. Les hiérarchies d’actions sont saines, faites d’individus qui entreprennent leurs recherches singulières et peuvent à tour de rôle porter ou appuyer un projet. Le drame fait partie de ce jeu auquel nous n’avons pas vraiment trouvé de règles, mais l’expérience nous a montré que les vertus de la fraternité apportent tout de même une plus-value tangible à nos ambitions critiques et au bien-être de nos vies respectives. Quelques unes de ces réalisations qui m’entourent : le Krux, atelier collectif géant très équipé, pour moments de production, de fêtes géantes et ‘afters coalitions’. PostNorma, un squat fabuleux conquis et dissout en une année, qui généra workshops et évènements divers. Le département Dirty Art, bouillabaisse institutionnelle qui permit beaucoup de rencontres et de voyages. SANKS, une compagnie de design entre amis. Les Cicciolinas, fêtes technos fédératrices. Châteaux secrets, hybride entre festival d’art contemporain et campement d’été…

D.D. Comment concilies-tu l’aspect “post-hippie” de ta méthodologie au besoin nécessaire de rigueur lié à l’idée d’engagement artistique ? Quelle est alors ta position par rapport au marché de l’art et à l’institution dans tout ça ?
C.S. Je vois la posture du “hippie”, cette sorte de marginal, comme une étape nécessaire, même si seulement temporaire, le temps d’identifier le discours et le fortifier en se libérant au maximum des commodités. Je ne souhaite pas m’exclure sur une île déserte et vivre ma vie avec mon groupe, je souhaite simplement que le marché de l’art ne m’aspire pas pour me donner le temps de créer. Je crois en un marché intégré à la société, et c’est justement en agissant dans des domaines et marchés différents (l’art, le design et le spectacle) qu’on peut construire une posture d’expert d’une nature nouvelle. Mon engagement artistique est romantique, il est de créer un climat optimum pour la création, réunir les circonstances qui accouchent de forces et d’attitudes autonomes sans me disqualifier de la société, au contraire. Je pratique pensées latérales et stratégies obliques. Les stratégies obliques est un set de cartes inventées par Brian Eno et Peter Schmidt en 1974. Chaque carte contient une phrase ou une remarque cryptique sur laquelle méditer, qui peut être utilisée pour se sortir d’un blocage créatif ou d’une situation de dilemme. La pensée latérale s’oppose à la pensée verticale, ou classique, selon laquelle une idée est rejetée quand son application n’est pas validée. Elle repose sur l’imagination et l’émission d’hypothèses impossibles, absurdes, irréalistes pour créer des tremplins vers d’autres idées elles-mêmes réalisables. Incarné dans ma pratique, cela veut dire que je pars dans des domaines d’application et structures de développement assez éparses, travaillant avec des acteurs aussi très différents dans des logiques parfois aux antipodes. Cela rend plus fatiguant et difficile d’exister sur différents marchés plutôt qu’un seul, puisque nous avons tout de même une forte tendance (moins dans les pays anglo-saxons) à ne reconnaitre qu’une seule profession à une personne. C’est donc inlassablement que j’esquive de devoir me justifier d’être une artiste ou une designer, et d’avoir créé la dénomination ‘dirty artist’, symbolisant cette position universelle de créateur avant le schisme historique entre arts appliqués et beaux-arts.

Images:
1-4. Exhibition views, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert. Photo: aneres. Courtesy the artist and ar/ge kunst

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Matthieu Saladin

Born 1978, France
Lives and works in Paris and Mulhouse, France

Matthieu Saladin is an artist, musician, and researcher. His practice is founded on a conceptual art approach, reflecting, through an ongoing use of sound, on the production of spaces, the history of forms and processes of creation, as well as the economic and political relations of art and society. His works take the form of sound installations, performances, publications, videos, and computer programs—a multifarious body of work, as attested to by the recent exhibition There’s A Riot Goin’ On, shown at the CAC Brétigny in 2013-2014.
The work Economic Score transposes a cultural economy into a musical score. For the version Economic Score: Soleil politique, the exhibition budget, including production costs and private financial support, has been transcribed as a musical score. The score will be performed on October 29, 2014, during Bolzano’s Festival of Contemporary Music. The work refers to aspects of social and economic life that, given their immaterial nature and omnipresence, escape direct perception and yet nevertheless dictate and mold attitudes, discourses, social relations, and daily activities. The ideological imprint of material production is appropriated as a medium in order to investigate the tensions of social space, along with the relation between aesthetic perception and the economic activities that govern it. Another way of raising similar questions is Calendar of Revolts, which takes the form of a calendar for the year 2015 that replaces the celebrations of the patron saints on all 365 days of the year with the anniversaries of popular revolts taken from the pages of modern and ancient history.

Nato a Versailles, Francia, nel 1978
Vive e lavora a Parigi e Mulhouse, Francia

Matthieu Saladin è artista, musicista e ricercatore. La sua pratica artistica si iscrive in un approccio concettuale all’arte, che, attraverso un uso ricorrente del suono, riflette sulla produzione degli spazi, sulla storia delle forme e dei processi di creazione, come pure sui rapporti di natura economica e politica tra arte e società. La creatività di Saladin si esprime sia attraverso installazioni sonore e performance, sia attraverso pubblicazioni, video e creazioni di software: un insieme proteiforme, ben riassunto nella mostra There’s A Riot Goin’ On (È in corso una rivolta), CAC Brétigny, 2013-14.
L’opera Economic Score affronta la trasposizione di un’economia culturale in partitura. Per la versione Soleil politique, 2014 il budget della mostra, si tratti delle spese legate alla realizzazione dei progetti o dei contributi finanziari, è stato tradotto in forma di componimento musicale. Questa composizione sarà interpretata il 29 ottobre 2014 durante il Festival di Musica Contemporanea di Bolzano.
L’opera s’interessa ad aspetti della vita sociale ed economica che sfuggono alla preoccupazione diretta, a causa del loro carattere immateriale e/o della loro onnipresenza, e che tuttavia orientano e modellano i comportamenti, i discorsi, i rapporti sociali e le attività quotidiane. L’impronta ideologica delle produzioni culturali diventa un materiale disponibile per interrogare le tensioni che attraversano lo spazio sociale, così come i rapporti tra la percezione estetica e l’attività economica che la condiziona. Un altro modo per rappresentare questi temi è fornito da Calendrier des révoltes, un calendario del 2015, che sostituisce i santi patroni, assegnati a ciascun giorno dell’anno, con una rivolta popolare tratta dalle cronache della storia, antica e/o moderna.

Né à Versailles, France, en 1978
Vit et travaille à Paris et Mulhouse, France

Matthieu Saladin est artiste, musicien et chercheur. Sa pratique s’inscrit dans une approche conceptuelle de l’art, réfléchissant, à travers un usage récurrent du son, sur la production des espaces, l’histoire des formes et des processus de création, ainsi que sur les rapports économiques et politiques entre art et société. Elle prend aussi bien la forme d’installations sonores et performances que de publications, vidéos et création de logiciels ; ensemble protéiforme dont l’exposition There’s A Riot Goin’ On (CAC Brétigny, 2013-14) a rendu compte.
La pièce Economic Score entreprend la transposition d’une économie culturelle en partition. Pour la version Soleil politique, 2014, le budget de l’exposition, que ce soit les dépenses liées à la réalisation des projets ou les apports financiers, a été traduit sous la forme d’une composition musicale. Cette dernière est interprétée le 29 octobre 2014 dans le cadre du Festival de Musique Contemporaine de Bolzano.
L’œuvre touche à des aspects de la vie sociale et économique qui échappent à l’appréhension directe, par leur caractère immatériel et/ou leur omniprésence, et qui néanmoins orientent et modèlent les attitudes, les discours, les rapports de société et les activités quotidiennes. L’empreinte idéologique des productions culturelles devient un matériau disponible pour questionner les tensions qui traversent l’espace social, ainsi que les rapports entre la perception esthétique et l’activité économique qui la conditionne.

Calendrier des révoltes (sortie prévue à l’automne 2014)
Une autre manière d’évoquer ces questions se fera à travers un calendrier de l’année 2015 qui substitue les saints patrons affectés à chacun des 365 jours, avec une révolte populaire provenant des pages de l’histoire moderne ou ancienne.

Project: Soleil politique

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MATTHIEU SALADIN, ECONOMIC SCORE: SOLEIL POLITIQUE

MATTHIEU SALADIN, ECONOMIC SCORE: SOLEIL POLITIQUE

Concert
October 29th, 2014 – 8 pm
Museion 4th Floor
In the frame of Bolzano’s Festival of Contemporary Music

Audio file

The work Economic Score transposes a cultural economy into a musical score. For the version Economic Score: Soleil politique, the exhibition budget, including production costs and private financial support, has been transcribed as a musical score. The score will be performed on October 29, 2014, during Bolzano’s Festival of Contemporary Music. The work refers to aspects of social and economic life that, given their immaterial nature and omnipresence, escape direct perception and yet nevertheless dictate and mold attitudes, discourses, social relations, and daily activities. The ideological imprint of material production is appropriated as a medium in order to investigate the tensions of social space, along with the relation between aesthetic perception and the economic activities that govern it. Another way of raising similar questions is Calendar of Revolts, which takes the form of a calendar for the year 2015 that replaces the celebrations of the patron saints on all 365 days of the year with the anniversaries of popular revolts taken from the pages of modern and ancient history.

 

Image: Emilio Prini, Stampa di un consumo.Monaco ’71. Il caffè del Kunstverein, 1971 (detail)

Protagonist: Matthieu Saladin
Project: Soleil politique

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Martine Michard

Martine Michard has been Director of the Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou since February 2004. She is in charge of both programs for the contemporary art center in Cajarc and for the international artists’ residencies in Saint-Cirq Lapopie. She writes for MAGP’s publications and cultural media in the region. She always has in mind Octavio Paz’s words “Each artwork is a permanent possibility of metamorphosis offered to all men.”

Project: Piano – alto!
Space: Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou CAC

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Stefania Meazza

Stefania Meazza is a critic and an independent curator. She is correspondent for the Italian contemporary art magazine Juliet since 2006 and she also collaborates with the French magazine Zérodeux. She lives and works in Toulouse, where she is professor of Research Methodology at the Institut supérieur des arts.

Project: Piano – alto!

 

Stefania Meazza è critica e curatrice indipendente. Collabora come corrispondente dalla Francia con la rivista d’arte contemporanea “Juliet” dal 2006 e con “Zérodeux”, magazine francese on-line. Vive e lavora a Tolosa, dove insegna Metodologia della ricerca all’Institut supérieur des arts.

 

Stefania Meazza est critique et commissaire indépendante. Elle est correspondante depuis la France pour le magazine d’art contemporain italien “Juliet” depuis 2006 et écrit également pour la revue “Zérodeux”. Elle vit et travaille à Toulouse, ou elle enseigne la Méthodologie de la recherche à l’Institut supérieur des arts.

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Rometti Costales

Rometti Costales have been working together since 2007. The duo consists of Julia Rometti, born in Nice in 1975, and Victor Costales, of Ecuadorian and Belarusian extraction, born in Minsk in 1974.
They are represented by Jousse Entreprise gallery in Paris and by joségarcía ,mx gallery in Mexico City. They currently live and work in Mexico City.
Their work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions including: Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; La Casa del Lago in Mexico City, Mexico (2014); L’Appartement 22 in Rabat, Morocco; La Central in Bogota, Colombia; Jousse Entreprise gallery in Paris; Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis, United States (2013); Project Room Arte Actual in Quito, Ecuador (2011). They have also presented their work at Proyecto Siqueiros – La Tallera, Cuernavaca, Mexico (2015); in the context of the Cuenca Biennial in Ecuador (2014); at the FRAC Nord Pas-de-Calais, at Pilar Corrias Gallery in London, at the SALTS art centre in Basel, at the CRAC Alsace in Altkirch, at Fondation Gulbenkian in Paris (2013), at the Kunsthalle Zürich, at the Qalandiya International Biennial, Jerusalem and Ramallah (2012), at the David Roberts Art Foundation in London, at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (2011); at the 29th Sao Paulo Biennial and at CAPACETE (2010)…
They are currently preparing a public commission for the Bordeaux Urban Community at the invitation of Catherine David. Their work will be presented soon at Tenderpixel in London, at the 12th Bienal Monterrey FEMSA in Mexico. Josegarcia ,mx gallery in Mexico will be dedicating a solo exhibition to them in 2016.

Image:
Rometti Costales, Succulent Strategies – Estrategias Suculentas, 2014 (detail), cacti, concrete posts and reinforcement rods, exhibition view Vamoose, all cacti jut torrid nites at Kunsthalle Basel, 2014. Courtesy Galerie Jousse entreprise and the artists. Photo: Serge Hasenböhler

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RODRIGO ORTIZ MONASTERIO IN CONVERSATION WITH ROMETTI COSTALES

RODRIGO ORTIZ MONASTERIO IN CONVERSATION WITH ROMETTI COSTALES

Rodrigo Ortiz Monasterio I would like to start talking about Azul Jacinto Marino. Is it a character, a theological idea… What is it?
Rometti Costales It’s a departing point since a few years ago, three years or so. Azul Jacinto Marino was conceived as an idea of a platform or a territory, an entity with fluctuant borders. We wanted to make a project that was quite extensive and required a vast operational surface. Somehow it comes out of a precedent project, Ediciones del Exotismo Ordinario Internacional Neotropical,which is an ongoing series of self-published booklets, built around a specific type of house plants found all around the world, but whose origin is the Neotropical Region (south of Chile to south of Mexico). It’s a collage of texts and images coming from second hand books on botanics, guerrilla, anarchy, gardening, organizational skills and literature. These booklets encompassed a large array of interests, binding them together. This project opened a Pandora’s box, with a lot of possible extrapolations, and Azul Jacinto Marino is one of them.
Since then it started its own existence, as a polysemic entity, a surface, a character. AJM traces points of visions, topographic pretexts, territories where misunderstandings can be formulated, erased, rewritten, retraced; where magic can interlace with anarchism, as a geo-botano-animo-logo-palimpsestic incident.

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

2. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

3. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

R.O.M. So, Azul Jacinto Marino can become something different for each project? Kind of a shapeshifter?
R.C. Yes, you can see it as a shapeshifter or a trickster. Something that can go somewhere and come back in a totally different form or to tell a different story. A loop with a lot of loopholes. But if there is one thing that really defines it, it is the ambiguity of being several different things at the same time. It’s very arbitrary because we allow ourselves to use it and misuse it in all the ways possible, with overlapping interests. Already the three words that compose the name say a lot: given names found in Latin America, gradations of blue, a mineral, a plant, depth, sea waters, someone, something, some region, some organization, we don’t know.

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

4. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

5. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

6. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

7. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

R.O.M. For someone who doesn’t know about Azul Jacinto Marino and the different forms, shapes, and ideologies it can embrace, does the question if Azul Jacinto Marino references a historical character that existed deep in the jungle, creating an utopian community ever come up?
R.C. You are talking about Antonio García Barón, the anarchist we often refer to, who lived in the Bolivian Amazon, and created his micro anarchist state. The life of a hands-on anarchist living in such a particular context is pretty appealing, because of the encounter between two political philosophies: magic and anarchism. He could be Azul Jacinto Marino or could enter into Azul Jacinto Marino’s perspective, through fiction.

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

8. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

9. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

10. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

11. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

R.O.M. But it’s not all fiction, since it departs from a narrative or real historical events right?
R.C. Yes, Antonio García Barón really existed, as well as the jungle around him and his micro anarchic state with that forest as a background. And the tribe who joined this anarchist as well, they did exist, and the way they relate to their surroundings also was “really” there, like magic and shamanism. And then Magical Anarchism started, and it is where fiction shakes hands with reality and reality knocks on fiction’s door. What we mean is that when you think of something like Anarquismo Mágico (Magical Anarchism), it is easier to set a fictional frame to this story, in order to develop more freely these ideas, even though we are not yet entirely sure of what that means, and what set of rules governs them. But it gives us a territory on which to operate, and Azul Jacinto Marino claims this territory, it is this territory. We made a flag, an anarcho-syndicalist pattern of a red and black diagonal recreated with Huayruro seeds. These seeds are used a lot in the Amazon, as protection, as an amulet, and in some cases as part of the mix used to prepare Ayahuasca, in order to potentiate it. This is the flag of Magical Anarchism.

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

12. Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

Exhibition view, Rometti Costales. Azul Jacinto Marino, CAC La Synagogue de Delme, 2015

13. Outside view of la synagogue de Delme, 2015

R.O.M. Let’s talk about the personal assumptions you can make out of these readings, specifically this historical elements, and the way oral tradition is told. For example, the Berber rug at the Kunsthalle Basel exhibition in 2014, it’s based on oral tradition: the actual labor of crafting the rug, which doesn’t follow any specific set of rules, the final result is open-ended, right? What is the relationship between oral tradition and your work?

R.C. That rug was bought as it is, we didn’t ask to make it. We were very much interested on what defines the crafting process. The creation of a Beni Ourain rug is a very fascinating way to leave the final result to chance. The women who weave allow themselves to see less than the last half meter of the work done, the rest is rolled up, and will not be seen until they finish it. And since they can leave the work without finishing for weeks, sometimes months, once they come back to work on the rug, they are obliged to make an effort of memory to be able to follow the precedent path. And it always takes them somewhere else. It is as if the chance and fragility of memory were constantly inscribed in the final result of this rug crafting. Is a thought mapping of sorts. And we like to believe it is a quite conscious modus operandi. It is like if they were inscribing chance and contingency of everyday life into a surface, a protection device which is this rug, that can be used as a cover or a collective bed for a family. It is a very beautiful way of claiming the necessity of chance and the aleatory. So yes, from this perspective it is familiar to the development of a discourse present in oral tradition, to its vulnerability, always in present tense, since one is always obliged to reactualize it because there is no archive, no registry to which to rely to. There is always the presence of polysemic “things” we were talking about and the “may be”; fiction allows to substantiate this “may be”, the doubt of whether it “will”, “did” or “is”, or all of these at the same time. For example: You arrive somewhere, while sort of overflying the idea of Antonio García Barón, of Anarchy in the middle of the Amazonian forest, and the place where you are has nothing to do with this reality you are thinking of, nothing pushes you to project any of the events occurred in the life of this character over the context you are in, maybe you don’t even really think about him. And suddenly there is something that makes the glare of fascination around him shine with a certain intensity. And this something, which can be anything, a cup, a knife, a brunch of a tree or a coral fossil, whatever, makes you think: “of course this belongs to Antonio García Barón,” and it starts to be concrete and plausible, as when you see the stars and discover an asterism. A cactus fossil becomes Barón’s finger he lost while hunting a jaguar. Millions of years, the substance of a succulent plant, its becoming a mineral, the relation between animal and man, plant and mineral, all this collapses into this one single arbitrary event, into this fiction. And you will never be able to not see this asterism again. This is the great transformational power of cooperation between fiction and reality. To make a palpable “may be”.

R.O.M. I’m interested in knowing if Azul Jacinto Marino can infiltrate in different ways throughout the exhibition space.
R.C. In Vamoose all cacti jut torrid nites publication, Azul Jacinto Marino is assigned with the number 8 in the floor plan of the exhibition, right in the center of it, even if it is not corresponding to any work present inside the space. AJM is the publication, and it signs it. And the publication works as the rug present in the exhibition space. It weaves through its pages the name of the exhibition and the name of AJM through a series of anagrams, 46 precisely, a number that corresponds to the 17 plus 29 letters that constitute AJM and Vamoose all cacti jut torrid nites, the exhibition’s title. One disappears while the other is revealed at the last page of the publication.

I jet multi jaca revolutas to zona torrida cosmical inn
Jinn animism juts aleatoric lizard calc-tattoo over u
iztac and tiltic jalousie jets a narco moonlit rumor

Rodrigo Ortiz Monasterio Pour commencer, j’aimerais parler d’Azul Jacinto Marino. C’est un personnage, une idée théologique… Au fond qu’est-ce que c’est ?
Rometti Costales Depuis à peu près trois ans, c’est un point de départ. Azul Jacinto Marino a été conçu comme une plateforme, ou un territoire, une entité aux frontières mouvantes. Nous voulions concevoir un projet relativement vaste qui demandait une surface opérationnelle tout aussi vaste. D’une façon ou d’une autre, il émane d’un précédent projet, intitulé Ediciones del Exotismo Ordinario Internacional Neotropical, une série en cours de livrets auto-publiés, construite à partir d’un certain type de plantes domestiques, qui se trouvent dans le monde entier, mais qui proviennent de la région néotropicale (entre le Sud du Chili et le Sud du Mexique). Il s’agit d’un collage de textes et d’images issus de livres d’occasion sur la botanique, la guérilla, l’anarchie, le jardinage, les méthodes d’organisation, la littérature. Ce projet a ouvert une boîte de Pandore, avec des possibilités d’extrapolation multiples ; Azul Jacinto Marino est l’une d’entre elles.
Depuis, Azul Jacinto Marino vit sa vie, comme entité polysémique, comme une surface, un personnage. AJM dessine des points de vue, des prétextes topographiques, des territoires où les malentendus peuvent être formulés, effacés, réécrits, retracés ; où la magie peut se confondre avec l’anarchisme, comme un incident géo-botanico-animalo-logo-palimpsestique.

R.O.M. En ce cas est-ce que AJM peut se transformer à chaque projet ? Une sorte de shapeshifter ?
R.C. Oui on peut le voir comme un shapeshifter ou un trickster. Quelque chose qui peut aller quelque part, revenir totalement transformé, et raconter une histoire différente. Une boucle avec de possibles brèches et zones de non-droit. Mais ce qui le définit vraiment, c’est l’ambigüité d’être plusieurs choses en même temps. C’est très arbitraire, parce que nous nous permettons d’en user et d’en mésuser de toutes les manières possibles, où divers intérêts se chevauchent. D’entrée de jeu, les trois mots qui composent le nom en disent beaucoup : des noms et prénoms que l’on donne en Amérique latine, des nuances de bleu, un minéral, une plante, la profondeur, la mer, quelqu’un, quelque chose, une région, une organisation, que sais-je encore…

R.O.M. Pour quelqu’un qui ne connaît pas Azul Jacinto Marino et les différentes formes, contours, et idéologies qu’il recouvre, la question de savoir s’il se réfère à un personnage historique ayant existé au plus profond de la jungle, ayant créé une communauté utopique, est-elle jamais soulevée ?
R.C. Vous faites référence à Antonio García Barón, l’anarchiste auquel nous renvoyons souvent, qui a vécu dans l’Amazonie bolivienne et a créé un micro-Etat anarchiste. La vie d’un anarchiste de terrain vivant dans un contexte si particulier est plutôt attirante, du fait de la rencontre entre deux philosophies politiques : la magie et l’anarchie. Il peut ainsi être Azul Jacinto Marino ou entrer dans la perspective de AzulJacinto Marino, à travers la fiction.

R.O.M. Mais il ne s’agit pas totalement d’une fiction n’est-ce pas, puisque le point de départ est constitué d’événements historiques réels ?
R.C. Oui, Antonio García Barón a vraiment existé, de même que la jungle autour de lui et son micro-Etat anarchiste, avec la forêt pour arrière-plan. Et la tribu indienne qui a rejoint cet anarchiste a vraiment existé aussi, de même que le rapport qu’ils entretiennent à leur environnement, la magie et le chamanisme, tout cela était « réel ». C’est comme ça que l’Anarchisme Magique a pris forme et c’est là que la fiction rencontre le réel et que le réel frappe à la porte de la fiction. Ce que nous voulons dire, c’est que lorsqu’on pense à quelque chose comme l’Anarchisme Magique (Anarquismo Mágico), il est plus simple de poser un cadre fictionnel à cette histoire, de façon à développer plus librement ces idées, même si nous ne sommes pas entièrement sûrs de leur signification et des règles qui les gouvernent. Mais cela nous offre un territoire sur lequel opérer et Azul Jacinto Marino revendique ce territoire, il est ce territoire. Nous avons fait un drapeau, et recréé avec des graines de Huayruro le motif diagonal rouge et noir de l’anarcho-syndicalisme. Ces graines sont très utilisées en Amazonie, comme protection, amulette, et dans certains cas comme élément du mélange utilisé pour la préparation de l’Ayahuasca, pour le rendre plus efficace. C’est le drapeau de l’Anarchisme Magique.

R.O.M. Parlons des hypothèses personnelles que vous pouvez faire à partir de ces lectures, plus particulièrement des éléments historiques et de la manière dont la tradition orale est transmise. Par exemple le tapis berbère présenté en 2014 dans l’exposition de la Kunsthalle de Bâle s’appuie sur une tradition orale : le travail artisanal du tapis, qui ne suit aucune règle spécifique, produit un résultat indéterminé ? Quelle sens la tradition orale prend-elle dans votre travail ?
R.C. Ce tapis a été acheté, nous n’avons pas commandité sa réalisation. Nous étions très intéressés par ce qui définit le processus manuel. La création d’un tapis Beni Ouarain est une manière fascinante d’abandonner au hasard le résultat final. Les femmes qui tissent ne voient pas plus de 50 cm du travail accompli, le reste étant enroulé et soustrait au regard jusqu’à la fin. Et puisqu’elle suspendent parfois le travail pendant des semaines, voire des mois, une fois qu’elle se remettent au travail, elles doivent faire un effort de mémoire pour retrouver le chemin parcouru jusque là. Et cela les emmène toujours ailleurs. C’est comme si le hasard et la fragilité de la mémoire étaient inscrits au cœur du résultat final de ce travail artisanal. Une sorte de cartographie de la pensée. Et nous aimons à penser que c’est un mode opératoire relativement conscient. C’est comme si ces femmes inscrivaient le hasard et la contingence de la vie quotidienne dans une surface, un outil de protection qui est ce tapis, qui peut être utilisé comme une couverture ou comme un lit collectif pour une famille. C’est une belle manière d’affirmer la nécessité du hasard et de l’aléatoire. Donc oui, de ce point de vue, il y a une proximité avec le développement du discours dans la tradition orale, sa vulnérabilité, toujours au présent, puisque chacun est obligé de le réactualiser, dans la mesure où il n’y a pas d’archive, pas d’enregistrement sur lequel s’appuyer. Il y a toujours la présence de « choses » polysémiques et indéterminées ; la fiction est ce qui permet d’étayer cette indétermination, de jeter le doute sur le fait qu’une chose a été, est ou sera, ou tout cela à la fois. Par exemple : tu arrives quelque part, tout en survolant en pensée l’idée d’Antonio García Barón, de l’anarchie au beau milieu de la forêt amazonienne, et l’endroit où tu te trouves n’a rien à voir avec la réalité à laquelle tu penses, rien ne te pousse à projeter sur ton contexte immédiat aucun des événements qui ont eu lieu dans la vie de ce personnage, peut-être ne penses-tu même pas réellement à lui. Et soudain quelque chose qui pourrait être n’importe quoi, une tasse, un couteau, une branche d’arbre ou un corail fossile, ce quelque chose te fait penser : « bien sûr, c’est à Antonio García Barón », et cette pensée commence à devenir concrète et plausible, comme lorsqu’on voit une étoile et qu’on finit par découvrir une constellation. Un cactus fossile devient le doigt que Barón a perdu pendant qu’il chassait un jaguar. Des millions d’années, la substance d’une plante grasse, sa transformation minérale, la relation entre l’homme et l’animal, entre la plante et le minéral, tout cela s’évanouit dans cet unique événement arbitraire, dans cette fiction. Et vous ne pourrez jamais ne plus voir cette constellation. C’est le pouvoir immense de transformation qui provient de l’association entre fiction et réalité. Rendre tangible la notion du « peut-être ».

R.O.M. J’aimerais savoir si Azul Jacinto Marino peut infiltrer de différentes manières l’espace d’exposition.
R.C. Dans la publication intitulée Vamoose all cacti jut torrid nites, Azul Jacinto Marino porte le numéro 8 sur le plan d’exposition, au milieu de l’espace, alors qu’il ne correspond à aucun des travaux présentés dans cet espace. Azul Jacinto Marino incarne la publication et en même temps il la signe. Cette publication fonctionne comme le tapis présenté dans l’exposition. Elle entremêle dans ses pages le nom de l’exposition et le nom AJM, à travers une série d’anagrammes, 46 exactement, comme les 17 lettres d’AJM et les 29 lettres de Vamoose all cacti jut torrid nites, titre de l’exposition. L’un disparaît quand l’autre est révélé sur la dernière page de la publication.

I jet multi jaca revolutas to zona torrida cosmical inn
Jinn animism juts aleatoric lizard calc-tattoo over u
iztac and tiltic jalousie jets a narco moonlit rumor

Images:
1. Rometti Costales, Azul Jacinto Marino
2. Exhibition view of Azul Jacinto Marino by Rometti Costales, centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme, 2015
3. Rometti Costales, Escalas psiconáuticas de un espacio de igualdad en flor (Psychonautic Scales of a Space of Equality in Bloom), acacia branches, 2015; exhibition view of Azul Jacinto Marino at la synagogue de Delme, 2015
4, 6, 7. Rometti Costales, Artefacts Travelling in the Depths of Marble Surface, ten framed C-prints and one C-print glued to aluminium and laminated, 2015; exhibition view of Azul Jacinto Marino at la synagogue de Delme, 2015
5. Rometti Costales, Dedos de Antonio García Barón (Fingers of Antonio García Barón), cactus, concrete cast of a coral fossil, concrete cast of a succulent plant, 2015; exhibition view of Azul Jacinto Marino at la synagogue de Delme, 2015
8. Rometti Costales, Rain Cloak, Courtesy Azul Jacinto Marino, woven palm leaves, 2015; exhibition view of Azul Jacinto Marino at la synagogue de Delme, 2015
9. Rometti Costales, Artefacts Travelling in the Depths of Marble Surface, ten framed C-prints and one C-print glued to aluminium and laminated, 2015; exhibition view of Azul Jacinto Marino at la synagogue de Delme, 2015
10, 11, 12. Exhibition view of Azul Jacinto Marino by Rometti Costales, centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme, 2015
13. Outside view of la synagogue de Delme, 2015
Photos: O.H. Dancy

Protagonists: Rometti Costales
Project: The Book Society #02
Space: CAC La Synagogue de Delme

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SYLVIE BOULANGER

 

sylvie_boulanger-(1)

Sylvie Boulanger is founder and curator of Salon Light since its creation in 2004.
She has directed Cneai since 1997. She curated over a hundred exhibitions, published more than seventy books (artist’s books, journals, catalogues) and produced several documentaries. She is a member of several research labs, she also contributes to academic reviews like Multitudes and she lectures in art schools and universities. She was the founder of the production agency APC (Art Public Contemporain) that she directed for ten years (1990-1997) after occupying the position of associate director “exhibition and communication” within the Ministry of Culture visual arts delegation (1987-1990).

Project: Ephemera
Space: Cneai =
Partner: Salon light
Focus: Prepared Piano – Model for a New Institutionalism

 

Dirige il Cneai dal 1997. Ha curato un centinaio di mostre, pubblicato più di settanta opere (tra libri d’artista, cataloghi, riviste) e diretto alcuni documentari. È ricercatrice associata in diversi laboratori di ricerca, collabora con varie riviste scientifiche, come la rivista Multitudes, e tiene conferenze nelle Accademie di Belle Arti e nelle Università. Ha fondato l’agenzia di produzione APC (Art Public Contemporain) che ha diretto per dieci anni (1990-1997), dopo essere stata direttrice aggiunta alla delegazione delle arti plastiche del Ministero della Cultura francese.

 

Sylvie Boulanger dirige le Cneai depuis 1997. Elle a été commissaire d’une centaine d’expositions, a publié plus de 70 ouvrages (livres d’artistes, revues, catalogues) et produit quelques documentaires. Elle est chercheur associée de plusieurs laboratoires de recherche, contribue à des revues scientifiques comme la revue Multitudes, et donne des conférences dans des écoles d’art et des universités. Elle a fondé l’agence de production APC (Art Public Contemporain) qu’elle a dirigé pendant dix ans (1990-1997), après avoir été directrice adjointe « exposition et communication » à la délégation aux arts plastiques du ministère de la Culture (1987-1990).

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH SYLVIE BOULANGER, CNEAI =, CHATOU

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH SYLVIE BOULANGER, CNEAI =, CHATOU

Vincent Honoré When was the Cneai formed and what triggered its creation?
Sylvie Boulanger The history of the place prepared the art centre to adopt the question of art as media. Indeed, it was there that the Fauve artists Maurice de Valminck and André Derain practised the craft of engraving from 1905 for the publication of a young Guillaume Apollinaire’s L’Enchanteur pourrissant (The Rotting Magician) by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. When the art centre was created in 1997, the question was whether to make it a place for engraving, but three years of research and production with thirty or so artists including Claude Closky, Robert Morris and Peter Downsbrough, led us to consider engraving as an original form of publication. Historically desktop publishing originated in Dada and Russian Constructivism and developed in the ’60s. A new generation of curators has recently formed, considering space made public as public space and the act of publishing as an artistic act. They adjust to current artistic crises: fluidity, network, complexity of sources and exchanges, sharing of authority, collaborative gestures, nomadic artistic practices, interwoven with creation, quotes and interpretation.
Alongside the exhibition, production and publishing programme, we have therefore created tools at the service of this scene: in 1997 exhibition spaces, in 2000 FMRA research funds (ephemera), in 2007 the Floating House – designed by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec – which acts as residence, lastly in 2011 the new space designed by Philippe Bona and Elisabeth Lemercier. Other ideas are being finalised …

Cneai’s staircase by Bona-Lemercier

Cneai’s staircase by Bona-Lemercier

V.H. The projects seem quite diverse reading the venue’s statement of intent. How can the first intent, that is its very essence be summed up?
S.B. The subject is redefined every day according to artistic needs: a parallel history of art generated by distribution matters that at once establish distribution as an act of criticism. The definition of artistic activity, wrote Marcel Broodthaers with a certain provocation, ‘is found, above all, in the field of distribution.’
Editorial practice is a field of research that we are passionate about, as it compromises the act of distribution as a critical act and collaborative practice. And if publishing etymologically means to make public, it is recognised that the transmission, distribution and reception of art are three fundamental indices of the work of the Cneai.
It is also a place that we try to keep free from any institutional project, that is open to projects by art protagonists who invent a new function for a decompartmentalised art scene, emancipated from academic categories and therefore extended to sound, writing and performance… as well as collaborative fields.

V.H. The Cneai is responsible for a collection comprising 11,000 pieces. How does the collection initiate the programme, or even the structure of the site? Pontus Hultén declared: ‘A collection isn’t a shelter into which to retreat. It’s a source of energy for the curator as much as for the visitor.’ What about the Cneai collection?
S.B. This quote is new to me and I love it. The energy between the collection and the programme is prolific. The value of an artist’s publication lies in action – reading, listening, exhibition… – so it is both an account but also a tool.
That is exactly why we have had the Cneai redeveloped and expanded by Elisabeth Lemercier and Philippe Bona to enable this exchange of energy between the collection and the programme. In order to be able to offer a new programme model in the form of scenarios from several points of view where the exhibition registers and the presentation of the collections blend with the presentation of an isolated work or a publication.
We use pieces from the collection for their research potential, and we increase the collection according to the needs of the artists and guest curators. This double movement gives meaning to the establishment of the fund, likewise the programme.

Cneai’s Maison Flottante

Cneai’s Maison Flottante

V.H. Since the end of the ’90sthearchitecture of museums and art centres, has become the subject of debates about the mission of museums and art centres: there has been a change, as analysed by Charlotte Klocek, from the ‘educated citizen’ (19th century) to the ‘informed consumer’ (20th century). The spectacular architecture of Gehry, Hadid, Nouvel, and Herzog & de Meuron are visible signs of it. How do you situate the Floating House in this context?
S.B. Surprisingly this architecture by the Bouroullec brothers was very badly received by certain local cultural players! It seems that in small towns journalists, curators and other cultural producers, who are neither educated citizens nor informed consumers, confront us. The Floating House installation traumatised all those who were living on their island, because of their nostalgic for their status as curators from the time of the impressionists.
The art centre and the Floating House are located sufficiently far from the town, from work, but relatively close to housing areas, a little isolated in nature, in the middle of a wooded island, between the two banks of the Seine and near to a park, with walkways and stopping places to eat, picnic and play. The location gives a feeling of privacy and vacuity, a condition necessary for encountering art… The Floating House is both an extremely simple and intuitive to use residential property and an object for contemplation.

V.H. Charles Esche described his ideal museum as fundamentally vague: both, simultaneously, and integrally, a community centre, laboratory, institute and a gallery. It is a place where production is not necessarily ‘productive’ and a place under constant reconfiguration; a form open to incomplete architecture. How did you structure the curatorial approach to the place, to the institution?
S.B. The art centre is in fact for me a place ‘void of project,’ whose artistic project is by definition in a state of perpetual movement triggered by the artists and players themselves. Consequently it is more about creating a context than a place or a programme.
The Cneai therefore proposes a new dynamic model:
- collaborative: artists, curators, editors are invited to share the artistic programme. Currently, Christophe Lemaitre has been invited to share the art direction, for Yona Friedman it is a forum for experimentation, for three years Jef Geys has been an important partner to test the levels of values in art;
- cooperative: the projects are proposed to a network of fellows so that they can also be developed elsewhere and to others. We work on average with about a hundred partners every year;
- cultural: beyond the scope of art is acceptable as a source of work and as such been made visible in the programme: music, cinema, science etc;
- transmissible : each invitation leads to several forms of transmission, from exhibition to performance including publication and research residencies. Festivals and study days have replaced previews…

Cneai’s exhibition space

Cneai’s exhibition space

V.H. What is the role of a contemporary art centre director in 2014?
S.B. To resolve a multitude of paradoxical equations:
- to create a context for creation and research in a venue destined for a wide audience and therefore to have the power to believe in humans;
- to reconcile the often contradictory objectives of the artists and figures in the art scene with those of the financial partners and to be a mediator between them;
- to produce personal research whilst remaining devoted to a team and a programme;
- to enrol the place in a synthetic vision between the history of art, current events and movements taking place;
- and above all, to take sides between figures who seek to gain financially or through the media – and those for whom the pleasure remains in spite of it all, the transmission of the artistic experience.
The M/M (Paris) aptly named the role of art centre director when, at the end of their exhibition at the Cneai, I was treated like a Swiss Army knife… Finally, it means to continually entice first-hand experience at reinventing a place as a desirable space.

V.H. PIANO wishes to create a space for exchange and dialogue between Italian and French art venues. Why did you want to participate and what programme are you offering?
S.B. The first residency in the Floating House by Daniele Balit, Maria Alicata and Adrienne Drake, three Italian curators, fired up passionate discussions about the question of version. We have identified works from the collection that have been considered in reference to other older works, whether from the visual arts, musical, cinematic or any other domain. Now it is a question of inviting these artists to develop or activate their old projects (version 3) here and now, at the MACRO and at the Cneai, during two exhibitions that will take place in October 2014 in Rome and in autumn 2015 at the Cneai.
The project is largely research carried out within two archives, one Italian (1:1projects), the other French (FMRA collection).
Our project will attempt to provide concrete answers to questions about formal frontiers (objects, performances, images); about cultural borders (literary, musical, film, scientific, design…); about derived artistic processes (curatorial, editorial, collection and research); and about hybridization of the figures (artists, editors, curators, collectors, sellers or researchers).

 

Vincent Honoré Quand a été créé le Cneai et qu’est-ce qui a présidé à sa création ?
Sylvie Boulanger L’histoire du lieu prédisposait le centre d’art à se situer sur la question de l’art comme média. En effet, les peintres fauves Maurice de Valminck et André Derain y expérimentent dès 1905 la technique de la gravure pour l’édition de L’Enchanteur pourrissant du jeune Guillaume Apollinaire par Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Quand le centre d’art est créé en 1997, la question se pose d’en faire le lieu de la gravure, mais trois années de recherches et de production avec une trentaine d’artistes dont Claude Closky, Robert Morris ou Peter Downsbrough, nous amènent à considérer la gravure comme une forme de publication originale. Historiquement la pratique de la micro-édition prend sa source dans Dada et le Constructivisme russe et se développe dans les années 60. Une nouvelle génération de curateurs s’est constituée récemment, considérant l’espace publié comme un espace public et l’acte de publier comme un acte artistique. Ils s’ajustent aux urgences artistiques actuelles : fluidité, réseau, complexité des sources et des échanges, partage de l’autorité, actes collaboratifs, pratiques artistiques nomades, métissées de création, de citations et d’interprétation.
Aux côtés du programme d’exposition, de production et d’édition, nous avons donc créé les outils au service de cette scène : en 1997 les espaces d’expositions, en 2000 les fonds de recherche FMRA (éphéméras), en 2007 la Maison Flottante – dessinée par Erwan et Ronan Bouroullec – qui nous sert de résidence, enfin en 2011 les nouveaux espaces dessinés par Philippe Bona et Elisabeth Lemercier. D’autres idées sont en cours de définition…

V.H. En lisant la note d’intention du lieu, ses missions semblent assez diverses. Comment en résumer l’intention première, l’essence ?
S.B. Le sujet se redéfinit chaque jour avec les nécessités artistiques : une histoire de l’art parallèlegénérée par des questions de distribution qui instaurent d’emblée la diffusion comme acte critique. La définition de l’activité artistique, écrivait Marcel Broodthaers avec une certaine provocation, « se trouve, avant tout, dans le champ de la distribution ».
La pratique éditoriale est un champ de recherche qui nous passionne, car il met en jeu l’acte de diffusion comme acte critique et pratique collaborative. Et si publier signifie étymologiquement rendre public, on comprendra que la transmission, la diffusion et la réception de l’art sont trois indices fondamentaux de l’activité du Cneai.
C’est aussi un lieu que nous tentons de garder vide de projet institutionnel, c’est à dire ouvert au projet des acteurs de l’art qui inventent un nouveau fonctionnement pour une scène artistique décloisonnée, émancipée des catégories académiques et donc à la fois étendue aux domaines du son, de l’écrit, de la performance… et collaborative.

V.H. Le Cneai est responsable d’une collection de 11.000 pièces. Comment la collection informe le programme, voire la structure du lieu ? Pontus Hultén a pu déclarer : « A collection isn’t a shelter into which to retreat. It’s a source of energy for the curator as much as for the visitor ». Qu’en est-il de la collection au Cneai ?
S.B. Je ne connaissais pas cette citation, elle me ravit. Les liens d’énergie entre la collection et le programme sont prolifiques. Une publication d’artiste tient sa valeur de l’action – lecture, écoute, exposition… – dont elle est à la fois le témoignage mais aussi l’outil.
C’est précisément pour permettre cet échange d’énergie entre la collection et la programmation que nous avons fait agrandir et réaménager le Cneai par Elisabeth Lemercier et Philippe Bona. Afin de pouvoir proposer un nouveau modèle de programmation sous forme de scénarios en plusieurs points de vue où les registres de l’exposition et de la présentation des collections se conjuguent à la présentation d’une œuvre isolée ou d’une publication.
Nous utilisons les pièces de la collection pour leur potentiel de recherche, et nous augmentons la collection en fonction des besoins des artistes et curateurs invités. Ce double mouvement donne tout son sens à la constitution du fonds, comme au programme.

V.H. L’architecture des musées et des centres d’art, depuis la fin des années 90, est devenu l’objet de débats sur la mission des musées et des centres d’art : on est passé, comme l’a analysé Charlotte Klocek, du « citoyen éduqué » (XIXe siècle) au « consommateur informé » (XXe siècle). Les architectures spectaculaires de Gehry, Hadid, Nouvel, ou Herzog & de Meuron en sont les signes évidents. Comment situez-vous la Maison Flottante dans ce contexte ?
S.B. L’architecture des frères Bouroullec a étrangement été très mal accueillie par certains acteurs culturels locaux ! Il semble que nous soyons confrontés, dans les petites villes, à des journalistes, conservateurs et autres producteurs culturels qui ne soient ni citoyens éduqués, ni consommateurs informés. L’installation de la Maison Flottante a provoqué un traumatisme pour tous ceux qui vivaient sur leur île, par leur statut nostalgique de conservateurs du temps des impressionnistes.
Le centre d’art et la Maison Flottante sont situés suffisamment loin de la ville, du travail, mais relativement proche des quartiers d’habitations, plutôt isolé dans la nature, au milieu d’une île arborée, entre les deux berges de la Seine et à proximité d’un parc, avec des chemins de marche et des haltes pour se restaurer, pique-niquer ou jouer. La situation donne une sensation d’intimité et de vacuité, état nécessaire à la rencontre de l’art… La Maison Flottante est à la fois un objet d’habitation d’usage extrêmement simple et intuitif et un objet de contemplation.

V.H. Charles Esche a décrit son musée idéal comme étant fondamentalement incertain : à la fois, simultanément, et intégralement, centre communautaire, laboratoire, institut, galerie. Un lieu ou la production n’est pas obligatoirement « productive », un lieu en permanente reconfiguration, une forme ouverte à l’architecture incomplète. Comment avez-vous structuré l’approche curatoriale du lieu, de l’institution ?
S.B. Le centre d’art est en effet pour moi un lieu « vide de projet », dont le projet artistique est par définition dans un perpétuel mouvement déclenché par les artistes et les acteurs eux-mêmes. Par conséquent il s’agit plus de créer un contexte qu’un lieu ou un programme.
Le Cneai propose donc un nouveau modèle, de type dynamique :
- collaboratif : des artistes, curateurs, éditeurs sont invités à partager le programme artistique. Actuellement, Christophe Lemaitre est invité à partager la direction artistique, Yona Friedman en fait son lieu d’expérimentation, Jef Geys est un partenaire important pour expérimenter depuis trois ans les niveaux de valeurs dans l’art… ;
- coopératif : les projets sont proposés à un réseau de confrères pour qu’ils puissent se développer aussi ailleurs et à plusieurs. Nous travaillons en moyenne avec une centaine de partenaires tous les ans ;
- culturel : le hors-champs de l’art est assumé comme source de travail et à ce titre rendu visible dans les programmations : musique, cinéma, sciences… ;
- transmissible : chaque invitation donne lieu à plusieurs formes de transmission, de l’exposition à la performance en passant par l’édition ou la résidence de recherche. Les festivals et les journées d’études ont remplacé les vernissages…

V.H. Quel est le rôle d’un directeur de centre d’art contemporain en 2014 ?
S.B. Résoudre une multitude d’équations paradoxales :
- créer un contexte de création et de recherche dans un lieu destiné aux publics les plus larges et donc croire absolument en l’humain ;
- concilier les objectifs souvent contradictoires des artistes et acteurs de l’art avec ceux des partenaires financiers et donc être traducteur français/français ;
- produire une recherche personnelle tout en se consacrant à une équipe et un programme ;
- inscrire le lieu dans une vision synthétique entre l’histoire de l’art, l’actualité et les mouvements en train de se faire ;
- et surtout, choisir son camp entre les acteurs qui poursuivent le profit par l’art – financier ou médiatique – et ceux dont le plaisir reste en dépit de tout, la transmission de l’expérience artistique.
Les M/M(Paris) ont bien nommé le rôle d’un directeur de centre d’art quand, à l’issu de leur exposition au Cneai, ils m’ont traitée de couteau suisse… Finalement, il s’agit de tenter éternellement une expérience concrète de réinvention d’un lieu comme espace désirable.

V.H. PIANO veut créer un espace d’échange et de dialogue entre des lieux d’art italiens et français. Pourquoi avez-vous souhaité participer et quel programme proposez-vous ?
S.B. La première résidence sur la Maison Flottante de Daniele Balit, Maria Alicata et Adrienne Drake, les trois curateurs italiens, a généré des discussions passionnantes sur la question de la version. Nous avons identifié des œuvres de la collection qui avaient été pensées en références à d’autres œuvres plus anciennes, qu’elles soient issues du domaine plastique, musicale, cinématographique ou autre. Il est question maintenant d’inviter ces artistes à développer ou activer leurs anciens projets (version 3) ici et maintenant, au MACRO et au Cneai, lors de deux expositions qui auront lieu en octobre 2014 à Rome et à l’automne 2015 au Cneai.
Le projet se résume donc en une recherche effectuée au sein de deux archives, l’une italienne (1:1projects), l’autre française (collection FMRA).
Notre projet tentera d’apporter des réponses concrètes aux questions de frontièresformelles (objets, performances, images) ; de frontières culturelles (littéraire, musicale, filmique, scientifique, design…) ; d’actes artistiques dérivés (curatoriaux, éditoriaux, de collection et de recherche) ; et d’hybridation des acteurs (artistes, éditeurs, curateurs, collectionneurs, vendeurs ou chercheurs).

Images:
1. Jef Geys, Coloring book for adults, 1963-2014. Photo: Steven Decroos. Courtesy Mu.ZEE, Ostend. Exhibition Jef Geys. C’est aujourd’hui dimanche, tiens ma jolie maman voilà des roses blanches, toi qui les aimes tant!, 8 February – 22 June 2014
2. Cneai’s staircase by Bona-Lemercier. Photo: Cneai
3. Cneai’s Maison Flottante. Photo: Sebastien Agnetti
4. Cneai’s exhibition space. Photo: Aurélien Mole

Protagonist: Sylvie Boulanger
Space: Cneai =
Project: Ephemera

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Jochen Lempert

Jochen Lempert, The Skins of Alca Impennis, 1995-2013

1. Jochen Lempert, The Skins of Alca Impennis, 1995-2013

Born 1958, Moers, Germany
Lives and works in Hamburg, Germany
Lempert studied Biology at the Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn as well as Film and Film-Performance with the group Schlezdahim. Hi work has been internationally exhibited in both institutional and commercial venues. He recently had solo exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg (2013), Midway Contemporary in Minneapolis (2012), and at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne (2010), among others. He was granted the Edwin-Scharff Prize for the City of Hamburg in 2006 and the Ars Viva Prize for Photography in 1996-1997.

2. Jochen Lempert, Martha, 2005

2. Jochen Lempert, Martha, 2005

Images:
1. Jochen Lempert, The Skins of Alca Impennis, 1995-2013, 34 b/w photographs, silver gelatin prints, 18 x 24 cm each. Ed. 5. Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona
2. Jochen Lempert, Martha, 2005, silver gelatin print; 30 x 28 cm. Photo: Giorgio Benni

Project: The Registry of Promise

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ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

Born 1987, Messina, Italy
Lives and works in Milan, Italy

Considering the limitations of his own action as the only way to act, Alessandro Di Pietro continuously produced variations within these limits, each time using a different process of  creation. He creates in this way a protocol which introduces rules limiting its expression and establishing a purely speculative mechanical of work. This repetition allows him to develop new concrete landscape and develop a kind of “empirical geography”, established by acts such as its presence or passage at a physical location.

Né à Messina, Italie, en 1987
Viet et travaille à Milan, Italie

Considérant les limites de sa propre action comme la seule façon d’agir, Alessandro Di Pietro produit en continu des variations à l’intérieur de ces limites, utilisant à chaque fois un processus différent de création. Il s’engage ainsi dans un protocole qui lui délivre des règles limitant son expression et instaurant une mécanique purement spéculative de travail. Cette répétition lui permet de mettre en place de nouveaux paysages concrets et de développer une sorte de «géographie empirique», établi par des actes tels que sa présence ou son passage en un lieu physique.

Project: Double Cross, From Both Sides of a Mountain

Image:
Alessandro Di Pietro, NEW VOID (The Movie), 2014, HD video, 29′ 42” / Directed by Alessandro Di Pietro, Written by Alessandro Di Pietro and Ana Shametaj, Music by Enrico Boccioletti

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JACOPO MILIANI IN CONVERSATION WITH ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

JACOPO MILIANI IN CONVERSATION WITH ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

Jacopo Miliani Let’s start with a reflection on our collaboration for the Double Cross project. We have been working independently on the spaces and on the exhibition project; later, during preparation, there was dialogue and listening between the two projects. I would define our collaboration as a mutual influence on narrative fiction. What is your opinion on this?
Alessandro di Pietro I would say that our cooperation has had, from the outset, a predisposition not to be explicit. The placement on two different floors of the CAB [Centre d’Art Bastille] made it impossible for a direct visual relationship between the various elements of our installations, but intensified the dialogue between two different methods of semantic re-elaboration in space.
Both projects are based on the appropriation of pre-existing narrative structures: yours on Howard Fast’s short story Not with a Bang, and mine on the end scene of Peter Greenaway’s film A Zed and Two Noughts.
The floor separating us seems to have worked as a filter that has allowed us to meet the expectations of our work. At the same time it must have produced some information that created a connection between us on a sign level: for example the use of the text and the circle shape.

2. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

2. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

3. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

3. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

A.D.P. As you told me, in Fast’s Not with a Bang a man sees a hand turning off the sun; he goes back home, and tells his wife and neighbors during an evening game of bridge. The rest of the group does not believe what the man saw, but that night was a particularly dark and cold one.
How do you expect people to orientate themselves between the textual information partially concealed inside what you call fictional carpets?
J.M. The story is divided into three phases, which are represented by (transparent and black) resin casts of hands. The hands are open in the act of picking up, and relate to round-shaped objects. These abstract signs, completely open, are placed on colored carpets that recall a domestic interior, and hide and reveal the three pages of the Fast’s story. The level of representation is thus opaque in the relationship between the clues on a narrative level and the shapes/actions that remain suspended. The viewer/reader/detective has a central role, although not being inside the scene.

4. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

4. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

5. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

5. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

J.M. The CAB is located in a defensive stronghold, on top of a mountain, mainly accessible through a strange spherical cableway. Do you think that the location of the CAB affected the narrative process? Could we define your ‘props’ as clues suspended in time?
A.D.P. When arranging the props in space I definitely tried to exploit the grotto-like space on the first floor of the CAB.
For this reason, all the props were exhibited on a modular display made with vertical concrete, steel and foam elements hanging from above like stalactites, exploiting the various heights of the vault of the ceiling. The arrangement does not follow a hierarchy of importance or a real narrative chronology, and the props are not the remains of an action which has already taken place, but are prospectively active. They are raw elements of a story that will take place soon and that will be a re-enactment of the last part of A Zed and Two Noughts.

6. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

6. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

7. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

7. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

A.D.P. Until recently, I had the feeling that working on cinema or literature could create a misunderstanding as regards the intention of creating a tribute or a monument to the director or to the wonderful story. Now I view that concern as very generic, and I recognize that the fiction reacts to its perception so naturally that it can be mistaken for a landscape. What do you think about this? How do you move among the signs that a story offers you? What is the distance you put between yourself, your practice and the story object?
J.M. I like the idea of landscape, and in the case of the CAB we could talk of a view. In the days I was working, I observed how individuals or the groups of tourists that stroll around the summit to observe Grenoble from above are comparable with the relationship we have with images, language and representation. I wonder how in front of this vastness of relationships one could define a common gaze. The signs of history are hence countless like the facets of a view. For this reason I chose this story by Howard Fast that highlights how the main character feels different in front of a vision which he perceives as a common experience. The killing of the Sun by a hand remains an image on hold from where I started and cyclically return to.

8. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

8. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

9. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

9. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

J.M./A.D.P. As regards the constant fruition within the imaginative process, we could say that this was also the central theme of two workshops, which we conducted in parallel, with a few young Grenoble artists. With their imagination, we worked starting from two strong images from the stories we had taken as a reference: the hand that turns the sun off in Fast’s story and the figures of the twins in Greenaway’s film.

10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

Jacopo Miliani Iniziamo con una riflessione sulla nostra collaborazione all’interno del progetto Double Cross. Abbiamo lavorato indipendentemente sullo spazio e sul progetto espositivo; in seguito, in fase di allestimento, c’è stato dialogo e ascolto tra i due progetti. Definirei la nostra collaborazione come un’influenza reciproca sulla narrazione fittizia. Cosa ne pensi a proposito?
Alessandro di Pietro Direi che la nostra collaborazione ha avuto, sin dall’inizio, una predisposizione a non essere esplicita. La disposizione su due piani del CAB [Centre d’art Bastille] ha reso impossibile una diretta correlazione visiva tra i vari elementi delle nostre installazioni, ma ha accentuato il dialogo tra due diverse metodologie di rielaborazione semantica nello spazio.
Entrambi i progetti si fondano su appropriazioni di strutture narrative pre-esistenti: il tuo sul racconto breve Not with a Bang di Howard Fast, mentre il mio sulla scena finale di A Zed and Two Noughts di Peter Greenaway.
Il piano che ci ha diviso sembra aver funzionato come un filtro che ci ha permesso di rispettare le aspettative sul nostro lavoro. Allo stesso tempo deve aver rilasciato delle informazioni che ci hanno messo in connessione a livello segnico: per esempio l’uso del testo e la figura del cerchio. 

A.D.P. Come mi hai raccontato, in Not with a Bang di Howard Fast un uomo vede una mano che spegne il sole; torna a casa, ne parla con la moglie e i vicini durante una partita serale di bridge. Il resto del gruppo non crede alla visione dell’uomo, ma quella sera è particolarmente oscura e fredda.
Come ti aspetti che le persone si orientino tra le informazioni testuali parzialmente occultate all’interno di quelli che tu chiami ‘fictional carpets’?
J.M. La storia è divisa in tre momenti che sono raffigurati da calchi di mani in resina (trasparenti e neri). Le mani sono aperte nell’atto di prendere e si relazionano a oggetti dalla forma circolare. Questi segni astratti, del tutto aperti, sono posti su moquette colorate che richiamano l’interno domestico e nascondono e rivelano le tre pagine del racconto di Fast. Il piano della rappresentazione risulta opaco nella relazione tra gli elementi indiziari a livello narrativo e le forme/azioni che rimangono sospese. Lo spettatore/lettore/detective ha un ruolo centrale, pur non trovandosi all’interno della scena.

J.M. Il CAB si trova dentro una roccaforte difensiva, sulla cima di una montagna per lo più accessibile grazie a una strana teleferica dalla forma sferica. Pensi che il luogo del CAB abbia influito sul processo narrativo? Possiamo definire i tuoi ‘props’ come indizi sospesi nel tempo?
A.D.P. Sicuramente nella configurazione spaziale dei ‘props’ ho cercato di lavorare sullo “spazio grottoso” del primo piano del CAB.
Per questo motivo, tutti i ‘props’ sono stati esposti su un display modulare formato da elementi verticali di cemento acciaio e gommapiuma che scendono dall’alto come stalattiti sfruttando le varie altezze della volta del soffitto. L’allestimento non segue una gerarchia di importanza o una reale cronologia narrativa e i ‘props’ non sono residui di un’azione già accaduta, ma sono ancora in potenza. Sono elementi crudi di una narrazione che avverrà prossimamente e che consisterà in un re-enactment dell’ultimo capitolo di A Zed and Two Noughts.

A.D.P. Fino a poco tempo fa, avevo la sensazione che lavorare sul cinema o sulla letteratura potesse generare un misunderstanding riguardo l’intenzione di creare un tributo o un monumento al regista o alla grande storia. Di recente, questa mi sembra un’idea molto generalista e riconosco che la finzione reagisce alla propria percezione in maniera così naturale da poterla scambiare per un paesaggio. Cosa ne pensi? Come ti muovi tra i segni che una storia ti propone? Qual è la distanza che interponi tra te, la tua pratica e l’oggetto narrativo?
J.M. Mi piace l’idea di paesaggio, nel caso del CAB potremo parlare di panorama. Durante i giorni di lavoro, ho osservato come le singole persone o i gruppi di turisti che si muovono sulla vetta per osservare Grenoble dall’alto siano paragonabili al rapporto che abbiamo con le immagini, il linguaggio e la rappresentazione. Mi chiedo come davanti a tale vastità di relazioni sia possibile definire lo sguardo comune. I segni di una storia sono quindi infiniti come le sfaccettature di un panorama. Per questo motivo ho scelto questo racconto di Howard Fast che mette in luce come il protagonista si senta diverso davanti a una visione da lui percepita come esperienza comune. L’uccisione del sole da parte di una mano resta un’immagine sospesa da cui sono partito per poi ritornarci ciclicamente.

J.M./A.D.P. A proposito della fruizione costante nel processo immaginativo, potremmo dire che questo è stato anche il tema centrale di due workshops, da noi condotti in modo parallelo, con alcuni giovani artisti di Grenoble. Con la loro immaginazione abbiamo lavorato a partire da due immagini forti provenienti dalle narrazioni da noi prese come riferimento: la mano che spegne il sole del racconto di Fast e le figure dei due gemelli nel film di Greenaway.

Images:
1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang. Courtesy the artist, CAB Grenoble, Frutta, Rome and Studio Dabbeni, Lugano
3, 4, 7, 8, 11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props, Courtesy the artist and CAB Grenoble

Protagonists: Jacopo Miliani, Alessandro di Pietro
Project: Double Cross. From Both Sides of a Mountain
Space: Centre d’art Bastille

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Roman Ondák

Born 1966, Žilina, Slovakia
Lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia

Roman Ondák takes a particular interest in the less obvious details of everyday life, which he homes in on and transfers into an artistic context. Using sculpture, installation, video, and performance, the artist disorients the public, deploying subtle tricks (or devices) to attract attention to something or someone that would otherwise go unnoticed. He also utilizes the same mechanism to tackle the exhibition spaces themselves, exploring the venue and altering both its architectural logic and habitual dynamics.
In Tickets, Please, the artist uses repetition to subvert a common experience. The photos, taken during a performance, show the table at the entrance to the museum where visitors normally pay for admission. Yet sitting behind the table is a young boy who asks for only half the ticket price. On the upper floor, the artist reconstructs the situation but with the ticket desk manned by the boy’s grandfather, generating not only a spatial shift but also a generation gap. Given the time it takes to get from one part of the venue to the other, visitors also experience a time lapse between the two payments.
The same temporal disorientation characterizes the work Silence, Please, which dates to a few years previously. In this performance, a museum guard, when in the room, wears a uniform based on the models used in the year the wearer was born. This piece tackles the paradoxical coexistence of presence and absence: the physical presence or otherwise of the performer and the metaphorical quality of the time differences evoked.

Nato a Žilina, Slovacchia, nel 1966
Vive e lavora a Bratislava, Slovacchia

Roman Ondák s’interessa in particolare ai dettagli meno appariscenti agli aspetti più ordinari della vita quotidiana, che trasferisce poi in un contesto artistico. Con sculture, installazioni, video e performance, l’artista disorienta il pubblico, attuando dei sottili inganni (o artifici), che permettono di attirare l’attenzione su qualcosa o qualcuno che altrimenti non verrebbe notato. Questo meccanismo è utilizzato anche negli spazi espositivi, dove Ondák esplora, modificandole, sia le logiche architettoniche sia le dinamiche abituali dell’istituzione museale.
In Tickets, Please (Biglietti, prego) l’artista cambia la prospettiva tradizionale, grazie all’espediente della ripetizione. Le foto sono state scattate durante una performance. Dietro un tavolo, posizionato all’entrata del museo, dove normalmente si paga l’ingresso alla mostra, è seduto un ragazzino che chiede metà del costo del biglietto. Al piano superiore del museo, l’artista ricostruisce esattamente la stessa situazione, ma a chiedere l’importo mancante del biglietto è il nonno del ragazzino, ciò che crea uno scarto non solo spaziale, ma anche generazionale. Il visitatore percepisce inoltre un disorientamento temporale, poiché impiega del tempo per spostarsi nello spazio espositivo.
Il medesimo disorientamento temporale caratterizza anche Silence, Please (Silenzio, prego), un’opera di qualche anno prima. Questa performance prevede che un sorvegliante del museo, quando è presente in sala, indossi un’uniforme fatta come i modelli che si usavano nell’anno di nascita del sorvegliante che la indossa. La performance affronta inoltre la coesistenza paradossale di presenza e assenza: quella fisica del performer e quella metaforica, data dalla lontananza temporale.

Project: Soleil politique

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PETER BUGGENHOUT

5_FG_Buggenhout_Gorgo-#33_3

Peter Buggenhout, Gorgo #33, 2013

Born 1963, Dendermonde, Belgium
Lives and works in Ghent, Belgium
His work has been internationally exhibited in both institutional and commercial venues. He had solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), at the Ludwig Forum, Aachen (2012) and at the Museum Dhont-Dhaenens, Deurle Belgium (2009). He is represented by Gladstone Gallery in New York and Galerie Laurent Godin in Paris.

Image:
Peter Buggenhout, Gorgo #33, 2013, mixed media: wax, plastic, blood, horse hair, cardboard, PU6foam, polyester; work: h 48 x 72 x 49 cm + glassbox & pedestal: h 147 x 80 x 60 cm

Project: The Registry of Promise

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RON TRAN

Born 1972, Saigon, Vietnam
Lives and works in Vancouver, Canada

Ron Tran works in various media, including performance, sculpture, photography, video, and installation. His artistic practice involves interpersonal actions and gestures, at once benevolent and ironic, that challenge the way we view everyday relations, notably those that involve strangers.
In Walking Strangers Home, for example, Tran approaches passersby late at night, offering to accompany them to their homes. Establishing a relationship between art and the public sphere, the artist thus explores cultural rituals and anxieties as well as relations of power in society. Documentation plays an important role in conveying his work as a performer.
For Apartment #201, Tran removed the front door of his apartment and exhibited it for five weeks at Western Front, an artist-run art space in Vancouver, while he continued to live in the apartment.
Through this objectaction, which combines aesthetics and the intimate realm, his private life was exposed and made vulnerable. The apartment functioned as an extension of the object exhibited in the art space. At the end of the exhibition, the door, once returned to its original location and use, lost its artistic status.
The work offered itself neither as a metaphorical representation, nor a ready-made, but rather as a living and tangible intervention inscribed in the present and inseparable from real life. For the exhibition Soleil politique, the artist explores the means to reenact this experience.

Nato a Saigon, Vietnam, nel 1972
Vive e lavora Vancouver, Canada

Ron Tran lavora con diversi media: performance, scultura, fotografia, video e installazione. La sua pratica comprende azioni e gesti interpersonali, allo stesso tempo ridondanti e ironici, che introducono un senso di malessere nel nostro sguardo sui rapporti quotidiani, in particolare quelli con le persone sconosciute. In Walking Strangers Home, per esempio, Tran avvicina dei passanti a tarda ora, e si offre di accompagnarli fino a casa. Costruendo dei legami tra l’arte e la sfera pubblica, l’artista esplora l’ansia e i rituali culturali, così come i rapporti di potere nella società. Il problema della documentazione occupa un posto importante nell’accesso alle sue performance. In Apartment #201, Ron Tran ha smontato la porta d’ingresso del suo appartamento e l’ha esposta per cinque settimane nello spazio artistico Western Front a Vancouver, continuando a vivere a casa propria. Attraverso questo gesto-oggetto, che collega l’estetico all’intimo, la vita privata dell’artista si è ritrovata a essere esibita e vulnerabile. L’appartamento di Tran vive un’attivazione, in quanto estensione dell’oggetto presentato nello spazio artistico. Alla fine della mostra, e una volta rimontata la porta sui cardini, essa ritrova la propria funzione di utilità e perde ogni valore artistico.
L’opera che ne risulta non è né una rappresentazione metaforica, né un ready-made, ma un intervento vivo e tangibile, iscritto in un presente indissociabile dalla vita reale.
Per Soleil politique, l’artista propone una riproduzione di questa esperienza.

Né à Saïgon, Vietnam, en 1972
Vit et travaille à Vancouver, Canada

Ron Tran travaille avec divers média : performance, sculpture, photographie, vidéo et installation. Sa pratique convoque des actions et gestes interpersonnels, à la fois généreux et ironiques, qui introduisent un malaise dans notre regard sur les rapports quotidiens, en particulier ceux impliquant des personnes inconnues. Avec Walking Strangers Home, par exemple, Ron Tran abordait des passants tard dans la soirée, leur offrant de les accompagner jusqu’à leur domicile. Établissant ainsi des liens entre l’art et la sphère publique, l’artiste explore les rituels et l’anxiété culturels, ainsi que les rapports de pouvoir dans la société. La question de la documentation occupe une place importante dans l’accès à son travail performatif.
Pour Apartment #201, Ron Tran a démonté la porte d’entrée de son appartement afin de l’exposer pendant cinq semaines dans un lieu d’art (Western Front, Vancouver), tout en continuant de vivre dans le logement. Par ce geste-objet qui lie l’esthétique avec l’intime, sa vie privée s’est trouvée exposée et vulnérable. L’appartement est activé en tant qu’extension de l’objet présenté dans l’espace artistique. À la fin de l’exposition, une fois remise à son emplacement d’origine, la porte retrouve sa fonction utilitaire et perd toute valeur artistique. L’œuvre qui en résulte n’est ni une représentation métaphorique, ni un ready-made, mais une intervention vivante et tangible, inscrite dans un présent indissociable de la vie réelle. Pour Soleil politique, l’artiste expérimente une restitution de cette expérience.

Project: Soleil politique

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Nina Fiocco

Nina Fiocco, The Salgari Method - Santa Inés Ahuetempan, 2013

Nina Fiocco, The Salgari Method – Santa Inés Ahuetempan, 2013

Born 1985, Italy
Lives and works in Puebla, Mexico and Feltre, Italy
At the centre of Nina Fiocco’s work there is the idea of distance, meant as a deforming lens, which oppositely to experience, is a tool of dominion and control in the communication society. Looking for strategies to evade this knowledge mirage, Nina Fiocco works with different media, focusing on the intersection between narration, common work, experience and image, in its broader meaning from photography and internet to architecture and geography.

2015
- Public Privacy, a cura di Alice Pedroletti, Studio 6, festival “Studi”, Milano
- The Wall, a cura di Stanislaw Ruksza, Careof DOCVA, Milano
- Ciudad Expandida, a cura di Laalvaca, installazione site specific(Tlaxco Puebla, Messico)

2014
- The Salgari Method-Milan, workshop e installazione collettiva, a cura di O’, Milano
- Civico/Hurbano, a cura di NoAutomatico, Tong Proyectos, Puebla (Messico)
- On/Off entre el recuerdo y el oblio, Alianza Francesa, Puebla (Messico)

Project: Piano – alto!

 

(1985, vive e lavora tra Puebla, Messico, e Feltre)
Al centro del lavoro di Nina Fiocco si trova l’idea di distanza, intesa come una lente deformante che, all’opposto dell’esperienza, si converte in uno strumento di dominio e controllo nella società della comunicazione. Cercando strategie per evadere questo miraggio della conoscenza, Nina Fiocco lavora con media diversi, interessandosi all’intersezione tra narrazione, lavoro comune, esperienza e immagine, intesa nel suo spettro più ampio dalla fotografia e l’architettura a Internet e la geografia.

 

Née en 1985, vit et travaille entre Puebla, Mexique, et Feltre, Italie. Au cœur du travail de Nina Fiocco se trouve l’idée de distance, entendue comme un verre déformant qui, contrairement à l’expérience, se transforme en un instrument de domination et de contrôle dans la société de la communication. A la recherche d’une stratégie pour s’évader de ce mirage de la connaissance, Nina Fiocco travaille avec différents médias. Elle s’intéresse à l’intersection entre narration, travail collectif, expérience et image. Elle appréhende l’image au sens large : de la photographie à l’architecture, d’Internet à la géographie.

Nina Fiocco interroge les questions de standardisation, d’identité. Elle étudie l’accent particulier de cette région du sud de la France et archive des voix qui lui serviront de base pour mettre en forme une interprétation performative et plastique. Elle mesure la portée de ces voix à l’échelle de l’espace, en une performance jouée avec des habitants, à la nuit tombée. Elle participe au rituel de l’affût, dès l’aube, avec les chasseurs… Elle entraîne et se laisse happer dans des aventures inédites pour mieux appréhender le territoire et ses limites.

Martine Michard
décembre 2014

Image:
Nina Fiocco, The Salgari Method – Santa Inés Ahuetempan, 2013, action and installation documentation image. Courtesy of the artist and Metodo Salgari

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STEFANIA MEAZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH NINA FIOCCO

STEFANIA MEAZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH NINA FIOCCO

NINA FIOCCO, THE DEEP ESSENCE OF LAND

Nina Fiocco was an artist in residency at Maisons Daura in Saint-Cirq Lapopie, at Chapelle Saint-Jacques in Saint-Gaudens and at BBB centre d’art in Toulouse between September and November 2014.
Nina Fiocco penetrates the reality of daily life and unveils its most hidden and meaningful aspects. By researching on site, she questions the local aspect of the context to widen the perspective and make it universal.

Interview by Stefania Meazza

Stefania Meazza Tell me about the project you developed during the Piano – alto! residencies.
Nina Fiocco To me coming to France was a way to come closer to home, without actually coming home. I was somewhere in the middle: a country which I don’t belong to but which is part of the same political and social system I live in. I live on another continent. There I was identified for the first time, and with great surprise on my behalf, as a European. I was included in a macro-system which I never thought I belonged to which is seen from the outside as consistent and well defined, not diverse.
I arrived shortly after reading Monolingualism of the Other by Jacques Derrida, so I was interested in language as a threshold, as a thin line which can despotically divide who is part of a community from who isn’t, who has the appropriate vocabulary and accent to talk about certain themes from who hasn’t. This is why, through my research, I tried to explore language as a sort of utopia, where the speaker can’t use their native language to communicate with the “other” and so invents their own language. This language doesn’t give an agreed sound a certain meaning, but it reinvents it, it experiments with it and it makes it personal.

S.M. The project carried out in Midi-Pyrénées, and in general all of your research, has an immediate connection with the context you are working in. To quote the French critic Paul Ardenne, we could call your work ‘contextual art’. How did the three different contexts you stayed in influenced your work? How did you respond to these contexts (Saint Cirq-Lapopie: medieval town and tourist attraction/Saint Gaudens: industrial town at the feet of the Pyrenees/Toulouse: a dynamic regional capital with an industrial heritage and strong student life)?
N.F. During this period, I organised my work around practice-based research. Starting from the ideas we were talking about before (the foreigner, language, threshold, utopia/dystopia of an invented language), I tried to create work in relation to the context, the people and the territory. In Saint-Cirq Lapopie I had the opportunity to collaborate with a choir. We drew inspiration from a quote of Aristotle’s Politics1 to develop a series of actions imagining a way to map out the space we lived in intangibly. In Saint-Gaudens, thanks to another accidental encounter, I worked on a video in which I explored the forms of verbal communication invented by man to establish a relationship with animals. I recorded a lot of material about these entirely personal ways to create a new language, which are sometimes successful and sometimes not. I hope I will continue this project in Italy and Mexico. Lastly, in Toulouse I tried to come to a conclusion on language. I actually left the city and started working with an artisan workshop which has been making cowbells since the 17th century. I started planning the installation for the final exhibition with them.

S.M. What do you believe your role as an artist to be in contextual art? Are you a catalyst? A researcher?
N.F. I often quote an essay by Walter Benjamin on this point, which largely influenced my work. Benjamin recognises two types of people who in the past could be considered ‘storytellers’. On one side there is the sedentary and home-based peasant, who lives in the same place as his ancestors for all of his life and thus reaches the deepest level of knowledge of time. On the other side there is the itinerant and travelling merchant, who having travelled far and wide is fully aware of space. I’ve always been interested in how understanding distance, either in time or space, can be linked to the ability of telling the truth, but also – as Benjamin adds – of finding a breakthrough towards what is ‘wonderful’, allowed by the public to the storyteller. This is what I aim to do in my artistic practice: to tell the truth so I can then allow myself to offer a wonderful abstraction from truth itself.

S.M. You often approach work through collaboration between different people. You saw the context in Midi-Pyrénées mainly as a human one. How did you establish a relationship with the locals?
N.F. In fact I always try to lay as foundation of my work the process of listening, storytelling and creating a deep connection with the local context. To use an anthropological metaphor, field work is often defined by informers, who then actually lead the following processes.

S.M. One of Piano – alto!’s distinctive traits is that it’s a research residency. Even though there various ways to elaborate and return work to the public were planned for the following months, the main aim of these weeks was to immerse yourself in a different context and stimulate your reflection. Was this the first time you took part in a research residency? What was it like?
N.F. Actually, I had been in residence at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa. There I had started researching from a more theoretical point of view distance and storytelling. This first step led all of my recent research and practice, from the Monte Grappa project in Mexico to the Salgari Method. When I arrived at Piano – alto!, I had the intention to explore the area, look for paths to follow, experiment with new techniques, read and observe to come back with a baggage of new material to transform.

S.M. A residency is also a life experience. What does living in a place for a limited period of time mean to you? What were your expectations when you got to Midi-Pyrénées and what do you go back to Italy with?
N.F. An opportunity to take a break, a deep breath, do something else. I left to explore a territory I didn’t know, to understand something, however small. I come back with plenty of material, encounters, conversations, landscapes. And some doubts, which to me are a good way to come close to knowledge.

1 “(…) To the size of states there is a limit, as there is to other things, plants, animals, implements; for none of these retain their natural power when they are too large or too small, but they either wholly lose their nature, or are spoiled. For example, a ship which is only a span long will not be a ship at all, nor a ship a quarter of a mile long; yet there may be a ship of a certain size, either too large or too small, which will still be a ship, but bad for sailing. In like manner a state when composed of too few is not, as a state ought to be, self-sufficing; when of too many, though self-sufficing in all mere necessaries, as a nation may be, it is not a state, being almost incapable of constitutional government. For who can be the general of such a vast multitude, or who the herald, unless he have the voice of a Stentor? A state, then, only begins to exist when it has attained a population sufficient for a good life in the political community: it may indeed, if it somewhat exceed this number, be a greater state. But, as I was saying, there must be a limit. What should be the limit will be easily ascertained by experience. For both governors and governed have duties to perform; the special functions of a governor to command and to judge. But if the citizens of a state are to judge and to distribute offices according to merit, then they must know each other’s characters; where they do not possess this knowledge, both the election to offices and the decision of lawsuits will go wrong. When the population is very large they are manifestly settled at haphazard, which clearly ought not to be. Besides, in an over-populous state foreigners and metics will readily acquire the rights of citizens, for who will find them out? Clearly then the best limit of the population of a state is the largest number which suffices for the purposes of life, and can be taken in at a single view. Enough concerning the size of a state.” Aristotle, Politics, Book Seven, translated by Benjamin Jowett.

November 2014
Translation: thanks to Marta Sanders

NINA FIOCCO, L’INTIMA ESSENZA DEL TERRITORIO

Nina Fiocco è stata accolta in residenza alle Maisons Daura a Saint-Cirq Lapopie, alla Chapelle Saint-Jacques a Saint-Gaudens et al BBB centre d’art a Tolosa tra settembre e novembre 2014.
Nina Fiocco si insinua nei meandri della realtà comune e ne svela gli aspetti più reconditi e significativi. Come una ricercatrice sul terreno, interroga la dimensione locale del contesto per aprirla a una prospettiva universale.

A cura di Stefania Meazza

Stefania Meazza Qual è il progetto che hai sviluppato durante le residenze Piano – alto!?
Nina Fiocco Venire in Francia era per me una maniera di avvicinarmi a casa, anche se, in effetti, a casa non ero. Piuttosto mi trovavo in bilico, in un paese cui non appartengo, ma che fa comunque parte di un sistema politico-sociale del quale faccio parte anch’io. Vivendo in un altro continente, sono stata definita, per la prima volta e con grande sorpresa, europea. Sono stata inclusa in un macrosistema che non avevo mai pensato come mio e che è d’altra parte assolutamente contrario alla diversità, poiché appare dall’esterno coeso e ben definito. Al mio arrivo, dopo la recente lettura de Il monolinguismo degli altri di Jacques Derrida, ero interessata ad avvicinarmi all’idea di lingua come soglia, come una membrana che può dispoticamente scegliere tra chi è dentro e chi è fuori da una comunità, tra chi possiede strumenti lessicali e cadenza adeguati a parlare di certi temi e chi no. Per questa ragione con la mia ricerca ho cercato di investigare una dimensione in un certo senso utopica del linguaggio, in cui un soggetto, che non può valersi della propria lingua madre per entrare in contatto con “l’altro”, inventa un linguaggio proprio, che esclude un senso dato a un suono prestabilito, bensì lo reinventa, lo sperimenta, lo personalizza.

S.M. Il progetto svolto in Midi-Pyrénées, e in generale la tua ricerca, è in assonanza diretta con il contesto. Usando un’espressione coniata dal critico francese Paul Ardenne, si potrebbe definire una forma d’arte “contestuale”. Che ruolo hanno svolto i tre tipi di contesti incontrati durante la tua residenza (Saint-Cirq Lapopie: villaggio medievale destinazione turistica/Saint-Gaudens: cittadina industriale ai piedi dei Pirenei/Tolosa: capoluogo di regione, città dinamica, dall’identità industriale e studentesca)? Come hai reagito a questi contesti?
N.F. Il lavoro di questo periodo si è organizzato intorno a ricerche in practice: in base alle idee di cui abbiamo parlato prima (lo straniero, la lingua, la soglia, l’utopia/distopia di una lingua inventata) ho cercato di lavorare contestualmente agli incontri e al territorio. A Saint- Cirq-Lapopie ho avuto modo di collaborare con un coro e, insieme, partendo da una citazione sulla città ideale tratta dalla Politica di Aristotele1, abbiamo lavorato a una serie di azioni, immaginando una maniera di mappare immaterialmente gli spazi. A Saint-Gaudens, sempre a causa di un incontro fortuito, ho lavorato a un video indagando quelle forme verbali di comunicazione inventate dall’uomo per stabilire un contatto con l’animale. Ho registrato una lunga documentazione video di queste maniere del tutto personali di elaborare un linguaggio nuovo, talvolta riuscite talvolta fallimentari. L’idea è quella di proseguire questo lavoro anche tra in Italia e in Messico. Tolosa, infine, è stato il luogo in cui ho cercato di elaborare e di trovare una forma di conclusione sul linguaggio: in realtà, allontanandomi dalla città, sono entrata in contatto con un laboratorio artigianale di campane per animali in attività dal XVII secolo, con cui ho iniziato a progettare l’installazione per la mostra di restituzione finale.

S.M. Come concepisci il tuo ruolo nel processo di creazione contestuale? L’artista come catalizzatore? Come ricercatore?
N.F. In uno dei suoi saggi, che cito spesso perché ha influenzato fortemente il mio lavoro, Walter Benjamin distingue tra due tipologie di persone che in passato si potevano considerare “narratori”. Da una parte si trova il contadino sedentario che, vivendo in un luogo per tutta la sua vita come i suoi antenati, raggiunge la massima profondità temporale di conoscenza; dall’altro vi è il mercante viaggiatore che, avendo lungamente percorso il globo, possiede la piena consapevolezza di uno spazio. Mi è sempre interessato come alla conoscenza di una distanza, spaziale o temporale che sia, si possa associare la capacità non solo di raccontare la verità ma anche, come aggiunge Benjamin, di trovare un’evasione (che il pubblico complice concede al narratore) verso il “meraviglioso”. Nella mia pratica ambisco a questo, a raccontare la realtà per concedermi il lusso di proporre un’astrazione fantastica della stessa.

S.M. Il tuo modo di concepire un lavoro si basa spesso su modalità di collaborazione tra persone diverse. Anche in Midi-Pyrénées, il contesto è stato inteso come realtà eminentemente umana. Come hai impostato in questo caso il rapporto con i tuoi interlocutori?
N.F. Effettivamente alla base del mio lavoro cerco sempre di partire dall’ascolto, dalla narrazione, da un incontro intimo con una realtà locale. Se mi permetti una metafora con l’antropologia, il lavoro di campo è spesso determinato dagli informatori che sono, in realtà, coloro che orientano i processi a seguire.

S.M. La particolarità di Piano – alto! è, tra le altre, di essere una residenza di ricerca. Nonostante diverse forme di restituzione previste per i mesi a venire, lo scopo di queste settimane di residenza non era di produrre un lavoro, ma di immergersi in una realtà altra e nutrire la tua riflessione. È la prima volta che ti trovi a partecipare a una residenza di ricerca? Come hai affrontato questa esperienza?
N.F. In realtà anche in precedenza ero stata in residenza alla Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, dove avevo cominciato un percorso di ricerca più che altro teorico, legato alla distanza e alla narrazione, che ha condotto poi tutta la mia ricerca e pratica più recente: dal progetto Monte Grappa in Messico alla costituzione del Metodo Salgari. Sono quindi arrivata alla residenza Piano – alto! con l’idea d’esplorare un luogo e di cercare piste da seguire, sperimentare nuove tecniche, leggere e osservare con l’idea di tornare con un serbatoio rinnovato di materiale da trasformare.

S.M. Una residenza è anche un’esperienza di vita. Che cosa significa per te risiedere in un luogo durante un periodo di tempo limitato? Quali erano le tue attese arrivando in Midi-Pyrénées e con quale bagaglio riparti in Italia?
N.F. Una pausa, un respiro, un’opportunità per fare altro. Partivo con l’idea di esplorare un territorio che non conoscevo, di capire anche qualcosa di piccolo da quest’esperienza. Torno con molto materiale, tanti incontri, conversazioni e paesaggi. E pure qualche dubbio che è per me una bella maniera di avvicinarsi a sapere.

1 “(…) Ma c’è senza dubbio una misura di grandezza anche per lo stato, come per ogni altra cosa, animali, piante, strumenti: ognuno di questi, se troppo piccolo o troppo eccedente in grandezza, non conserverà la propria capacità, ma talvolta rimarrà assolutamente privo della propria natura, talvolta si troverà in cattive condizioni: ad esempio un’imbarcazione di una spanna non sarà affatto imbarcazione, e neppure una di due stadi, che, raggiunta una determinata dimensione, talvolta per la piccolezza, talvolta per la dismisura, pregiudicherà la navigazione. Ugualmente uno stato, quando ha troppo pochi abitanti, non è autosufficiente (e lo stato è qualcosa di autosufficiente), quando ne ha troppi, sarà autosufficiente nelle esigenze indispensabili, come una nazione, ma non sarà uno stato, perché non è facile che abbia una costituzione: chi sarà, infatti, lo stratego di una massa di gente troppo smisurata? o chi l’araldo se non ha la voce di Stentore? Quindi condizione indispensabile per l’esistenza dello stato è che abbia un numero tale di abitanti che sia il minimo indispensabile in vista dell’autosufficienza per un’esistenza agiata in conformità alle esigenze d’una comunità civile. È possibile, certo, che uno stato superiore a questo per massa di abitanti sia più grande, ma tale possibilità d’incremento, come s’è già detto, non è illimitata: quale poi sia il limite dell’incremento, si vede facilmente dall’esame dei fatti. Le attività dello stato sono talune di chi comanda, altre di chi è comandato: è funzione di chi comanda impartire ordini e giudicare i processi: ma per decidere questioni di giustizia e per distribuire le cariche secondo il merito, è necessario che i cittadini si conoscano a vicenda nelle loro qualità, poiché, ove ciò non si avvera, di necessità le faccende riguardanti le cariche e le sentenze giudiziarie vanno male, e né nell’una né nell’altra è giusto affidarsi all’improvvisazione, come invece apertamente si pratica dove c’è troppa popolazione. Inoltre stranieri e meteci potranno più facilmente partecipare ai diritti della cittadinanza giacché, dato l’eccessivo numero della popolazione, non è difficile passare inosservati. È chiaro, quindi, che il limite migliore della popolazione d’uno stato è il seguente: deve avere l’incremento massimo al fine di vivere una vita autosufficiente e deve essere facilmente abbracciata in un unico sguardo. Siano, dunque, queste le precisazioni per quanto riguarda la grandezza dello stato”. Aristotele, Politica, libro primo.

novembre 2014

Image:
Nina Fiocco, Sans titre, Saint-Gaudens, 2014. © Nina Fiocco

Project: Piano – alto!
Protagonists: Nina Fiocco, Stefania Meazza
Spaces: Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou CAC, CAC Chapelle St Jacques, BBB centre d’art

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Mandla Reuter

SONY DSC

Mandla Reuter, The Agreement, Vienna 2011

Born 1975, Nqutu, South Africa
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Basel, Switzerland

Image:
Mandla Reuter, The Agreement, Vienna 2011, Installation view Galerie Mezzanin, 2011. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Mezzanin. Photo: Karl Kühn

Project: The Registry of Promise

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LAWRENCE WEINER

Born 1942, New York, NY, USA
Lives and works in New York, NY, USA

Lawrence Weiner was a key figure in the advent of conceptual art in America in the 1960s. Like other exponents of the genre, he explored and challenged traditional ideas of art, attempting to dematerialize works of art. His main medium is language: using words and the multiple materials they reference, Weiner creates open, immaterial sculptures. His works come in different forms: as written language, discourse, or physical manifestations of what is described linguistically. In 2006 Weiner created 150 copies of a work entitled Das Tor ist eng Bozen / Stretta è la porta Bolzano (The door is narrow) for Museion. The piece consisted of a fabric label to attach to clothes-wearable art. The label bears a quote in Italian and German from the Gospel According to Matthew, while the colors used (red and white) recall both the Italian flag and the South Tyrol coat of arms. This limited-edition work once again shows the close bond between materials and words that characterizes the artist’s modus operandi: the message, with its reference to the narrow gate, evokes both a physical and/or geographical passageway and a metaphorical path that, despite its difficulties, can lead the way to a better existence.

Nato a New York, NY, USA, nel 1942
Vive e lavora a New York, NY, USA

Lawrence Weiner è una figura chiave nella nascita dell’arte concettuale, negli Stati Uniti degli anni ’60. Al pari di altri esponenti di quella corrente, ha indagato e sfidato la nozione tradizionale di arte, tendendo alla smaterializzazione dell’opera. Il mezzo espressivo principale dell’artista è il linguaggio. Servendosi delle parole, e di molteplici materiali a cui esse rimandano, Weiner crea per esempio sculture aperte e immateriali. I suoi lavori si presentano in diverse forme: come lingua scritta o manifestazione fisica del contenuto descritto linguisticamente. Nel 2006, Weiner realizza per Museion un’opera in centocinquanta esemplari intitolata Das Tor ist eng Bozen / Stretta è la porta Bolzano.
Si tratta di un’etichetta di stoffa da applicare all’interno dei vestiti, dunque è un’opera da indossare. La scritta sul tessuto è la citazione, in italiano e tedesco, di un versetto del Vangelo di Matteo, mentre i colori utilizzati (bianco e rosso) richiamano sia la bandiera italiana sia lo stemma altoatesino. Anche questo lavoro in edizione limitata dimostra la stretta connessione tra materiale e vocaboli, caratteristica della produzione dell’artista: l’opera, infatti, evoca un passaggio da attraversare, sia fisico e/o geo- grafico sia metaforico, ovvero la volontà di percorrere un cammino che, malgrado le difficoltà, può forse portare a una condizione migliore.

Project: Soleil politique

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DIANE BLONDEAU

Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

Born 1987, Nice, France
Lives and works in Nice and Dijon, France
I started by studying Art-History in university in Paris where I gained a BA. I started Art school in Villa Arson, Nice where I graduated in 2012 with the congratulations of the jury.
I actually work and live between Nice and Dijon.
My work starts around the interest I have for the “plasticity of sound”. Through sound’s plasticity, I combine in my work several media: installation, sculpture, photography. Most of my projects start out from the acoustic features of the space I will explore, especially where the exhibition space reveals its own sound signature. I try to redefine some modes of perception through all the factors related to listening. The space is the main element of my visual and sound research, that’s why most of my installations are in situ. By creating “sound images”, I play with the elements that make up the space by amplifying what surrounds us or on the contrary, I completely hide them. I create atmospheres in tension, neurotic places, autarchic places, single machines, areas of memory or danger. The electric cable and its flow of electricity follows the viewer throughout his progress. I create “effects” by manipulating some unstable elements like sound, electricity and psycho-acoustic phenomena.
Picking in the various fields of physics, chemistry and technology, a diversion takes place by twisting or transformation. There is an experience of these invisible forces which redefine the position of the body and its unconscious.

Project: From & To

 

Nata nel 1987 a Nizza, dopo una laurea in storia dell’arte e archeologia, prosegue gli studi alla Villa Arson, dove ottiene il diploma DNSEP nel 2012. Vive e lavora tra Nizza e Digione. Attraverso la plasticità del suono, che unisce diversi mezzi espressivi (istallazioni, sculture, fotografie), l’artista interroga nella maggior parte dei suoi progetti il carattere acustico di uno spazio. Più particolarmente, si interessa al punto in cui un luogo espositivo rivela il proprio marchio sonoro. Diane Blondeau tenta di ridefinire modalità di percezione attraverso tutti i fattori legati all’ascolto.

 

Née en 1987 à Nice. Après une licence d’histoire de l’art et archéologie, elle poursuit ses études à la Villa Arson, ou elle obtient son DNSEP en 2012. Vit et travaille entre Nice et Dijon. A travers une plasticité du son, alliant différents médiums (installations, sculptures, photographies) et dans la majeure partie de ses projets, elle questionne le caractère acoustique qu’offre un espace. Plus particulièrement là ou un lieu d’exposition révèle sa propre signature sonore. Elle cherche à redéfinir des modes de perception par tous les facteurs qui sont liés à l’écoute.

Image:
Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

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GUILLAUME MANSART IN CONVERSATION WITH DIANE BLONDEAU, VIVIEN ROUBAUD AND THOMAS TEURLAI

GUILLAUME MANSART IN CONVERSATION WITH DIANE BLONDEAU, VIVIEN ROUBAUD AND THOMAS TEURLAI

A Dystopian Sculpture

Guillaume Mansart It’s the first time you’ve worked together. Here you’re offering a joint production. In what sense was this collective dynamic important?
Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud and Thomas Teurlai The From & To project was based on the idea of a collaborative exchange between young French and Italian artists. The three of us already knew each other. We got along well and lived in more or less the same area. Each of us having been separately involved in several collaborations, we were aware that this presented an advantage in terms of energy, labour power and letting go.

G.M. Beyond the spirit of intellectual competition, one senses that this collective logic is also efficient when it comes to production.  At the work-creation stage, a distinctive organisational logic can already be discerned…
D.B, V.R., T.T. This is something that creeps into our practices and into those of quite a few artists of our generation. Primarily out of pure pragmatism: how can something be created with few resources? By inventing our tools, by making do with whatever we have at our disposal. When it’s finished, the work might appear to “take a stand against traditional principles”, but more than anything else this is because we have no choice! It’s a flaw that becomes a quality. 

G.M. What is the meaning of the title Jambe de botte?
D.B, V.R., T.T. It’s the literal translation of “bootleg”, an English term that designates pirate recordings of concerts or studio albums. The term also designates the art of “turntablism”, which consists in constructing a single piece of music out of several others. Jambe de botte served as a shapeless title, like melted plastic.

G.M. For the creation of this piece, you tested several types of material, ultimately choosing plastic from melted garden chairs. There’s a certain irony in the fact that plastic chairs are turned into a kind of “missile sculpture”. Why did this material stand out?
D.B, V.R., T.T. This brings us back to production circuits and pragmatism. How a combination of gestures can produce an image. We very empirically tested hundreds of combinations. Then we took a deckchair, burned it with a flamethrower, and the result was perfect. We work on the French Riviera, where the dumps are full of this kind of furniture. We were conscious of reflecting the dystopian faults of this strange place that, when you remove the glamour of the sun and palm trees, smells of cheap suntan lotion, melted poodles and social violence.

G.M. How were the forms of the different sculptures created?
D.B, V.R., T.T. We aligned casts found in an abandoned train parts foundry, in such a way that we were able to create cylinders that could be spun like record players. We poured the plastic and suddenly we had Scud missiles.

G.M. Could you explain the “archaeo-acoustic” notion behind your project?
D.B, V.R., T.T. It’s a fairly vague discipline situated between acoustics, archaeology and charlatanism, and its aim is to find pre-Edison sound recordings through sound imprints accidentally recorded on different types of object. Since sound is a vibration, in principle it can be inscribed on the media it comes into contact with.

G.M. The forms of the various sculptures evoke something of a warlike world. Added to these forms is a sound that gives the space a stressful atmosphere. How is this sound produced?
D.B, V.R., T.T. From the outset we planned to create forms that could be “played” in the space. Then everything developed very spontaneously. The day before the exhibition opened, we had to make up our minds to bring the sculptures into the exhibition venue. Once they were set up, we took a playback head and placed it on one of the rotating Scuds and it was Fallujah in the centre dart. The perfect tautology.

G.M. Although object and device diversion and DIY are found in your respective works, I get the impression that the question of sculpture is fairly new. In fact, in your piece one finds “historical” questions liked to sculpture: materiology, volume, casting techniques, a plinth…  Does Jambe de botte enable you to tackle new fields of investigation?
D.B, V.R., T.T. We considered simple questions that are not at all historical. A plinth is practical. It keeps the work at a distance and prevents a Scud from falling on someone. Plastic is more solid than margarine, etc.  Above all, this project confirmed that in the middle of personal practices and trajectories, it’s essential to regularly make time for collective periods and keep making use of resourcefulness.

March 2015

Protagonists: Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud, Thomas Teurlai
Project: From & To

Une sculpture dystopique

Guillaume Mansart C’est la première fois que vous travailliez ensemble. Ici, vous faites une proposition de production partagée. En quoi cette dynamique collective a-t-elle été importante ?
Diane Blondeau, Vivien Roubaud et Thomas Teurlai L’idée à la base du projet From & To, c’était un échange collaboratif entre des jeunes artistes français et italiens. Tous les trois, nous nous connaissions déjà, nous nous entendions bien et nous vivions plus ou moins au même endroit. Après plusieurs collaborations chacun de notre coté, nous étions conscients de l’intérêt que cela représentait en matière d’énergies, de force de travail et de lâcher prise.

G.M. Au-delà de l’émulation intellectuelle, on sent que cette logique collective trouve aussi une efficience dans la question de la production. Dans l’étape de réalisation de l’œuvre on peut déjà lire une logique d’organisation propre…
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est quelque chose qui traine dans nos pratiques comme dans celles de pas mal d’artistes de notre génération. D’abord par pur pragmatisme : comment réalise-t-on quelque chose avec peu de moyen ? En inventant nos outils, en faisant avec ce que l’on a sous la main. À l’arrivée, peut-être que le travail semble « s’affirmer contre les logiques traditionnelles », mais c’est plus par défaut qu’autre chose ! C’est un défaut qui devient une qualité. 

G.M. Que signifie le titre Jambe de botte ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est la traduction littérale de « bootleg », un terme anglais qui désigne les enregistrements pirates de concerts ou de studio. Le terme désigne aussi l’art du « turntablisme » qui consiste à construire un seul morceau de musique à partir de plusieurs. Jambe de botte faisait un titre informe, comme du plastique fondu.

G.M. Pour la réalisation de cette pièce, vous avez testé plusieurs types de matériaux, pour au final vous arrêter sur du plastique provenant de chaises de jardin fondues. Il y a une forme d’ironie dans le fait de transformer des chaises en plastique en sorte « sculpture missile ». Pourquoi ce matériau s’est-il imposé ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. On en revient aux circuits de productions et au pragmatisme. Comment une combinaison de gestes simples peut « faire image ». Nous avons testé de manière très empirique des centaines de combinaisons. Puis nous avons pris un transat, nous l’avons brûlé au lance-flammes, et le résultat était parfait. Nous travaillions sur la Côte d’Azur, les décharges sont pleines de ce type de mobilier. Nous avions conscience de renvoyer les travers dystopiques de cet étrange endroit qui, dégagé du côté glamour du soleil et des palmiers, sent la crème solaire bon marché, le caniche fondu et la violence sociale.

G.M. Comment les formes des différentes sculptures ont-elles été créées ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. Nous avons aligné des moules trouvés dans une fonderie de pièces de trains abandonnées, de manière à pouvoir créer des cylindres que l’on pourrait faire tourner comme des phonographes. Nous avons coulé le plastique et d’un coup nous avions des missiles Scud.

G.M. Pourriez vous expliciter la notion d’ « archéo-acoustique » qui est à l’origine de votre projet ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. C’est une discipline assez obscure qui se situe entre l’acoustique, l’archéologie et le charlatanisme, et qui entend retrouver des enregistrements sonores pré-Edison à travers des empreintes sonores qui auraient été enregistrées accidentellement sur différents types d’objets. Puisque le son est une vibration, il peut censément s’inscrire sur les supports avec lesquels il entre en contact.

G.M. Les formes des différentes sculptures évoquent un univers plutôt guerrier, à ces formes s’ajoute un son qui installe dans l’espace d’exposition une atmosphère anxiogène. Comment se son est-il produit ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. Dès le début nous envisagions de créer des formes que l’on pourrait « jouer » dans l’espace. Ensuite, tout s’est enchainé de manière très spontanée. Nous avons dû nous résoudre, la veille du vernissage, à amener les sculptures dans le lieu d’exposition. Une fois qu’elles étaient installées, nous avons pris une tête de lecture que nous avons posé sur un des SCUD rotatifs et c’était Fallujah dans le centre d’art. Tautologique à souhait.

G.M. Si le détournement d’objets ou de dispositifs et le DIY sont présents dans vos travaux respectifs, j’ai l’impression que la question de la sculpture est assez nouvelle. En effet, on retrouve dans votre pièce des questions « historiques » liées à sculpture : matériologie, volume, techniques de moulage, socle, … Jambe de botte vous permet-elle d’engager de nouveaux champs d’investigation ?
D.B, V.R., T.T. On s’est posé des questions simples qui ne sont en rien historiques. Un socle c’est pratique, ça tient à distance et ça évite qu’un SCUD tombe sur quelqu’un. Le plastique c’est plus solide que la margarine, etc. Ce projet nous a surtout confirmé qu’il était indispensable au sein de pratiques et de trajectoires personnelles d’aménager régulièrement ces temps collectifs et de continuer à jouer de débrouille.

Mars 2015

Image:
1. Diane Blondeau / Vivien Roubaud / Thomas Teurlai, Jambes de bottes, 2014, mixed media. Photo: Villa Arson / Jean Brasille

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LOIS WEINBERGER

Born 1947, Stams, Austria
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria

Lois Weinberger is a key figure in the debate on the relationship between art and nature: for thirty years he has explored and used gardening as a tool to reconcile the natural environment and human intervention. Known above all for his environmental projects, which follow the dynamics of the spontaneous expansion of the plant world in marginal, abandoned urban areas, Weinberger has for some time been engaged in projects with a strong social and political component. He draws inspiration from uncultivated land and plants that flourish there naturally to create notes, drawings, photographs, objects, texts, films, and public art projects. As the artist states, gardens are a manifestation of a “voluntary withdrawal,” being a defined area in which relationships arise spontaneously between the elements present. Garden is a project he began working on in 1994. It consists of a plastic container with a simple irrigation system in which wild plant species like elder and moss spontaneously take root. This naturally occurring phenomenon (which generates both food and a “green aesthetic”) contrasts with the practices of our industrialized, consumerist society. In 2011, together with the Bressanone architects Gerd Bergmeister and Michaela Wolf, Weinberger entered the competition run by the Bolzano Provincial Administration to mitigate the frieze on the building that was once the Fascist Casa Littoria and currently hosts the internal revenue offices. The proposal submitted by the artist features a small forest, something like a theater set, which is left to grow naturally and alters our perception of the frieze and its image of Mussolini.

Nato a Stams, Austria, nel 1947
Vive e lavora a Vienna, Austria

Lois Weinberger riveste un ruolo fondamentale nel dibattito sul rapporto tra arte e natura: per trent’anni, infatti, l’artista ha indagato il tema del giardinaggio come strumento che rende possibile riconciliare ambiente naturale e intervento umano. Conosciuto soprattutto per i suoi progetti ambientali, che seguono le dinamiche di espansione spontanea del mondo vegetale in aree marginali e dismesse del tessuto urbano, da tempo Weinberger è impegnato in interventi dal forte contenuto sociale e politico. La terra incolta e le piante che crescono spontaneamente diventano lo spunto per creare appunti, disegni, foto, oggetti, testi, film e interventi di arte pubblica. Come afferma l’artista, il giardino è espressione di una “rinuncia volontaria”, essendo un’area delimitata, nella quale nascono delle relazioni spontanee tra gli elementi presenti. Garden è un progetto iniziato nel 1994. Consiste in un contenitore di plastica, dotato di un semplice sistema di innaffiamento, nel quale germogliano in maniera del tutto spontanea piante selvatiche come il sambuco o il muschio. Si tratta di un atto di produzione spontanea (sia di cibo, sia di una “estetica verde”), che si contrappone alle pratiche di una società industrializzata e consumistica. Nel 2011, insieme agli architetti di Bressanone Gerd Bergmeister e Michaela Wolf, Weinberger partecipa al concorso, indetto dalla Provincia autonoma di Bolzano, per il depotenziamento del fregio del palazzo che ospita attualmente gli uffici finanziari della città, ex Casa Littoria. Nella proposta dell’artista un piccolo bosco, simile a una scenografia, cresce spontaneamente, modificando la percezione del fregio e dell’effige del Duce.

Project: Soleil politique

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Félix González-Torres

Born 1957, Guáimaro, Cuba
† 1996, Miami, FL, USA

In his brief career, the American artist Félix González-Torres, born in Cuba, found a new and engaging way to forge a rapport between art and life, public and private, creator and spectator. Using anonymous objects and actions that reference minimalist art, the artist shows how these can become charged with emotions and experiences. Gonzalez-Torres’s work revolves around commemorating events, exploring the enduring nature of memory, and materializing the intangible, and he tackles these themes using a distinctive form of expression: inscriptions.
His Portraits are one example, commissioned works that draw on the collaboration between artist and client. The sitter describes formative events in his or her life that the artist notes down, using them as the basis for a frieze recording personal memories and historic events. The portraits’ function is similar to that of a commemorative monument: they unite an individual and his or her era.
The artist also created portraits of institutions, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Cincinnati Art Museum. The latter, presented in the exhibition, consists of a list of dates and events pertaining to the history of the American museum, alternating with historic events. These inscriptions are positioned around the edge of the exhibition space where the walls meet the ceiling, without a clear indication of where the list starts or ends. Each visitor is therefore free to decide where to start reading. The font and color are chosen by the artist, while the client and the exhibitor are free to add or remove dates at will, effectively revising the history or “portrait.”

Nato a Guáimaro, Cuba, nel 1957
† 1996, Miami, FL, USA

Nella sua breve carriera, l’artista americano Félix González-Torres, nato a Cuba, ha trovato un modo nuovo e affascinante di impostare il rapporto fra arte e vita, pubblico e privato, creatore e spettatore. Attraverso oggetti o azioni anonime, che rimandano alla tradizione minimalista, l’artista mostra quanto quegli stessi possano caricarsi di emozioni e di esperienze individuali. Gonzalez-Torres pone al centro del suo lavoro la commemorazione degli eventi, la perennità del ricordo, la materializzazione dell’impalpabile, e affronta questi temi servendosi di una particolare forma espressiva: l’iscrizione.
I Portraits (“ritratti”) ne sono un esempio. Si tratta di opere su commissione, basate sulla collaborazione tra l’artista e il committente. Quest’ultimo racconta una serie di avvenimenti formativi della sua vita, che l’artista trascrive. Dalle informazioni così raccolte, Gonzalez-Torres crea dei fregi, in cui si succedono ricordi personali ed eventi storici. I fregi svolgono la funzione essenziale del monumento commemorativo: congiungono in un’unica forma l’individuo e la sua epoca.
L’artista realizza anche ritratti di istituzioni, come quello del Museum of Contemporary art di Los Angeles, o del Cincinnati Art Museum. Quest’ultimo, presente in mostra, consiste in una lista di date ed eventi relativi alla storia del museo americano, intervallati da fatti storici. Tali iscrizioni sono collocate lungo il perimetro della sala espositiva, a poca distanza dal soffitto, senza che siano indicati chiaramente l’inizio o la fine della lista. Ogni visitatore, quindi, può decidere dove cominciare la lettura. Carattere e colore utilizzati sono stabiliti dall’artista. Il committente dell’opera e l’istituzione che la ospita, invece, sono liberi di togliere o aggiungere alcune date a sua discrezione, in modo da poter sempre rivedere la propria storia, ovvero il proprio “ritratto”.

Project: Soleil politique

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LORENZO BENEDETTI

Lorenzo_Benedetti

Lorenzo Benedetti (1972, Rome, Italy) lives and works in the Netherlands and Paris.
He will become the new director of de Appel arts centre, succeeding Ann Demeester. He has been director of De Vleeshal in Middelburg since 2008, and acquired national prominence as curator of the Netherlands Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. He will assume his new role at de Appel as of 1 June, 2014.
He studied art history at La Sapienza in Rome and attended the Curatorial Program at de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam. In 2005 he founded the Sound Art Museum in Rome, a space dedicated to sound in visual art. He has been the director of the art center Volume! in Rome and a curator at the Museum Marta Herford, in Herford, Germany. He was guest curator at La Kunsthalle in Mulhouse, France. He is tutor at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht and writes regularly for exhibition catalogues and art magazines.
At De Vleeshal he realized exhibitions with Nedko Solakov, Jimmie Durham, Yona Friedman and Jean-Baptiste Decavèle, Falke Pisano, Rossella Biscotti, Olaf Nicolai, Katinka Bock, Bojan Sarcevic, Marinus Boezem, Mandla Reuter, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Benoît Maire, Francesco Arena, Nina Beier and Marie Lund, Dove Allouche, Fernando Sanchez Castillo.
The exhibition series Autumn of Modernism, The Moon Has a Complicated Geography is a survey on the contemporary Dutch art scene. At La Kunsthalle in Mulhouse, France he curated the exhibitions La Notte, The Garden of the Forking Paths and Les sculptures meurent aussi. Cabinet of Imagination was a collaborative effort with Netwerk, Aalst, Belgium, as was The Third Tiger (with Rossella Biscotti, Mark Manders and Olaf Nicolai) with Camere, RAM, Rome.
Many publications he realized for De Vleeshal are published by Roma Publications, Amsterdam. For the magazine CURA. he writes the column Portraits in the Exhibition Space, including articles about Alexander Dorner, Lucy R. Lippard, Seth Siegelaub, Alfred H. Barr, Willem Sandberg, Arnold Bode and Pontus Hultén.

Project: The Registry of Promise
Space: De Vleeshal

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Rainer Oldendorf

Born 1961, Lüchow, Germany
Lives and works in Lörrach, Germany and Paris, France

From 1977 to 1983, Rainer Oldendorf participated in the “Free Cinema” in Lörrach, an alternative cinema that screens and produces experimental film. His interest in appropriation and use of cinema dates from this period. His practice includes film, video, photography, architecture, and light, and reflects on personal, historical, and political aspects of his own past, developed in the specific contexts in which he produces his work and in collaboration with the individuals involved in each project.
Marco is a picaresque film, made up of twelve episodes filmed and projected progressively in different countries since 1995 following a principle of continuity/discontinuity that takes into account the specificities and constraints of each invitation. The guiding thread throughout the film is the main character, Paul, who appears in each episode; the narrative framework follows a storyline and, at the same time, embraces the fragmentary nature of its production. Conceived as an open, fragmentary, and sitespecific work, the film has been shot in Düsseldorf, Lyon, Tel Aviv, New York, Paris, Bilbao, Kyoto, Lörrach, and Rio de Janeiro, in the language of each city. Soleil politique offers an opportunity for the artist to produce a new episode, Marco 13, Bozen/Bolzano, featuring the artist’s father in the main role. An extract of the episode is shown as part of an installation that also includes references to other works by the artist.

Nato a Lüchow, Germania, nel 1961
Vive e lavora a Lörrach, Germania, e Parigi, Francia

Tra il 1977 e il 1983, Rainer Oldendorf ha collaborato con il “Free Cinema” di Lörrach, uno spazio riservato alla produzione e diffusione di film sperimentali. In questo periodo l’artista si è dedicato allo studio dei processi di appropriazione del cinema e degli altri media. Nel suo lavoro si serve di film, video, dell’architettura e della luce, per proporre una riflessione sugli aspetti personali, storici e politici del proprio percorso, riflessione che viene sviluppata nel contesto specifico dei luoghi in cui le opere sono prodotte, e in relazione alle persone implicate nei progetti. Marco è un film picaresco suddiviso in dodici episodi, realizzati e proiettati a partire dal 1995, tappa dopo tappa, in diversi Paesi, secondo un principio di continuità/discontinuità che subisce le specificità e i vincoli degli inviti successivi. Il filo conduttore è il personaggio principale, di nome Paul, che compare in ogni capitolo. La trama segue una storia che ingloba il carattere frammentario della sua produzione. Costruito come un’opera aperta, smembrata, in situ, è stato girato tra Düsseldorf, Lione, Tel Aviv, New York, Parigi, Bilbao, Kyoto, Barcellona, Lörrach e Rio de Janeiro, nella varie lingue parlate in ogni città. La mostra Soleil politique è l’occasione per filmare a Bolzano una nuova parte del film, intitolata Marco 13, Bozen/ Bolzano, con il padre dell’artista nel ruolo principale. Un estratto della sequenza integrerà un’installazione, che raccoglie dei riferimenti a diversi altri lavori dell’artista.

Né à Lüchow, Allemagne, en 1961
Vit et travaille à Lörrach, Allemagne, et Paris, France

Rainer Oldendorf était impliqué entre 1977 et 1983 dans le « Free Cinema » de Lörrach, un lieu de diffusion et de production de cinéma expérimental. De cette période date son engagement dans des processus d’appropriation de films et de médias. Il utilise dans son travail l’image en mouvement, l’architecture et la lumière, afin de proposer une réflexion sur les aspects personnels, historiques et politiques de son propre parcours, développée dans le contexte spécifique des lieux où les œuvres sont produites et en lien avec les personnes impliquées dans ses projets.
Marco est un film picaresque, segmenté en douze épisodes réalisés et projetés étape par étape dans différents pays depuis 1995, selon un principe de continuité/discontinuité qui subit les spécificités et les contraintes des invitations successives. Le fil conducteur est le personnage principal, Paul, qui apparaît dans chacune des parties ; la trame narrative suit une histoire tout en englobant le caractère fragmentaire de sa production. Construit comme une œuvre ouverte, disloquée, in-situ, il a été tourné à Düsseldorf, Lyon, Tel Aviv, New York, Paris, Bilbao, Kyoto, Barcelone, Lörrach et Rio de Janeiro, dans la langue propre à chaque ville. L’exposition Soleil politique est l’occasion du tournage à Bolzano d’un nouveau volet du film, Marco 13, Bozen/Bolzano, avec le père de l’artiste dans le rôle principal. Un extrait de la séquence intègre une installation qui réunit des références à divers travaux.

Project: Soleil politique

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Christodoulos Panayiotou

Born 1978, Limassol, Cyprus
Lives and works in Paris, France, and Limassol, Cyprus

The Greek Cypriot Christodoulos Panayiotou’s artistic practice, both poetic in its origins and endowed with political and performative dimensions, often juxtaposes the approach of a choreographer with that of a sociologist or anthropologist. His proposals draw from symbols of popular culture (rituals, festivals, folk traditions, etc.), along with the romantic and foundational myths that underpin them, the relations of economic or cultural power at work in modern societies, and the history and complex construction of identity in Cyprus. The works—photographs, videos, and installations—often involve notions of absence or withdrawal, paradoxically treating the realm of the spectacle with anti-spectacular means. The representation of absence is explored in Le Fauteuil de Sarah Bernhardt (Sarah Bernhardt’s Armchair), an analog black-and-white photographic diptych. Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1923), one of the most influential French actresses of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, acquired an abandoned military fortress in Belle-Île, off the coast of Brittany. She would stay there from time to time and had an armchair carved into the side of a cliff in order to admire the ocean while reciting the lines of her plays. The image of the actress seated in her armchair surprised sailors entering the island’s port. The first of the two photographs depicts the view of the carved rock and the second, the view of the cliff itself. The work Untitled combines several pairs of male shoes placed on cardboard boxes. Panayiotou obtained the leather used to make the shoes from handbags belonging to women close to him. Autobiography served as a starting point for the work in the form of a leather jacket given to the artist by his mother and subsequently transformed into a series of shoes. Although the shoes were tailor-made to fit the artist, he will never wear them. The work, not unlike the process described in Brecht’s Messingkauf (Buying Brass) Dialogues, makes use of the material solely as a means of highlighting processes of self-representation, the construction of identity, and transformations and transitions of gender. In itself, the resulting object is a freeze frame, a vehicle, and a leftover of an intimate, performative act that remains imperceptible to the spectator.

 

Nato a Limassol, Cipro, nel 1978
Vive e lavora a Limassol, Cipro, e Parigi, Francia

La pratica dell’artista greco-cipriota Christodoulos Panayiotou, poetica e dotata di una dimensione politica e performativa, mette in evidenza un approccio da coreografo e da sociologo, o antropologo. I suoi riferimenti spaziano dai simboli della cultura popolare (riti, festival, tradizioni folcloriche), ai miti romantici e fondatori soggiacenti, al funzionamento dei rapporti di potere economico o culturale all’opera nelle società moderne, alla storia e alla complessa costruzione identitaria di Cipro. Le opere (fotografie, video, installazioni) mettono spesso in gioco le nozioni di assenza o di ripiegamento, trattando paradossalmente l’ambito spettacolare con mezzi antispettacolari.
La rappresentazione dell’assenza è affrontata in Le Fauteuil de Sarah Bernhardt (La poltrona di Sarah Bernhardt), un dittico di fotografie in bianco e nero su pellicola. Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1923), una delle più importanti attrici francesi tra la fine del XIX e l’inizio del XX secolo, acquistò una fortezza militare abbandonata a Belle-Île, in Bretagna, soggiornandovi per un periodo. Su sua richiesta, fu intagliata una poltrona nella falesia, affinché la diva potesse ammirare l’oceano mentre recitava. L’immagine dell’attrice seduta sulla poltrona coglieva di sorpresa i marinai che rientravano al porto. La prima foto esposta mostra il sedile scavato nella roccia; la seconda, la vista che si poteva godere da quella posizione.
L’opera Untitled consiste in diverse paia di scarpe da uomo, posate su delle scatole da scarpe in cartone. Il cuoio servito per fabbricarle proviene da delle borse di donne appartenenti alla cerchia familiare di Panayiotou. Uno degli spunti di quest’opera è autobiografico e riguarda una giacca di cuoio, regalata all’artista da sua madre e trasformata in seguito in scarpa. La misura delle scarpe, tutte fabbricate artigianalmente, corrisponde a quella che calza l’artista, ciononostante lui non le indosserà mai. L’opera, in un processo paragonabile a quello al centro degli Scritti teatrali di Brecht, conserva solo il materiale per isolare meglio l’avanzamento dei processi di autorappresentazione, di costruzione identitaria, di metamorfosi e di transizione di genere. L’oggetto risultante è un fermo immagine, un veicolo e un residuo intimo di azione performativa, che rimane invisibile allo spettatore.

Né à Limassol, Chypre, en 1978
Vit et travaille à Limassol, Chypre, et Paris, France

La pratique de l’artiste grec chypriote Christodoulos Panayiotou, empreinte de poésie et dotée d’une dimension politique et performative, met souvent en regard la démarche du chorégraphe et du chercheur sociologue ou encore anthropologue. Ses propositions trouvent leurs sources dans les symboles de la culture populaire (rituels, festivals, traditions folkloriques), les mythes romantiques et fondateurs sous-jacents, le fonctionnement des rapports de pouvoir économique ou culturel à l’œuvre dans les sociétés modernes, ainsi que dans l’histoire et la construction identitaire complexe de Chypre. Les œuvres – photographies, vidéos, installations – mettent parfois en jeu des notions d’absence ou de repli, traitant paradoxalement le domaine spectaculaire avec des moyens anti-spectaculaires.

Le Fauteuil de Sarah Bernhardt (2008)
La représentation de l’absence est abordée dans Le Fauteuil de Sarah Bernhardt, un diptyque de photographies noir et blanc argentiques. Sarah Bernhard (1844–1923), actrice française parmi les plus importantes du XIXe siècle et du début du XXe siècle, a fait l’acquisition d’un fortin militaire désaffecté, situé à Belle-Île, en Bretagne. Elle y séjourna quelque temps, et à sa demande, un fauteuil fut taillé à même d’une falaise, afin d’admirer l’océan tout en récitant ses textes ; l’image de l’actrice installée dans le fauteuil surprenait les marins rentrant au port. Les photographies reprennent, pour la première, le point de vue creusé dans la roche et pour la seconde, la vue qu’on pouvait avoir à partir de ce dernier.

Sans titre (2013/2014)
L’œuvre Sans titre est composée de plusieurs paires de chaussures d’homme, posées sur des boîtes de chaussures en carton. Le cuir qui a servi à leur fabrication provient de sacs à main ayant appartenu à des femmes de l’entourage proche de Panayiotou. Un des points de départ de cette pièce est autobiographique et commence avec une veste en cuir, donnée à l’artiste par sa mère et transformée par la suite en chaussures. La pointure des chaussures, confectionnées de manière artisanale et sur mesure, correspond à celle de l’artiste ; cependant, elles ne seront jamais portées par lui. L’œuvre, dans un processus comparable à celui de L’achat du cuivre de Brecht, ne conserve que le matériau pour mieux isoler l’engendrement des processus d’autoreprésentation, de construction identitaire, de métamorphose et de transition du genre. En lui-même, l’objet-résultat est un arrêt sur image, un véhicule et résidu d’action performative intime qui reste invisible du spectateur.

Project: Soleil politique

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Alexander Gutke

2487-20

Born 1971, Gothenburg, Sweden
Lives and works in Malmö, Sweden

Image:
Alexander Gutke, Auto-scope, 2012. 16 mm film; 1mn loop.View of the exhibition The Promise of Moving Things (curator: Chris Sharp), Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, 2014. Photo: André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy of Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin / Ljubljana.

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Sonia Leimer

Sonia Leimer, Platzhalter, 2013

Sonia Leimer, Platzhalter, 2013

Born 1977, Merano, Italy
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria
She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Her installations and videos express a certain contrast between space and time, and through them she wonders about the meaning of using materials in relation to their conceptual manipulation. Her interest in materials and contents – usually fragile, in a state of continuous transition – is one ­­­­of the most important aspects of her art. She explores the nature of our perception, the basis of our medial, historic and individual experience as well as changes between fiction and reality. She has won several international awards: the Paul Flora Prize in 2011, the Audi Award for New Positions Cologne in 2010, the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Grant in 2005. In 2009 she was shortlisted for the Premio Cairo. Her major solo exhibitions are: Series of successive instants, Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, Login, Vienna (2009); No Site to Fall in, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2010); Träger, Artothek Köln (2012); Space Holder, Gallery Nächst St. Stephan, Vienna (2012); Undefiniertes Bauvorhaben, BIG, Salzburg (2013); Bend a Bow, MAK Center Garage Space, Los Angeles (2012); Along those lines, Museion, Bolzano (2013). She has taken part in important group shows at: Parachute Pavilion, New York (2005); MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles (2006); Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (2008); Galerie ar/ge Kunst, Bolzano (2008); Museum for Art, Pori, Finland (2010); and Freies Museum Berlin (2012).

Project: From & To

 

Sonia Leimer nasce a Merano nel 1977. Studia all’Accademia di Belle Arti di Vienna. I suoi lavori, basati su materie e contenuti fondamentalmente fragili, esprimono il contrasto tra spazio e tempo, interrogandosi sull’entità della percezione, le fondamenta che costituiscono l’esperienza mediale, storica, individuale. Ha vinto vari riconoscimenti internazionali, tra cui il Paul Flora Prize nel 2011, l’Audi Award for New Positions a Colonia nel 2010. Tra le recenti mostre personali: Träger, Artotek Köln, Colonia (2012); Undefiniertes Bauvorhaben, BIG, Salisburgo (2013); Bend a bow, MAK Center Garage Space, Los Angeles (2012); Lungo quelle linee, Museion, Bolzano (2013). Ha partecipato a varie mostre collettive: al Parachute Pavilion di New York (2005), alla Galerie ar/ge Kunst di Bolzano, al Museum for Art di Pori, Finlandia (2010) e al Freies Museum di Berlino (2012). Vive e lavora a Vienna.

 

Née à Merano en 1977, vit et travaille à Vienne. Elle a étudié à l’Académie des Beaux-Arts de Vienne. Son travail, basé sur les matériaux et leur teneur fondamentalement fragile, exprime le contraste entre l’espace et le temps et questionne la mesure de la perception, base qui compose l’expérience médiatique, historique et individuelle. Elle a remporté plusieurs prix internationaux, dont le Prix Paul Flora en 2011, l’Audi Award for New Positions a Cologne en 2010. Expositions récentes : Träger, Artotek Köln, Cologne (2012) ; Undefiniertes Bauvorhaben, BIG, Salzbourg (2013) ; Bend a bow, MAK Center Garage Space, Los Angeles (2012) ; Lungo quelle linee, Museion, Bolzano (2013). Expositions collectives au Parachute Pavilion, New York (2005), à la Galerie ar/ge Kunst, Bolzano, au Museum for Art, Pori, Finlande (2010) et au Freies Museum, Berlin (2012).

Image:
Sonia Leimer, Platzhalter, 2013

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NINA CANELL

2487-10

Born 1979, Växjö, Sweden
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Image:
Nina Canell, Treetops, Hillsides and Ditches, 2011. Mastic gum, logs; variable dimensions. View of the exhibition The Promise of Moving Things (curator: Chris Sharp), Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, 2014. Photo: André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin and Private collection, Belgium. © Nina Canell / Adagp, 2014.

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Benoît Maire

Born 1978, Pessac, France
Lives and works in Paris, France

Since 2008, Benoît Maire has been writing a manual of aesthetics, a compilation of objects and texts that cover some of the major issues in contemporary aesthetics. Beginning with the insurmountable conflict between saying and seeing, Maire works in the interstices where art and philosophy come together to serve practical purposes and where the forms expand in space and surpass each other.
For the film Spiaggia (Beach), the artist continues research he began for the exhibition Spiaggia di menzogne (Beach of Lies), which he presented at the Fondazione Giuliani from October 4 to December 14, 2013. The film thus makes use of various sculptural elements and tools he had previously exhibited. By staging four characters in ordinary situations, with a narrative made up of extracts from philosophical texts by authors such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Quentin Meillassoux, Alain Badiou, and Jacques Lacan, Maire explores a new cosmogony inspired by David Hume’s theory of the origin of ideas. In the film, man is both the subject and object of his inquiry into the origins of cause and effect. Spiaggia explores a system of passions, describing their mechanisms in order to explain the causality of the characters’ actions and to determine how their passions give existential meaning to the empirical world, limited by time and space.

Nato a Pessac, Francia, nel 1978
Vive e lavora a Parigi, Francia

Nel 2008 Benoît Maire ha iniziato a scrivere un manuale di estetica, in cui le immagini, gli oggetti e i testi prendono forma. Il fine è quello di presentare i punti cruciali dell’estetica contemporanea. Prendendo come punto di partenza il contrasto (ovvero, il conflitto insormontabile) tra dire e vedere, Maire lavora in uno spazio di mezzo, dove l’arte e la filosofia si fondono in un uso pratico, e dove le forme si distribuiscono nello spazio, superandosi l’una con l’altra. Con il film Spiaggia l’artista continua le ricerche iniziate nella mostra Spiaggia di menzogne, presentata alla Fondazione Giuliani dal 4 ottobre al 14 dicembre 2013, in particolare sull’uso di differenti strumenti ed elementi scultorei. Attraverso la messa in scena di quattro personaggi colti in situazioni quotidiane, e tramite il ritmo di una narrazione costruita a partire da brani di testi di filosofi come Ludwig Wittgenstein, Quentin Meillasoux, Alain Badiou o Jacques Lacan, Benoît Maire indaga una nuova cosmogonia, ispirata dalla teoria humiana della genesi delle idee. Nel suo film l’uomo è sia il soggetto sia l’oggetto di un’inchiesta sulla natura della relazione tra causa ed effetto. Spiaggia sperimenta un sistema delle passioni che descrive la loro meccanica, per spiegare la causalità delle azioni dei personaggi e stabilire come le passioni conferiscano un senso esistenziale al mondo empirico, limitato nello spazio e nel tempo.

Né à Pessac, France, en 1978
Vit et travaille à Paris, France

Depuis 2008, Benoît Maire a entamé l’écriture d’un manuel d’esthétique où les images, objets et textes prennent forme dans le but de présenter quelques enjeux majeurs issus de l’esthétique contemporaine. Ayant pour point de départ le différend (le conflit insurmontable) entre dire et voir, Benoît Maire travaille dans un entre-deux où l’art et la philosophie fusionnent dans une utilisation pratique où les formes se répartissent dans l’espace et se surpassent entre elles.
Avec le film Spiaggia, l’artiste continue ses recherches initiées avec l’exposition [Plage des mensonges] présentée à la Fondazione Giuliani du 4 octobre au 14 décembre 2013, notamment avec l’utilisation dans le film de différents éléments sculpturaux et outils précédemment montrés. À travers la mise en scène de quatre personnages dans des situations du quotidien et la récurrence d’une narration construite à partir d’extraits de textes de philosophes comme Ludwig Wittgenstein, Quentin Meillasoux, Alain Badiou ou Jacques Lacan, Benoît Maire interroge une nouvelle cosmogonie inspirée par la théorie humienne de la genèse des idées. Dans son film, l’homme est à la fois le sujet et l’objet de son enquête sur la nature de la relation de la cause à effet. Spiaggia expérimente un système des passions décrivant leur mécanique, pour expliquer la causalité des actions des personnages et établir comment les passions donnent un sens existentiel au monde empirique, limité par l’espace et le temps.

Project: Soleil politique

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GIANNI PETTENA

Born 1940, Bolzano, Italy
Lives and works in Fiesole, Italy

An artist, architect, designer, critic, architectural historian, curator, and teacher, Gianni Pettena is one of the central figures of Italian radical architecture alongside Archizoom, Superstudio, and UFO. His book L’Anarchitetto, published in 1972, has influenced several generations of artists and architects: in it, the author refuses to acknowledge the boundaries between different disciplines and defines himself as an “anarchitect,” one for whom speaking about architecture is a means of communicating a creative condition destined to become architecture, yet one that culminates in an art of living. Among the tools and subjects that can be found in his work are the use of language, a relationship to nature and context, and the parallel between reality and reproduction. Gianni Pettena’s first realized public project, for the town hall in Canazei (Trentino-Alto Adige), stems from his interest in the restoration and conservation of historical buildings. The town hall was built in 1930s by senior Ettore Sottsass, a major figure in pre-war Italian architecture. Threatened with demolition, the building was saved in part due to Gianni Pettena’s intervention. He proposed extending the building—a necessity given the rise in tourism—in the form of a mirror construction that establishes a dialog with the original building. The same architectural phrase is thus written in the styles of two different periods. The facing façades of the two buildings are similar in appearance and are united by a glass structure that transforms the space between them as a convivial public meeting place.

Nato a Bolzano, Italia, nel 1940
Vive e lavora a Fiesole, Italia

Artista, architetto, designer, critico e storico dell’architettura, curatore di mostre e insegnante, Gianni Pettena fa parte del nucleo iniziale dell’Architettura Radicale Italiana, a fianco di Archizoom, Superstudio e UFO. La sua opera L’Anarchitetto, pubblicata nel 1972, segnerà molte generazioni di artisti e di architetti: l’autore rifiuta le frontiere tra le discipline e si definisce un “anarchitetto”, per il quale parlare di architettura è un modo per parlare di una condizione creatrice destinata sì a produrre delle architetture, ma anche rappresentativa di un’arte del vivere. Tra gli strumenti e i temi del suo lavoro vanno ricordati l’uso del linguaggio, il rapporto con la natura e con il contesto, i collegamenti tra realtà e riproduzione.
Il progetto per il primo edificio pubblico realizzato da Pettena deriva dal suo interesse per il restauro e la conservazione degli edifici storici. Nel caso specifico, il comune di Canazei (Trentino Alto Adige) era stato costruito negli anni ’30 da Ettore Sottsass padre, figura importante dell’architettura italiana anteguerra. A rischio di demolizione, ha potuto essere in parte conservato grazie all’intervento di Gianni Pettena. Egli ha proposto un’espansione, resa necessaria dalla crescita del turismo, sotto forma di una costruzione speculare che installa un dialogo aperto con l’edificio esistente: una stessa frase architettonica, scritta nei linguaggi formali di due epoche distinte. Le facciate laterali dei due edifici hanno un aspetto simile e sono unite da una struttura in vetro, che riqualifica l’interstizio in uno spazio pubblico di incontro.

Né à Bolzano, Italie, en 1940
Vit et travaille à Fiesole, Italie

Artiste, architecte, designer, critique et historien de l’architecture, commissaire et enseignant, Gianni Pettena fait partie du noyau d’origine de l’Architecture radicale italienne, aux côtés d’Archizoom, Superstudio et UFO. Son ouvrage L’Anarchitetto, publié en 1972, marquera plusieurs générations d’artistes et d’architectes : l’auteur y refuse les frontières entre les disciplines et se définit comme un « anarchitecte », celui pour qui parler d’architecture est un mode pour parler d’une condition créatrice destinée à faire de l’architecture, mais qui aboutit à un art de vivre. Parmi les outils et les sujets présents dans son travail, on peut mentionner l’utilisation du langage, le rapport à la nature et au contexte, les jonctions entre réalité et reproduction.

Nuovo Municipio di Canazei, Trento (1990-97)
Avec Oswald Zoeggeler
Le projet pour le premier bâtiment public réalisé par Pettena découle de son intérêt pour la restauration et la conservation des bâtiments historiques. Dans ce cas particulier, la mairie de Canazei (Trentin-Haut-Adige) avait été construite dans les années 1930 par Ettore Sottsass père, figure majeure de l’architecture italienne d’avant-guerre. Menacée d’une démolition, elle a pu être conservée en partie grâce à l’intervention de Gianni Pettena. Il a proposé une extension, rendue nécessaire par l’essor du tourisme, sous la forme d’une construction en miroir qui établit un dialogue ouvert avec le bâtiment existant : une même phrase architecturale écrite dans les langages formels de deux époques distinctes. Les façades latérales des deux édifices ont une apparence similaire et sont unies par une structure vitrée qui requalifie l’interstice en un espace public de rencontre.

Project: Soleil politique

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Julia Frank

Born 1988, Silandro, Italy
Lives and works between Sudtirol and Tuscany, Italy

Project: From & To

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MARCEL BROODTHAERS

Marcel Broodthaers, Soleil Politique, 1972

Marcel Broodthaers, Soleil Politique, 1972

Born 1924, Brussels, Belgium
† 1976, Cologne, Germany

Gravitating from the field of literature to the field of art without relinquishing the former’s poetic dimension, Marcel Broodthaers established an important and unique body of work. Having studied chemistry, run a bookshop, written poetry, worked as a photo-journalist and an art critic, and made films, the artist named himself director of his own museum, the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles (Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles), a fictional entity that transformed both the exhibition and the institution into an art form. An admirer of Magritte and Mallarmé, Broodthaers used language as a visual tool in the context of a critical and ironic analysis of art’s production and reception.
For the work Soleil politique (Political Sun), from which the exhibition borrows its title, Broodthaers took a black-and-white illustration from an encyclopedia depicting the comparative scale of the planets in the solar system. The artist altered the largest circle containing the word “sun” by adding the word “political.” He then completed the work: with a single black dab of his pen he banished the tiny circle representing Earth into the illustration’s dark background. Broodthaers recast the diagram’s “enlightened” universal encyclopedism in favor of a subjective insight, revealing the absolutism and hegemony of all forms of social organization. The work also reveals the ideological role of the museum, oscillating between enlightenment and obscurantism.

Nato a Bruxelles, Belgio, nel 1924
† 1976, Colonia, Germania

Passato dalla letteratura all’arte senza sacrificare una dimensione politica, Marcel Broodthaers ha lasciato un abbondante e originale insieme di opere. Dopo gli studi in chimica, l’attività imprenditoriale come libraio, la scrittura, la fotografia di reportage, la regia di film e la critica d’arte, l’artista ha diretto il proprio museo, il Musée d’Art Moderne Département des Aigles, una struttura affabulatrice che trasforma l’esposizione e l’istituzione in forme artistiche. Grande ammiratore di Magritte e di Mallarmé, Broodthaers utilizza il linguaggio come strumento visivo, nel quadro di un’analisi ironica e critica dei regimi di produzione e ricezione dell’arte.
In Soleil politique (Sole politico), l’opera che dà il titolo alla mostra, Broodthaers si serve di un’immagine del sole tratta da una tavola enciclopedica, che illustra le dimensioni dell’astro rispetto a quelle dei pianeti del sistema solare. L’artista interviene sul grande cerchio che contiene la dicitura “Sole”, aggiungendovi l’aggettivo “politico”. Infine, fa scomparire nel fondo oscuro della pagina il minuscolo cerchio che rappresenta la Terra, sostituendolo con una macchiolina d’inchiostro nero. L’enciclopedismo universalista di questo diagramma delle “luci” devia così verso una lucidità soggettiva, che anela all’assolutismo e all’egemonia in ogni società organizzata. Allo stesso tempo, oscillando tra illuminismo e oscurantismo, vi si trova esposto il ruolo ideologico del museo.

Né à Bruxelles, Belgique, en 1924
† 1976, Cologne, Allemagne

Passant du champ littéraire à celui de l’art sans rien sacrifier de la dimension poétique, Marcel Broodthaers a laissé un corpus d’œuvres à la fois important et singulier. Après des études de chimie, un commerce de librairie, l’écriture, la photographie de reportage, la réalisation de films, la critique d’art, l’artiste se constitue directeur de son propre musée, le Musée d’Art Moderne Département des Aigles, structure affabulatrice qui transforme l’exposition et l’institution en formes artistiques. Admirateur de Magritte et Mallarmé, il se sert du langage comme outil visuel, dans le cadre d’une analyse ironique et critique des régimes de production et réception de l’art.
Pour Soleil politique, œuvre qui donne son titre à l’exposition, Broodthaers utilise une image du soleil tirée d’une planche encyclopédique qui démontre sa taille en comparaison avec les planètes du système solaire. L’artiste intervient sur le grand cercle contentant la mention « Soleil » en y ajoutant le mot « politique ». Vient ensuite le point final : avec sa plume, il fait disparaitre dans le fond obscur de la page le cercle minuscule représentant la Terre, en y apposant une pointe d’encre noire. L’encyclopédisme universaliste de ce diagramme des « lumières » se trouve ainsi détourné au profit d’une lucidité subjective, pointant l’absolutisme et l’hégémonie dans toute organisation sociétale. Le rôle idéologique du musée, oscillant entre éclaircissement et obscurantisme, s’y trouve également exposé.

Image:
Marcel Broodthaers, Soleil Politique, 1972, print and collage on paper and ink, 25,5 x 35,5 cm. Copyright Estate Marcel Broodthaers

Project: Soleil politique

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Leander Schwazer

4- Leander Schwazer, Globe, 2014 Foto Augustin Ochsenreiter

Leander Schwazer, Globe, 2014

Born 1982 Sterzing/Vipiteno, Italy
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, USA
He studied at the University of the Arts, Zurich, the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing and at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. His work comes from different kinds of influences, which at first sight recall art tendencies such that of minimal and pop art. At the same time it explores in its own way philosophical questions, social themes and universal concepts which are very different from each other, and always connected to a specific artistic formal development, expressed through the use of a wide range of materials. He has been the recipient of many awards, including that of Raiffeisen Foundation, Bolzano in 2014, of California Institute of the Arts in 2012 and 2014. He won the Travel Grant of the Autonomous Province of Alto Adige / Trentino in 2013 and the Austrian Graphic Award in 2011. His recent solo exhibitions include: Bikini, Museion for contemporary art, Bolzano (2014); Cross Spikes Club, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (2013); The Rape of Europe, ar/ge Kunst, Bolzano (2012); The Alphabet I Got Dry with, Kunstraum B, Kiel, Germany (2012); A Symbol of Freedom, Placentia Arte, Piacenza (2012). His works have been shown at several group exhibitions: Bad Gallery, Zurich (2007); Book Museum, Lodz, Poland (2008); Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (2011); Public Gallery Klagenfurt, Austria (2012); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (Performance) and Brother McNally Gallery, Singapore (2013).

Project: From & To

 

Leander A. Schwazer nasce nel 1982 a Vipiteno. Studia all’Università delle Arti di Zurigo, alla Central Academy of Fine Arts di Pechino e al California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. Il suo lavoro richiama principalmente la minimal e la pop art, allo stesso tempo esplora in maniera singolare questioni filosofiche e temi sociali associandovi sviluppi formali del tutto specifici. Nel 2012 e 2014 vince il premio del California Institute of the Arts. Tra le recenti mostre personali: Bikini, Museion, Bolzano (2014); Cross Spikes Club, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (2013); The Rape of Europe, ar/ge Kunst, Bolzano e The Alphabet I Got Dry with, Kunstraum B, Kiel, Germania (2012). Ha partecipato a varie mostre collettive, tra cui al Book Museum di Lodz, Polonia, al Kunstverein di Francoforte e alla Brother McNally Gallery di Singapore. Vive e lavora a Los Angeles.

 

Né en 1982 à Vipiteno, vit et travaille à Los Angeles. Il a étudié à l’Université des Arts de Zürich, à l’Académie des Beaux-arts de Pékin et au California Institute of the Arts à Los Angeles. Son travail s’inspire principalement du pop art et de l’art minimaliste. Parallèlement, il explore de manière singulière les questions philosophiques et sociales en impliquant des développements formels tout à fait spécifiques. En 2012 et 2014, il a remporté le prix du California Institute of the Arts. Expositions récentes : Bikini, Museion, Bolzano (2014), Cross Spikes Club, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (2013), The Rape of Europe, ar/ge Kunst, Bolzano et The Alphabet I Got Dry with, Kunstraum B, Kiel, Germania (2012). Il a participé a plusieurs expositions collectives : au Book Museum à Lodz (Pologne), au Kunstverein de Francfort et à la Brother McNally Gallery de Singapour.

Image:
Leander Schwazer, Globe, 2014, lightbulb, acrylic, 16,5 x 12,5 cm. Photo: Augustin Ochsenreiter

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COSTANZA PAISSAN IN CONVERSATION WITH LEANDER SCHWAZER

COSTANZA PAISSAN IN CONVERSATION WITH LEANDER SCHWAZER

Costanza Paissan Your artistic research focuses on issues related to pop culture, geopolitics, capitalism, industrial economy and craft production in the global world. These ideas are transferred into pieces whose forms are essential, often tinged with irony and lightheartedness, poised between mass production and slow craftsmanship, mechanicity and organicity. I am thinking, for example, of the 2012 work The Rape of Europe, in which the threads of the Jacquard weaving recall the myth of Arachne but also the evolution of textile production in the history of the world economy. Or the punched cards of Kapital, which transfer the text of Marx’s Capital into a musical mechanism. Could you tell us about the process through which you transform your thoughts into form?
Leander Schwazer I have a special penchant for time in general. Exploring dormant stories in everyday objects is my obsession. I use techniques like détournement, alterations, the reversing or flipping of things: to make visible what is normally invisible to the everyday eye. I guess this is a reason for my interest in cracks and fractures: frailty is what seems to hold the world together. Art walks on a thin path between past and future.

C.P. In spring 2014, your work was exhibited at the Museion in Bolzano, in the exhibition Bikini. An operation of “archeology of the future” in which past, present and future intertwine to give shape to a complex trans-temporal universe consisting of photographic, pictorial and installation elements. Where does this work fit in your research?
L.S.Bikini was a meditation on certain connections between popular culture and war. Compared to the power of war machines, any artistic discipline looks weak. In a way, it becomes necessary to use as many as possible. When you start to dig deep into history, an “archeology of the future” is an attempt to break free from the spell of the past and start creating, without repressing but rather depicting history. However, it is impossible to predict the course of history. Only when seen from the future, the past becomes such.

C.P. Your participation in PIANO project was carried out during a residency at the Villa Arson in Nice, within the From & To exchange program, in which Italian artists worked in France and French artists in Italy. In addition to being an exhibition space, Villa Arson is also a place of education, in which dialogue with other artists is normal practice. Can you tell us about your experience?
L.S.I was happy to be in close contact with Sonia Leimer over the last year.  Although we were working independently, I consider the setting we worked with at Villa Arson as a collaboration. The space will be one of crisis, misunderstandings, big and small stories, subjectivity and objectivity. I am happy to present another montage piece from my longtime exploration of junk, how it is produced and circulates. The piece is inspired by a document which mentioned the word ‘junk’ in a western document for the very first time: the Mappa Mundi, made by the venetian monk Fra Mauro in the 15th century. Fra Mauro wrote a fascinating story of junks (Asian ships) rounding the Cape of Good Hope, arriving in Europe and then sailing back. Today my email inbox asked me what I wanted to do with my junk mail – electronic messages received from unknown senders. But of course history does not repeat itself.

Costanza Paissan La tua ricerca artistica si interessa ai temi legati alla cultura pop, alla geopolitica, al capitalismo, all’economia industriale e alla produzione artigianale nel mondo globale. Queste idee sono trasferite in lavori formalmente essenziali, spesso venati di sottile ironia e di leggerezza, sempre in bilico tra produzione seriale e lenta manualità, meccanismo e organicità. Penso per esempio al lavoro del 2012 The Rape of Europe in cui i fili della tessitura Jacquard richiamano il mito di Aracne così come le evoluzioni della produzione tessile nella storia dell’economia mondiale. O alle schede perforate di Kapital, che trasferiscono il testo del Capitale di Marx in un meccanismo musicale.Puoi spiegare attraverso quale processo metti in forma le tue riflessioni?
Leander Schwazer Quello che mi interessa in maniera particolare è il tempo in generale. Esplorare le storie dormienti negli oggetti quotidiani è la mia ossessione. Mi servo di tecniche come il détournement, le alterazioni, il ribaltamento o il rovesciamento delle cose: rendere visibile ciò che è invisibile allo sguardo di ogni giorno. Penso che sia questa la ragione del mio interesse nei confronti delle crepe e delle fratture: la fragilità tiene insieme il mondo. L’arte si muove sul sottile confine tra passato e futuro.

C.P. Nella primavera 2014 il tuo lavoro è stato esposto al Museion di Bolzano, nella mostra Bikini. Un’operazione di “archeologia del futuro” in cui passato, presente e avvenire si intrecciano per dare forma a un complesso universo trans-temporale composto di elementi installativi, fotografici e pittorici. Come si inserisce questo lavoro nella tua ricerca?
L.S. Bikini è una meditazione sui collegamenti tra la cultura popolare e la Guerra.. A confronto con la potenza delle macchine da guerra tutte le discipline artistiche appaiono deboli. Per così dire diventa necessario usarne il più possibile. Quando si inizia a scavare nella storia, l’“archeologia del futuro” è un tentativo per liberarsi dall’incantesimo del passato e iniziare a creare senza soffocare, anzi immaginando la storia. In ogni caso, è impossibile predire il corso della storia. Essa diventa passato solo se vista dal futuro.

C.P. La tua partecipazione al progetto PIANO si è realizzata nell’ambito di una residenza presso la Villa Arson di Nizza, all’interno del programma di scambio From & To in cui artisti di origine italiana hanno lavorato in Francia e artisti francesi in Italia. Villa Arson, oltre a essere uno spazio espositivo, è anche un luogo di formazione, in cui il dialogo con altri artisti rappresenta la quotidianità. Puoi raccontare la tua esperienza?
L.S. Sono stato felice di lavorare in stretto contatto con Sonia Leimer nel corso dell’anno passato. Anche se abbiamo portato avanti il nostro lavoro in maniera indipendente considero lo spazio che abbiamo immaginato aVilla Arson come il risultato di una collaborazione. Lo spazio sarà uno spazio di crisi, equivoci, grandi e piccole storie, soggettività e oggettività. Sono contento di poter presentare un altro lavoro a mosaico parte della mia lunga indagine sul Junk, la sua presenza e distribuzione. È ispirato dal documento in cui la parola Junk venne usata per la prima volta in un documento occidentale: la Mappa Mundi del frate veneziano Fra Mauro, risalente al XV secolo. Fra Mauro scrisse una favola affascinante: barche provenienti dall’Asia (Junks) che navigavano intorno al Capo di Buona Speranza, arrivavano in Europa e tornavano indietro. Oggi la mia posta in arrivo mi chiedeva cosa volevo fare del Junk, le e-mail ricevute da mittenti sconosciuti. Ma ovviamente la storia non si ripete.

Image:
Leander Schwazer, Globe, 2014. Photo: Augustin Ochsenreiter

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Deimantas NARKEVIČIUS

Born 1964, Utena, Lithuania
Lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania

A classical sculptor by training, Deimantas Narkevičius works mainly with video and film. In his exploration of collective experiences of history, above all in Eastern Europe, story-telling is both the subject of his work and his modus operandi. The artist describes White Revenge as “an act of violence on a phony revolutionary object.” He tracked down a copy of a desk designed by El Lissitzky in 1923 and mass produced at the end of the 1970s by the German company Tecta (Model M61). Lissitzky’s design expressed Russia’s aesthetic revolution, the bourgeoisie overthrown by the urban and rural proletariat. Narkevičius had four bullets shot at the desk by a Mauser C96, a gun used during the civil war that followed the October Revolution of 1917. The title of the work references the reversal of the situation: many of the then Communists (the “Reds”) are now business men (“Whites”). Shooting a work of art is a way of remembering the human drama that accompanied the transformation of society and aesthetics in the Soviet Union of that era. This work hence commemorates a historic event without producing a traditional monument.

Nato a Utena, Lituania, nel 1964
Vive e lavora a Vilnius, Lituania

Diplomato in scultura classica, Deimantas Narkevičius lavora essenzialmente sullo storytelling, utilizzando video e film. Le tematiche principali, intorno alle quali si sviluppa la sua pratica artistica, riguardano le esperienze storiche collettive, soprattutto dei paesi dell’est europeo. La storia stessa è per l’artista sia oggetto della sua ricerca, sia metodo di lavoro. White Revenge (Vendetta bianca) è stata definita da Narkevičius “un atto violento su un falso oggetto rivoluzionario”. L’artista recupera una copia della scrivania disegnata da El Lissitzky nel 1923 e prodotta poi in serie alla fine degli anni ’70 dall’azienda tedesca di design Tecta (si tratta del modello M61). Il design di Lissitzky era espressione della rivoluzione estetica sovietica, del dominio della classe operaia e contadina su quella borghese. Narkevičius colpisce il tavolo in quattro punti con dei proiettili sparati da una Mauser C96, una pistola usata durante la guerra civile che seguì alla Rivoluzione di Ottobre nel 1917. Il titolo dell’opera ricorda come la situazione sia ora rovesciata e molti comunisti di allora (i “Rossi”) siano oggi uomini d’affari (“Bianchi). Inoltre sparare a un’opera d’arte è un modo per commemorare il dramma umano, che accompagnò la riforma della società e del linguaggio estetico dell’Unione Sovietica in quegli anni. In questo modo l’artista celebra l’evento storico, senza dover ricorrere alla realizzazione di un monumento tradizionale.

Project: Soleil politique

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Chris Sharp

Chris_Sharp

Born 1974, USA
Lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico
Chris Sharp is a writer and independent curator currently based in Mexico City. Exhibitions and projects include Stay in Love, a two part exhibition, Lisa Cooley gallery and Laurel Gitlen gallery, New York (2014); Notes on Neo-Camp, Office Baroque gallery, Antwerp (2013), which traveled to Studio Voltaire, London (2013); Seeing is Believing, a solo exhibition of Jochen Lempert, Norma Mangione gallery, Turin (2013); Mexico City Blues, Shanaynay, Paris (2012); Smeared with the Gold of the Opulent Sun, Nomas Foundation, Rome (2012); Bouvard and Pécuchet’s Compendious Quest for Beauty, co-curated with Simone Menegoi, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2012); Antic Measures, Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin (2011); Under Destruction, co-curated with Gianni Jetzer, Museum Tinguely, Basel (2010), which traveled to The Swiss Institute, New York (2011).
He is currently preparing the 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition in Biel/Bienne (2014), which he will co-curate with Gianni Jetzer. Sharp also co-directs, with the artist Martin Soto Climent, the Mexico City project space, Lulu.
He is editor-at-large of Kaleidoscope magazine, a contributing editor of Art Review, and his writing has appeared in many magazines and online publications including Artforum, Fillip, Afterall, Mousse, Metropolis M, Spike, Camera Austria, artpress, and Art-Agenda. He has contributed critical texts to publications on the work of artists such as Jean-Luc Moulène, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Dane Mitchell, Roman Ondák, Michael Dean, Ian Kiaer, Nina Canell, Nina Beier and Owen Land among others for such institutions as Moderna Museet, Malmö, Hamburg Kunstverein, Kunsthalle Bern, The Sculpture Center, New York, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, MACRO, Rome, and La Biennale de Rennes.

Project: The Registry of Promise

 

Chris Sharp (1974, USA) è uno scrittore e un curatore indipendente, attualmente di base a Città del Messico. Sta preparando come co-curatore la 12a edizione della Swiss Sculpture Exhibition a Bienne (2014) con Gianni Jetzer e dirige insieme all’artista Martin Soto Climent il project space Lulu a Città del Messico. Fa parte della redazione della rivista Kaleidoscope e collabora regolarmente con Art Review; i suoi articoli sono pubblicati inoltre su siti internet e numerose riviste come Artforum, Fillip, Afterall, Mousse, Metropolis M, Spike, Camera Austria, artpress e Art-Agenda. Ha realizzato saggi critici per pubblicazioni e cataloghi sul lavoro di molti artisti e nell’ambito di progetti promossi da istituzioni come il Moderna Museet Malmö, La Kunstverein di Amburgo, La Kunsthalle di Berna, The Sculpture Center a New York, il Nouveau Musée National a Monaco, il MACRO a Roma e La Biennale de Rennes, Francia.

 

Chris Sharp (1974, USA) est un critique et commissaire indépendant, actuellement basé à Mexico. Il prépare actuellement, en tant que co-commissaire, la 12ème édition de l’exposition suisse de sculpture de Bienne (2014) avec Gianni Jetzer, et dirige depuis avril 2013 l’espace d’exposition Lulu à Mexico, avec l’artiste Martin Soto Climent. Il fait partie de la rédaction de Kaleidoscope et collabore régulièrement avec Art Review. Ses articles sont également publiés sur de nombreux médias tels Artforum, Fillip, Afterall, Mousse, Metropolis M, Spike, Camera Austria, artpress et Art-Agenda. Il a contribué comme auteur à des publications consacrées entre autres à Simon Dybbroe Møller, Dane Mitchell, Roman Ondák, Michael Dean, Christian Andersson, Ian Kiaer, Nina Canell, Lara Favaretto, Nina Beier et Owen Land, et pour des institutions comme le Moderna Museet (Malmö), le Kunstverein de Hambourg, la Kunsthalle de Bern, le Sculpture Center (New York), le Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, le MACRO (Rome) et La Biennale de Rennes.

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ILARIA MAROTTA IN CONVERSATION WITH CHRIS SHARP

ILARIA MAROTTA IN CONVERSATION WITH CHRIS SHARP

Ilaria Marotta “In January 1982, thirty-one years ago, Primo Levi was asked to say something about the future, giving voice to the writer of science fiction – or biology fiction, as Calvino said – that was in him,” writes Marco Belpoliti talking about the future in a recent article appeared on doppiozero. “He did it” – he continues – “ in Tuttolibri, together with and next to James G. Ballard, a far more apocalyptic author. Levi simply reiterated the predictions made twenty years earlier by Arthur Clarke, commenting on what had actually come true and what had not. Among the various things that happened, there was the landing on the moon, one year before Clarke’s prediction; Clarke had also envisioned a “personal radio” by 1980: Levi thought this was easy but not convenient to produce: better let it go. Now that we have the Internet and social networks, something similar has happened…”. Here, the author stresses that talking about the future always entails the idea of a bet or a prediction. We can only speak of the future in the present. And similarly, your project The Registry of Promise, whose first event has been presented at the Fondazione Giuliani in Rome, investigates not so much your vision of the future as an aspiration for the future, or rather a promise for the future. What is the future that artists seem to promise?

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2. Peter Buggenhout, Gorgo #33, 2013

Chris Sharp It is indeed true that the future can only speculated about from the position of the present. As for what you say about The Registry of Promise and the proprietorship of visions (mine or the artists’), I hadn’t thought about that before, but now that I do, I think it is actually shared – that it, this vision, is something that we produce, or maybe better yet, experience together, curator and artist, as if we coincide and enter in a kind of complicity. In fact, it is this kind of ideal complicity that prevents, I believe, a show from being about ideas as opposed to art (i.e., using art to illustrate ideas) and which is why I never feel comfortable with term “research,” and why I feel like I don’t really do any, properly speaking, nor do any of the artists with whom I have the great privilege to work. If I am not mistaken, the term presupposes a quantifiable scientific method (hypothesis, proof) which, contrary to recent popular opinion, has very little, if anything, to do with the fundamental, insuperable and incommensurable (unquantifiable) sense of uncertainty and mystery intrinsic to art.

Jochen Lempert, Untitled (from: Symmetry and the Architecture of the Body), 1997

3. Jochen Lempert, Untitled, 1997

As for the question of the future and promise, the relationship of the artists in this overall exhibition with time, is, I hope, much more complex. It has as much to do with the past and the present as with future. It’s more a question of the ambiguity at the heart of the notion of promise – its ultimate lack of allegiance to a given or specific temporality.
I am not sure what kind of future artists can offer us. Part of me wants to believe in this utopian relic of the avant-garde, and another part believes that it is, to a certain extent, responsible for some of the least interesting art being made today, whether it be through the predominantly affirmative, non-critical embrace of the internet and technology among the majority of what is commonly referred to as “post-internet art” or through the positivistic instrumentalization of art in “social practice.” This much I can unoriginally say, great art usually allows me to perceive things in a way I would have never perceived them before, that which in turn inevitably opens up new perspectives. I can also say that I believe that there is a lot of compassion in the work I am showing – something I am coming to value more and more in art (as well as in literature), which is rare and which probably has more to do with the future than we might initially think, even if it is essentially timeless.

Marlie Mul, Puddle (Faint Blue), 2014

4. Marlie Mul, Puddle (Faint Blue), 2014

I.M. In that same article, the writer supports the idea of a return to primitivism, the need to recover deep roots, the reassertion of basic needs to address the advancement of new technologies, social networking, a virtual context. If we look at historical determinism, we know that every action is the result of a previous one. So the future is actually in progress. In this perspective, the prediction of a future action is no longer something abstract, but rather something that we build day by day in the present. In an exhibition that I recently curated, called The Time Machine (The Survivors), there was a clear reference to the in-progress perception of the future. What is the aspect that most attracts you about the future? The new languages, new aesthetics, or specific issues (ecology, the legacy of history, nature…)? Which of these areas have you explored or will explore in your four exhibition projects, and in what order was the general design of the exhibition envisioned? 

Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013

5. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013

C.S. I suppose that the aspect that most attracts me about the future is its ability to generate if not narrative, then form (which is always a kind of narrative, or way to prevent the story from yielding up its contents, once and for all, and ending) – which is one of the primary points of this show. To what extent can the future generate narrative and form? Or rather, to what extent is our western perspective of the future capable of generating it? If that perspective has been exhausted (the dominant western narrative/mythology seems to be not just the end of the world, but how it will end) then how can we imagine other perspectives, other forms? By shedding the old one (melancholy); abandoning a linear conception of time and embracing a multiplicity of times (multiple times); accepting the impossibility of a non-human narrative (moving things); and lastly, by stretching literature and language itself to new limits. But all of that makes the exhibitions that compose The Registry of Promise sound more prescriptive and idea-based than they actually are. Their relationship to ideas is probably closer to poetry’s relationship to ideas, which is one of form, at least where Wallace Stevens is concerned, when he writes: “The poem must resist the intelligence almost successfully.”

Jochen Lempert, Fire, 2008

6. Jochen Lempert, Fire, 2008

I.M. I found the first event of the project at the Giuliani really well arranged, sophisticated, almost metaphysical in the choice of the large voids between each work. Such an arrangement of space is a curatorial choice, but can it also be interpreted as your own personal reading of an imaginary future? Rarefaction, order, or entropy?

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7. Jochen Lempert, Martha, 2005

C.S. Thank you very much. Metaphysical is not a term I would have ever selected to describe it, but now that you mention it, de Chirico does come to mind, as well as a corresponding sense of deliberateness, meaning (or lack thereof), crisis, and even desolation. The latter probably has more to do with my spatial decisions in the Giuliani show than anything. I wanted to create a potent, yet understated sense of drama. All the work in the show is very powerful and I wanted to emphasize that power, even if I did so toward non-specific narrative ends – for instance, it seems like something has happened in The Promise of Melancholy and Ecology, which is very much of the order of aftermath, but whatever has happened has less to do with an event than, say, a psychological condition: melancholy (a condition, which, predicated on loss, inwardly leans more toward emptying out the world than filling it up).
I also think that some, if not all the works really deserved the space. Jean-Marie Perdrix’s amalgamated, bronze horse head, for instance – an object as beautiful as it is harrowing – needed a room all to itself, I believe, in order to fully realize itself. But then again, to speak generally, I think all great art deserves a lot of space in order to be properly seen, and that, reversing the same logic, all the space in Giuliani can be gleaned as a measure of not only how powerful the art in it is, but also, by extension, how fortunate I am to be able to work with it.

Images:
1. Jochen Lempert, Untitled, 2005, silver gelatin print; 37 x 28 cm. Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona.
2. Peter Buggenhout, Gorgo #33, 2013, mixed media: wax, plastic, blood, horse hair, cardboard, PU-foam, polyester; 48 x 72 x 49 cm; vitrine and pedestal 147 x 80 x 60 cm. Courtesy Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris
3. Jochen Lempert, Untitled (from: Symmetry and the Architecture of the Body), 1997, 2 silver gelatin prints; 18 x 24 cm each. Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona
4. Marlie Mul, Puddle (Faint Blue), 2014, sand, stones, resin, objects; 95 x 88 cm. Courtesy Fluxia, Milan
5. Jean-Marie Perdrix, Cheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013, cast of copper alloy, carbon and ash; 25 x 77 x 33 cm. Courtesy Desiré Saint Phalle, Mexico City
6. Jochen Lempert, Fire, 2008, 6 silver gelatin prints; 18 x 24 cm each. Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona
7. Jochen Lempert, Martha, 2005, silver gelatin print; 30 x 28 cm. Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona

Photos: Giorgio Benni

Project: The Registry of Promise
Spaces: Fondazione Giuliani, Parc Saint Léger, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, De Vleeshal
Protagonists: Chris SharpPeter Buggenhout, Jochen Lempert, Marlie Mul, Jean-Marie Perdrix, Patrick Bernatchez, Juliette BlightmanRosalind Nashashibi, Francisco Tropa, Andy Warhol, Anicka Yi, Nina Canell, Alexander Gutke, Mandla Reuter, Hans Schabus, Michael E. Smith, Antoine Nessi

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Marlie Mul

Marlie Mul, Puddle (Black Disposable), 2013

Marlie Mul, Puddle (Black Disposable), 2013

Born 1980, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany and London, United Kingdom
Mul studied Textiles at the Academy for Visual Arts St. Joost in Breda and Sculpture at the ABKM in Maastricht, Netherlands. In 2009 she obtained an MFA from the Architectural Association in London. Her work has been exhibited at Croy Nielsen Gallery in Berlin (2013), Fluxia Gallery (2013) as well as the project spaces Oslo10 in Basel (2012) and Space in London (2012). She is currently in residency at KunstZeitRaum in Munich.

Image:
Marlie Mul, Puddle (Black Disposable), 2013, sand, stones, resin, object, 78 x 76 cm. Courtesy Fluxia, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Valérie Mazouin

Valérie Mazouin has been director of CAC Chapelle St Jacques in Saint-Gaudens since 2002. After having studied Arts, she focused her interest on working with public. She is responsible of the artistic direction of the art center since 2002. At that time, she starts programming art exhibitions following precise ideas, based on reflecting narrative and literature, while maintaining a strong connection with architecture and landscapes, and giving a place to experimentation. She invites both young and prominent artists from the French art scene to perform their personal projects. Notables exhibitions: Berdaguer & Péjus, Marc Desgranchamps, Délphine Gigoux-Martin.

Project: Piano – alto!
Space: CAC Chapelle St Jacques

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH VALÉRIE MAZOUIN, CAC CHAPELLE ST JACQUES, SAINT-GAUDENS

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH VALÉRIE MAZOUIN, CAC CHAPELLE ST JACQUES, SAINT-GAUDENS

Vincent Honoré Can you tell us about the centre d’art and its environment?
Valérie Mazouin The institutional purpose of the centre dart Chapelle Saint-Jacques in St Gaudens manifests itself through a way of seeing things and a through a connection with the city and region, which have a stake in it. Actors in the region need to join forces to provide the public with dynamically open access to culture. We wish to offer a place that establishes circulations between visual arts, architecture, urbanism, and economic and social life. The centre dart wants to contribute to a public policy that lays down the conditions for a new development of the region, and supports a process that is currently giving concrete form to a political fact.
Art and culture can be very powerful levers of communal life. These have the ability to bring meaning, desire and community to social developments that are all too often merely endured. The involvement of our partners shows that the legibility of the centre dart is a genuine regional concern, and with this project, they support events in the large sense, but not events in the small day-today sense. In fact, developing this centre means believing in utopia as a development value, since today art is one of the best forms of shared expression.

V.H. It seems increasingly difficult to operate small, often isolated centres in France. This raises the question of their validity in a region that may not be conducive to contemporary art. Does the question also arise of the utopian nature or obsolescence of regional divisions and the dissemination of contemporary art? Or the lack of public will?
V.M. The centre operates on a budget of 160,000 euros, including salaries. So it’s a small centre. The project is therefore difficult to manage. Despite all of these problems, we were able to develop a project policy directed at the region. Our partners are numerous and varied. Not everyone currently supports us but that’s perfectly normal. The centre dart has occupied an important position throughout its twenty-year existence. Its activities have genuine legitimacy. This is not a matter of minimising the difficulty, but rather of taking account of the demand of a public that doesn’t always manage to make itself heard. Politicians don’t represent the public. They only come to exhibition openings and they often have electioneering aims. On the other hand, the visitors we meet are happy to have this place in their lives, offering something different in a rural area. In terms of utopia, it’s hard to justify the presence of a centre dart. Giving ourselves the possibility of creating a breeding ground means engaging in discourse that is situated on the level of economics and regional development. Utopia comes into play in our programming and mediation. The work aimed at the public is essential for making people aware that a programme is first and foremost a little utopia factory. It’s possible to bring politicians this far on these questions of utopias. It’s quite complex and tedious, but we have a role to play as citizens. We should be political actors of this public will.

V.H. As director, how do you articulate your programme? What are the highlights of 2015?
V.M. Even though our programming alternates between young, emerging and recognised artists from the French scene, we are still primarily focused on supporting young artists. Visual artists are usually invited to the centre dart to conceive works on site. The place needs to be taken into account, in its entirety and through its architecture, a 17th century chapel. The programming aims to bring out its narrative density, seen as a plinth for the project.

V.H. What are the ethical, artistic and social responsibilities of the director of a centre d’art in 2015?
V.M. As I’ve already mentioned, we have a civic role, we have this role as an educator to foster understanding, to train and sustain, for artists, for the public.
Because we must continue to advance and help contemporary art to be a maker of utopias and ideas. We’re political actors who have the mission of promoting independent thought.

V.H. PIANO creates a network between French and Italian art centres. Why is it important to collaborate, and what is the project you’re going to present?
V.M. Collaborating on PIANO means working in a network and sharing ideas, testing new ways of working, experimenting with the unknown. We also need to promote the work of the centres d’art abroad and PIANO offers an excellent opportunity. Our project for the PIANO platform is Piano – alto! Des géographies nomades, with artists Nina Fiocco, Lise Lacombe, Jérémy Laffon, Daniele Pezzi and Guillaume Robert.

Space: CAC Chapelle St Jacques
Protagonist: Valérie Mazouin
Project: Piano – alto!

Vincent Honoré Pouvez-vous nous présenter le centre d’art et son environnement ?
Valérie Mazouin Le projet d’établissement du centre d’art Chapelle Saint-Jacques à St Gaudens se manifeste par un regard et une rencontre avec la ville et les territoires investis. Les acteurs des territoires doivent se mobiliser pour un accès à la culture en direction des publics dans des dynamiques ouvertes. Nous souhaitons offrir un site qui organise les circulations entre les arts plastiques, l’architecture, l’urbanisme, la vie économique et sociale. Le centre d’art veut s’inscrire dans une politique publique qui pose les conditions d’un nouveau développement du territoire et favorise un chantier qui aujourd’hui incarne un fait politique.
L’art et la culture peuvent être des leviers très puissants du « vivre ensemble ». Ils ont le pouvoir de donner du sens, du désir et du collectif aux évolutions sociétales trop souvent subies. Ainsi, l’engagement des partenaires montre que la lisibilité du centre d’art est un véritable enjeu de territoire, et avec ce projet, ils soutiennent l’événement mais pas l’évènementiel. En effet, faire évoluer cette structure c’est croire en l’utopie comme valeur de développement, car aujourd’hui l’art en est une des meilleures expressions partagées.

V.H. Il semble de plus en plus difficile de faire fonctionner en France des structures petites, souvent isolées. Se pose la question de leur validité dans un territoire qui peut être n’est pas propice a l’art contemporain. Est-ce que se pose aussi la question de l’utopie ou de l’obsolescence de la répartition territoriale et de la diffusion de l’art contemporain ? Ou de l’absence de volonté publique ?
V.M. La structure fonctionne avec un budget de 160 000 €, salaires compris. C’est donc une petite structure. Le projet est donc assez difficile à mener. Nous avons, malgré toutes ses difficultés, pu développer une politique de projet tournée vers le territoire. Les partenariats sont nombreux et diversifiés. Aujourd’hui nous n’obtenons pas l’adhésion de tous et c’est tout à fait normal. Le centre d’art tient une place importante depuis vingt ans d’existence, il y a une réelle légitimité de ses actions. Il ne s’agit pas de minimiser la difficulté, mais plutôt de prendre en compte la demande d’un public qui ne sait pas toujours se faire entendre. Les élus ne représentent pas le public, ils ne se déplacent que pour les vernissages et leurs visées sont souvent électoralistes. En revanche, le public que nous rencontrons est heureux d’avoir ce lieu de vie qui amène une offre différente sur un territoire rural. En terme d’utopie il est difficile de justifier la présence d’un centre d’art. Nous donner la possibilité de vivier c’est avoir un discours qui se place au niveau économique et de développement territoriale. L’utopie se joue dans la programmation et la médiation. Le travail en direction des publics est essentiel pour faire prendre conscience qu’une programmation est avant tout une petite fabrique d’utopies. C’est à cet endroit qu’il est possible d’amener les élus sur ces questions d’utopies. C’est assez complexe et fastidieux, mais nous avons un rôle à jouer en tant que citoyens. Nous devons être acteurs politiques de cette volonté publique.

V.H. Comment en tant que directrice articulez-vous votre programme ? Quels sont les temps forts de 2015 ?
V.M. Même si la programmation alterne entre la jeune création, la création émergente et les artistes reconnus de la scène artistique française, l’axe fort reste le soutien à la jeune création. Les plasticiens invités sont accueillis au centre d’art pour faire des propositions le plus souvent in situ. Le lieu nécessite d’être pris en compte dans son intégralité et par son architecture, une chapelle du 17ème siècle. La programmation souhaite faire émerger la densité narrative vue comme un socle au projet.

V.H. Quelles sont les responsabilités éthiques, artistiques et sociales d’une directrice de lieu d’art en 2015 ?
V.M. Comme déjà évoqué, nous avons un rôle citoyen, nous avons ce rôle de pédagogue pour faire comprendre, entraîner et continuer pour les artistes, pour le public.
Car nous devons continuer d’avancer et d’aider la création contemporaine facteur d’utopie et de réflexions. Nous sommes des acteurs politiques qui avons comme mission de promouvoir une autonomie de la pensée.

V.H. PIANO crée un réseau entre les centres d’art français et italien. Pourquoi était-ce important de collaborer et quel est le projet que vous allez présenter ?
V.M. Collaborer à PIANO c’est travailler en réseau et partager des idées, tester de nouvelles modalités de travail, expérimenter l’inconnu. Il nous faut aussi promouvoir le travail des centres d’art à l’étranger et PIANO est une excellente opportunité. Le projet inscrit dans la plateforme PIANO est Piano – alto! Des géographies nomades, avec les artistes Nina Fiocco, Lise Lacombe, Jérémy Laffon, Daniele Pezzi et Guillaume Robert.

Image:
1. Lionel Redon. Ici, Ailleurs, 2013, exhibition view at CAC Chapelle St Jacques. Photo: F. Deladerrière

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1:1PROJECTS

1:1projects is a network of independent art producers, which provides a platform for the initiation, development, production and promotion of contemporary local and international art projects and activities. The network operates as a point of intersection for the development of diverse and innovative projects including exhibitions, events, publications, symposia and talks, audio and live art beyond traditional institutional structures.
1:1projects’ archive highlights current methodologies in contemporary art. Intended as a tool for research and collaboration, it is actively engaged in a trans-national network between art professionals, operating in partnership with other archives located in Europe.
At the intersection between cultural mediation and distribution, 1:1projects produces workshops, seminars, events and exhibitions in an attempt to construct a research space which offers new modes of dialogue, exchange, and the reception and diffusion of contemporary art and culture.
1:1projects was founded in 2006 by Maria Alicata, Daniele Balit, Cecilia Canziani, Chiara Compostella, Benedetta Di Loreto, Adrienne Drake, Andrea Fontemaggi, Athena Panni, and Francesco Ventrella.

Project: Ephemera

 

1:1projects è un network indipendente di curatori e professionisti del mondo dell’arte contemporanea per lo sviluppo, la creazione e la promozione di progetti d’arte contemporanea, a livello sia locale sia internazionale. Il network opera come punto di intersezione nello sviluppo di modalità di produzione quali mostre, eventi, pubblicazioni, simposi, conferenze e performance che si pongono aldilà delle tradizionali strutture istituzionali. Nel corso degli anni 1:1projects ha istituito un archivio di artisti italiani e internazionali, focalizzato sulle metodologie più attuali dell’arte contemporanea. Inteso come strumento di ricerca e collaborazione, l’archivio è alla base di scambi con altri network internazionali e opera partnership con altri archivi europei. 1:1projects è stato fondato a Roma nel 2006 da Maria Alicata, Daniele Balit, Cecilia Canziani, Chiara Compostella, Benedetta di Loreto, Adrienne Drake, Andrea Fontemaggi, Athena Panni e Francesco Ventrella.

 

1:1projects est un réseau de commissaires et producteurs indépendants, qui constitue une plateforme d’initiatives, de développement, de production et de promotion de l’art contemporain au niveau local et international. Ce réseau représente un point de rencontre pour le développement de projets divers et innovants incluant expositions, événements, publications, conférences et rencontres, productions sonores et concerts, au-delà des structures institutionnelles habituelles. Au fil des années, 1:1projects a constitué des archives d’artistes italiens et internationaux qui mettent en lumière les méthodologies actuelles en matière d’art contemporain. Compris comme un outil de recherche et de collaboration, elles sont activement engagées dans les relations transnationales entre professionnels de l’art, opérant en partenariat avec les autres archives situées en Europe. 1:1projects a été créé en 2006 par Maria Alicata, Daniele Balit, Cecilia Canziani, Chiara Compostella, Benedetta di Loreto, Adrienne Drake, Andrea Fontemaggi, Athena Panni et Francesco Ventrella.

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JEAN-MAX COLARD IN CONVERSATION WITH 1:1PROJECTS (MARIA ALICATA, DANIELE BALIT, ADRIENNE DRAKE)

JEAN-MAX COLARD IN CONVERSATION WITH 1:1PROJECTS (MARIA ALICATA, DANIELE BALIT, ADRIENNE DRAKE)

Jean-Max Colard How did the project of Red Swan Hotel, that comprises a residency and two exhibitions in Rome and Chatou, begin?
1:1projects (Maria Alicata, Daniele Balit, Adrienne Drake) The project began by setting up a think tank that allowed us to share our different experiences and stories (both as individuals, but also as members of two different communities: the 1:1projects curatorial collective in Rome and the CNEAI in Chatou). We quickly identified the archive as our research thread, starting from what seemed to us quite a strong paradox inherent to the practice of archiving ephemera as the CNEAI is doing: the idea of conserving forms that have a short existence, trying to inscribe them in longer temporalities. A bit like collecting butterflies!
It’s true that such a paradox, epitomized by the FMRA collection (whose acronym in French reads ‘ephemera’) is a peculiarity of the archive format. In a way, all archives are ephemeral. The stories they preserve are there to be rewritten each time, to be brought to a new life on the occasion of each new display. That’s why Ben Kinmont’s motto “on becoming something else” could have been ours as well. Particularly if we think about the current moment in which there’s a search for a continuous migration of the artwork: through different mediums, formats, and notably through a network of interpersonal relations, as Kinmont’s projects suggest. This is something that became more and more relevant as we researched the archive material at CNEAI. Gradually, our research took the form of a historical perspective on some individuals, institutions and groups, who share similar preoccupations and who are trying to articulate them – or should we say, with Seth Price, to disperse them – through a variety of media.

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J.M.C. Why this title?
1:1 Red Swan Hotel is the title of the exhibition held at MACRO, and draws direct inspiration from Irish author Flann O’Brien’s 1939 novel At Swim-Two-Birds. The novel’s protagonist, a rather idle and drunken university student, spends much of his time writing short stories in which each of the characters’ own stories eventually begin to interconnect and overlap. As in the novel, in which the various protagonists meet at the Red Swan Hotel to plot the overthrow of the writer’s authority, so did the works in the exhibition reflect on the concept of the “authorship of the artist” and the “uniqueness of the artwork.” Wetlands Hero, the title of the show at CNEAI, is simply an anagram of Red Swan Hotel.

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J.M.C. How did you work all together?
1:1 The starting point of the project was a curatorial residency at CNEAI in June 2014. This was the occasion to approach and study the archive both individually and as a group. Each of us initially focused on our own personal curatorial interests and research, but at this stage we shared a common discussion on artists and their practices, which led to the identification of authorship as a crucial topic for the project. Gradually, we defined the group of artists we wanted to include in the first show in Rome, which was a selection of predominantly French artists. In reality, it was quite immediate not only for their works, but also because it was an opportunity to show historical artists such as Pascal Doury and Michel Journiac, who are not well known in Italy.
As we defined the second step of the project – evolving from the concept of authorship and singularity of the artwork to the role of the artist as curator – we worked more specifically in relation to the site of the CNEAI collection (such as Yann Sérandour’s work based on CNEAI’s own production of editions), together with artists and works from the first show, such as Ben Kinmont (with Promised Relations and archive material from Congratulations). We also included Italian artist Maurizio Nannucci and Jonathan Monk, whose practice is based on collaboration and appropriation.

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J.M.C. What are the continuity and the main differences between Rome and Chatou exhibitions?
1:1 As the play with the anagram suggests, Wetlands Hero is both a continued investigation into some of the issues that we had addressed previously in Red Swan Hotel, but also a shift in focus to the role of artist as curator, and to the space of action between art and its transmission. Some of the same artists are present in both shows, but there are artists and works “unique” to each. It was important, therefore, that each exhibition had a distinct title, but that were still directly connected in order to create continuity from one show to the next. Wetlands Hero seemed particularly fortuitous because it also very appropriately makes reference to CNEAI’s physical location – on the Île des Impressionnistes – and pays homage to the artists participating in both shows: makers of quiet heroic gestures.

J.M.C. How did you consider the collections of CNEAI?
1:1 A very interesting aspect that we soon seized upon during our residency on the Île des Impressionnistes is that the specificity of the CNEAI’s collection is related to its function as a platform for the distribution of art. This is of course true for any archive, the issues of access and display being at the center of its operations. But in the case of the FMRA archive, the whole idea of collecting editions and ephemera is really centered on exploring the possibilities of circulation and transmission of this specific type of art object. We were confronted with this very interesting dialectic between the fetishism of the collector (impulsive collecting, accumulation and preservation of ephemera…) and the endeavor of distributing it, which often implicates the questioning of the aura of the art object itself. With the exhibitions we wanted to emphasize such types of dualities. We then coupled a more classical way of selecting some wonderful material from the archive (such as the Pascal Doury’s or Michel Journiac’s files) with a different mode of relating to it – perhaps more focused on its meta-discourses. This was done by involving some figures for which archiving, collecting, re-framing, displaying, editing or distributing is at the core of their practice, and who contribute with their hybrid activities to the critical thinking and redefinition of the field. In other words, we wanted to share with these artists and their productions the processes of activating the archive. That was for us the most coherent way to present the FMRA collection, and also a response to some of the lines of research that emerged through the material itself.

Images:
1-4. Wetlands Hero, installation views, CNEAI, 2015

Project: Red Swan Hotel
Space: CNEAI
Protagonists: 1:1projects, Maria Alicata, Daniele Balit, Adrienne Drake

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QUENTIN DEROUET

Quentin Derouet, Encore un geste d’amour, 2013

Quentin Derouet, Encore un geste d’amour, 2013

Born 1988, Grenoble, France
Lives and works in Nice, France
A romantic image clings to the surface of Quentin Derouet’s works, the way it would cling to the skin: natural flowers become brushes for wall paintings covering a whole room with graffiti –J’aime bien jouer avec les fleurs, et vous? –, poems are written on other walls – Le feu qui me brûle et celui qui m’éclaire –, a gentle and engaging melody fills a whole room – Une valse pour rien (hommage à Allain Leprest). Language is totally poetry, as if life were just a song, but there is no naivety in his work. This language seeks to join up with the affective dimension of the objects which punctuate his installations with burnt photographs. Without focusing on any specific practice, he precisely defines his own based on installation and exhibition. Involved is a spectacular presentation of an atmosphere which steps out as much through the tongue, the furniture, the colors, and the sets of photographs and drawings. Nothing spontaneous, however. The works are conceived, thought out, sometimes written and even planned in a more or less near future, such as 7 plans de vol / 7 Flight plans. Encounters are still essential to such an œuvre in the making, but they could not happen by chance.

Jean-Marc Avrilla

Project: From & To

 

Questo artista, nato nel 1988 a Grenoble, non è legato a una pratica particolare e definisce precisamente la sua partendo dall’istallazione e dalla mostra. È una messa in spettacolo di un’atmosfera che trasuda attraverso la lingua, l’arredo, i colori, i gruppi di fotografie o i disegni. Eppure, non vi è nulla di spontaneo. Le opere sono pensate, ponderate, talvolta scritte, se non pianificate in un futuro più o meno prossimo, come 7 plans de vol, prima di essere realizzate. Gli incontri sono ancora essenziali per quest’opera in divenire, ma di sicuro non potranno capitare per caso.

 

Né en 1988 à Grenoble. Sans s’attacher à une pratique singulière, il définit précisément la sienne à partir de l’installation et de l’exposition. C’est une mise en spectacle d’une atmosphère qui transpire autant par la langue, le mobilier, les couleurs, les ensembles de photographies ou les dessins. Cependant, rien de spontané. Les œuvres sont pensées, réfléchies, écrites parfois – voire planifiées dans un futur plus ou moins proche, comme 7 plans de vol, avant d’être exécutées. Les rencontres sont encore essentielles à une telle œuvre en devenir, mais elles ne sauraient arriver au hasard.

Image:
Quentin Derouet, Encore un geste d’amour, 2013

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EMILIE PARENDEAU

Born 1980, Ambilly, France
Live and work in Paris, France

Emilie Parendeau reinterprets the works of other artists, with the intention of updating them, according to their terms of appearance, more than to introduce in them its own concerns. By supporting the process that accompanies their materialization, she introduces variations that are intended to make these active works in the present. She realized most of these activations in the project A LOUER and in various exhibition venues (CAC Brétigny, Brétigny; Peep-Hole, Milan; Gallery Arko, Nevers; Le Quartier, Quimper).

Née à Ambilly, France, en 1980
Vit et travaille à Paris, France

Émilie Parendeau s’attache à interpréter les œuvres d’autres artistes, moins pour y introduire ses propres préoccupations, que dans l’intention de les actualiser en fonction de leurs conditions d’apparition. En prenant en charge le processus qui accompagne leur matérialisation, elle introduit des variations qui ont pour objet de rendre ces œuvres actives dans le présent. Elle a réalisé la plupart de ces activations dans le cadre du projet A LOUER et dans divers lieux d’exposition (CAC de Brétigny ; Peep-Hole, Milan ; Galerie Arko, Nevers ; Le Quartier, Quimper).

Project: Double Cross, From Both Sides of a Mountain

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ERIC DE CHASSEY

Éric de Chassey is the Director of the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici since 2009. He is also Professor of Contemporary Art History at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. Since the beginning, his scientific activities have focused on the American and abstract art. He has published books and essays on 20th and 21st century art. He has also curated numerous exhibitions, accompanied by publications such as Soulages XXI century (Rome, Villa Medici, 2013) or Simon Hantaï (Rome, Villa Medici, 2014).

Focus: Prepared Piano – Model for a New Institutionalism
Partner: Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis

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Prepared Piano – Model for a new Institutionalism

Round table discussion moderated by Pierre Bal-Blanc
organized in the frame of PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art – France-Italie 2014-2015

Villa Medici
Viale Trinità dei Monti, 1 – 00187 Roma
Friday May 9, 2014
10 – 12 am

The panel discussion Prepared Piano: Model for a New Institutionalism presents artists, curators, as well as the managers of places where various projects have been produced over the past few years in Europe. These projects have in common that they make novel use of cultural exchange instruments, while giving their activities both a local and international scope.

Various case studies will be presented during this panel discussion to bring back into play notions of crossdisciplinarity (Théâtre des expositions at Villa Medici), process (Per_formare una collezione at the MADRE in Naples), and plasticity of relations (Laboratoire Espace Cerveau at the IAC in Villeurbanne). The discussions as a whole will echo the desire to found “a new institutionalism”, which has developed over the past few years through initiatives coming from both artists and curators. The desire to reconfigure the institution based on the model of a community centre, laboratory, open school, and other places that are not mainly governed by market laws, is linked with the creative momentum that led to Prepared Piano. The proposed discussion aims to demonstrate that PIANO, as well as Salon Light, dedicated to independent publishing, and Vdrome, a distribution network for artist films, are today all tangible initiatives.

Pierre Bal-Blanc is the director of the CAC Brétigny. He is also an independent curator and the vice-president of the d.c.a / French association for the development of centres d’art. Since 2003, in resonance with the social thought of Charles Fourrier, he has been developing the “Phalanstère Project” within a centre d’art. This is a series of specific offerings that critically rework the principles of artwork accumulation.
His exhibition series “Living Currency” and “Draft Score for an Exhibition” negotiate the historical and contemporary analysis of the body and of strategies linked to performance in the visual arts. “The Death of the Audience “ and “Reversibility” are reflections on the consequences that the materiality of art objects has on the configuration of art-world protagonists, the role and form of cultural institutions today.

Interdisciplinary stage
Theater of Exhibitions / Villa Medici, Rome / presentation by Eric de Chassey

Conceived by the director Éric de Chassey and organised by the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici every year since 2010, the Theatre of Exhibitions has been devised as a moment of encounter between the fellows in residence and the public, as well as one of dialogue and confrontation among the artists and scholars in residence. The different spaces of Villa Medici become ephemeral stages for installations, performances, projections, readings. The concept of openness, a predisposition to dialogue and confrontation among different disciplines is the characteristic that unites the projects, which are presented. The Theatre of Exhibitions has been designed as a “multiform laboratory” which displays the diversity of artistic practices and research, thus confirming the centrality of the French Academy in Rome in contemporary creation.

Éric de Chassey is the Director of the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici since 2009. He is also Professor of Contemporary Art History at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. Since the beginning, his scientific activities have focused on the US and abstract art. He has published books and essays on XXth and XXIst century art. He has also curated numerous exhibitions, accompanied by publications such as Soulages XXIth century (Rome, Villa Medici, 2013) or Simon Hantaï (Rome, Villa Medici, 2014).

Thought’s spatialization
Space Brain Laboratory / IAC, Villeurbanne / presentation by Nathalie Ergino and Ann Veronica Janssens

Initiated in 2009 by the artist Ann Veronica Janssens and Nathalie Ergino, director of the Institut d’art contemporain, the project aims at starting from experiments in art to explore practical and theoretical research linking space and the brain. This interdisciplinary laboratory brings together the reflections and experiments of artists and scientists and also philosophers, anthropologists, art historians and theoreticians, thus providing as much coverage by neuroscience, physics and astrophysics as by hypnosis, telepathy and shamanism.

Since January, 2006, Nathalie Ergino is the director of the Institut d‘art contemporain. Former director of the School / FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (1994-2000), and of the museum of contemporary art [mac] of Marseille (2001-2005), she has curated big monographic exhibitions (Jimmie Durham, Rodney Graham, Raymond Hains, Ann Veronica Janssens, Carsten Höller) as well as collective exhibitions (Maisons-Cerveaux, Subréel).

Born in 1956 in Folkestone (UK), Ann Veronica Janssens lives and works in Brussels (BE). Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions. Since 1985, she has also participated in important group exhibitions, as well as various international biennials and in 1999 Venice where she represented Belgium with Michel François. She regularly collaborates with choreographers (Drouler Pierre and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker). Her work has been presented recently within the exhibition Passion Fruit at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and within Dynamo, A century of light in art, 1913 – 2013 at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais.

Organizing the perceptible
Vdrome / Mousse, Milano / presentation by Enrico Boccioletti

Vdrome is an online platform that offers regular, high quality screenings of films and videos directed by visual artists and filmmakers, whose production lies in-between contemporary art and cinema. Each screening is presented during a limited period, as in a movie theatre. Vdrome makes available a program of exceptional artists’ films and videos that are selected due to their importance, quality and innovative strength, many of which are only shown in the context of film festivals, exhibitions or specific surveys, being therefore of very limited access. Vdrome is an initiative conceived and promoted by Mousse, curated by Edoardo Bonaspetti, Jens Hoffmann, Andrea Lissoni and Filipa Ramos, and maintained by Enrico Boccioletti.

Enrico Boccioletti is an artist and musician active under multiple names – Death in Plains, 4SICSX, spcnvdr and Enrico B – in the fields of postconceptual, new vernacular, performance and sound, interested into incompleteness and circularity, duplication and accumulation, waste, layering, forgery, faux-real. He also works for Mousse Magazine and Vdrome.

Incarnation of the collection
Per_formare una collezione / Madre, Naples / presentation by Andrea Viliani and Alessandro Rabottini

Per_forming a collection is an on-going project designed to develop the formation of the Museo MADRE’s permanent collection in Naples. It focuses on artists of different generations whose works have been conceived as physical and mental instruments that bring together thought and action in every possible media, linking visual arts to theatre and literature. The project aims to shape a collection that is articulated over time, combining archival research with commissions for new works taking into account the role of the museum as a place of memory and preservation as well as a continuing research and production laboratory. All the works presented have a relation with the city and its history: works conceived or exhibited here, from artist who happened to exhibit in Naples or works belonging to private or public local collections.

Since 2013 Andrea Viliani is the director of the Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee – Madre, Napoli. He previously worked from 2009 to 2012 as Director of Fondazione Galleria Civica – Centro di Ricerca sulla Contemporaneità in Trento. In 2012 he was a member of the Core Agents Group of dOCUMENTA(13) and he co-curated the related position in Kabul and Bamiyan (Afghanistan). From 2005 to 2009, Viliani was curator at the MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna. Among the 60 “players” of the 2007 Biennale de Lyon, he is a frequent contributor to FROG, Mousse, Kaleidoscope and Flash Art.

Alessandro Rabottini is an art critic and curator based in London. He is Curator at Large at the Madre Museum in Naples (where he recently curated a mid-career retrospective of Padraig Timoney and the survey show of Ettore Spalletti) and served as guest curator for several international institutions. In his capacity of Curator at Large at the GAMeC in Bergamo he curated solo exhibitions of artists such as Robert Overby, Mircea Cantor, Latifa Echakhch, Victor Man, Pratchaya Phinthong, Pietro Roccasalva, Tim Rollins & K.O.S, Sterling Ruby, Tris Vonna-Michell and Jordan Wolfson.

Praising uncertainty
Salon light / cneai =, Chatou / presentation by Sylvie Boulanger

Founded in 2004 by Cneai, Salon Light became over a few years an unmissable rendez-vous for micro-publishers and artist’s publication in Paris. After exporting the concept at Vermelho gallery in Sao Paulo and the great success of Salon Light 9 at Palais de Tokyo in 2012, Salon Light keeps uniting a moving scene of artists, authors, independent publishers or composers. Books, magazines, objects, LP’s, catalogues or artist’s book, the publications are often limited editions, sometimes impossible to find in Paris, and are breaking new grounds while creating new networks in the art and publishing worlds. Performances and meetings with professionals and artists are also a key part of the event. Free for the publishers and the public, it’s accessible to all and offers visibility to a still somehow unknown field.

Sylvie Boulanger is founder and curator of Salon Light since its creation in 2004. She directs Cneai since 1997. She curated over a hundred exhibitions, published more than seventy books (artist’s books, journals, catalogues) and produced as few documentaries. She is a member of several research labs, she also contributes to academic reviews like Multitudes and lectures in art schools and universities. She was the founder of the production agency APC (Art Public Contemporain) that she directed for ten years (1990-1997) after occupying the position of associate director «exhibition and communication» within the Ministry of Culture visual arts delegation (1987-1990).

The round table discussion will be followed by a
Concert for Prepared Piano by Laurent Durupt, composer and fellow at the Villa Medici

More information at
www.pianoproject.org
info@pianoproject.org

Round table discussion organized in the frame of PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art, France-Italie 2014-2015

PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art, France–Italy 2014-2015, initiated by d.c.a / French association for the development of centres d’art, in partnership with the Institut français in Italy, the French Embassy in Italy and the Institut français, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and Fondazione Nuovi Mecenati.

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SLAVEN TOLJ

Born 1964, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia
Lives and works in Dubrovnik and Rijeka, Croatia

Slaven Tolj is one of the leading exponents of the art scene in Croatia. His radical minimalist practice, which includes performance, photography, actions, and ready-mades, explores social situations and historic events. In the 1990s, Tolj focused on the situation in his country, namely the break-up of Yugoslavia and in particular the siege of Dubrovnik, his home town. Also known for his curatorial work, in 1988 he founded the Lazareti Art Workshop in Dubrovnik, one of Croatia’s busiest art hubs. In his solo show Low Season, hosted by the Dubrovnik Museum of Modern Art in 2007, Slaven Tolj recreated a stylized version of the city inside the museum, linking the areas of the building with various neighborhoods of Dubrovnik. The title of the exhibition refers to the tourist season and is a clear indication that the project was mainly destined for the local population.
The show also featured the work Map of the City of Dubrovnik, a city plan reworked by the artist. After the conflict, a map showing where the city was bombed after the siege in 1991-92 was placed by the road going into the city. Tolj used the same map, but in his version the key refers to the bars, fast food outlets, souvenir shops, etc. that are steadily taking over those parts of Dubrovnik, a new kind of siege. It is a vision of a city that is being emptied and turned into a holiday destination: memories of the horrors of war are gradually being replaced by the invasion of tourism.

Nato a Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, nel 1964
Vive e lavora a Dubrovnik e Rijeka, Croazia

Slaven Tolj è uno dei più importanti esponenti della scena artistica croata. La sua pratica radicale e minimalista, che comprende performance, fotografie, azioni e oggetti ready-made, si focalizza su fatti sociali ed eventi storici. Negli anni ‘90 Tolj ha concentrato il suo lavoro sulla situazione del proprio Paese, ovvero sulla disintegrazione della Jugoslavia e, in particolare, sull’assedio di Dubrovnik, sua città natale. L’artista, inoltre, si è sempre dedicato alla pratica curatoriale, che lo ha visto fondare nel 1988 l’Art Workshop Lazareti di Dubrovnik, uno dei centri d’arte più attivi in Croazia. Nella personale Low Season (Bassa stagione), tenutasi al Museum of Modern Art di Dubrovnik nel 2007, Slaven Tolj ha stilizzato la città all’interno del museo, collegando gli spazi dell’istituzione alle varie aree di Dubrovnik. Il titolo della mostra si riferisce a quei periodi dell’anno in cui il fenomeno del turismo di massa è assente o quasi, e indica come il progetto fosse principalmente destinato alla popolazione locale.
In mostra era presente anche l’opera Map of the City of Dubrovnik (Piantina della città di Ragusa), una piantina della città rielaborata dall’artista. Al termine del conflitto all’entrata di Dubrovnik è stata collocata una mappa con legenda informativa, che segnala dove ebbero luogo i bombardamenti seguiti all’assedio del 1991-’92. Tolj ha usato la stessa mappa, ma nella sua versione la legenda evidenzia i bar, i fast-food, i negozi di souvenir ecc., che di anno in anno aprono in quelle zone della città. Si ha quindi la visione di una Dubrovnik progressivamente assediata da spazi di ricezione turistica: una città sempre più vuota e trasformata in destinazione di vacanza, dove i disastri della guerra sono stati sostituiti dall’invasione dell’industria del turismo. In mostra sono presenti due piantine: quella originale della città, e quella elaborata e aggiornata dall’artista.

Project: Soleil politique

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LEONARDO BIGAZZI

Leonardo Bigazzi is a curator based in Florence, Italy. He recently started working at the Museo Marino Marini where he co-curated the exhibition 30/60 Opere dalla collezione del FRAC Champagne-Ardenne with a selection of over 40 works from the collection of the French institution.
Since its first edition in 2008 he collaborates with Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival in Florence, Italy. For the Festival he curates VISIO – European Workshop on Artists’ Cinema, the VISIO Residency Program, and Notti di Mezza Estate, a summer program of artists’ films and documentaries from the archives of the Festival. Beside collaborating to the selection of films for the main program, in the past edition of the Festival he has been responsible for special projects with the artists Omer Fast, Melik Ohanian and Hiroshi Sugimoto. He is also the co-director of Feature Expanded, a training program developed together with HOME (Cornerhouse) in Manchester.
He recently started an on-going collaboration with the artist Petrit Halilaj and he has worked for the research and production of his exhibitions at the Galerie Kamel Mennour (Paris), Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn), Kölnischer Kunstverein (Koln) and Palazzo Grassi/Punta della Dogana (Venice).
Since 2012 he works at the Gucci Museum in Florence as a consultant for the contemporary art exhibitions organized in collaboration with the François Pinault Collection.

Leonardo Bigazzi lavora come curatore al Museo Marino Marini di Firenze dove ha co-curato nel 2014 la mostra 30/60 Opere dalla collezione del FRAC Champagne-Ardenne.
Sin dalla sua prima edizione nel 2008 collabora con Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival, progetto internazionale dedicato alle relazioni tra cinema e arte contemporanea. Nel contesto del Festival è il curatore di VISIO European Workshop on Artists’ Moving Images, del VISIO Residency Program e del programme estivo Notti di Mezza Estate. Oltre a collaborare alla selezione dei film e degli incontri del programma, ha seguito nelle passate edizioni la produzione di progetti speciali con gli artisti Omer Fast, Melik Ohanian e Hiroshi Sugimoto. È inoltre il co-direttore del progetto internazionale Feature Expanded, un programma di training sviluppato insieme a HOME (Cornerhouse) a Manchester.
Recentemente ha iniziato uno stretto rapporto di collaborazione e di ricerca con l’artista kosovaro Petrit Halilaj per le sue mostre alla Galleria Kamel Mennour (Parigi), Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn), Kölnischer Kunstverein (Colonia) e Palazzo Grassi/Punta della Dogana (Venezia).
In qualità di consulente collabora dal 2012 con il Gucci Museo a Firenze per le mostre di arte contemporanea organizzate in collaborazione con la François Pinault Collection.

Leonardo Bigazzi est commissaire d’exposition basé à Florence.
Il travaille depuis peu au Museo Marino Marini où il a été co-commissaire de l’exposition 30/60 Œuvres de la collection du FRAC Champagne-Ardenne.
Il collabore avec le festival de cinéma Lo Schermo dell’Arte à Florence depuis sa première édition en 2008 : il y est commissaire des programmes VISIO (ateliers, résidences) et de Notti di Mezza Estate, un programme estival de films d’artistes et de documentaires. Il collabore régulièrement à la sélection des films et a été responsable lors de la précédente édition des projets spéciaux avec les artistes Omer Fast, Melik Ohanian et Hiroshi Sugimoto. Il est également co-directeur de Feature Expanded, un programme de formation développé avec HOME (Cornerhouse) à Manchester.
Il travaille avec l’artiste Petrit Halilaj pour la recherche et la production de ses expositions (Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris ; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn ; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne ; Palazzo Grassi / Punta della Dogana, Venise).
Depuis 2012, il est conseiller au musée Gucci à Florence pour les expositions d’art contemporain organisées en collaboration avec la collection François Pinault.

Space: Museo Marino Marini
Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago

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KEREN DETTON

Keren Detton is curator and director of Le Quartier, contemporary art centre in Quimper (Brittany, France) since 2009. She works with artists from different generations and develops exhibition projects and publications on a national and international scale. Her programme includes monographic exhibitions (Guy de Cointet, Ann Veronica Janssens, Claude Closky, Carey Young, Adva Zakai, Fayçal Baghriche…) and collective exhibitions, which focus on forms and languages, perception of images and the construction of identities. From 2004 to 2009, she worked in Air de Paris gallery and conducted a prospective programme titled La Planck. She held the position of president of the association C-E-A (French association of curators) from 2007 to 2009, and is still involved as a board member.

Keren Detton è curatore e direttore dal 2009 del centro d’arte contemporanea Le Quartier a Quimper (Francia). Ha lavorato con artisti di varie generazioni e sviluppato progetti espositivi su scala nazionale e internazionale. Il suo programma include mostre monografiche (Guy de Cointet, Ann Veronica Janssens, Claude Closky, Carey Young, Adva Zakai, Fayçal Baghriche…) e collettive che indagano i diversi linguaggi formali, la percezione delle immagini e la costruzione dell’identità. Dal 2004 al 2009 ha lavorato alla galleria Air de Paris dove ha portato avanti un programma chiamato La Planck. Dal 2007 al 2009 è stata presidente dell’Associazione dei Curatori Francesi (C-E-A) di cui è tutt’oggi membro del consiglio.

Keren Detton est commissaire d’exposition et dirige Le Quartier, centre d’art contemporain de Quimper depuis 2009. Elle s’attache à porter un regard sur plusieurs générations d’artistes et à développer des projets d’exposition et d’édition dans une dynamique nationale et internationale. Sa programmation comprend des expositions monographiques (Guy de Cointet, Ann Veronica Janssens, Claude Closky, Carey Young, Adva Zakai, Fayçal Baghriche…) et des expositions collectives qui révèlent un intérêt pour le langage et ses formes, la perception des images et la construction des identités. De 2004 à 2009, elle a travaillé à la galerie Air de Paris et mené un programme prospectif intitulé La Planck. Elle est membre de l’association C-E-A (commissaires d’exposition associés) qu’elle a présidé de 2007 à 2009.

Space: Le Quartier CAC
Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH KEREN DETTON, LE QUARTIER CAC, QUIMPER

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH KEREN DETTON, LE QUARTIER CAC, QUIMPER

Vincent Honoré When was Le Quartier Contemporary Art Center created, and what were the factors that brought it into being?
Keren Detton Le Quartier was founded in 1990 on the initiative of the former director of the Quimper art school, Michel Pagnoux. Its underpinnings were the intense competition in art, literature and film in Quimper and the implementation of the decentralisation policies initiated by Jack Lange in the mid-1980s. A series of preview exhibitions with international artists convinced municipal decision-makers to support the creation of a centre d’art. Le Quartier was set up in the same building as the art school but operated autonomously, enabling it to be part of a professional network to which students had special access. Subsequently, the implementation of a contract with the state, region and department guaranteed that it would be possible to work with the public in a sustained way, particularly through the assistance they provided for the production of works and for mediation activities.

Project room

2. Project room, Le Quartier CAC

V.H. Charles Esche described his ideal museum as fundamentally uncertain: simultaneously and fully a community centre, laboratory, institute and gallery. A place where production is not necessarily “productive”, a place that is always being reconfigured, an open form with an incomplete architecture. How did you structure the centre’s curatorial approach when you took up the director’s post?
K.D. A centre d’art is by definition a place of reconfigurations and reconsiderations. In 2010, I suggested reviewing the allocation of the spaces in Le Quartier so that we could create a Project Room, an artistic experimentation zone serving as a counterpoint to the exhibitions, reactive to artists’ ideas and able to accommodate works in progress or works stemming from collective creative processes. The idea was to shake up the annual programme, introduce different rhythms, play on synchronic or diachronic effects, while preserving an artistic research space over the long term and continuing to do creative work with publications (catalogues, anthologies of texts, artist books). I also wanted to work on the porosity between the inside and outside in order to shatter the military aspect of this former barracks and highlight the seeing conditions. The fact of opening the exhibition rooms to the light of day had an effect on the centre d’art’s regulars. It was as if visitors were both surprised and relieved to see the works integrated into their day-to-day life. This pleased me, because I think a centre d’art should be able to bring itself into play just as much as it presents things, favouring encounters and questioning disparities. Recently, artist and architect Catherine Rannou offered a visit to the worksite of an exhibition setup tackling architecture through language and imagination, radically transforming the institution. I find it very stimulating when works speak to visitors on the level of their relationship to the body and to language.

05 Pierre Labat

3. Pierre Labat, Mr. Anderson, 2012

V.H. What is the role of the director of a contemporary centre d’art in 2015 ?
K.D. Le Quartier will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in a shaken political, economic and media context. The state is withdrawing, the map of regions is changing and the status of centres d’art is very weakened. As we speak, Le Quartier is being threatened by drastic budget cuts, and yet its balance sheet has been unanimously praised by all of its public partners. It runs an untimely programme alongside artists, investigates our visual cultures through images and language, and merrily crosses the boundaries between disciplines. Yet it is being told to justify its legitimacy. If mobility is greater today, what can a centre d’art offer in the provinces? Le Quartier is in a prime position between the art school, to which it offers genuine professional springboards, and the fine art museum, with which it collaborates regularly. But above all it is a place of emerging forms and ideas, passions and questions. It is rooted in its territory and resonates with places elsewhere, and keeps up a dialogue with artists and visitors. The director’s role is to keep this relationship with art and artists alive.

Ante Timmermans, Der Souffleur des ICHTS, 2014-2015

4. Ante Timmermans, Der Souffleur des ICHTS, 2014-2015

V.H. PIANO wants to create a forum for exchange and dialogue between Italian and French art centres. Why did you wish to participate and what programme are you proposing?
K.D. It’s a chance, through an association like d.c.a, to be able to connect with an art scene in another country, develop a better knowledge of its network of institutions and independents, exchange ideas and build things in with several others. It’s even essential, because a centre d’art feeds on alterity. Alfred Jarry Archipelago was born of the desire to understand artistic creation today through Alfred Jarry, the father of pataphysics. The project has turned into an open curatorial platform, which apprehends the legacy of the author of Ubu Roi not historically but speculatively. Since he was a well-informed observer of the artists of his time, we decided to make way for Alfred Jarry the curator! With Julie Pellegrin, director of the centre d’art La Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel, we are presenting a two-part exhibition, La valse des pantins – Act I and II. Leonardo Bigazzi, curator at the Museo Marino Marini in Florence, is presenting a programme of performances. Eva Wittocx, curator at M – Museum and for the Playground Festival in Leuven (Belgium) is joining us by linking monographic exhibitions and performances. The project framework is open enough to incorporate different points of view on this subversive figure full of contrasts, and to more closely examine his relationship to theatre, his projection of bodies and desire, his use of codes and absurdity, and the mixing of genres and identities. A publication in the form of an almanac will be the receptacle of this multiplicity of perspectives, with supplements provided by new contributors, authors and artists.

Nadashi

5. Shelly Nadashi, Poupée épouvantail avec pots et sac à dos, 2011-2014

Pauline Curnier Jardin   Blutbad Parade, 2014-2015

6. Pauline Curnier Jardin, Blutbad Parade, 2014-2015

Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago
Space: Le Quartier CAC
Protagonist: Keren Detton

Vincent Honoré Quand a été créé Le Quartier, centre d’art contemporain et qu’est-ce qui a présidé à sa création ?
Keren Detton Le Quartier a été fondé en 1990 à l’initiative de l’ancien directeur de l’école d’art de Quimper, Michel Pagnoux. Les prémisses étaient ceux d’une forte émulation artistique, littéraire et cinématographique à Quimper et la mise en place des politiques de décentralisation initiées par Jack Lang au début des années 80. Une série d’expositions de préfiguration avec des artistes internationaux a convaincu les décideurs municipaux de soutenir la création d’un centre d’art. Le Quartier a pris place dans le même bâtiment que l’école d’art mais avec un fonctionnement autonome qui lui permet de s’inscrire dans un réseau professionnel auquel les étudiants ont un accès privilégié. Par la suite, la mise en place d’un conventionnement avec l’Etat, la région et le département a pu garantir la possibilité de travailler de manière soutenue avec les publics, notamment par leur aide à la production d’œuvres et aux actions de médiation.

V.H. Charles Esche a décrit son musée idéal comme étant fondamentalement incertain : a la fois, simultanément, et intégralement, centre communautaire, laboratoire, institut, galerie. Un lieu où la production n’est pas obligatoirement “productive”, un lieu en permanente reconfiguration, une forme ouverte à l’architecture incomplète. Comment avez-vous structuré l’approche curatoriale du lieu quand vous en avez pris la direction ?
K.D. Le centre d’art est par définition un espace de reconfigurations et de remises en question. En 2010, j’ai proposé de revoir l’affectation des espaces du Quartier de manière à créer un Project Room, une zone d’expérimentations artistiques en contrepoint des expositions, réactif aux idées des artistes et pouvant accueillir des œuvres en train de se faire ou bien issues de processus de création collectifs. L’idée était de bousculer le programme annuel, d’introduire des rythmes différents, de jouer sur des effets synchroniques ou diachroniques, tout en préservant un espace de recherche artistique dans la durée et un travail critique avec les éditions (catalogues, anthologies de textes, livres d’artistes). Je voulais aussi travailler sur la porosité entre le dedans et le dehors pour casser le côté militaire de cette ancienne caserne et mettre en exergue les conditions du regard. Le fait d’ouvrir les salles d’exposition à la lumière du jour a marqué les habitués du centre d’art, c’est comme si les visiteurs avaient été, à la fois, surpris et soulagés de voir les œuvres inscrites dans leur quotidien. Cela m’a plu, car je pense qu’un centre d’art doit pouvoir se mettre en jeu autant qu’il met en scène, favoriser les rencontres et questionner les écarts. Récemment, Catherine Rannou, artiste et architecte, a proposé une visite sur le chantier d’un montage d’exposition attaquant l’architecture par le verbe et par l’imaginaire, transformant l’institution de manière radicale. Je trouve très stimulant quand les œuvres interpellent le visiteur dans son rapport au corps et au langage.

V.H. Quel est le rôle d’un directeur de centre d’art contemporain en 2015 ?
K.D. Le Quartier fêtera ses 25 ans cette année dans un contexte politique, économique et médiatique bouleversé. L’Etat se retire, la carte des régions se modifie et le statut des centres d’art est très fragilisé. A l’heure où je vous réponds, Le Quartier est menacé de coupes drastiques dans son budget, pourtant son bilan est unanimement salué par tous ses partenaires publics. Il porte une programmation intempestive avec des artistes, investigue nos cultures visuelles à travers l’image et le langage, et franchit allègrement les frontières entre les disciplines. Pourtant, on le somme de justifier sa légitimité. Si la mobilité est plus grande aujourd’hui, que peut apporter un centre d’art en région ?