Roman Ondák

PETER BUGGENHOUT

Guillaume Robert

Mauricio Guillén

Nathalie Ergino

ELAINE STURTEVANT

MARIE VOIGNIER

Marcello Maloberti

SANTIAGO SIERRA

Sonia Leimer

Christodoulos Panayiotou

BECKY BEASLEY

RON TRAN

Rosalind Nashashibi

VINCENT VERLÉ

Lili Reynaud-Dewar

Jean-Marie Perdrix

Félix González-Torres

Bernhard Rüdiger

Martine Michard

JOSEF DABERNIG

Vivien Roubaud

Benoît Maire

GUSTAV ANDREAS WOLFGANG

Isa Genzken

Matthieu Saladin

FRANCISCO TROPA

SIMON FRAVEGA

Letizia Ragaglia

GIORGIO DE CHIRICO

JULIE PELLEGRIN

VIRGINIE BOBIN

JACOPO MILIANI

QUENTIN DEROUET

MARIA ALICATA

Hans Schabus

Jean-Luc Moulène

Éric Mangion

CHIARA AGNELLO

Alberto Garutti

Tony Fiorentino

Leander Schwazer

RETO PULFER

Daniele Pezzi

Stefania Meazza

VALERIO DEHÒ

Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

Ann Veronica Janssens

ANDREA VILIANI

Isidoro Valcárcel Medina

Roberto Pugliese

Antoine Nessi

ENRICO BOCCIOLETTI

Nina Fiocco

Deimantas NARKEVIČIUS

RAIMUND ABRAHAM

TERRE THAEMLITZ

Sandra Patron

Sanja Iveković

ERIC DE CHASSEY

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

JULIETTE BLIGHTMAN

DANIELE BALIT

MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP

Walter Pichler

Jérémy Laffon

Claire Le Restif

LEONARDO BIGAZZI

Valérie Mazouin

PIERRE BAL-BLANC

Émilie Parendeau/BERNHARD RÜDIGER

Goldschmied & Chiari

Rä di Martino

Dan Graham

Alessandro Rabottini

ANICKA YI

Hou Hanru

Lise Lacombe and Jean-Baptiste Alazard

LUCY SKAER

ETIENNE BERNARD

Marlie Mul

Prinz Gholam

LORRAINE CHATEAUX

Carlo Scarpa

LOIS WEINBERGER

Alexander Gutke

MARCEL BROODTHAERS

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

CLÉMENCE SEILLES

MATT MULLICAN

1:1PROJECTS

Pratchaya Phinthong

Rometti Costales

Marcus Geiger

Adrienne Drake

Gianni Pettena & PIERRE BAL-BLANC

SYLVIE BOULANGER

Pier Paolo Pasolini

ANDY WARHOL

Silvano Agosti

DIANE BLONDEAU

Allan Sekula

SIMONE FRANGI

THOMAS TEURLAI

LORENZO BENEDETTI

SLAVEN TOLJ

Marta Minujín

Gianluca d’Incà Levis

ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

PATRICK BERNATCHEZ

KEREN DETTON

Chris Sharp

Marianne Maric

Cécile Poblon

CAPC – PHILIPPE THOMAS

MICHAEL E. SMITH

Mandla Reuter

EMILIE PARENDEAU

ILARIA BONACOSSA

MATHIEU KLEYEBE ABONNENC

Emilio Prini

ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI

Rainer Oldendorf

MARYAM JAFRI

EMANUELE GUIDI

Mattin

CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER

MICHAEL DEAN

GIANNI PETTENA

CARLO GABRIELE TRIBBIOLI

Julia Frank

KP BREHMER

JOHN CAGE

LAWRENCE WEINER

Jochen Lempert

NINA CANELL

ROBERT BREER

MARIE COZETTE

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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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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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Rä di Martino

Born 1975, Rome, Italy
Lives and works in Turin, Italy

Rä di Martino works with video and imagery related to the cinema, exploring the mechanisms that determine the dividing line between fact and fiction. In her videos, photography, and most recently installations, her attention is devoted to the power of the image, the way it is constructed, the things that excite our collective imagination, and the remains of the sets used to create the make-believe worlds of film and theater.
She shot the video If You See the Object, the Object Sees You in the Paris studio/apartment of the artist and architect Yona Friedman. The camera homes in on a succession of different elements in each shot, revealing architectural models created by Friedman using reclaimed and recycled materials. Without any single element prevailing, the various articles and materials gradually emerge from the apparent jumble of assorted objects in the flat/ studio, bringing Friedman’s architectural visions to light.
These ephemeral structures that never saw construction resonate with Rä di Martino’s work on abandoned film and theater sets. The title of the video refers to Friedman’s final statement, which in turn underlines Di Martino’s own use and reuse of materials and artistic media.

Nata a Roma, Italia, nel 1975
Vive e lavora a Torino, Italia

Rä di Martino lavora con il video e con l’immaginario legato al cinema. Ha sviluppato un’attenta ricerca sui meccanismi che determinano il confine tra finzione e realtà. Nei suoi video, nelle fotografie, e come pure nelle installazioni più recenti, la sua attenzione è sempre rivolta alla forza dell’immagine, al modo di costruirla, a ciò che alimenta l’immaginario collettivo e, soprattutto, a quello che rimane delle strutture che costituiscono le scenografie di un’opera teatrale o cinematografica, ovvero i mondi fittizi creati per il cinema o per il teatro.
Il video If You See the Object, the Object Sees You (Se vedi l’oggetto, l’oggetto vede te) è stato girato nell’appartamento-studio parigino dell’architetto e artista Yona Friedman. La telecamera mette a fuoco in successione elementi diversi all’interno delle medesime inquadrature, mostrando via via plastici architettonici e modellini realizzati da Friedman con materiali di recupero o riciclati. Senza mai prevalere uno sull’altro, i vari elementi e materiali emergono in maniera graduale dall’apparente confusione e dalla eterogeneità degli oggetti collezionati nella casa-studio, restituendo le visioni architettoniche di Friedman. Queste architetture effimere e non realizzate trovano corrispondenza nei lavori di Rä di Martino sulle scenografie e sui set cinematografici abbandonati. Il titolo del video si riferisce alla frase finale che Friedman pronuncia rivolto alla telecamera, e nella quale sottolinea il processo di uso e riuso di materiali e mezzi espressivi.

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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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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Isa Genzken

Born 1948, Bad Oldesloe, Germany
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Isa Genzken uses a wide range of materials, media, and technology to create works that express a strong connection with reality. Her pieces, which take many different forms (columns, paintings, sculptures, and installations), can be viewed as “molds” that trace the relationship between the artist and the objects, spaces, and architectural structures that surround her. Zwei Frauen im Gefecht (Two Women in Combat) is one of Genzken’s first videos, produced while the artist was at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. It might seem strange to choose a video, given that the artist is better known for her sculptures, yet in the 1970s many artists and performers used their bodies and the medium of video installation to expose the sexism and patriarchal set-up of the art establishment. In her practice Genzken often adopts a cinematographic approach, for example in her works devoted to the architecture of cities like New York and Chicago, not to mention her numerous photographic projects. The video on show in the exhibition dates to 1974 and documents a performance in which Isa Genzken and fellow artist Susanne Grayson repeatedly exchange clothes, leaving one naked and the other dressed and then vice versa, highlighting the marked differences in their body shapes. The two friends pass a bra, shirt, skirt, and shoes back and forth, making amused attempts to fit the clothes to their bodies. The video was filmed by the German art historian Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, anticipating Genzken’s practice of including other artists and people from the art world in her works.

Nata a Bad Oldesloe, Germania, nel 1948
Vive e lavora a Berlino, Germania

Utilizzando i più svariati materiali, media e tecnologie, Isa Genzken crea opere che esprimono un forte legame con la realtà. I suoi lavori, che assumono le forme più disparate (colonne, dipinti, sculture o installazioni), possono essere considerati come dei “calchi”, raffiguranti la relazione che intercorre tra l’artista e gli oggetti, gli spazi e le architetture che la circondano. Zwei Frauen im Gefecht (Due donne in competizione) è uno dei primi video di Genzken, realizzati quando l’artista studiava all’Accademia di Düsseldorf. Selezionare un video di Isa Genzken per una mostra è una scelta insolita, dato che l’artista è più conosciuta per le sue opere scultoree. Tuttavia, negli anni ’70 molte artiste e performer hanno utilizzato il proprio corpo e il mezzo della videoinstallazione per denunciare il sessismo e la gestione patriarcale del sistema dell’arte. Nella sua pratica artistica Genzken adotta spesso uno sguardo cinematografico, come emerge dai suoi lavori dedicati alle architetture di città quali New York o Chicago, o da numerosi progetti fotografici. Il video citato, del 1974, documenta una performance in cui Isa Genzken e l’amica e artista Susanne Grayson si scambiano più volte gli abiti che indossano, risultando a turno una nuda e l’altra vestita, ciò che evidenzia diverse corporature delle due donne. Le amiche si passano il reggiseno, la camicia, la gonna e le scarpe, e cercano di volta in volta di adattare i capi ai loro corpi, sorridendo. Le riprese sono effettuate dallo storico dell’arte tedesco Benjamin H. D. Buchloh e, in questo senso, il video anticipa la pratica di Genzken di coinvolgere nei propri lavori altri artisti e persone che operano nel mondo dell’arte.

Project: Soleil politique

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MARIE VOIGNIER

Born 1974, Ris-Orangis, France
Lives and works in Paris, France

After studying science, Marie Voignier entered the École des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, where she produced her first video works. The various subjects of her videos are inspired by reality and play on different cinematographic levels that highlight the reversibility of genres and the multiple viewpoints possible of a given situation. Tourisme International bears witness to a spectacle on a national scale: North Korea. Moving constantly from one place to another, this tourist trip stops at monuments, museums, and institutions presented by North Korean tourist guides. North Korean cinema is shot in 16mm silent film and is entirely overdubbed. Practically no sound, other than speech and music, accompanies the images. All other intermediary, “ephemeral” sounds are missing: the sound of wind in the trees, the distant voices of other characters, the rustling of clothes and bodies, and off-screen noises.
The recreated soundtrack of Tourisme International, on the contrary, includes all the sounds excluded from North Korean cinema, which give matter and depth to space. This rearrangement of sound, however, excludes all voices. All commentary by the tourist guides or by Marie Voignier herself remains silent; all speech is eliminated and the voices shift off-screen, to the titles that punctuate the film and give the spectator a minimum of information in order to identify the places and context shown.

Nata a Ris-Orangis, Francia, nel 1974
Vive e lavora a Parigi, Francia

Dopo gli studi scientifici, Marie Voignier entra all’École des Beaux-arts di Lione, dove realizza i suoi primi video: soggetti diversi, che attingono alla realtà e giocano con differenti gradi di lettura filmica, sottolineando così la reversibilità del genere e dei molteplici punti di vista su una situazione.
Tourisme International (Turismo internazionale) è stato girato come la registrazione di uno spettacolo su scala nazionale, dove la nazione implicata è la Corea del Nord. Nell’urgenza dello spostamento continuo, questo viaggio turistico percorre monumenti, musei e istituzioni, presentati dalle guide nordcoreane. Il cinema nordcoreano, girato in 16 mm, è muto; i film stranieri sono interamente doppiati, ma, oltre alle voci degli attori e alla musica, nessun altro suono accompagna le immagini. Tutti i suoni intermedi, o “secondari”, sono assenti: il rumore del vento tra gli alberi, il brusio delle comparse in lontananza, il fruscio dei vestiti o dei corpi in movimento, e in generale tutti i fuori campo sono eliminati. La colonna sonora ricreata per Tourisme International, invece, è fatta di tutti questi suoni, che conferiscono una materia e uno spessore allo spazio. Dalla ricomposizione sonora sono state però escluse le voci. I commenti delle guide e di Marie Voignier sono muti. Tutti i discorsi tacciono e le voci si spostano fuori dalle immagini, dentro i sottotitoli che punteggiano il film, dando allo spettatore elementi indispensabili per situare i luoghi e un contesto dove orientarsi.

Née à Ris-Orangis, France, en 1974
Vit et travaille à Paris, France

Après des études scientifiques, Marie Voignier entre à l’École des Beaux-arts de Lyon où elle réalise ses premières vidéos. Leurs sujets variés sont puisés dans la réalité et jouent sur différents registres filmiques, soulignant ainsi la réversibilité des genres et des points de vue sur une situation.
Tourisme International a été tourné comme la captation d’un spectacle à l’échelle d’un pays, la Corée du Nord. Dans l’urgence du perpétuel déplacement, ce voyage touristique parcourt monuments, musées, institutions, présentés par des guides nord-coréens.
Le cinéma nord-coréen est tourné en 16 mm muet et les films sont entièrement doublés. En dehors des voix et de la musique, il n’y a pratiquement aucun son qui accompagne les images. Tous les sons intermédiaires, « secondaires » sont absents : le bruit du vent dans les arbres, les voix au loin des autres personnages, les frôlements des vêtements, le bruissement des corps et le hors champ restent muets.
La bande son reconstituée de Tourisme International a contrario est faite de tous ces sons-là, qui donnent une matière et une épaisseur à l’espace. De cette recomposition sonore ont cependant été exclues les voix. Les commentaires des guides et de Marie Voignier sont restés muets. Tous les discours se taisent et les paroles se déplacent hors des images, dans des intertitres qui ponctuent le film en donnant un minimum d’éléments pour situer les lieux ou le contexte dans lequel nous nous trouvons.

Project: Soleil politique

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Mattin

Born 1977, Spain
Lives and works in Sweden and the Spanish Basque Country

Mattin is a Basque artist whose work responds to the social and economic conditions of experimental music production, through live performance, recordings, and writings. He investigates the parameters of improvisation, notably the notion of freedom and constant innovation dictated by its conventions and which distinguish it as a genre. For Mattin, improvisation does not merely entail an interaction between musicians and their instruments, but also all the other elements that make a concert. He reveals the stereotypical relations between the active player and the passive audience, which he aims to disrupt by provoking experiences of alienation. The Audience is Not the Mother of Self-Invention, presented here as a video recording, is a performance that took place in 2012 at Index (an independent art space in Stockholm) during a week-long performance series titled The Audience is the Mother of Self-Invention. The performance began with a video camera equipped with a light projector aimed at Mattin, who stood in the middle of a circle spontaneously formed by members of the audience. During one hour the camera slowly revolved 360 degrees, moving away from the performer and steadily filming the audience. During the traveling shot, Mattin uttered a series of almost inaudible phrases. The performance ended when the camera came full circle to once again frame him.

Nato in Spagna nel 1977
Vive e lavora in Svezia e nei Paesi Baschi spagnoli

Mattin è un artista basco il cui lavoro si inserisce nelle strutture sociali ed economiche della produzione musicale cosiddetta sperimentale, attraverso performance dal vivo, registrazioni e l’esercizio della scrittura. L’artista si interroga sui parametri dell’improvvisazione, in particolar modo sulla relazione tra l’idea di libertà e l’innovazione costante che essa richiede, all’interno di convenzioni stabilite che ne fanno un genere. Secondo Mattin, non si tratta soltanto di un’interazione tra musicisti e strumenti, ma di una situazione che ingloba l’insieme degli elementi facenti parte di un concerto. L’artista mostra la relazione stereotipata tra l’interprete (attivo) e il pubblico (passivo), producendo un senso di alienazione che ha lo scopo di disturbare questa relazione.
The Audience is Not the Mother of Self-Invention (Il pubblico non è la madre dell’auto-invenzione), qui presentata in forma di registrazione video, è una performance svoltasi nel 2012 alla Index Foundation (uno spazio d’arte contemporanea di Stoccolma), all’interno della programmazione The Audience is the Mother of Self-Invention. Una videocamera, munita di proiettore, è puntata su Mattin, che si trova al centro del cerchio formatosi spontaneamente tra gli spettatori. In seguito, e per un’ora, la videocamera compie un lento movimento di 360°, staccandosi dal campo visivo dell’artista e filmando progressivamente tutto il pubblico. Durante questa carrellata, Mattin pronuncia delle frasi quasi incomprensibili. La performance si chiude con la videocamera che torna a inquadrare Mattin.

Né en Espagne en 1977
Vit et travaille en Suède et au Pays basque espagnol

Mattin est un artiste basque dont le travail répond aux structures sociales et économiques de la production musicale dite expérimentale, grâce à la performance live, les enregistrements et l’écriture. Il interroge les paramètres de l’improvisation, en particulier la relation entre l’idée de liberté et l’innovation constante qu’elle implique dans les conventions établies qui en font un genre. Selon Mattin, elle n’est pas seulement une interaction entre les musiciens et les instruments, mais une situation impliquant l’ensemble des éléments qui constituent un concert. Il expose la relation stéréotypée entre l’interprète actif et l’audience passive, produisant un sentiment d’aliénation qui vise à perturber cette relation.
The Audience is Not the Mother of Self-Invention, ici présentée sous la forme d’enregistrement vidéo, est une performance qui a eu lieu en 2012 à Index (espace d’art à Stockholm), dans le cadre de la programmation The Audience is the Mother of Self-Invention. Une caméra vidéo, équipée d’un projecteur de lumière, est braquée sur Mattin, lui-même installé au milieu du cercle spontanément formé par les spectateurs. Ensuite, durant une heure, la caméra effectue une lente révolution sur 360°, quittant ainsi le champ du performeur pour progressivement filmer toute l’audience. Pendant ce travelling, l’artiste prononce des phrases à la limite de l’audible. La performance prend fin avec le retour du champ de la caméra sur Mattin.

Project: Soleil politique

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PATRICK BERNATCHEZ

PLE-TPOMPT-013

Born 1972 Montreal, Canada
Lives and works in Montreal, Canada

Image:
Patrick Bernatchez, BW (Black Watch) (detail), 2010 © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger (Courtesy of the artist and Battat Contemporary)

Project: The Registry of Promise

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VALERIO DEHÒ

Valerio_Deho

Valerio Dehò, born in Taranto in 1955, earned his degree in “Philosophy of language” at the University of Bologna. He is Professor of Aesthetics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. He has worked as a publicist since 1988 in Milan for the publishing house Electa, and for the editorial department of “L’Italia Moderna” directed by Omar Calabrese. From 1997 to 1999 he was the director of the project “Novecento” for the municipality of Reggio Emilia. Since 2001, he has been the Art Director of Kunst Meran Merano Arte. In 2005, he was nominated commissioner of the XVI Quadriennale Nazionale in Rome. He curated the following main exhibitions: Metropolismo, Rome 1993; Carte, segni, segreti, Bologna 1995; Aldo Mondino, Mazel Tov, 1997; Gina Pane, Reggio Emilia 1998; Wolf Vostell, I disastri della pace, Reggio Emilia 1998; 2001, l’immagine della parola, Bologna 2000; DNArt, arte e genetica, Merano 2002; Meta.fisica, arte e filosofia, Merano 2003; + Positive, Merano 2004; Robert Mapplethorpe, Bologna, Merano 2004; Man Ray, Magie, Merano 2005; Sound Zero, Merano 2006; Mimmo Jodice, Light, Bologna 2006; Vespa Arte Italiana, Pietrasanta 2006; Ironica, Milano 2006; Damien Hirst New Religion, Venice 2007; L’occhio di Meret Oppenheim, Merano 2008; Boris Mikhailov, Merano 2008; Moana. Casta diva, Bologna, Milan, Brescia 2010; Tony Cragg, Venice, Merano 2010; Peter Blake, Venice Suite, Venice 2010-2011; Dennis Oppenheim “Electric City”, Merano; Fluxus Jubileum, Treviso 2012; Vito Acconci e Franco Vaccari “Intersection”, Venice 2013.

Project: From & To
Space: Kunst Meran Merano Arte

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH VALERIO DEHÒ, KUNST MERAN MERANO ARTE

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH VALERIO DEHÒ, KUNST MERAN MERANO ARTE

Vincent Honoré Can you tell us about the origin of Kunst Meran?
Valerio Dehò Kunst Meran Merano Arte was born from an association of art lovers in the mid-’90s. The idea was to give to the town of Merano a relevant role in the local contemporary art scene. In past times some very famous people, such as Kafka, Mahler, Ezra Pound (whose daughter still lives in the castle of Brunnenburg) spent their time here. Even Peggy Guggenheim has organized exhibitions in Merano in the ’50s. Since 2001 the venue is a house in the town center, which was restored and restructured to become a gallery and art museum.

4. Diane Blondeau / Vivien Roubaud / Thomas Teurlai, Jambes de bottes, 2014

2. Diane Blondeau / Vivien Roubaud / Thomas Teurlai, Jambes de bottes, 2014

V.H. What fundamentally makes this institution different from others in Italy and on an international level?
V.D. Merano Arte is a very special museum in Italy, I would say that it’s unique of its kind. We are neither a commercial art gallery nor a municipal venue, even if our role is similar to that of a public space.
Our funds come both from the private and public spheres, but it has to be noticed that the museum management stays free from any political influence. This is an exceptional status in Italy. In Germany you can find art spaces that you can compare with Merano Arte from this point of view.

9. Roberto Pugliese, Emergences acoustiques, 2014. Courtesy: Associazione Culturale Dello Scompigio, Vorno, Capannori (Italy) and Galerie Mario Mazzoli, Berlin

3. Roberto Pugliese, Emergences acoustiques, 2014

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?
V.D. We work following a strong aim which is bringing contemporary art to the attention of common people. The “elite side” of art is not what we really like to consider when we think about a new exhibition project, even if the quality of what we decide to exhibit has certainly be validated by the perspective of a scientific and curatorial analysis.
The project PIANO suits in a very proper way the mission of our museum. We also think that sharing projects with other international contemporary art spaces represents an important occasion of growth. A network is essential to make collaborations happen. Contemporary art is an instrument that Europe can use to connect different national realities and bring them really together. PIANO is a platform for exchanges and relations, that’s what we were looking for.

7. Sonia Leimer, Table ronde, 2014 /  Leander Schwazer, Independance, 2014

4. Sonia Leimer, Table ronde, 2014 / Leander Schwazer, Independance, 2014

V.H. The exhibition has been co-curated with Éric Mangion, director of Villa Arson in Nice. Why this collaboration?
V.D. The idea of working with Éric Mangion and Villa Arson was born one year before the birth of PIANO. Both museums work with contemporary art and aim to value young artists.
My proposal was to develop the format FROM & TO, created by Kunst Meran Merano Arte in 2007 (an exhibition based on the collaboration between artists of different generations). Mangion and I immediately agreed to give life to an exhibition with young selected artists. They have been invited to produce new works and to collaborate for a project. It took a lot of time to plan and coordinate every detail of the project. Young artists are very focused on what they want to express through their art. We pushed them to think about the idea of building an exhibition together on site. The collaboration with Éric Mangion and Villa Arson has been really successful in this sense.

V.H. What are the main responsibilities of a curator and of an art institution in Italy nowadays?
V.D. It’s always the same: be honest with the public and try to give life to significant projects that might show a cultural relevance through time. The temporary exhibitions have an important role in the history of contemporary art, this perspective was introduced during the ’60s and the ’70s thanks to the art critic and curator Harald Szeemann. He actually changed the roles within the art system by inventing the function of the “curator”, who is an intellectual, an art historian and a manager all at once.
In the period of economic uncertainty and confusion between cultural and market’s values we’re living in, the Italian art institutions have a main responsibility to cope with: continue to produce exhibitions and events, but also try to involve and support young worthy Italian artists.

Vincent Honoré Puoi raccontarci come è nato Kunst Meran?
Valerio Dehò Kunst Meran Merano Arte è nato da un’associazione di appassionati di arte alla metà degli anni Novanta. L’idea era quella di dare alla città di Merano un ruolo centrale nel lambito della scena artistica contemporanea locale. Nel passato molti personaggi celebri hanno vissuto a Merano, da Kafka, a Mahler, a Ezra Pound (la cui figlia vive ancora nel castello di Brunnenburg). Anche Peggy Guggenheim ha organizzato mostre a Merano nel corso degli anni Cinquanta. Dal 2001  Kunst Meran Merano Arte ha la sua sede in un edificio del centro città, che è stato restaurato e ristrutturato per diventare una galleria e un museo d’arte.

V.H. Cosa rende questa istituzione diversa da altre in Italia o all’estero?
V.D. Kunst Meran Merano Arte è un museo molto particolare nel contesto italiano, quasi unico nel suo genere. Non siamo né una galleria d’arte commerciale né uno spazio municipale, sebbene il nostro ruolo sia simile a quello di uno spazio pubblico. I nostri fondi provengono sia dalla sfera privata sia da quella pubblica, ma va sottolineato che la gestione del museo è indipendente da ogni influenza politica. Si tratta di una condizione eccezionale in Italia. In Germania esistono spazi comparabili a Merano Arte da questo punto di vista.

V.H. PIANO mira a creare una rete di spazi espositivi che lavorano insieme, attraverso forme di scambio e interazione. Perché avete deciso di aderire al progetto e come si realizza la vostra partecipazione?
V.D. Lavoriamo seguendo l’obiettivo fondamentale di portare l’arte contemporanea all’attenzione della gente comune. L’aspetto elitario dell’arte non ci interessa quando concepiamo un progetto espositivo, per quanto la qualità di ciò che decidiamo di esporre sia sempre avvalorata dalla prospettiva di un’attento studio scientifico e curatoriale.
Il progetto PIANO corrisponde perfettamente alla mission del nostro museo. Pensiamo inoltre che condividere progetti con altri spazi internazionali dediti all’arte contemporanea rappresenti un’importante occasione di crescita. La presenza di un networl è fondamentale perché le collaborazioni abbiano luogo. L’arte contemporanea può essere usata dall’Europa per mettere in relazione le diverse realtà nazionali e unirle davvero. PIANO è una piattaforma di scambi e relazioni, è ciò che stavamo cercando.

V.H. La mostra è co-curata con Éric Mangion, direttore di Villa Arson a Nizza. Perché questa collaborazione?
V.D. L’idea di lavorare con Éric Mangion e Villa Arson è nata un anno prima la nascita di PIANO. Entrambi i musei lavorano con l’arte contemporanea e mirano a valorizzare il lavoro dei giovani artisti.
La mia proposta è stata quella di sviluppare il format FROM & TO, creato da Kunst Meran Merano Arte nel 2007 (una mostra basata sulla collaborazione tra artisti di diverse generazioni). Mangion e io abbiamo immediatamente concordato di dare vita a una mostra con giovani artisti selezionati, che sono stati invitati a produrre opere inedite e a collaborare tra loro per un progetto nuovo. L’organizzazione e il coordinamento di ogni dettaglio del progetto hanno richiesto molto tempo. I giovani artisti sono molto concentrati su ciò che vogliono esprimere attraverso il loro lavoro. Li abbiamo stimolati a riflettere sull’idea della costruzione di una mostra collettiva site-specific. La collaborazione con Éric Mangion e Villa Arson è stata un grande successo in questo senso.

V.H. Quali sono le principali responsabilità di un curatore di un’istituzione artistica in Italia oggi
V.D. Sempre le stesse: essere onesto con il pubblico e cercare di produrre progetti dotati di una rilevanza culturale che resista nel tempo. Le mostre temporanee hanno un ruolo importante nella storia dell’arte contemporanea: questa prospettiva p stata introdotta negli anni Sessanta e Settanta grazie al critico d’arte e curatore Harald Szeemann, che trasformò i ruoli del sistema dell’arte inventando la funzione del curatore, allo stesso tempo intellettuale, storico dell’arte e manager.
Nel periodo di incertezza economica e confusione tra valori culturali e di mercato in cui viviamo, le istituzioni artistiche in Italia hanno una fondamentale responsabilità con cui fare i conti: continuare a produrre mostre ed eventi, ma anche cercare di coinvolgere e sostenere giovani artisti italiani di talento.

Images:
1. Quentin Derouet, Sans titre, 2014
2. Diane Blondeau / Vivien Roubaud / Thomas Teurlai, Jambes de bottes, 2014. Metal, mixed media, sound installation, 543 X 143 x 87 cm
3. Roberto Pugliese, Emergences acoustiques, 2014, environmental sound installation. Courtesy Associazione Culturale Dello Scompigio, Vorno, Capannori (Italy) and Galerie Mario Mazzoli, Berlin
4. Sonia Leimer, Table ronde, 2014, mixed media, 320 x 220 cm / Leander Schwarzer, Independance, 2014, ink-jet print on canvas, 264 x 320 cm
Photos: Villa Arson / Jean Brasille

Project: From & To
Protagonist: Valerio Dehò

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Sandra Patron

SONY DSC

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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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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BECKY BEASLEY

Born 1975, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Lives and works in St. Leonards on Sea, United Kingdom

Project: The Registry of Promise

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ETIENNE BERNARD

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Etienne Bernard is art director at Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain in Brest, France. Since April 2013, he has been a member of the acquisition committee for French National Funds for Contemporary Art. He was granted an MA in Aesthetics from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne in 2004. His academic research was focused on American landscape documentary photography. From 2007 to 2009, he was director of the International Poster and Graphic Design Festival of Chaumont as well as guest curator at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux. As an art critic, he has been a regular contributor to French magazine 02 among others. As an independent curator, he has led various projects in institutions in France and abroad, including at the Krabbesholm Højskole in Skive, Denmark (2009-2010); at Parc Saint Léger in Pougues-les-Eaux (2010); at the Musée de l’Objet, contemporary art collection in Blois (2011); and at JAUS Art Space in Los Angeles (2011). Etienne Bernard has also taught art theory at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and at Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Nantes. From 2010 to 2012, he coordinated Fieldwork Marfa, an international research-in-residency program in Marfa, Texas.

Project: La démocratie est illusion
Space: Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain
Focus: Vincent Honoré in conversation with Etienne Bernard, Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain

 

Etienne Bernard è direttore artistico del Centro d’Arte Contemporanea Passerelle, Brest. Dal 2013 è membro del comitato d’acquisizioni del Fondo Nazionale di Arte Contemporanea. Dal 2007 al 2009 ha diretto il Festival International de l’Affiche et du Graphisme de Chaumont e un programma di mostre al CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain di Bordeaux. Ha curato numerose mostre in vari spazi, tra cui la Krabbesholm Hojskole in Danimarca nel 2009-2010, il Parc Saint Léger a Pougues-les-Eaux nel 2010, il Musée de l’Objet a Blois nel 2011 e il JAUS Art Space di Los Angeles nel 2011. Etienne Bernard ha insegnato all’Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne e all’Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts di Nantes, dove ha coordinato dal 2010 al 2012 il programma di ricerca e di residenza Fieldwork: Marfa negli Stati Uniti

 

Etienne Bernard est directeur artistique de Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest. Depuis avril 2013, il est membre du comité d’acquisition du Fonds National d’Art Contemporain. De 2007 à 2009, il a dirigé le Festival International de l’Affiche et du Graphisme de Chaumont ainsi qu’un programme d’expositions au CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux. Il a organisé de nombreuses expositions notamment à la Krabbesholm Hojskole au Danemark en 2009-2010, au Parc Saint Léger à Pougues-les-Eaux en 2010, au Musée de l’Objet à Blois en 2011 ou au JAUS Art Space à Los Angeles en 2011. Etienne Bernard a également enseigné à l’Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne et à l’Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Nantes pour laquelle il a coordonné de 2010 à 2012 le programme de recherche et de résidence Fieldwork : Marfa aux États-Unis.

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Vincent Honoré in conversation with Etienne Bernard, Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain

Vincent Honoré Since 2013 you have directed the public art centrePasserelle Centre d’art contemporain that opened in 1988. Its main objective is to be “a forum for dialogue between artistic production and the public.” Can you describe in more detail the intellectual and artistic project upon which the structure is based, and what essentially differentiates it from other art centres?

Etienne Bernard As a centre for contemporary art, the core function of Passerelle is to support artists (notably in the realm of production, exhibition and publication) and the public in their discovery of what the artists have to offer. The project called Situations, which I have now been working on for a year, suggests that these two missions should not be separated or prioritized. On the contrary, I think that a centre for contemporary art is a place for shared elaboration of meaning in which artists and the public meet and discuss. In order to reflect reality it must occur naturally in my view. It is based on a mutual desire between local audiences and artists, the majority of which have come a long way, to take the time to discuss ideas.
We must not forget that we are in Brest, at the far reaches of Brittany, at the heart of an area that is very rich in cultural proposals but also peripheral to the main thrust of the art circuit. I am convinced that its social as well as geographical position presents an opportunity rather than a pitfall. Indeed, Brest is not on the beaten track, so it is up to us to make it a destination. We therefore have the necessary resources in place to welcome and provide hospitality for operational artists and we systematically offer them an opportunity to enjoy a work temporality that they will not necessarily find anywhere else. Notably we have ‘neutralised’ 400 m2 situated at the heart of the art centre, previously allotted to exhibition space, to accommodate production facilities. Artists can thus work in peace, with the help of technicians, and the public is invited in to exchange views on art in the making. Art centres are thus used as a living, lived-in and open space.
And so far, I am delighted to observe that the system works. Artists like Wilfrid Almendra, Florian Fouché, Goldschmied & Chiari and Ernesto Sartori have already used this new facility to the full. Other artists like Fredrik Vaerslev, Koki Tanaka and Stéphane Calais are also planning to use it over the forthcoming months. In addition, we have noticed that the public reacts well to the freedom to converse directly with the artist. Habits form. As the development of an artistic project progresses, people observe, come back and talk. In my view this positive perspective reflects our institutional action supporting creation that the public is sometimes oblivious to. 

Wilfrid Almendra. L’intranquillité, 2013

2. Wilfrid Almendra. L’intranquillité, 2013

V.H. The institution is intended as “an interdisciplinary venue that explores other fields of contemporary creation, from graphic design to dance, from music to design.” Did you inherit this mission or did you on becoming director of the art centre want to redefine its prerogatives?

E.B. It is more than just a mission. I would say that opening up the space to forms of creation that fall outside the strict field of contemporary art is rather an assertive approach to the programme in line with the history of the place. Originally, in the 1980s, the name ‘Passerelle’ conjured up the notion of interdisciplinary. The collective that opened the venue welcomed music, dance and theatre as well as art. Subsequently, the field of research was progressively oriented more clearly towards contemporary art as the structure became more institutionalized. When I became director of the art centre, I wanted to reconnect with this historic initiative for two main reasons. The first is that I think an ambitious project can be constructed on this wealth of history with the professional facilities provided by Passerelle. Thanks to the tremendous task of structuring and the professional development undertaken by the previous director Ulrike Kremeier, the art centre evidently no longer resembles its initial association gathering amateurs, but has now become an operable infrastructure able to accommodate artistic proposals from all walks of life. The second is that Brest is a fantastic pool of top quality partners who in their respective disciplinary fields share our high standards. Indeed, we are working hand in hand with local but internationally renowned initiatives of course, like the electronic music festival Astropolis, the contemporary dance festival DansFabrik run by Scène nationale Le Quartz, and the contemporary music ensemble Sillages, with whom we launched a festival in 2014. Thus, it is not a question of hosting a theatrical play or a dance show to bring the venue to life or ‘to cause a stir’ but to work long-term on the exchange programme to highlight our complementary qualities and our ambitions. We presented a fine example with the choreographic performance by Goldschmied & Chiari and Lotta Melin, which initiated the current exhibition and integrated the official programme of the DansFabrik Festival 2014.

V.H. “A museum director’s first task is to create a public, not just to do great shows, but to create an audience that trusts the institution.” (Pontus Hultén) The public, in the Centre’s declaration of intent, has an important position. However, the ‘public’ remains an abstract, almost conceptual entity. What is your view of the public and what type of relationship do you wish to enjoy with this public? 

E.B. In an area like Brittany and Brest, the public is not an abstract entity. The centre for contemporary art constitutes both a tool at the service of the local public (the facilities provided by Passerelle are at the heart of a clearly identified district) and aimed at a national and international public (professionals of course, but also seasonal holidaymakers.) Thus, our actions and operations must appeal to all without ranking or pandering. We know our different audiences well, their specificities, their desires as well as their reticence, but I think that everyone can identify, in their own way, to an artistic proposal that when sound can be approached from different perspectives.

Tania Mouraud. J.I.T. just in time, 2008

3. Tania Mouraud. J.I.T. just in time, 2008

V.H. What are the tools and programmes that structure the art centre and strike a chord with its public? For example, what are the Augmentation Zones and how do they integrate with your vision of the public? 

E.B. We offer a large number of programmes aimed at the public from hands-on workshops with the youngest, to series of lectures or guided visits. A year ago we also implemented a specific section that I called Augmentation Zones. The notion of augmentation is defined here in the digital meaning of the term. On the Internet, augmented reality is the sum of data, links and references that complement a subject. At Passerelle, the Augmentation Zones constitute a physical and digital cultural programme developed by the public service department whose content is determined through discussion with the guest artists. In the large central Patio at the Passerelle leading to the different areas, there is a zone devoted to displaying artistic and/or documentary material to pursue and put into perspective the questions addressed by the artistic proposals exhibited. They are also accessible on the Internet with a digital space for content accompanying the exhibitions.

V.H. Passerelle proposes monographic exhibitions as well as group exhibitions and attempts to articulate different disciplines. More specifically, how do you view the mission and the responsibilities of an art centre director in 2014?

E.B.  I chose to take over as director of a contemporary art centre as I am passionate about linking a critical and curatorial approach with a regional context. Indeed, the global logic that governs the world of art that we work in finds, in my opinion, its meaning and opportunities for development in specific situations from which concrete proposals emerge. I find my role as producer stimulating, that is as an art critic who gathers the intellectual, material and human resources to generate artistic proposals in an identified geographical, social and political situation, to work in the permanent and constructive coming and going between local and global.

Stephen Willats. Talking city, 2011

4. Stephen Willats. Talking city, 2011

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

E.B. I think that PIANO is an excellent example of structuring collaboration and sharing means of production and communication. In the context of the concerning budget and institutional crisis at large in France, Italy and elsewhere, it is essential to completely rethink methods for funding and bringing projects to fruition. And beyond the simple financial consideration, it is now no longer pertinent to plan a project with an artist in a single venue. PIANO, like other production networks such as Cluster or How to work together, design new art maps and offer alternative solutions to the challenges that drive today’s system of art.

Space: Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain
Protagonists: Etienne Bernard, Goldschmied & Chiari
Project: La démocratie est illusion

 

Vincent Honoré Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain a été inauguré en 1988. Il s’agit d’un centre d’art public que vous dirigez depuis 2013. Sa mission première est d’être « une plateforme de dialogue entre productions artistiques et publics ». Pouvez-vous décrire plus précisément le projet intellectuel et artistique qui fonde lastructure, et ce qui fondamentalement la démarque des autres centres d’art ?

Etienne Bernard En qualité de centre d’art contemporain, Passerelle a comme missions fondamentales d’accompagner les artistes (dans la production, l’exposition et l’édition notamment) et les publics dans leur découverte des propositions de ces premiers. Le projet intitulé des Situations que je développe depuis une année maintenant postule l’idée que ces deux missions ne doivent pas être séparées ni hiérarchisées. Au contraire, je pense que le centre d’art contemporain est le lieu de l’élaboration partagée de sens au sein duquel artistes et publics se rencontrent et échangent. Afin de prendre réalité, cette rencontre doit, à mon sens, se construire assez naturellement. Elle se fonde sur une volonté partagée entre les audiences locales et les artistes, pour la plupart venus de loin, de prendre le temps d’échanger.
Il ne faut pas oublier que nous sommes à Brest, au bout de la Bretagne, au cœur d’un territoire très riche en propositions culturelles mais aussi en marge des principaux axes de circulation de l’art. Je suis convaincu que sa situation géographique comme sociale constitue une opportunité bien avant d’être un écueil. En effet, si Brest n’est pas un point de passage, charge à nous d’en faire une destination. Ainsi, nous avons mis en place les outils nécessaires à l’accueil et au séjour des artistes en production et nous leur proposons systématiquement de profiter d’une temporalité de travail qu’ils ne trouvent pas nécessairement ailleurs. Nous avons notamment « neutralisé » un espace de 400 m2, précédemment dévolu à l’exposition, situé au cœur du centre d’art pour y installer un atelier de production. Les artistes peuvent ainsi travailler tranquillement, avec l’aide des régisseurs, et les publics sont invités à y entrer pour échanger sur l’art en train de se faire. Le centre d’art est ainsi revendiqué comme lieu vivant, habité et ouvert.
Et jusqu’ici, je suis très heureux d’observer que le système fonctionne. Des artistes comme Wilfrid Almendra, Florian Fouché, Goldschmied & Chiari ou Ernesto Sartori ont déjà pleinement utilisé ce nouvel outil. D’autres artistes comme Fredrik Vaerslev, Koki Tanaka ou Stéphane Calais ont également prévus de l’activer dans les mois à venir. Nous observons, par ailleurs, que les publics réagissent bien au fait de pouvoir entrer en dialogue directement avec l’artiste. Il se construit des habitudes. Au fur et à mesure de la construction d’un projet artistique, les gens observent, reviennent, dialoguent. Ceci constitue à mes yeux une perspective positive qui assoie notre action institutionnelle de soutien à la création dont les publics ne sont pas toujours conscients. 

V.H. L’institution se veut « le lieu du décloisonnement disciplinaire qui explore les autres champs de la création contemporaine, du graphisme à la danse, de la musique au design ». Cette mission est-elle un héritage direct, ou avez-vous désiré, en prenant la direction du centre d’art, d’en redéfinir les prérogatives ?

E.B. Plus qu’une mission, je dirais que l’ouverture du lieu à des formes de création qui débordent du champ strict de l’art contemporain constitue plutôt un axe affirmé de programmation qui s’inscrit dans une histoire du lieu. A l’origine, dans les années 1980, le nom « Passerelle » se voulait évocateur de transdiciplinarité. Le collectif qui a ouvert le lieu accueillait alors aussi bien de l’art que de la musique, de la danse ou du théâtre. Par la suite, le champ de recherche a progressivement été orienté plus clairement vers l’art contemporain à mesure que la structure s’institutionnalisait. En arrivant à la direction du centre d’art, j’ai souhaité renouer avec cette initiative historique et ce pour deux raisons principales. La première est que je pense que cette histoire est une richesse sur laquelle il est possible de construire un projet ambitieux avec l’outil désormais professionnalisé qu’est Passerelle. Grâce à l’immense travail de structuration et d’inscription professionnelle mené par la précédente directrice Ulrike Kremeier, le centre d’art ne ressemble à l’évidence plus à l’association d’amateurs qu’il était à l’origine mais constitue aujourd’hui un équipement opérant pouvant accueillir des propositions artistiques de tous horizons. La seconde est que Brest est un vivier fantastique de partenaires de très grande qualité qui dans leurs champs disciplinaires respectifs nous ressemblent dans l’exigence. En effet, nous travaillons main dans la main avec des initiatives locales certes mais de renommée internationale, comme le festival de musique électronique Astropolis, le festival de dance contemporaine DansFabrik porté par la Scène nationale Le Quartz ou encore l’ensemble de musique contemporaine Sillages, avec qui nous venons de lancer un festival en 2014. Ainsi, il ne s’agit pas d’accueillir une pièce de théâtre ou un spectacle de danse pour animer le lieu ou « faire évènement », mais bien de travailler sur le long terme dans l’échange programmatique pour souligner nos complémentarités et nos ambitions. Nous en avons d’ailleurs présenté un très bel exemple avec la performance chorégraphique de Goldschmied & Chiari et Lotta Melin, qui a activée l’exposition en cours et intégrée le programme officiel du festival DansFabrik 2014.

V.H. « A museum director’s first task is to create a public, not just to do great shows, but to create an audience that trusts the institution. » (Pontus Hultén) [La première tâche d’un directeur de musée c’est de créer un public, pas seulement de faire des belles expositions, mais de créer un public qui ait confiance en l’institution]. Le public, dans la déclaration d’intention du Centre, tient une place importante. Cependant, le « public » reste une entité abstraite, quasi conceptuelle. Quelle est votre conception du public et quels rapport souhaitez vous entretenir avec ce public ? 

E.B. Dans un territoire comme celui de la Bretagne et de Brest, le public n’est en rien une entité abstraite. Le centre d’art contemporain constitue à la fois un outil au service de publics de proximité (Passerelle est un équipement inscrit dans un quartier avec une sociologie bien identifiée) et s’adresse à un public national et international (des professionnels évidemment, mais également un public saisonnier de vacanciers). Ainsi, nos actions et opérations doivent s’adresser à tous sans pour autant faire de hiérarchie ou de clientélisme. Nous connaissons bien nos différents publics, leurs spécificités, leurs envies et leurs réticences aussi, mais je pense que chacun peut se retrouver, à sa manière, dans une proposition artistique qui si elle est solide peut être appréhendée sous différentes perspectives.

V.H. Quels sont les outils et les programmes qui structurent le centre d’art et établissent un dialogue avec son public ? Par exemple, que sont les Zones d’augmentation et comment s’articulent-elles avec votre vision du public ? 

E.B. Nous proposons un grand nombre de programmes en direction des publics. Ceux-ci vont de l’atelier de pratique avec les plus jeunes aux cycles de conférence ou autres visites accompagnées. Nous avons également mis en place depuis une année un dispositif spécifique que j’ai appelé les Zones d’augmentation. La notion d’augmentation s’entend ici au sens numérique du terme. Sur internet, la réalité augmentée correspond à la somme de données, de liens, de références qui viennent enrichir un sujet. A Passerelle, les Zones d’augmentation constituent un programme culturel physique et numérique développé par le service des publics dont les contenus sont déterminés en discussion avec les artistes invités. Dans le grand Patio central de Passerelle qui dessert les différents espaces est installée une zone dédié à la présentation de matériel artistique et/ou documentaire pour poursuivre et mettre en perspective les questionnements abordés par les propositions artistiques exposées. Elles se déploient également sur internet avec un espace numérique de contenus pour accompagner les expositions.

V.H. Passerelle propose des expositions monographiques ainsi que des expositions de groupe et tente d’articuler différentes disciplines. Plus précisément, comment concevez-vous la mission et les responsabilités d’un directeur de centre d’art en 2014 ?

E.B. J’ai choisi de prendre la direction d’un centre d’art contemporain car je pense passionnant le fait d’articuler une approche critique et curatoriale à un contexte territorial. En effet, les logiques globalisées qui régissent le monde de l’art que nous travaillons tous trouvent, à mon avis, leur sens et leurs opportunités de développement dans des situations précises à partir desquelles émergent des propositions concrètes. Je trouve stimulant mon rôle de producteur c’est-à-dire de critique d’art qui réunit les moyens intellectuels, matériels et humains de faire émerger des propositions artistiques dans une situation géographique, sociale et politique identifiée. De travailler dans l’aller et retour permanent et constructif entre local et global.

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 ? 

E.B. Je pense que PIANO est un excellent exemple de structuration dans la collaboration et la mutualisation des moyens de production et de communication. Dans le contexte de crise budgétaire et institutionnelle préoccupant que nous connaissons en France, en Italie et partout ailleurs, il est primordial de repenser en profondeur les modes de financement et d’apparition des projets. Et au delà de la simple considération financière, il n’est plus pertinent aujourd’hui de penser un projet avec un artiste dans un seul lieu. PIANO comme les autres réseaux de production comme Cluster ou How to work together dessinent de nouvelles cartographies de l’art et proposent des solutions alternatives aux enjeux qui animent le système de l’art aujourd’hui.

Images:

1. Katinka Bock. Volumes en extensions, 2007 , exhibition view at Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest. Photo: Sébastien Durand
2. Wilfrid Almendra. L’intranquillité, 2013, exhibition view at Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest. Photo: Nicolas Ollier
3. Tania Mouraud, La curée, 2003 – Borderland, 2007. Exhibition Tania Mouraud. J.I.T. just in time, 2008. Photo: Nicolas Ollier
4. Stephen Willats, Free Expression, série Multiple Clothing,  1992. Exhibition Stephen Willats. Talking city, 2011. Courtesy FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, FRAC Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Photo: Nicolas Ollier

 

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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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RETO PULFER

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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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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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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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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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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Lili Reynaud-Dewar

Lili Reynaud-Dewar, I don't know what a conceptual artist looks like (Fondation Generali), 2012

Lili Reynaud-Dewar, I don’t know what a conceptual artist looks like (Fondation Generali), 2012

Born 1975, La Rochelle, France
Lives and works in Grenoble, France

Lili Reynaud-Dewar’s works draw on cultural references that range from the Rastafari movement to jazz, Voodoo, conceptual art, cinema, and design. The artist mingles these elements in video art, sculptures, sound installations, and performances that are duly filmed.
The title of the video in the exhibition, Vivre avec ça?!, refers to a poem by the American writer Eileen Myles and is highly representative of Reynaud-Dewar’s current work. Initiated in 2001 in the artist’s studio, the project was subsequently extended to other sites. Reynaud-Dewar paints her body black and then films herself dancing in empty exhibition spaces. Her moves are inspired by those of Joséphine Baker, the French-American dancer, actress, and singer who in the 1930s became a symbol of racist stereotypes but also the struggle to overcome them.
Using Baker’s moves, Lili Reynaud- Dewar engages not only with the exhibition space but also other parts of the building—the corridors, offices, and service areas. Her performance thus becomes an intimate critique of the institution and a reflection on the lengthy history of the avant-garde movements, subverting the sexual, racial, and political norms that contribute to constructing our individual identity and conveying stereotypes. Besides hosting the video inside the venue, Museion is screening it on the media façade, as an extension of the relationship forged by the artist with the external architecture and “skin” of the museum.

Nata a La Rochelle, Francia, nel 1975
Vive e lavora a Grenoble, Francia

Nei lavori di Lili Reynaud-Dewar convivono spunti eterogenei provenienti dalla cultura rastafari, dal jazz, dal Voodoo, dall’arte concettuale, dal cinema e dal design. Combinando tra loro elementi tanto variegati, l’artista crea video, sculture, installazioni sonore e performance che vengono regolarmente filmate.
Il titolo del video in mostra, Vivre avec ça?!, fa riferimento a una poesia dell’autrice americana Eileen Myles e ben rappresenta la produzione attuale di Reynaud-Dewar. Iniziato nel 2001 nell’atelier dell’artista, il progetto è stato successivamente esteso ad altri luoghi. Reynaud- Dewar si dipinge il corpo di nero, per poi filmare se stessa mentre danza all’interno dello spazio espositivo in assenza del pubblico. I movimenti della danza si rifanno a quelli di Joséphine Baker, ballerina, attrice e cantante franco-americana divenuta negli anni ’30 simbolo degli stereotipi razzisti, ma anche della lotta per il loro superamento. Attraverso le movenze mutuate da Baker, Lili Reynaud-Dewar si confronta non solo con la sala espositiva, ma anche con altre parti dell’edificio, come corridoi, uffici e vani di servizio. La sua performance diventa così un’intima critica istituzionale e una riflessione sulla lunga storia delle avanguardie, finalizzata a sovvertire le regole sessuali, razziali e politiche che contribuiscono alla costruzione dell’identità individuale e alla trasmissione degli stereotipi. Oltre a ospitare il video all’interno della mostra, Museion lo proietta sulla sua facciata mediale, quale estensione della relazione instaurata dall’artista con l’architettura esterna e la “pelle” del museo.

Image:
Lili Reynaud-Dewar, I don’t know what a conceptual artist looks like (Fondation Generali), 2012, videostill

Project: Soleil politique

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Daniele Pezzi

Daniele Pezzi, Tutulma, 2010-2013

Daniele Pezzi, Tutulma, 2010-2013

Born 1977, Ravenna, Italy
Lives and works in Ravenna, Italy
His work is mainly constituted of videos, while photos, sculptures, and paintings are often the result of the film’s production process. The themes that he is working on are linked to nomadism (as the dangerous alternative to belligerent stillness), to archeology and anthropology (as the disciplines that study the hidden past, and perhaps contribute to a re-writing of history itself), and to environmental psychology (of both the fictional characters as well as the spectators themselves). The screenplays are more similar to lists of ideas, instructions and short tales, and are discussed together with actors and further adapted to the surrounding landscapes and architectures. The finished work is the result of an open process of mediation in which the author considers himself as a catalyzing agent.

Project: Piano – alto!

 

(1977, vive e lavora a Ravenna) La sua produzione è costituita prevalentemente da lavori video, mentre le foto, le sculture e le pitture sono spesso il risultato del processo di produzione filmico. I temi su cui lavora costantemente sono connessi ai concetti di nomadismo (in quanto alternativa pericolosa alla stanzialità belligerante), all’archeologia e antropologia (in quanto discipline di comprensione del passato remoto, e che contribuiscono alla riscrittura della storia), e alla psicologia dello spazio (sia dei personaggi che popolano i lavori, sia degli spettatori che li vedranno). Le sceneggiature sono in realtà elenchi di idee, istruzioni e racconti brevi che vengono discusse con gli attori e rielaborate anche in relazione all’architettura o al paesaggio che li circonda. Il lavoro concluso è quindi il risultato di un processo aperto di mediazione in cui l’autore si considera come catalizzatore.

 

Né en 1977, vit et travaille à Ravenna. Sa production est constituée principalement de vidéos, les photographies, les sculptures et les peintures étant le résultat du procédé de production filmique. Les thèmes qui animent sa recherche touchent au nomadisme (comme alternative dangereuse à la sédentarité belligérante), à l’archéologie et l’anthropologie (disciplines de la compréhension du passé lointain, qui contribuent à la réécriture de l’histoire) et à la psychologie de l’espace (celle des personnages qui peuplent ses travaux ainsi que des spectateurs qui les regardent). Les scénarios sont en fait des listes d’idées, instructions ou brèves narrations qui font l’objet d’une discussion avec les acteurs et sont ensuite adaptées en fonction de l’architecture et du paysage qui les entourent. Le travail achevé est donc le résultat d’un processus ouvert de médiation dans lequel l’auteur incarne le rôle de catalyseur.

Daniele Pezzi raconte des histoires inspirées par la vision d’un nomadisme absolu : il est partout ailleurs et chez lui à la fois. Les personnages de ses films sont joués par des gens rencontrés sur place et qui l’introduisent aux usages et aux mythologies des lieux. Construite dans un processus de dialogues avec les protagonistes, la narration s’installe et erre dans les paysages et les architectures perçus comme des espaces mentaux et philosophiques.

Martine Michard
décembre 2014

Image:
Daniele Pezzi, Tutulma, 2010-2013, video still HD. Courtesy of the artist

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ANDREA BRUCIATI IN CONVERSATION WITH DANIELE PEZZI

ANDREA BRUCIATI IN CONVERSATION WITH DANIELE PEZZI

Andrea Bruciati Hi Daniele, could you tell me about the spirit with which you are going about this experience?
Daniele Pezzi First, the residence I was selected for is somewhat atypical: I will spend 45 days staying at three art centers located in the region of Midi-Pyrénées. In each of these (in order of time: Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou in Cajarc, Chapelle St Jacques in Saint-Gaudens, and BBB in Toulouse), I will spend 15 days. The residence theme focuses on movement and utopia, both from a practical point of view (the experience of the artist who has to bring together within the project the various art centers involved, which are physically distant from each other), and from the point of  view of theory (hence the choice of selecting my work method for this residence). These characteristics and associated limitations represent the challenge that I have to face and the stimulus to imagine possible solutions.

ALPEGGIO

A.B. What process/project do you intend to develop?
D.P. In the project, I want to continue to study unexpected solutions for the fusion between reality and fiction: I shall follow a process that I have been developing in the last few years, through a series of videos designed and produced while constantly on the move. A variable condition in which it is impossible to work according to a screenplay or a rigid schedule; it is not possible to predict the weather, the difficulties of accessibility of a given location, the physical limitations etc. Unlike previous projects, which unfolded gradually during the course of the work, this time I was forced to define in advance a range of possibilities and potentialities from which to draw to make the most of the short time available. If I were to give a title to the shapeless mass of ideas, techniques and scenes that make up the project at this time, it could be “The Unmasking”.

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A.B. Specifically, what is it about?
D.P. In every location of the residence I will select one or more volunteering actors (professional and amateur) with whom to activate a process of definition of the character that they will interpret. I am interested in a fully collaborative approach in which I put aside the control ravings typical of the ‘dictauthor’. The result of these meetings will be characters sprouting naturally from a compromise between my idea, the personality of the interpreter and the limitations of the context in which we will take action. For several years, I’ve been working on a wandering figure who observes the contexts it goes through, and at the same time struggles with having to adapt to the changing environmental conditions.

ROADS-ENDING2

A.B. A sort of almost plastic metamorphosis on the one hand, and a Zelig-style changing character on the other.
D.P. As the scenery, the temperature, the architecture change, so does the character, psychologically (varying its mood and dramatics) but also physically (because played by different actors). The character becomes a flexible and pliable being that each time becomes other than itself; while retaining a few elements of resemblance, such as clothes style, physical aspect, etc., depending on the situation his/her attitude can be aggressive, or collapse under the weight of a constraint, thus becoming fragile. If this character had a model, he/she would look like the protagonist of Pasolini’s Petrolio, who alternatively switches between being a man and a woman, as a result of a trauma that would otherwise be impossible to recount.

St_cirq-lapopie-mini

A.B. What result would you ultimately like to reach from this relentless transformation flow?
D.P. The film that will result from this process will be divided in areas: natural or manmade places where one will see the characters act and mature, go through and look at the situations that they face. The backdrop to this staging will be reality, the one that I will find in that region of France, expressed in a documentary fashion. The way in which the real and unexpected event will inevitably influence the project, will form the backbone, will determine the urge. We will start logistically from the peaks of the Pyrenees, in search of the routes of smugglers and illegal immigrants to arrive at Saint-Gaudens, overcoming mountains that have always represented natural boundaries and limits. We will cross the countryside and forests of Cajarc, trying to uncover the signs of the influence of today’s political propaganda and media, to close at a library at the University of Toulouse, where we will attend a debate between a group of people trying to find an agreement on the perfect model of democracy to pursue. Toulouse was in fact the city where the Veneto-born Silvio Trentin opened the library which soon became the reference point of the anti-fascist movements in Europe: the place where people met to discuss utopias and resistance.

St-Gaudens-mini

A.B. A sort of documentary, or you are looking for a different film language?
D.P. The film is certainly not intended to come to an end in the classic sense – quite the opposite. The result of the construction, which I will work on in the months after my coming back, will be the most effective arrangement of a wealth of material collected in a period of intense work and discovery, with a number of concerns and questions that will guide the entire process. From a technical point of view I will use a different shooting style for each residence location; although there will never be a more overtly “documentary” part, in the sense of improvised aesthetic. The goal, in fact, is to manage to build a solid narrative and emotional experience in which the character and its alterations can be reflected deeply in the viewer.

Andrea Bruciati Ciao Daniele, puoi raccontarmi lo spirito con cui ti accingi ad intraprendere questa esperienza?
Daniele Pezzi Per prima cosa la residenza per cui sono stato selezionato è in qualche modo atipica: trascorrerò 45 giorni spostandomi tra tre centri d’arte situati nella regione del Midi-Pyrénées. In ognuno di questi (in ordine di successione: Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou di Cajarc, Chapelle St Jacques di Saint-Gaudens e BBB di Toulouse) trascorrerò un periodo di tempo di 15 giorni. Il tema della residenza verte sullo spostamento e l’utopia, sia da un punto di vista pratico (l’esperienza dell’artista che deve unire nel suo progetto i vari centri d’arte che sono fisicamente distanti tra loro) sia da un punto di vista teorico (da cui la scelta di selezionare il mio metodo di lavoro per questa residenza). Queste caratteristiche e le limitazioni che ne derivano rappresentano la sfida che mi trovo di fronte e la propulsione a immaginare possibili soluzioni.

A.B. Quale processo/progetto intendi sviluppare?
D.P. Nel progetto voglio continuare a studiare le soluzioni inaspettate della fusione tra reale e fiction: seguirò un processo che ho sviluppato negli ultimi anni, attraverso una serie di video concepiti e realizzati in continuo spostamento. Uno stato variabile in cui è impossibile lavorare basandosi su una sceneggiatura o uno schema rigido di progetto; non è infatti possibile prevedere le condizioni meteo, le difficoltà di accessibilità di un determinato luogo, i limiti fisici ecc. A differenza dei precedenti, che si svelavano completamente solo in corso d’opera, questa volta sono stato obbligato a definire anticipatamente un ventaglio di possibilità e potenzialità da cui attingere per sfruttare al massimo il breve periodo di tempo a disposizione. Se dovessi dare un titolo alla massa informe di idee, tecniche e scene che formano il progetto in questo momento, potrebbe essere “Lo Smascheramento”.

A.B. Nello specifico di cosa si tratta?
D.P. In ogni luogo della residenza selezionerò uno o più attori volontari (professionisti e non) con cui attivare un processo di definizione del personaggio che andranno a interpretare. Sono interessato a un approccio totalmente collaborativo in cui metto da parte le smanie di controllo tipiche del ‘dittautore’. Il risultato di questi incontri saranno personaggi che germoglieranno naturalmente dal compromesso tra la mia idea, la personalità dell’interprete e i limiti del contesto in cui ci troveremo ad agire. Da diversi anni, infatti, lavoro su una figura errabonda che è osservatore del contesto che attraversa, e allo stesso tempo alle prese con l’adattamento a condizioni ambientali variabili.

A.B. Una sorta di metamorfosi quasi plastica da un lato e un personaggio cangiante alla Zelig dall’altro.
D.P. Come cambiano il paesaggio, la temperatura, l’architettura, allo stesso tempo muta il personaggio, psicologicamente (variando stato d’animo e drammaturgia) ma anche fisicamente (essendo interpretato da attori diversi). Il personaggio diventa quindi un essere elastico e malleabile che diventa di volta in volta altro da sé; pur mantenendo alcuni elementi di somiglianza, come lo stile degli abiti, la costituzione fisica, ecc., a seconda delle situazioni  il suo atteggiamento può essere aggressivo, o crollare sotto il peso di una costrizione, e diventare fragile. Se questo personaggio dovesse trovare un modello assomiglierebbe al protagonista di Petrolio di Pasolini, che si ritrova a essere alternativamente uomo o donna, come effetto di un trauma che sarebbe impossibile raccontare diversamente.

A.B. Quale risultato ultimativo vuoi perseguire da questo incessante flusso in trasformazione?
D.P. Il film che risulterà da questo processo sarà suddiviso per ambienti: luoghi naturali o antropizzati in cui si vedranno i personaggi agire e maturare, attraversare e osservare, le situazioni che si troveranno di fronte. L’orizzonte di questa messa in scena sarà la realtà, quella che troverò nella Francia di quella regione, espressa con una prassi affine al documentario. Il modo in cui l’evento reale e inaspettato influenzerà inesorabilmente il progetto ne formerà l’ossatura, ne determinerà l’urgenza. Si partirà logisticamente dalle cime dei Pirenei, cercando i tragitti dei contrabbandieri e dei clandestini per arrivare a Saint-Gaudens, superando montagne che da sempre sono confini e limiti naturali. Si attraverseranno le campagne e i boschi di Cajarc cercando di svelare i segni dell’influenza della propaganda politica e mediatica di oggi, fino a chiudere in una biblioteca dell’università di Tolosa, dove assisteremo a un dibattito tra un gruppo di persone che cercherà di trovare un accordo sul modello perfetto di Democrazia da perseguire. Tolosa è stata infatti la città dove il veneto Silvio Trentin aprì la libreria che diventò presto il punto di riferimento dei movimenti anti-fascisti europei: il luogo dove si ritrovavano per discutere di utopie e di resistenza.

A.B. Una sorta di documentario o sei alla ricerca di un linguaggio cinematografico differente?
D.P. Il film non sarà sicuramente inteso per essere concluso in senso classico, al contrario. Il risultato del montaggio, che seguirò nei mesi successivi al mio ritorno, sarà la configurazione più efficace di un bagaglio di materiali costruiti in un periodo di intenso lavoro e scoperta, con una serie di preoccupazioni e di punti interrogativi che guideranno l’intero processo. Da un punto di vista tecnico utilizzerò uno stile di ripresa diverso per ogni luogo di residenza; non ci sarà mai però una parte più dichiaratamente “documentaristica”, intesa come estetica improvvisata. L’obiettivo, infatti, è riuscire a costruire una solida esperienza narrativa ed emozionale in cui il personaggio e le sue alterazioni possano riflettersi profondamente nello spettatore.

Images:
cover. Daniele Pezzi, Tutulma, 2010-2013, video still HD. Courtesy of the artist
other pictures: video stills and reasearch images

Project: Piano – alto!
Spaces: Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou CAC, CAC Chapelle St Jacques, BBB centre d’art
Protagonists: Daniele Pezzi

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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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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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MARIE COZETTE

3_portraitDirector since 2007 of La Synagogue de Delme, an art centre located in a rural area in Eastern France, she co-founded and co-curated the art center Bétonsalon in 2004, with Mélanie Bouteloup. She has been freelance curator between 2004 and 2006.
At La Synagogue de Delme she has curated numerous solo exhibitions (Susan Hiller, Peter Friedl, Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, Louise Hervé and Chloé Maillet, Erick Beltran, Eric Baudelaire, Edith Dekyndt, Yona Friedman, Julien Prévieux, Katinka Bock…) and collaborated with guest curators or artists (Mathieu Copeland, Anna Colin, Sam Thorne, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc…) to conceive group exhibitions on themes like identity, migration, the politics of sound and ethnomusicology. She also teaches exhibitions’ history at the Metz Art School.
Between 2012 and 2015 she has been a board member of d.c.a – french association for the development of centers d’art.

Marie Cozette dirige La Synagogue de Delme depuis 2007, centre d’art situé en zone rurale dans l’est de la France. En 2004, elle a co-fondé le centre d’art et de recherche Bétonsalon à Paris avec Mélanie Bouteloup, puis a été commissaire indépendante jusqu’en 2006.
A la synagogue de Delme, Marie Cozette a été commissaire de nombreuses expositions personnelles d’artistes français et internationaux (Susan Hiller, Peter Friedl, Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, Louise Hervé et Chloé Maillet, Erick Beltran, Eric Baudelaire, Edith Dekyndt, Yona Friedman, Julien Prévieux, Katinka Bock…). Elle a également collaboré avec divers commissaires ou artistes (Mathieu Copeland, Anna Colin, Sam Thorne, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc…) pour des expositions collectives sur des thèmes liés à l’identité, la migration ou encore l’ethnomusicologie.
Elle enseigne ponctuellement à l’école des beaux arts de Metz. De 2012 à 2015, elle a été membre du bureau de d.c.a – association de développement des centres d’art dont elle assuré la présidence en 2014 et 2015.

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH MARIE COZETTE, CAC LA SYNAGOGUE DE DELME, DELME

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH MARIE COZETTE, CAC LA SYNAGOGUE DE DELME, DELME

Vincent HonoréThe Synagogue de Delme is a centre d’art in a particular context. First in terms of its history, and then its architecture, and especially its location in a rural area. In your view, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this context?
Marie Cozette The centre d’art gets its strength precisely from this aspect of being atypical, unexpected and off the beaten path.
The weakness could be its isolation in a rural area within a village of 1000 residents, 35 km from the towns of Metz and Nancy. But this isolation is relative: Delme is three hours by car from Brussels, Basel and Frankfurt, and Paris is only one-and-a-half hours from Metz or Nancy by train. This region of eastern France has strong connections with other art scenes (in Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland and other countries).
Making the trip to Delme and finding yourself in this landscape – with fields as far as the eye can see – is part of the experience you get from the visit. It turns this visit into a special moment. The context itself forces attention onto the artists’ work. Therefore, in addition to being relative, this isolation is also highly productive, not just for the artists but also for the public and the staff of the centre d’art. As for the place itself, its history and architecture have a magnetic power. It’s a former synagogue that was built in the 19th century, partially destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War and rebuilt after the war; in the 1970s the synagogue ceased operation because of a lack of followers, and it was turned into a centre d’art in 1993.
This historical depth is what makes it so complex and interesting. Artists can’t come with a turnkey project, they must get an understanding of the specificities of the place. The architectural quality of the space makes it a magnificent showcase for artists’ work, and it sometimes backs them into unexpected corners, raising new questions. Unlike the white cube and its supposed neutrality, a place like the Synagogue de Delme conceals infinite resources and questions, and this is what makes it so fascinating.

2. Berdaguer & Péjus, Gue(ho)st House

2. Berdaguer & Péjus, Gue(ho)st House

V.H.Where does Delme sit in the context of the overall French art policy?
M.C. In a context of fiscal austerity, culture is jeopardised. It’s the first area to pay for economic cuts. But there’s too much of a tendency to emphasise these economic issues, which often hide deeper questions of an ideological nature. Delme is a very small cog in a very large chain of cultural institutions that are going through major upheavals in terms of cultural policy. The gradual withdrawal of the state in favour of regional authorities in the financing and support of these places often works to the institutions’ detriment.
Delme is a micro-institution in terms of its budget, staff and resources, and yet the centre d’art is widely influential. It’s known all over the world, and it works with artists of all kinds, both emerging and established. It’s a highly referenced institution in the field of contemporary art in France; for over twenty years this place has kept up a very ambitious artistic vision. Moreover, the centre d’art isn’t in its own world but is solidly anchored in its region, keeping close links with different sectors of the public and local associations. The mediation side is extremely substantial considering the resources allocated to it, and it’s put into practice with total commitment day-to-day. I’m proud that the Synagogue de Delme is able to exist right where it would be least expected, in a region that’s more disadvantaged than others. In contexts like this, these ambitions should be supported all the more: they make sense in that they make it possible to demolish the ideas of those who imagine the world in terms of centre and periphery, shadow and light, high and low, common and elite. The reality is more subtle and nuanced. Just by existing, the Synagogue de Delme shows that it’s possible to get past these harmful oppositions, and in this sense it’s a precious place.

3. Exhibition view, Latifa Echakhch, Schizofonia

3. Exhibition view, Latifa Echakhch, Schizofonia

V.H. Does a centre d’art like the Synagogue de Delme still have a role to play in a context in which it seems like contemporary art is being replaced by the contemporary art industry? What are the responsibilities of the director of a centre d’art in 2015?
M.C. The Synagogue de Delme is part of this broader constellation of centres d’art, which makes up an essential network of researchers. They’re laboratories exploring creativity and finding ways of transmitting to all sectors of the public. They’re spaces of freedom, which absolutely must be preserved and defended, public agoras that aren’t there just to do good business; they’re spaces where quality takes precedence, as does attention to others. They’re places of learning where one can build a perspective and a critical mind. In short, they’re places of liberation and citizenship. Sometimes it’s hard to get the message heard in the current context, which is more conducive to withdrawal and fears of every kind.

4. Exhibition view, Michel Blazy. La marge d'erreur

4. Exhibition view, Michel Blazy. La marge d’erreur

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?
M.C. I think it’s essential for the centre d’art to be involved in the projects of the d.c.a network. Working collectively and as a network has always been an essential aspect of my way of conceiving my work as a curator and organisation director. I very naturally wanted to take part in PIANO because this platform further develops this spirit of collaboration and networking.
Moreover, the meeting with Peep-Hole in Milan was decisive. It’s a place I feel very close to artistically, and we share a lot of elective affinities, a common sensibility. Thanks to this meeting, I was able to reach a whole scene I still didn’t know much about, and today we’re continuing our exchanges well beyond the project.
In the context of PIANO, the centre d’art is presenting a monographic exhibition of the duo Rometti Costales. At the same time we’re working on a book that will be a kind of extension of the exhibition space. This question of books as places of experimentation and research was also explored at Peep-Hole this summer with the second instalment of their project The Book Society.

Vincent Honoré La Synagogue de Delme est un centre d’art qui s’inscrit dans un contexte particulier. D’abord son histoire, puis son architecture et surtout son inscription dans un territoire rural. Selon vous, quelles sont les forces et les faiblesses de ce contexte ?
Marie Cozette Ce qui fait la force du centre d’art, c’est justement sa dimension atypique, inattendue, et hors des sentiers battus.
La faiblesse ce pourrait être son isolement, en zone rurale, dans un village de 1 000 habitants, à 35 km des villes que sont Metz et Nancy. Mais cet isolement est relatif : Delme est à 3 heures de route de Bruxelles, Bâle ou Francfort, Paris n’est qu’à 1h30 en train de Metz ou Nancy. Cette région de l’Est de la France est fortement connectée à d’autres scènes artistiques (belge, hollandaise, luxembourgeoise, allemande et suisse entre autres).
Faire le déplacement jusqu’à Delme et se retrouver dans ce paysage de champs à perte de vue participe aussi de l’expérience que la visite procure. Cela fait de cette visite un moment privilégié, le contexte en lui-même force l’attention portée au travail des artistes. En plus d’être relatif, cet isolement est donc éminemment productif, tant pour les artistes que pour le public ou l’équipe du centre d’art.
Quant au lieu lui-même, son histoire et son architecture dégagent une force magnétique. Il s’agit d’une ancienne synagogue, construite au XIXème siècle, partiellement détruite par les Nazis pendant la seconde guerre mondiale et reconstruite après guerre ; la synagogue s’est arrêtée de fonctionner, faute de pratiquants, à la fin des années 70 et a été transformée en centre d’art en 1993.
Cette épaisseur historique en fait toute la complexité et l’intérêt. Les artistes ne peuvent venir avec un projet clef en main mais doivent se saisir des spécificités du lieu. La qualité architecturale de l’espace en fait un magnifique écrin pour le travail des artistes et le pousse parfois dans des retranchements inattendus, soulève des questions nouvelles ; à la différence du white cube et de sa neutralité supposée, un lieu comme la synagogue de Delme recèle des ressources et des questions ad infinitum, ce qui en fait un lieu passionnant.

V.H. Comment situer Delme dans le contexte de politique artistique général français ?
M.C. Dans un contexte d’austérité budgétaire, la culture est mise à mal, elle est la première à faire les frais des resserrements économiques. Mais on a trop tendance à mettre en avant ces questions économiques, qui cachent bien souvent des questions plus profondes, d’ordre idéologique. Delme est un tout petit maillon dans une chaine très vaste d’institutions culturelles qui subit des bouleversements majeurs en termes de politique culturelle. Le retrait progressif de l’Etat au profit des collectivités territoriales dans le financement et l’accompagnement des lieux se fait souvent au détriment de ces derniers.
Delme est une micro-institution en termes de budget, d’équipe, de moyens, et pourtant le centre d’art rayonne très largement, il est connu dans le monde entier, travaille avec des artistes de tous horizons, à la fois émergents et confirmés, c’est un lieu de référence en France dans le champ de l’art contemporain ; depuis plus de vingt ans ce lieu maintient une grande ambition de projet artistique. Qui plus est, le centre d’art n’est pas hors-sol mais très ancré dans son territoire, en lien étroit avec les publics et les associations locales. Le volet médiation est extrêmement conséquent au vu des moyens alloués et il est pratiqué avec un engagement total au quotidien. Je suis fière qu’un centre d’art comme la synagogue de Delme puisse exister justement là où on l’attend le moins, dans un territoire moins favorisé que les autres. C’est a fortiori dans de tels contextes qu’il faut porter ces ambitions : elles font d’autant plus sens qu’elles permettent de déconstruire les imaginaires qui pensent le monde en termes de centre et de périphérie, d’ombre et de lumière, de haut et de bas, de populaire et d’élitisme. La réalité est plus délicate et nuancée. Par son existence même, la synagogue de Delme montre qu’il est possible de dépasser ces oppositions néfastes, et en ce sens c’est un lieu précieux.

V.H. Est-ce qu’un centre d’art comme la synagogue de Delme a encore un rôle à jouer dans un contexte où l’art contemporain tend à être remplacé par l’industrie de l’art contemporain ?
Quelles sont les responsabilités d’un directeur de centre d’art en 2015 ?
M.C. La synagogue de Delme participe de ce maillage plus large de centres d’art, qui constitue un réseau indispensable de têtes chercheuses. Ce sont des laboratoires, tant de la création que des modes de transmission à tous types de publics. Ce sont des espaces de liberté, qu’il faut absolument préserver et défendre, des agoras publiques qui ne sont pas là pour « faire du chiffre », mais des espaces où c’est la qualité qui prime avant tout, de même que l’attention portée à l’autre ; ce sont des lieux d’apprentissage et de construction du regard mais aussi d’un esprit critique, bref des lieux d’émancipation et de citoyenneté. Le message est parfois difficile à faire entendre dans le contexte actuel, qui prête davantage au repli sur soi et aux peurs de tous ordres.

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 ?
M.C. Il me semble absolument indispensable que le centre d’art s’inscrive dans les projets du réseau d.c.a : la dimension de travail collectif et en réseau a toujours été primordiale dans ma manière de concevoir le métier de commissaire et de directeur de structure, c’est tout naturellement que j’ai souhaité participer à PIANO parce que cette plateforme amplifie d’autant plus l’esprit de collaboration et de réseau.
Par ailleurs, la rencontre avec Peep-Hole à Milan a été déterminante. C’est un lieu dont je me sens très proche artistiquement et avec qui je partage de grandes affinités électives, une sensibilité commune. Grâce à cette rencontre, j’ai pu accéder à toute une scène que je connaissais encore mal et aujourd’hui nous continuons nos échanges bien au-delà du projet.
Dans le cadre de PIANO le centre d’art présente une monographie du duo Rometti Costales. En parallèle, nous travaillons sur un livre qui sera une sorte de prolongement de l’espace d’exposition. Cette question du livre comme lieu d’expérimentation et de recherche a également été abordée à Peep-Hole cet été avec la seconde occurrence de leur projet The Book Society.

Images:
1. Centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme.
2. Berdaguer & Péjus, Gue(ho)st House, Centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme, 2012. © Adagp Paris 2012.
3. Exhibition view, Schizophonia, work by Latifa Echakhch, Resolutions, Centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme, 2013
4. Exhibition view, La marge d’erreur, work by Michel Blazy, Centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme, 2008
Photos: © OHDancy

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

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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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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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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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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 post-conceptual, new vernacular, performance and sound, interested in incompleteness and circularity, duplication and accumulation, waste, layering, forgery, faux-real. He also works for Mousse Magazine and Vdrome. http://www.spcnvdr.org/

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

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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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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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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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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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Julia Frank

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

Project: From & To

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Jérémy Laffon

4. Jérémy Laffon, Construction protocolaire non aléatoire, 2013

Jérémy Laffon, Construction protocolaire non aléatoire, 2013

Born 1978, Limoges, France
Lives and works in Marseille, France
Metamorphosis’ artist, Jérémy Laffon observes the act of becoming. This ethics based on freedom allows him to let the experience happen in a sort of planned accidental evolution. Jérémy Laffon experiments both with the form and the temporality of the materials he employs; after watching the life of things, he submits this raw material to careful mutations to produce a “changeover in another dimension, elsewhere…”

Project: Piano – alto!

 

(1978, vive e lavora a Marsiglia)
Artista della metamorfosi, Jérémy Laffon osserva tutto ciò che è in divenire. Questa sorta di etica della liberta permette all’artista di lasciare che le esperienze si svolgano secondo un protocollo accidentale ma allo stesso tempo programmato. Jérémy Laffon sperimenta a sua volta la forma e la temporalità dei materiali che utilizza: dopo l’osservazione della vita delle cose, sottomette questa materia prima a mutamenti minuziosi, allo scopo di produrre un “ribaltamento in una dimensione altra, in un altrove…”.

 

Né en 1978, vit et travaille à Marseille. Artiste de la métamorphose, Jérémy Laffon observe ce qui est en devenir. Cette sorte d’éthique de la liberté permet à l’artiste de laisser les expériences se faire tout en générant un accidentel programmé. Jérémy Laffon expérimente à la fois la forme et la temporalité des matériaux qu’il utilise. Après observation de la vie des choses, il soumet cette matière première à des mutations minutieuses, afin de produire un “basculement dans une dimension autre, dans un ailleurs…”.

Image:
Jérémy Laffon, Construction protocolaire non aléatoire, 2013, chewing gum sticks

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CÉLINE KOPP IN CONVERSATION WITH JÉRÉMY LAFFON

CÉLINE KOPP IN CONVERSATION WITH JÉRÉMY LAFFON

Céline Kopp You recently had the opportunity to do a residency in Casso in the Dolomites. As an artist for whom questions of balance, weightlessness, movement and falling are recurrent themes, I imagine that being in a village right on the side of a mountain was a fairly powerful context for your work?
Jérémy Laffon Actually, the constraint of the steep incline on which that village is built became the driving force behind the work I developed and it brings back the falling motif. I approached this village, with its tragic past, as scenery; I wanted to make it into a ghostly environment, without being dramatic, and I chose to shoot a video there, entitled Invasione pacifica. This village was deserted in 1963 after the disaster at the Vajont Dam, where a huge wave was caused by a landslide. In this video, the village is devoid of any trace of human life, a bit like an old episode of The Twilight Zone… This context gave me the chance to pursue motifs that have been returning irregularly in my work for several years, placing them in situations: the ball, the bounce, etc.

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2. Jérémy Laffon in residence in Casso

C.K. During one conversation you took pains to stress the fact that your work was not a response to the history of the village. The flood motif is something that has long been present in your work. And your video is rather light-hearted and humorous. Can you tell us more about it? It has a much more “manufactured” feel than your previous videos… Is this a way of opening new paths, while evoking earlier works?
J.L. Yes precisely, Invasione pacifica is the pictorial story of a flood of oranges, coming out of nowhere, bouncing in and invading the narrow streets of the village. Tragicomically, these foreign bodies gradually merge together and evolve into a shapeless mass. It is partly a revival of the video-happening Symphony #1 (2005) pushed towards a more cinematic form. (In that video you already found oranges, with a sequence-shot from above. They were filmed on the top step of an escalator whose operation caused their movements). I wanted to think of this new video as being part of a whole, while changing the image register, and ultimately a lot of elements and parameters contributed to a balance between construction and simplicity. And after ten years, I found it particularly fun to once again present these old citrus-protagonists (actors?), who still do their work just as well.

9. Jérémy Laffon, A pacific invasion, August 2014, Casso

3. Jérémy Laffon, A Pacific Invasion, August 2014, Casso

C.K. Tell me, why don’t the oranges break?
J.L. The impact isn’t very forceful, and they have understudies when they get soft (smiles).

C.K. The oranges have understudies! That’s a very revealing detail… This video seems to start with a procedure that is as simple as in previous works, but this time the form of the image goes from being a simple capture of reality to something more manufactured. Did this force you to tackle the possibility of creating fiction? Is this what you’re talking about when you say that lots of parameters contributed to the process?
J.L. Yes, you mention procedure; I have a tendency to evoke gestures or ideas. I like to start things with a deliberately simple idea, an observation like: constraint + ball = action (in this case the action is falling, flooding, like in the Symphony series). The rudimentary gesture of throwing something that rolls is what causes the action. In previous works, one might consider the question of the intentionality of the oranges, but one stayed in a reality that was unmodified, except for that micro-modification represented by the gesture. This time, I spoke directly about foreign bodies, about “others”… It’s true that film images take us in a fictional direction as soon as the choice is made to have a succession of constructed shots, to get the shape of the oranges to evolve into something else, and therefore to have a script. In this case, we’re really in the realm of the moving image, but you could reconsider works like the Relic series (2013) using a similar vocabulary. These small, constructed sculptures made of chewing gum were doomed to collapse, and the idea was to laboriously replace damaged sticks of gum with balsa wood sticks as needed. Each time, it was a matter of an understudy, an “other”. But in that case, it helped stop the form’s evolution. This time it’s the opposite. The understudy enables the transformation.

10. Jérémy Laffon, A Pacific Invasion, August 2014, Casso

4. Jérémy Laffon, A Pacific Invasion, August 2014, Casso

C.K. You reference the world of fantasy films, especially Z movies. So you decided to tackle a more constructed image while sticking to a very cobbled-together aesthetic that once again places a lot of importance on labour. Why?
J.L. The reference to Z movies and DIY special effects with the mutation of the oranges made it possible to keep things light-hearted. Labour is something important in the way I work. In this case, it is less visible because it’s not the subject of the work per se, but it’s fundamental. I peeled an overwhelming quantity of oranges… It was like something out of science fiction! And I developed a specific technique as I went along. For this video, gestures and repetitions that are sometimes absurd are still there, but behind the scenes. The film enabled me to experiment with the potential for these banal, real-world protagonists to become autonomous objects. I think the parallel with the image of the UFOs is linked to this idea: push a simple procedure to the point of creating an object that possesses its own fictional logic, while maintaining that “pleasant strangeness”. The desire for fiction was also linked to what you mentioned earlier: the desire not to deal with the question of the drama that the village now bases its identity on. I wanted to speak about the possibility that this territory could invent a new story and move beyond the existing context.

Protagonist: Jérémy Laffon
Project: Piano – alto!

Céline Kopp Tu as récemment eu l’opportunité d’aller en résidence à Casso dans les Dolomites. Pour un artiste chez qui les questions d’équilibre, d’apesanteur, de mouvement et de chute sont des thèmes récurrents, j’imagine qu’être dans un village accroché à même la montagne a été un contexte plutôt fort pour ton travail ?
Jérémy Laffon En effet, la contrainte du dénivelé important sur lequel ce village est bâti est devenue le moteur du travail que j’ai développé et il reprend le motif de la chute. J’ai approché ce village au passé tragique comme un décor ; j’ai voulu en faire un environnement fantôme, sans être dramatique, et j’ai choisi d’y réaliser une vidéo qui s’est intitulée Invasione pacifica. Ce village a été quasi déserté suite à la catastrophe du barrage du Vajont en 1963, où une immense vague a été causée par un glissement de terrain. Dans cette vidéo, le village est vide de toutes traces de vie humaine, un peu comme dans un vieil épisode de Twilight Zone… Ce contexte a été l’occasion de prolonger des motifs qui reviennent irrégulièrement dans mon travail depuis plusieurs années, et de les remettre en situation : la balle, le rebond, etc.

C.K. Lors d’une conversation tu as beaucoup insisté sur le fait que ton travail n’a pas été une réponse à l’histoire du village. Le motif du déferlement est quelque chose de présent depuis longtemps pour toi. Ta vidéo est d’ailleurs plutôt légère et emplie d’humour, peux-tu nous en dire plus ? Elle semble beaucoup plus « produite » que les précédentes… est-ce une manière d’ouvrir de nouvelles pistes, tout en évoquant des travaux précédents ?
J.L. Oui tout à fait, Invasione pacifica est le récit pictural d’un déferlement d’oranges, venues de nulle part, envahissant les ruelles du village en rebondissant. De manière tragi-comique, ces corps étrangers vont peu à peu « fusionner » entre eux et évoluer vers une masse informe. Il s’agit en partie d’une réactivation de la vidéo-happening Symphony #1 (2005) poussée vers une forme plus cinématographique. (On y trouvait déjà les oranges, avec un plan séquence en vue plongeante. Elles étaient filmées sur la dernière marche d’un escalator dont le fonctionnement provoquait leurs mouvements). J’ai voulu assumer cette nouvelle vidéo comme faisant partie d’un ensemble, tout en changeant le registre de l’image, et finalement beaucoup d’éléments et de paramètres sont intervenus dans un jeu d’équilibre entre construction et simplicité. D’ailleurs, cela m’amusait particulièrement, presque dix ans après, de remettre en scène ces vieux (acteurs ?) protagonistes-agrumes qui font toujours aussi bien le boulot.

C.K. Tiens, pourquoi les oranges n’éclatent pas ?
J.L. Il n’y a pas d’impact très violent et elles ont des doublures quand elles se ramollissent (sourire).

C.K. Les oranges ont des doublures ! Il s’agit d’un détail très révélateur… Cette vidéo semble démarrer avec un protocole aussi simple que dans des travaux précédents, mais, ici, tu déplaces la forme de l’image d’une simple capture du réel vers une forme plus produite. Est-ce que cela t’a obligé à te confronter à la possibilité d’une fiction ? Est-ce ce dont tu parles lorsque tu dis que beaucoup de paramètres sont intervenus dans le processus ?
J.L. Oui, tu parles de protocole, de mon côté j’ai tendance à évoquer des gestes ou des idées. J’aime faire démarrer les choses avec une idée volontairement simple, un constat du type : contrainte + balle = action (ici l’action est la chute, le déferlement, comme dans la série des Symphony). C’est le geste rudimentaire de lancer une chose qui roule qui amène l’action. Dans les travaux précédents, on pouvait se poser la question de l’intentionnalité des oranges, mais on restait dans un réel non modifié, si ce n’est cette micro-modification qu’était le geste. Ici, j’ai carrément parlé de corps étrangers, « d’autres »… c’est vrai que l’image filmique nous amène dans une direction fictionnelle dès lors que le choix est fait d’une succession de plans construits, de l’évolution de la forme des oranges vers autre chose, et donc du scénario. Ici, on est vraiment dans le domaine de l’image en mouvement, mais tu pourrais repenser à des œuvres comme la série Relic (2013) en utilisant un vocabulaire similaire. Ces petites sculptures construites en chewing-gum étaient vouées à l’effondrement et l’idée était de remplacer laborieusement, et au fur et à mesure, les tablettes endommagées par des tablettes de balsa. A chaque fois, il s’agit donc aussi d’une doublure, d’un « autre ». Mais dans ce cas, il permet de stopper l’évolution de la forme. Ici c’est le contraire. La doublure permet la mutation.

C.K. Tu cites l’univers du film fantastique, mais surtout la série Z. Tu as donc décidé de te confronter à une image plus construite tout en restant dans une esthétique très bricolée et qui donne encore beaucoup d’importance au labeur. Pourquoi ?
J.L. La référence à la série Z et aux effets spéciaux DIY avec la mutation des agrumes permet de rester dans la légèreté. Le labeur est quelque chose d’important dans la façon dont je travaille. Ici, il est moins visible et ce n’est pas l’objet de l’œuvre en soi, mais il est fondamental. J’ai pelé une quantité envahissante d’oranges… c’était de l’ordre de la science-fiction ! J’ai d’ailleurs développé une technique spécifique au fur et à mesure. Pour cette vidéo, le geste et la répétition parfois absurdes sont toujours là, mais en coulisses. Le film m’a permis d’expérimenter le potentiel de ces protagonistes banals, issus du réel, à devenir des objets autonomes. Je pense que le parallèle avec la figure de l’OVNI est lié à cette idée : pousser un protocole simple vers la création d’un objet possédant une logique fictionnelle propre, tout en maintenant cette « sympathique étrangeté ». L’envie de fiction était aussi liée à ce que tu as évoqué tout à l’heure : l’envie de ne pas traiter la question du drame sur lequel ce village construit désormais son identité. Je voulais parler de la possibilité de ce territoire à réinventer une histoire, à aller au-delà du contexte existant.

Images:
1. Jérémy Laffon in residence in Casso. Photo dc archive
2. Jérémy Laffon in residence in Casso. Oranges floating in the hamlet of Casso. Photo dc archive
3. Jérémy Laffon, A Pacific Invasion, August 2014, Casso. Video still
4. Jérémy Laffon, A Pacific Invasion, August 2014, Casso. Working in the canonica, dc’s residence in Casso. Photo dc archive

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Mauricio Guillén

Born 1971, Mexico City, Mexico
Lives and works in Frankfurt, Germany

The work of Mauricio Guillén combines film, photography, text, and objects. His works explore the role played by aesthetics in the organization of social space, deploying notions of identity construction, exclusion and inclusion, migration, communication, and translation.
Guillén combines his personal experience with conceptual strategies, using a poetic language in which he analyzes our understanding of culture and history by means of verbal and visual communication.
Avenida Progreso is a black-and- white 16mm film shot in Mexico City, where the artist spent his childhood and adolescence. The film depicts a philosophy and aesthetics teacher collecting papers after an end-of- year exam, before taking a taxi back to his home on the Avenue of Progress. Like a history book that traces classical culture and the progress of the humanities, the streets carry the names of European intellectuals and writers such as Goethe, Byron, Marx, Tolstoy, and Aristotle. At the same time, allusions are made to the Museo Soumaya, which, because it is housed in a spectacular building, reveals the internal contradictions of “progress” and the buildings of a “new culture.” The film thus explores the processes of change at work in Mexican society, which nevertheless remains under the influence of European colonization. By calling into question figures of authority in the education system, Avenida Progreso also raises the question of the transmission of knowledge and the perpetuation of inequalities.
Originally conceived for the Barbican Art Gallery in London, Security Measures comprises a series of tweed uniforms tailor-made for the art center security guards. The work aims to expose the underlying power relations in contemporary society and its institutions. On a political level, the work draws attention to what is normally minimized and concealed in a cultural context: instances of control. From a sociological standpoint, Security Measures restores individuality to those institutional agents whose presence is depersonalized and ignored. Rather than privilege an analytical and discursive mode, the artist has chosen an approach that literally incorporates sociological, economical, and political questions, redefining the relationship between artists and art institutions.

Nato a Città del Messico, Messico, nel 1971
Vive e lavora a Francoforte, Germania

Il lavoro di Mauricio Guillén si situa al crocevia tra film, fotografia, testo e oggetto. Le sue opere esaminano il ruolo assunto dall’estetica nell’organizzazione dello spazio sociale, e mettono in gioco le nozioni di costruzione identitaria, di esclusione e inclusione, di migrazione, di comunicazione e di traduzione. Guillén unisce la sua esperienza personale a strategie concettuali, in un linguaggio poetico con cui analizza la nostra comprensione della cultura e della storia, tramite la comunicazione verbale e visiva.
Avenida Progreso è un cortometraggio in bianco e nero in 16mm girato a Città del Messico, dove l’artista ha trascorso l’infanzia e l’adolescenza. Un professore di filosofia raccoglie le copie di un esame di fine anno, prima di prendere un taxi per tornare a casa, in Viale del Progresso. Seguiamo il suo punto di vista attraverso il finestrino dell’automobile. Come in un libro di storia che ripercorre la cultura classica e il progresso delle scienze umane, le vie attraversate portano i nomi di pensatori o scrittori europei, tra i quali Goethe, Byron, Marx, Tolstòj e Aristotele. Indirettamente è evocato il Museo Soumaya, architettura spettacolare che sottolinea le contraddizioni interne al “progresso” e agli edifici della “nuova cultura” messicana. Il film indaga i processi di cambiamento in atto nella società messicana, che resta comunque segnata dall’influsso della colonizzazione europea. Attraverso la messa in questione delle figure di potere del sistema educativo, Avenida Progreso esplora inoltre i temi della trasmissione del sapere e della perpetuazione delle disuguaglianze. Inizialmente pensata per la Barbican Art Gallery di Londra, Security Measures (Misure di sicurezza) consiste in una serie di uniformi in tweed, tagliate su misura per i custodi di uno spazio espositivo. L’opera vuole evidenziare i rapporti di potere insiti nella società contemporanea e nelle sue istituzioni. Su un piano politico, attira l’attenzione su ciò che solitamente è sottovalutato o nascosto in un contesto culturale, cioè le autorità di controllo. Da un punto di vista sociologico, restituisce un’individualità agli agenti istituzionali, la cui presenza è spersonalizzata e negata. Piuttosto che privilegiare un modello analitico o discorsivo, Guillén sceglie un approccio che incorpora, letteralmente, le questioni di ordine sociologico, economico e politico, ridefinendo la natura dei rapporti degli artisti con le strutture del sistema dell’arte.

Né à Mexico City, Mexique, en 1971
Vit et travaille à Francfort, Allemagne

Le travail de Mauricio Guillén se situe à la croisée du film, de la photographie, du texte et de l’objet. Ses œuvres explorent le rôle joué par l’esthétique dans l’organisation de l’espace social et mettent en jeu les notions de construction identitaire, d’exclusion et inclusion, de migration, de communication et de traduction. Guillén combine son expérience personnelle avec des stratégies conceptuelles, dans un langage poétique à travers lequel il analyse notre compréhension de la culture et de l’histoire par l’intermédiaire de la communication verbale et visuelle.
Avenida Progreso est un film noir et blanc 16mm tourné à Mexico City, ville où l’artiste a passé son enfance et adolescence. Un professeur de philosophie et d’esthétique récolte les copies d’un examen de fin d’année, avant de prendre un taxi pour se rendre à son domicile, Avenue du Progrès. On suit son point de vue à travers la vitre de la voiture. Comme dans un livre d’histoire retraçant la culture classique et le progrès des sciences humaines, les rues traversées portent les noms de penseurs ou écrivains européens, dont Goethe, Byron, Marx, Tolstoï et Aristote. En filigrane est évoqué le Museo Soumaya, architecture spectaculaire qui souligne les contradictions internes du « progrès » et des édifices de la « nouvelle culture ». Le film explore ainsi les processus de changement à l’œuvre dans la société mexicaine, qui reste néanmoins empreinte de l’influence de la colonisation européenne. Par la remise en cause des figures d’autorité du système éducatif, Avenida Progreso est aussi traversé par la question de la transmission du savoir et de la perpétuation des inégalités.
À l’origine pensée pour la Barbican Art Gallery à Londres, Security Measures est une série d’uniformes en tweed taillés sur mesure pour les gardiens des espaces du lieu d’art. L’œuvre vise à exposer les rapports de pouvoir sous-jacents dans la société contemporaine et ses institutions. Sur un plan politique, elle attire l’attention sur ce qui est habituellement minoré ou maquillé dans un contexte culturel, soit les instances de contrôle. Sur un versant sociologique, les Measures redonnent une individualité à ceux des agents institutionnels dont la présence est dépersonnalisée et niée. Plutôt que de privilégier un modèle analytique ou discursif, l’artiste choisit une approche qui incorpore littéralement les questions d’ordre sociologique, économique et politique, redéfinissant la nature des rapports des artistes avec les structures d’art.

 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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Hans Schabus

2502-02-tagliata

Born 1970, Watschig, Austria
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria

Image:
Hans Schabus, Konstruktion des Himmels, 1994. 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 et ZERO…

Project: The Registry of Promise

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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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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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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.

rivoli

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.

gen_5

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.

2013-goldiechiari-WORKS-web-16

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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Carlo Scarpa

Born 1906, Venice, Italy
† 1978, Sendai, Japan

Carlo Scarpa is universally known for his restoration work and the drawings that accompanied his architectural and design projects. For the Venetian architect, drawing was a meditative act, a productive exercise, and a practical way of coming to grips with things.
Scarpa’s drawings for the restoration of the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona are a fine example of his modus operandi, revealing his creative visions and process. The restoration project began in 1956 and was completed in 1964. The architect sought to isolate and bring to light the various historical strata of the museum complex, with the idea of making the building an artefact in its own right. The drawings show how Scarpa’s architecture is based on juxtapositions of different materials, stories that interact with one another. This visual perception is highlighted by his use of color, while he engages with the sense of touch using a series of different papers to create a collage. Scarpa identified the last span of the façade of the museum building, demolished to reveal the hidden strata beneath, as the essence of the castle’s various incarnations, and this was why he chose this position for the statue of Cangrande I della Scala, symbol of the city. Fixed to a concrete base, the statue occupies the part of the building that is most steeped in history. Carlo Scarpa’s approach to display is encapsulated in this gesture of offering the sculpture to the visitor, enabling the work to be discovered gradually from different viewpoints to build up a global vision of it. The statue thus becomes a symbol of how the museum, with its new contents, is restored to the community, representing the changes in perspective leading to the reconstruction of Italian museums after the war.

Nato a Venezia, Italia, nel 1906
† Sendai, Giappone, 1978

Carlo Scarpa è universalmente noto per i suoi restauri e per i disegni che accompagnano le sue architetture e i suoi progetti di design. Per l’architetto veneziano il disegno è pensiero, riflessione produttiva e luogo di ragionamenti e confronti.
I disegni di Scarpa per il restauro del Museo di Castelvecchio, a Verona, sono l’esempio del suo modus operandi, e illustrano come il disegno possa raccontare visioni e processi creativi. Iniziato nel 1956, il restauro si conclude nel 1964. L’architetto cerca di isolare e riportare alla luce i vari strati storici del complesso museale, al fine di rendere l’edificio stesso un unico, grande reperto. I disegni mostrano come l’architettura di Scarpa sia fatta di accostamenti di materiali diversi, e di storie che entrano in dialogo tra loro. Questa percezione visiva è resa evidente dall’uso dei colori, mentre il tatto è sollecitato da una serie di carte differenti, che formano dei collage. L’ultima campata del prospetto dell’edificio museale, demolita per scoprire le stratificazioni nascoste, è identificata da Scarpa come il luogo che sintetizza i cicli di vita del complesso del castello e, per questo motivo, l’architetto vi posiziona la statua di Cangrande I della Scala, emblema del museo e simbolo della città. La statua, fissata su una base di cemento, occupa il punto più carico di storia dell’edificio. L’arte espositiva di Carlo Scarpa si sintetizza nel gesto di porgere la scultura al visitatore, favorendo una scoperta graduale dell’opera, da punti di vista vari e inediti, per consentirne una visione a tutto tondo. La statua diventa così simbolo della restituzione alla memoria collettiva di un museo rinnovato anche nei contenuti, e rappresenta il cambiamento di vedute intercorso con la ricostruzione dei musei italiani nel dopoguerra.

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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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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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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Bernhard Rüdiger

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

Project: Soleil politique

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PETER BUGGENHOUT

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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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Marcello Maloberti

Born 1966, Codogno, Italy
Lives and works in Milan, Italy

Using performance, installation, video, and photography, Marcello Maloberti explores everyday life, with a preference for the little details. His work centers on precariousness, uncertainty, and waiting, capturing the unique, distinctive aspects of liminal situations such as the urban periphery. Maloberti’s light and sound installations, hosted in both private and public spaces, are highly theatrical pieces that seek the close engagement of the public. The final image of the performance is usually generated by the sum of the energies of those present and the random nature of events.
On the occasion of the 2012 exhibition D’après Giorgio at the Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico, the home/museum of one of the leading exponents of the twentieth-century avant-garde, Maloberti exhibited the work NINNANANNA (Lullaby). The photograph, which shows him sleeping in de Chirico’s bed, forges an intimate relationship with the figure of the artist and his home/museum. It is both a tribute to de Chirico and at the same time a way of getting physically closer to a painter Maloberti has always admired. The Milanese artist thus uses this simple but poetic image, which ties in with the painterly tradition of portraits of sleepers, to spark a new narrative.

Nato a Codogno, Italia, nel 1966
Vive e lavora a Milano, Italia

Attraverso la performance, l’installazione, il video e la fotografia, Marcello Maloberti indaga la vita quotidiana, soffermandosi preferibilmente su piccoli dettagli. La sua attenzione si concentra sui temi della precarietà, dell’incertezza e dell’attesa. Nelle sue opere, l’artista si propone di registrare ciò che è unico e speciale in situazioni limite, riscontrabili per esempio nelle periferie urbane. Le performance e le installazioni sonore e luminose di Maloberti trovano spazio in luoghi sia privati sia pubblici, e sono caratterizzate da un forte impatto teatrale e dalla stretta interazione con il pubblico. L’immagine conclusiva delle performance è data in genere dalla somma delle energie dei corpi partecipanti e della casualità degli eventi.
In occasione della mostra D’après Giorgio, ospitata nel 2012 presso la Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico, nella casa-museo romana di una della figure cardine dell’avanguardia del Novecento, Maloberti ha contribuito con l’opera NINNANANNA. L’artista stabilisce una relazione intima con la figura di Giorgio de Chirico e con la sua casa-museo, utilizzando una immagine fotografica che lo ritrae mentre dorme nel letto di de Chirico. Si tratta di un omaggio e, al contempo, di un modo per essere ancora più vicino, anche fisicamente, al pittore che Maloberti ha sempre stimato. L’artista milanese avvia così una nuova narrazione e al tempo stesso crea un’immagine semplice, ma dalla intensa carica poetica, che si inserisce nella tradizione pittorica dei soggetti dormienti.

Project: Soleil politique

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SIMONE FRANGI

Born 1982, Como, Italy
Lives and works between Milan, Italy and Grenoble, France

Simone Frangi is a cultural researcher, art writer and curator. He holds a French-Italian PhD in Aestethics and Theory of Art and he’s qualified researcher in Philosophy and Art Theory at Conseil National des Universités (FR). He’s currently artistic director of Viafarini (Milan) and co-curator of DOCVA – Documentation Center for Visual Arts (Milan). He’s co-curator of Live Works – Performance Act Award at Centrale Fies (Trento, IT) and co-director of the biennial research program A Natural Oasis run between Republic of San Marino, Republic of Malta and Gibraltar and organized by Little Constellation. He’s Lecturer of Theory of Contemporary Art at Fine Arts and Design Academy in Grenoble. Among residencies and curatorial programs he attended: Residence Unlimited (New York, 2015); Rupert (Vilnius, 2015); Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (Paris, 2014); Seminars for Art Curators at ICA (Yerevan, 2013); ERC Starting Grant – Ownreality at Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art (Paris, 2013); Suddenly. Résidence d’art et de recherche (Beauchery-Saint-Martin, Ile de France, 2012); EIKONES – National Centre of Competence in Research on Iconic Criticism in collaboration with Schaulager (Basel, 2011). His current research focuses on the interpolation of the notions of performativity and reality, on the social and political intelligibility of artistic research and on self-education and horizontal educational practices.

Né à Como, Italie, en 1982
Vit et travaille entre Milan, Italie et Grenoble, France

Simone Frangi est chercheur, théoricien en art et commissaire d’exposition. Titulaire d’un Doctorat franco-italien en Esthétique et Théorie de l’Art, il est chercheur qualifié en Philosophie et en Esthétique/Science de l’art auprès du Centre National des Universités (Paris). Il est également directeur artistique de Viafarini (Milan) et co-curateur de DOCVA (Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan. Depuis 2013 il est co-curateur de Live Works – Performance Act Award (Centrale Fies, Trento) et depuis 2014 co-directeur du programme de recherche biennale A Natural Oasis organisé dans le cadre de Little Constellation – Network of Contemporary Art focused on Geo-cultural Micro-areas and Small States of Europe. Il estProfesseur de Théorie et Actualité de l’Art Contemporain à l’ESAD Grenoble.

Space: Viafarini DOCVA
Project: Double Cross, from Both Sides of a Mountain

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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

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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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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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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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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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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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PIERRE BAL-BLANC

Born 1965, Ugine, France
Lives and works in Paris, France
Curator of the exhibition Soleil politique, Pierre Bal-Blanc develops his curatorial activities in various contexts, including the Centre d’art contemporain de Brétigny (France), which he has directed since 2003. Echoing the societal thinking of Charles Fourier, Bal-Blanc has developed the Projet phalanstère (Phalanstery Project), a series of site-specific proposals that critically revise the accumulative logic of exhibiting artworks. His exhibitions The Living currency and The Death of the Audience follow a principle that takes into account their local environment and in situ resources.
Along with the visual annotations presented in this publication, Pierre Bal-Blanc proposes a series of documents and interventions that act as paratexts to the exhibition. They serve to prolong the ways in which the works interact not only with the space of Museion, but also with its historical, social, and architectural context within the city and province of Bolzano. For example, the information panels presented in certain galleries throughout the exhibition testify to the curatorial decision to modify the hierarchy of the exhibition spaces. Comparable to marginalia (notes in the margins of books and manuscripts), some documents reveal latent aspects of the exhibition that are normally overlooked or considered private. These reveal among other things the failures that took place and the ideas that were abandoned during the selection process.

Nato a Ugine, Francia, nel 1965
Vive e lavora a Parigi, Francia
Curatore della mostra Soleil politique, Pierre Bal-Blanc esercita l’attività di curatore in diversi contesti, tra cui il CAC di Brétigny (Francia), che dirige dal 2003 e dove, riferendosi al pensiero di società organizzata di Charles Fourier, sviluppa il Projet Phalanstère, una serie di proposte site-specific che riorganizzano in maniera critica le logiche di accumulo delle opere.
Le sue mostre La Monnaie Vivante (La moneta vivente) e The Death of the Audience (La morte del pubblico) danno prova di essere radicate nel loro contesto e si articolano in funzione delle risorse in situ.
In maniera analoga alle annotazioni visive presentate in questa pubblicazione, Pierre Bal-Blanc propone per Soleil politique svariati gruppi di documenti e interventi, che funzionano come paratesti alla mostra. Il loro ruolo è quello di promuovere l’interazione delle opere con gli spazi del Museion, ma anche con la situazione storica, sociale e architettonica di questa istituzione nella città e nella provincia di Bolzano. Per esempio, i pannelli segnaletici inseriti in alcune sale rinviano alle scelte curatoriali che riguardano il rifacimento della gerarchia degli spazi espositivi. Paragonabili ai marginalia, le note a margine di libri e manoscritti, una parte dei documenti approfondisce gli elementi che stanno alla base della mostra che di solito sono considerati impliciti, o addirittura riservati. Inoltre, vengono così svelati gli insuccessi e le tracce non seguite nel processo di selezione delle opere.

Né in Ugine, France, en 1965
Vit et travaille à Paris, France
Commissaire de l’exposition Soleil politique, Pierre Bal-Blanc développe ses activités curatoriales dans divers contextes, dont celui du Centre d’art contemporain de Brétigny, qu’il dirige depuis 2003. En résonance avec la pensée sociétale de Charles Fourrier, il y développe le Projet Phalanstère, série de propositions spécifiques au lieu qui restructurent de manière critique les logiques d’accumulation des œuvres. Ses expositions La Monnaie Vivante et The Death of the Audience font preuve d’un principe d’inscription dans leur environnement et se déploient en fonction des ressources in situ.
Au même titre que les annotations visuelles présentes dans cette publication, Pierre Bal-Blanc propose plusieurs ensembles de documents et interventions qui agissent comme paratextes à l’exposition. Leur rôle est de prolonger l’articulation des œuvres avec les espaces du Museion, mais aussi vis-à-vis de la situation historique, sociale et architecturale de cette institution dans la ville et la province de Bolzano. Par exemple, les panneaux signalétiques introduits dans certaines des salles rendent compte des choix curatoriaux concernant le remaniement de la hiérarchie des espaces d’exposition. Comparable aux marginalia, les notes dans les marges des livres et des manuscrits, une partie des documents montre les éléments sous-jacents à l’exposition qui sont habituellement considérés comme implicites, voire confidentiels. Entre autres, sont ainsi dévoilés les échecs et les pistes non poursuivies dans le processus du choix des œuvres.

Project: Soleil politique
Space: CAC Brétigny, Museion
Focus: Vincent Honoré in conversation with Pierre Bal-Blanc, director of CAC Brétigny

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Vincent Honoré in conversation with Pierre Bal-Blanc, CAC Brétigny

Pierre Bal-Blanc is director of the CAC Brétigny, an exemplary center for the arts, both for the commitment shown toward artists and for its program of atypical productions and exchanges. A space that continually re-elaborates the notions of a program, an exhibition, a collection… 

06. Fosse13

1. Teresa Margolles, Fosse commune (Fosa Comùn), 2005

Vincent Honoré The purpose of this conversation is to speak about a program and its underlying dynamics. The idea is also to explain what a space is, a center of art… and what having a place means. These are the points I have been interested in addressing, from when I started working in another space for the Foundation, in London, and at amoment in which I re-elaborate my program and turn to my previous experiments – in London, as elsewhere.

Pierre Bal-Blanc The latest program – in which there was a true reflection upon the nature of a program and upon the question of programming – is titled L’Escorte (2011). It is quite symbolic, even symptomatic, of a set of projects that, conducted separately and each having its own development, in the end crystallize, thus constituting the evidence of the program itself. My world of work is essentially this: I follow various paths, which seem to be dictated a priori by the institution, but which are also related to recurrent research in the general program and that eventually begin to work together. L’Escorte developed in this way. I have always tried to work following very advanced processes, deep and long-lasting, and simultaneously to establish visibility in extremely short time frames. That is, I do not define a program a year in advance, I often decide at the last minute, based on common programs with other centers of art, in order to be sure that things succeed in standing out by themselves. This is possible in a structure in which the constraints are not too rigid; it is a freedom from which I can benefit, given that Brétigny has an atmosphere sympathetic to what is developing there and also because the space, by nature, allows one to escape pre-establishedrules of press kits prepared six months in advance, of press relations built up with great anticipation, etc. I immediately realized what was needed: reactivity and relevance to contents that directly echo actual interests, without delays. The program of which I am speaking is an example. Its title, L’Escorte, has a double meaning: on the one hand it means a guided escort, one that guides the public or is a figure that mediates and protects; on the other hand it implies a commercialization of the body, a prostitution, that once had an uglier name. This also offers a new perspective on projects of recent years – such as La Monnaie Vivante (2010), focused on the reification of the body, or The Death of the Audience, centered on the notion of the group, of community, as statute. L’Escorte constitutes a sort of conclusion of the year on the two ideas, here taken up by other artists.

V.H. The Death of the Audience was exhibited in 2009, in Vienna.

P.B.B. At Secession. But the question of the gregariousness of the group, of the collective, is an issue that repeatedly comes up in my projects in Brétigny.

V.H. Do you have complete freedom of programming?

P.B.B. Yes. From this point of view I have no obligations besides relations with the local population, an educational mission through the national education system, at all levels, from nursery school through to university. Brétigny is a public service, and I am part of the administration.

Emilie Parendeau, A LOUER # 7, 2011, Jiří Kovanda, Untitled, 2008, Lawrence Weiner, En morceaux, 1971, exhibition view from L’Escorte, CAC Brétigny, 2011

2. Exhibition view from L’Escorte, CAC Brétigny, 2011

exhibition view from L’Escorte, CAC Brétigny, 2011

3. Exhibition view from L’Escorte, CAC Brétigny, 2011

V.H. It is interesting to associate The Death of the Audience, an external project, by an independent curator, with the program of Brétigny.

P.B.B. Yes. In truth, I have always presented myself as a ‘dependent’ curator, in the sense that one is always, in one way or another, dependent on a surrounding environment. Calling oneself an independent curator is a slightly elegant way to think of oneself as being free when, in fact, one is not.

V.H. CAC is a rather unique place. How old is it?

P.B.B. It was founded in the 1990s, but not as an art center. Work related to the visual arts had been going on there since the 1970s. In truth, there is a history of the visual arts in Île-de-France which begins in the 1970s, the ‘couronne rouge’ [the red crown]: the Communists were a majority in the region of the banlieue and there were initiatives in Brétigny, at that time, with projects often more advanced than in Paris. In Paris there were very few things, which then evolved in a progressive manner; the projects began in the outskirts, of which Brétigny was one. Then, the mayor of Brétigny, a lover of arts, constructed a building designed to bring together various cultural activities, including the visual arts. These were headed until 2000 by the previous director, Xavier Franceschi, with choices aimed at a French environment and the new generation, but also at an international atmosphere, with projects of Maurizio Cattelan and Carsten Höller, who produced notable works which again represented points of reference. In 2000, the space was recognized as a center of the arts in France, and was given government support which made architectural extensions possible. I arrived in 2003, upon the completion of this foundation’s work. I had a knowledge of the place from various actions, such as those of Cattelan; his work consisted in reproducing the roof of an eleventh-century church located behind CAC, and placing it on the postmodern (or late-modern) building of the Center. It is a work done in relief, for its manner of establishing itself in the surrounding environment, that I would like to ask him to redo. Another work is that commissioned to Atelier Van Lieshout: a structure, annexed to the facade, that provides an anthropomorphic space, conceived for a walking body inside a limited space, with various possible uses, a coffee machine, equipment to watch videos and read books… A structure conceived as a piece of furniture, which it is possible to move. These actions were a kind of draft of what it was possible to create in this space. The space itself was small, rather difficult, very complicated. From this point of departure, I sent out a series of invitations. The first went to Van Lieshout. The circumstances themselves were rather unusual. I, newly arrived, was inviting an artist who had already been here, invited by the previous director. A curious thing, a sort of reissue, but at the same time, a way to place myself in the act of becoming, that would have allowed me to pursue the construction of the place. Thus, I called Van Lieshout to build Edutainer (2003), a space made up of two containers and a tank, in front of the art center; one space that was missing, a place of mediation, for the artists and the staff, a space in which the staff, artists, and public meet. It is a symbolic space, because it is situated outside the building. The idea was to come out of the structure and create an intersection between the internal and the external. This space has been operational for more than eight years. It is unique, it has containers and seems an active construction site, but on the inside there is an environmentof wood, welcoming and comfortable. The container is symbolic of the circulation of goods, but also of knowledge. After this many other works followed, which have since been installed, even if in an unsystematic manner: there is no principle of systematic order. The choices are tied rather to the relevance of the works, which in the context of a temporary exhibition can become in situ. The work remains when it succeeds in standing out per se. Teresa Margolles requested permission to break up the floor in order to reset it with a preexisting tread, a smooth cement floor, realized with water recuperated from Mexican morgues. She also realized a table and some benches outside. It was an important action, a work of movement that projects us into a different geopolitical context, that puts us in contact with a new reality and at the same time with a new dimension, through the meeting of creation and destruction. The work is called Fosse commune (2005) and was a prolific source of inspiration for subsequent artists. However much it is a real work, it remains very discreet visually, so much so as to also be a conceptual and symbolic work: if one doesn’t ask about it, one doesn’t see it. In my choices I have always tried to balance and weigh the presence (of the work) and the space to leave to the next artist. These works must not be invasive, but rather must inspire. But their density is such that more and more they open the way to exchanges, plans, and negotiations. The latest work is more present than the others, I have to see how to arrange it with Daniel Buren.

Alexandra Bachzetsis, A Piece Danced Alone (version exposition), 2011

4. Alexandra Bachzetsis, A Piece Danced Alone (version exposition), 2011

V.H. Is Buren’s work a permanent one?

P.B.B. Truthfully, no work is permanent. After my experience with David Lamelas, I understood that in a public space some works can have a long duration, times that can be negotiated, but one cannot accept the responsibility for perpetuity. I have neither the power nor the assignment to do so, since the art center does not possess a collection. Even if I try to experiment with a collection, I do it with a different idea than what a collection is, in itself: not something that appears, accumulates, and then disappears, but rather something that generates action, that remains – or doesn’t – according to the suitability of a long duration. It is a kind of attempt at a new typology of museums. I can perfectly imagine a place that comes to be built progressively, little by little, artists working one after another, without following a principle of permanence, but rather something in perpetual change, like an organism. This is a concept which also comes up in my conversations with François Roche, close to his way of conceiving architecture, a principle of immanence capable of generating a situation. In this case, I attempted the experiment. There is something very concentrated and sophisticated in the current situation, many works that are being combined, that can appear or disappear according to the needs of exhibitions. Among other things, I would like to create a method capable, perhaps, of reducing the volume of Daniel Buren’s work, a sort of scaling down.

V.H. This is a recent work; it first appeared at the exhibition of Christopher D’Arcangelo, this year.

P.B.B. Yes. D’Arcangelo, among others, was an opportunity for me to present a model which has often inspired me, 84 West Broadway, where a version of this work of Buren’s had already been presented. In 1978 Christopher D’Arcangelo and Peter Nadin gave life to a project in Nadin’s loft, 30 Days Work, a work that consisted of restoring a space as an exhibition space. 30 Days Work then became a catalog of all the materials used and a description of the labor times that the two dedicated to the operation. It was a series of actions, executed successively in various spaces in New York. Afterwards, they followed a principle of cumulative interventions. The first artist was Daniel Buren, with a work titled Following and To Be Followed (1978) which reflected the spirit of the exhibition. Such a principle of programming constitutes a model for what I intend to create: every artist must enter into a cumulative process with other subsequent artists. I have other models too, such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres, with Every Week There Is Something Different (1991), his exhibition by Andrea Rosen, which functioned according to a very similar criterion: every week a new work was added to what was previously presented, or else substituted it. In Brétigny every work, like that of David Lamelas, a 1967 installation which I asked him to reproduce, participates in the reflection that I carry out in the space. Lamelas placed two 16mm projectors side by side: the first projects an image into the exhibition space, while the second projects a light towards the outside, through an opening. To transmit the light, Lamelas created a nine-meter-long corridor that functioned as an immersive camera. This corridor was presented and placed as an intervention in a rather intrusive area, as it cut off the route that normally ran along the art center, creating a kind of detour. After the exhibition, it became the entrance to the space, acting as a screen. The general project by David Lamelas was titled L’Effet Ecran (2004). It remained in place for four years until the authorities asked us to tear it down. Evenfor this, the art center’s project is interesting, in the sense that it is constantly being subjected to negotiations with the authorities over works conceived to be permanent, as also over legal aspects that govern our activities. The demolition was rather traumatic, but it also permitted us to enter into a dialog in a deeper manner and establish a relationship with the authorities for future projects. The conflict was intense and the demolition of the work was an important act, a sacrifice for the recognition of the activities of the place. Consequently, it did not stop our development. The subsequent programming was done in such a way as to make our various activities more comprehensible to the outside, and to make it easier to proceed with other interventions, which have been better received.

V.H. There are the floor of Teresa Margolles, the bench of Roman Ondák…

P.B.B. There is a work by Jens Haaning, a recently installed neon light, a frieze by Daniel Buren, an opera composed this year by Matthieu Saladin: a sonorous work whose score is generated directly by the Paris Stock Exchange and its variations. We are also reflecting, with Dominique Mathieu, designer and resident at the art center, on the daily needs of the place.

V.H. And the graphic artists Vier5…

P.B.B. Vier5 have been here from the beginning and we are continuing to work with them on communication and signs, which we renew with every exhibition.

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5. Exhibition view from The Death of the Audience, Secession, Wien, 2009

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6. Exhibition view from The Death of the Audience, Secession, Wien, 2009

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7. Atelier van Lieshout, The Edutainer, 2003

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8. David Lamelas, Projection, 2004

V.H. What is the substance of the Art Center of Brétigny? Time? Volume?

P.B.B. I think that these are interwoven concepts, and I always consider one with respect to the other. We are on the inside of something that has its origin in articulation. The substance, therefore, is the combination of these notions. It is also the experience of marginality, considering this phenomenon of living at the edges of an otherwise extremely centralized region. We experience marginality with respect to Paris, as well as to other more dominant cultural fields. The substance is the re-imagining of those limits and parameters that we are normally subjected to. How can we give life to something which doesn’t exist elsewhere, because it is only found in a particular region? Unfortunately, numerous spaces rework certain forms instead of rethinking them. In Brétigny, motivation and energy are favored precisely by our relationship with a state of permanent inadequacy. And I think that the existence of similar initiatives, where they are not expected, is essential.

(article published on CURA. No. 10, Winter 2012)

Space: CAC Brétigny
Protagonists: Pierre Bal-Blanc

 

 

Pierre Bal-Blanc est le directeur du CAC Brétigny, un centre d’art exemplaire dans son engagement auprès des artistes et son programme de productions et d’échanges atypiques. Un lieu qui ne cesse de reformuler les questions de programme, d’exposition, de collection…

Vincent Honoré L’idée de cette conversation c’est de parler d’un programme et des dynamiques qui le sous-tendent. C’est aussi d’essayer de définir ce que peut être un espace, un centre d’art… Qu’est-ce que ça veut dire d’avoir un lieu ? Ce sont ces questions qui m’intéressent, au moment où je travaille sur un autre espace pour la Fondation à Londres, au moment où je refonds mon programme et reviens sur les expériences que j’ai menées à Londres et ailleurs.

Pierre Bal-Blanc Le dernier programme – ici il y a vraiment une réflexion sur ce qu’est le programme, sur la question de la programmation – s’appelle L’Escorte (2011). Il est assez emblématique, voire symptomatique, d’un ensemble de projets qui sont menés séparément et qui, dans un développement propre à chacun, finissent par se cristalliser et devenir l’évidence d’un programme. C’est un peu comme ça que je travaille : je mène différentes pistes qui a priori semblent très intuitives, cependant liées à des recherches récurrentes dans le programme, qui à un certain moment s’agencent ensemble. L’Escorte s’est construit de cette manière. J’ai toujours essayé au maximum de travailler sur des processus très en avance, approfondis et longs sur la durée, et en même temps de déterminer leur visibilité dans un temps très court. C’est-à-dire que je ne fais pas de programme un an en avance, je décide presque à la dernière minute, selon des programmes communs avec d’autres centres d’art, pour m’assurer que les choses s’imposent d’elles-mêmes. C’est possible dans une structure qui n’a pas de contraintes trop fortes. C’est une liberté dont je profite parce que Brétigny est soumis à un environnement en phase avec ce qui se passe, et parce que l’échelle de l’espace me permet d’échapper au protocole établi du dossier de presse préparé six mois en avance, de relations presse construites très en amont, etc. J’ai très tôt pris conscience que ce qu’il fallait, c’était être dans une réactivité et une pertinence sur des contenus qui sont en résonnance directe avec les enjeux actuels, en évitant les décalages. C’est l’exemple de ce programme. Son titre, L’Escorte, a un double sens: il est lié à l’escorte dans le sens d’une escorte qui se dirige, qui escorte le public, l’escorte en tant que figure du médiateur, du passeur, qui protège, encadre mais cache aussi une commercialisation du corps, camoufle une prostitution auparavant nommée de façon plus crue. Ça remet en perspective des projets que j’ai pu mener ces dernières années comme La Monnaie Vivante (2010), qui se focalisait sur la réification du corps, et The Death Of The Audience,qui s’intéressait au groupe, à la question de la communauté dans son statut. L’Escorte est comme une conclusion de l’année sur ces deux notions qui ont été abordées, qui sont réabordées ici avec d’autres artistes.

V.H. The Death of the Audience a eu lieu en 2009 à Vienne.

P.B.B. À la Secession. Mais la question de la grégarité du groupe est récurrente dans mes projets à Brétigny, la problématique de la collectivité.

V.H. Tu as totale liberté de programmation ?

P.B.B. Oui. Sur ce point, je n’ai que des contraintes de relations aux populations du territoire, des missions d’éducation à travers l’éducation nationale, tous les différents niveaux de la maternelle à l’université. Brétigny est un service public, je suis dans une administration.

V.H. C’est intéressant de lier The Death of the Audience, un projet extérieur de commissariat indépendant, au programme de Brétigny.

P.B.B. Oui, en fait je me suis toujours présenté comme un commissaire ‘dépendant’, dans le sens où on dépend toujours, quoi qu’il en soit, d’un environnement. La question du commissaire indépendant est un peu une forme élégante de penser qu’on est libre alors qu’on ne l’est pas.

V.H. Le CAC est un lieu assez particulier, il existe depuis quand ?

P.B.B. Il est né dans les années 90, mais pas en tant que centre d’art. Il y a une activité d’art plastique qui s’est installée dans ce bâtiment qui remonte aux années 70. En fait, c’est une histoire des arts plastiques en Île-de-France qui a débuté dans les années 70, la couronne rouge : les communistes étaient majoritaires dans la grande couronne et il y a eu des initiatives à ce moment à Brétigny, avec des projets souvent plus avancés qu’à Paris. À Paris, il y avait très peu de choses, tout a évolué très progressivement, c’est la banlieue qui a d’abord initié des projets, dont Brétigny. Ensuite le maire de Brétigny, qui était amateur d’art plastique, a fait construire un bâtiment culturel réunissant différentes activités : il a voulu y inscrire l’art plastique. Cette activité s’est développée jusqu’en 2000 avec le précédent directeur, Xavier Franceschi, avec des choix très ciblés sur la scène française et sa nouvelle génération, mais aussi internationale avec des projets de Maurizio Cattelan et Carsten Höller, qui ont fait des pièces remarquables, pour moi des signes à suivre. En 2000, le lieu a été reconnu comme un centre d’art conventionné en France, avec un soutien d’état qui a permis l’extension de l’architecture. Je suis arrivé en 2003, une fois que ce travail de fondation avait été effectué. J’avais une lecture de ce lieu avec ces actions emblématiques, dont Maurizio Cattelan, sa pièce qui consistait à reproduire le toit d’une église du XI siècle, qui se trouve derrière le centre d’art, et de le positionner sur le bâtiment postmoderne ou moderne tardif du centre. Une pièce remarquable dans son inscription dans l’environnement, que j’aimerai beaucoup lui proposer de refaire. Une autre pièce est une commande à l’atelier Van Lieshout d’une annexe qui vient se greffer sur la façade, qui offre un espace anthropomorphique puisqu’il est conçu pour un corps qui se déplace dans un minimum d’espace, avec des usages variés, avec une machine à café, un équipement de consultation de vidéos et de livres… C’est une structure comme un meuble qu’on peut déplacer. Ces actions étaient comme une esquisse de ce qui pouvait être poursuivi dans ce lieu. Le lieu était aussi très sommaire, c’était un espace assez ingrat, très complexe. A partir de là, j’ai lancé une série d’invitations. La première à Van Lieshout. C’était déjà un acte particulier parce que moi arrivant j’invitais un artiste qui avait déjà été invité par le précédent directeur. C’était assez curieux, comme une espèce de répétition, mais en même temps c’était une façon de me placer dans un devenir qui était là et qui allait me permettre de poursuivre la construction de ce lieu. J’ai donc invité Van Lieshout à construire l’Edutainer (2003), un espace formé par deux containers et une citerne devant le centre d’art, pour créer un espace qui manquait, un lieu pour la médiation, pour les artistes et pour l’équipe, pour créer un espace de croisement entre les équipes, les publics et les artistes. C’est un espace emblématique, car il est à l’extérieur du bâtiment. L’acte c’était de sortir du bâtiment et de créer une intersection entre l’extérieur et l’intérieur. Cet espace fonctionne depuis plus de huit ans. Il est particulier, ce sont des containers, on pense à un chantier en train de se poursuivre, mais à l’intérieur on est dans un espace chaleureux, en bois, confortable. Le container est un emblème de la circulation des biens mais aussi des savoirs. Ont suivis beaucoup d’autres œuvres qui se sont inscrites dans la durée, mais jamais systématiquement : on n’est pas dans un principe de commande systématique. C’est lié à la pertinence de propositions qui dans des expositions temporaires peuvent proposer des œuvres in situ. L’œuvre reste quant elle s’impose d’elle-même. Teresa Margolles a demandé à détruire le sol et à le refondre dans une chape qui fait parti du lieu, un sol lissé en ciment fait avec l’eau récupérée des morgues au Mexique. Elle a aussi réalisé une table et des bancs à l’extérieur. C’est un acte important, une œuvre de déplacement qui nous projette dans un autre contexte géopolitique, nous connecte avec une autre réalité, et en même temps une autre dimension entre la création et la destruction. Cette œuvre s’appelle Fosse Commune (2005). Elle a beaucoup inspirée les artistes qui lui ont succédé. Même si l’œuvre est réelle, elle reste visuellement discrète, elle est autant conceptuelle et symbolique : si on ne se renseigne pas, on ne la voit pas. Dans les choix que j’ai pu faire, j’ai essayé de balancer ou de doser la présence et la place qui est laissée au prochain artiste. Ces œuvres ne doivent pas être intrusives, au contraire elles doivent venir inspirer. Mais la densité des œuvres est telle que de plus en plus ça ouvre à des échanges, des concertations, et des négociations. La dernière œuvre est plus présente que les autres, je dois voir son réglage avec Daniel Buren.

V.H. Buren, c’est une intervention pérenne ?

P.B.B. En fait, il n’y a aucune œuvre pérenne. Suite à l’expérience avec David Lamelas, j’ai compris que dans un lieu public je peux proposer des durées étendues, des durées qui peuvent être reprogrammées, mais je ne peux pas prendre la responsabilité de la pérennité. Je n’en ai ni le pouvoir ni la mission, puisque le centre d’art n’a pas de collection. Si je mène une expérience de la collection, c’est dans une autre idée de ce que peut être la collection : non pas quelque chose qui apparaît, s’accumule et disparaît, mais quelque chose qui génère une activité, qui reste ou pas selon la pertinence des œuvres dans la durée. C’est un peu un essai pour un nouveau genre de musée. Je vois très bien comment on pourrait imaginer un lieu qui se constituerait progressivement à partir d’interventions d’artistes sans pour autant obéir à quelque chose qui serait totalement pérenne, mais quelque chose qui muterait en permanence, comme un organisme. C’est quelque chose qui réapparait dans mes conversations avec François Roche, proche de sa façon de concevoir l’architecture, ce principe d’immanence qui va générer une situation. Ici j’ai essayé de tenter cette expérience. Il y a quelque chose de concentré et de sophistiqué dans la situation actuelle, il y a beaucoup d’œuvres qui s’agencent, qui peuvent apparaitre ou disparaitre selon les expositions. Je veux d’ailleurs proposer une modalité qui pourra éventuellement baisser le volume de l’œuvre de Daniel Buren, une sorte de réglage.

V.H. Cette œuvre est récente, elle est apparue au moment de l’exposition Christopher D’Arcangelo cette année.

P.B.B. Oui. D’Arcangelo était d’ailleurs pour moi l’occasion de présenter un model dont je me suis inspiré : 84 West Broadway, dans lequel une version de cette œuvre de Buren a été présentée. En 1978 Christopher d’Arcangelo et Peter Nadin ont initié un projet dans le loft de Peter Nadin, avec d’abord un 30 Days Work, une pièce qui consiste à restaurer un espace et à le requalifier en espace d’exposition. Le 30 Days Work c’est un listing de tous les matériaux et la description du temps de travail que l’un et l’autre ont consacré à cette réfection. C’est une série qu’ils ont activée à différents endroits à New York. Ensuite, le principe était celui d’interventions cumulatives. Le premier artiste a été Daniel Buren, avec une pièce intitulée Following and To Be Followed (1978) dans l’esprit de cette exposition. Ce principe de programmation est un model par rapport à ce que j’essaie de faire : chaque artiste devait s’inscrire dans quelque chose qui cumulait vers autre chose. Il y a d’autres modèles, celui de Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Every Week There Is Something Different (1991), son exposition à Andrea Rosen, qui fonctionnait sur un principe un peu similaire : une œuvre chaque semaine se cumulait à ce qui était présenté, ou le remplaçait. A Brétigny, chaque œuvre, comme celle de David Lamelas, une oeuvre de 1967 que je lui ai demandé de réinscrire dans le lieu, participe à la réflexion que j’ai sur le lieu. Lamelas a proposé ces deux projecteurs 16mm dos-à-dos : l’un forme une image dans l’espace d’exposition et l’autre projette la lumière vers l’extérieur, au travers d’une ouverture. Pour conduire cette lumière il a proposé un corridor de 9 mètres de long qui devenait le sas d’entrée de l’exposition. Ce corridor a été présenté et posé comme une intervention dans l’espace assez franche, car il coupait le chemin qui longe le centre d’art pour créer comme une déviation. Ce corridor, après l’exposition, devenait l’entrée du centre d’art et a fonctionné comme un écran. Le projet général de David lamelas s’appelait L’Effet Ecran (2004). Il a fonctionné pendant 4 ans jusqu’au jour où les autorités ont demandé sa destruction. C’est là où le projet du centre d’art est aussi intéressant dans le sens où il est soumis à une négociation permanente avec l’autorité, par rapport aux œuvres qui seraient susceptibles de rester, à l’aspect juridique auquel on est soumis, etc. Cette destruction a été assez traumatique mais elle a aussi permis d’entrer dans un dialogue plus étroit et de faire la médiation du projet du centre d’art avec les autorités. La crise a été intense et la destruction de l’œuvre a été un acte fort, un sacrifice au profit d’une reconnaissance des activités du lieu. Elle ne nous a pas arrêtée dans la progression. La programmation a veillé par la suite à ce que les choses soient mieux comprises, et on a continué avec d’autres interventions qui ont été mieux considérées.

V.H. Il y a le sol de Teresa Margolles, le banc de Roman Ondak…

P.B.B. Il y a une œuvre de Jens Haaning, un néon qui a été installé récemment, la frise de Daniel Buren, une œuvre créée cette année par Matthieu Saladin : une œuvre sonore dont la partition est produite en direct par la bourse de Paris et ses variations de la valeur. On mène aussi une réflexion dans la durée avec Dominique Mathieu, un designer en résidence au centre d’art, sur les besoins quotidiens du lieu.

V.H. Et les graphistes Vier5…

P.B.B. Vier5 qui sont là depuis le début et avec qui on travaille sur la communication et la signalétique, que l’on renouvelle pour chaque exposition.

V.H. La matière du centre d’art de Brétigny, c’est quoi ? Le temps ? Le volume ?

P.B.B. Je pense que ces notions sont intriquées, je les considère les unes par rapport aux autres. On est dans quelque chose qui relève d’une articulation. La matière, c’est l’agencement de ces notions. C’est aussi l’expérience de la marge, il y a quand même ce phénomène d’être marginalisé par rapport à un territoire qui est extrêmement centralisé. On est dans une expérience de la marge par rapport à Paris, à la marge aussi par rapport à d’autres champs culturels plus dominants. Toute la matière, c’est la réappropriation des contraintes ou des paramètres que l’on subit normalement. Comment faire naitre quelque chose qui n’existe pas ailleurs parce qu’on est dans un territoire particulier ? Beaucoup de lieux malheureusement reconduisent des formes plutôt que de se les réapproprier. À Brétigny, c’est notre relation à l’inadéquation permanente qui favorise la motivation, l’énergie. Je pense que c’est important que de telles initiatives existent là où on ne les attend pas.

Images:
1. Teresa Margolles, Fosse commune (Fosa Comùn), 2005, water, cement, pigment, resin. Production: CAC Brétigny, 2005. Photo: Marc Domage
2-3. Emilie Parendeau, A LOUER # 7, 2011, Jiří Kovanda, Untitled, 2008, Lawrence Weiner, En
morceaux, 1971, exhibition view from L’Escorte, CAC Brétigny, 2011. Courtesy: CAC Brétigny. Photo: Steeve Beckouet
4. Alexandra Bachzetsis, A Piece Danced Alone (version exposition), 2011, conceived and performed by Alexandra Bachzetsis and Anne Pajunen, exhibition view from L’Escorte at CAC Brétigny, 2011. Courtesy: CAC Brétigny. Photo: Steeve Beckouet
5-6. Exhibition views from The Death of the Audience, Secession, Wien, 2009. Courtesy: Secession, Wien; CAC Brétigny. © Wolfgang Thaler
7. Atelier van Lieshout, The Edutainer, 2003, containers, wood, furniture; Teresa Margolles, Table and two benches – Mesa y dos bancos, 2005, water, cement, pigments, resin. Courtesy: CAC Brétigny
8. David Lamelas, Projection, 2004. Production: CAC Brétigny, 2004 Photo: Marc Domage

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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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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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ILARIA BONACOSSA

Ilaria_Bonacossa

Ilaria Bonacossa is art director of Villa Croce Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Genoa after working seven years at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin. Founder of Art@Work, a collective that commissions and develops profit and non-profit contemporary art projects, she has curated numerous solo exhibitions of international and Italian artists like Nick Devereaux, Ian Kiaer, Zhang Enli, Tony Conrad, Julieta Aranda, Massimo Grimaldi, Alberto Tadiello, Katrin Sigurdardottir and Thomas Grunfeld and group shows such as Subcontingent. Art from the Indian Subcontinent and Greenwashing. Art Perils and Proposals. She has published monographs on the work of Cristof Yvoré, Kees Goudswaard, Marlene Dumas and Tomas Saraceno. Since February 2014 she is a member of the curatorial Commitee of PAC Padiglione Arte Contemporanea in Milano. She is a permanent member of the Technical Committee for Acquistions of FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur of Marseille. In 2007 she was a member of the jury for the Golden Lions of the 52nd Venice Biennale and in 2013 International Jury member of the Inamori Foundation Prize, Kyoto. She holds a Degree in Contemporary Art History at Università Statale di Milano and a Master in Curatorial Studies from Bard College, New York.

Project: La démocratie est illusion
Space:  Villa Croce Museo d’Arte Contemporanea

 

Ilaria Bonacossa è direttrice artistica del Museo Villa Croce a Genova, dopo aver lavorato sette anni come senior curator alla Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo di Torino. Fondatrice di Art@Work, un collettivo attivo nel settore profit e no profit per la produzione di progetti d’arte contemporanea, ha curato numerose mostre collettive e personali in Italia e all’estero lavorando con artisti come Nick Devereux, Ian Kiaer, Zhang Enli, Tony Conrad, Julieta Aranda, Massimo Grimaldi, Alberto Tadiello, Gintaras Didziapetris e Thomas Grunfeld; le piu importanti collettive da lei curate sono Subcontinent. Art from Indian Subcontinent e Greenwashing. Arte Pericoli e Promesse. Ha curato alcune monografie di artisti come Cristof Yvoré, Kees Gouddswaard, Marlene Dumas e Tomas Saraceno. È membro del Comitato Tecnico per gli Acquisti del FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d’Azur di Marsiglia. Nel 2007 è stata una dei cinque membri della giuria per i leoni d’oro della 52a Biennale Internazionale di Arte Contemporanea di Venezia e nel 2013 membro della giuria del Premio della Inamori Foundation a Kyoto. Ha co-curato il padiglione Islandese di Katrin Sigurdardottir alla Biennale di Venezia.

 

Ilaria Bonacossa est directrice artistique du Museo Villa Croce a Gênes après avoir travaillé sept ans a la Fondation Sandretto Re Rebaudengo a Turin. Fondatrice d’Art@Work, collectif qui produit et accompagne des projets d’artistes, elle a été commissaire d’expositions personnelles d’artistes italiens ou internationaux comme Nick Devereux, Ian Kiaer, Zhang Enli, Tony Conrad, Julieta Aranda, Massimo Grimaldi, Alberto Tadiello, Katrin Sigurdardottir ou Thomas Grunfeld et d’expositions collectives comme Subcontinent. Art from Indian Subcontinent et Greenwashing. Art Perils and Proposals. Elle a édité des monographies de Cristof Yvoré, Kees Gouddswaard, Marlene Dumas et Tomas Saraceno. Elle est également membre du comité technique du FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d’Azur à Marseille. En 2007, elle a fait partie du jury de la 52ème Biennale Internationale d’Art Contemporain de Venise et en 2013 du jury du Inamori Foundation Prize a Kyoto.

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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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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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TERRE THAEMLITZ

Born 1968, Minnesota, USA
Lives and works in Kawasaki, Japan

Terre Thaemlitz is an award-winning multimedia producer, writer, public speaker, educator, audio remixer, DJ, and owner of the Comatonse Recordings record label. The artist’s work combines a critical reflection on identity politics—including gender, sexuality, class, linguistics, ethnicity, and race—with an ongoing analysis of the socioeconomics of commercial media production. In 2012, she presented the album Soulnessless in the form of an exhibition at the CAC Brétigny in France.
The five cantos of Soulnessless seek to deconstruct the “authenticity” of soul music, as exploited by the music industry. Thaemlitz reveals the relation between the music industry and religious administration by combining liturgical ceremony and musical performance. The practice of music is realigned with the material constraints it has never truly relinquished: in exceeding the standard length of the traditional album, Soulnessless disrupts the conventions of online commercial music.
In preparation for the album, Thaemlitz spent several years researching numerous forms of dogma and belief. Canto I, for example, deals with the ways in which changes in sex reassignment surgery encourage “essentialist cults” of gender that end up reaffirming patriarchal constructions. Canto III explores the use of sound systems in Catholic convents in the Philippines, revealing strategies of religious proselytism in response to divergent cultures.

Nato nel Minnesota, USA, nel 1968
Vive e lavora a Kawasaki, Giappone

Terre Thaemlitz è produttore multimediale, scrittore, conferenziere, professore, DJ e proprietario dell’etichetta musicale Comatonse Recordings. Il suo lavoro unisce uno sguardo critico sulle politiche di identità (in particolare, sui concetti di genere, sessualità, classe sociale, etnia e razza, e su problematiche linguistiche) alla costante analisi degli aspetti socio-economici della produzione dei media commerciali. Nel 2012 il suo album Soulnessless è stato incluso in una mostra al CAC Brétigny.
I cinque canti dell’album vogliono decostruire l’“autenticità” della musica soul, molto sfruttata dall’industria culturale. Mostrando i legami tra la cerimonia liturgica e la performance musicale, Thaemlitz svela i rapporti dell’industria musicale con l’amministrazione religiosa. L’esercizio della musica è ricollocato al centro dei vincoli materiali, da cui non si è mai distaccato: andando oltre le durate standard, l’album disturba il protocollo commerciale per la diffusione della musica online. Per realizzare questo album, Thaemlitz ha trascorso diversi anni a esaminare un’eterogenea raccolta di espressioni relative al dogmatismo e alle superstizioni. Il Canto I, per esempio, indaga le modalità con cui la procedura medica per il cambio di sesso nutre dei “culti essenzialisti”, che finiscono essi stessi per riaffermare delle costruzioni patriarcali. Il Canto III, invece, si interroga sui dispositivi di sonorizzazione impiegati in un convento nelle Filippine, svelando le strategie del proselitismo religioso quando si confronta con culture diverse.

Né au Minnesota, USA, en 1968
Vit et travaille à Kawasaki, Japon

Terre Thaemlitz est producteur multimédia, écrivain, conférencier, professeur, DJ et propriétaire du label Comatonse Recordings. Son travail combine un regard critique sur les politiques d’identité – genre, sexualité, classe sociale, linguistique, ethnicité et race – avec une analyse continue des aspects socio-économiques de la production des médias commerciaux. En 2012, son album Soulnessless avait été montré en situation d’exposition au CAC Brétigny.
Les cinq chants de cet album tentent une déconstruction de l’ « authenticité » de la musique soul exploitée par l’industrie culturelle. Thaemlitz dévoile les rapports qui unissent l’industrie musicale et l’administration religieuse par l’exposition des liens entre cérémonie liturgique et performance musicale. L’exercice de la musique est repositionné au cœur des contraintes matérielles qu’elle n’a jamais quittées : en excédant les durées standardisées, l’album dérègle le protocole commercial de diffusion de musique en ligne.
Pour cet album, Thaemlitz a passé plusieurs années à enquêter sur un ensemble hétéroclite de manifestations du dogmatisme et des superstitions. Par exemple, le Chant I traite des manières dont le changement médical de genre nourrit des « cultes essentialistes » qui finissent eux-mêmes par réaffirmer des constructions patriarcales. Le Chant III enquête sur les dispositifs de sonorisation employés dans un couvent aux Philippines, dévoilant les stratégies du prosélytisme religieux face à des cultures divergentes.

Project: Soleil politique

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Emilio Prini

Emilio Prini, Stampa di un consumo - Monaco '71 Il caffè del Kunstverein, 1971

Emilio Prini, Stampa di un consumo – Monaco ’71 Il caffè del Kunstverein, 1971

Born 1943, Stresa, Italy
Lives and works in Rome, Italy

A leading exponent of Arte Povera, Emilio Prini works with a variety of media, including light, photography, sound, drawing, and the written word, exploring the connections between reality, reproduction, and perception. He often focuses on the camera, the photographic process, and the limitations of this form of expression.
Perimetro – Misura a Studio Stanza was exhibited for the first time in 1967 at the La Bertesca Gallery in Genoa, on the occasion of the show marking the debut of Arte Povera. The work consists of a neon tube wound tightly around a cylinder to resemble a reel of cable. When the tube is switched off, it has a conceptual dimension, but when it is switched on, it acquires more of a poetic, visionary effect. The sculpture becomes an allegorical representation of the perimeter of a space and a metaphor for an abstract system of measurement. The outline and real size of the room hosting it are revealed by and perceived through the light emanating from the tube itself. Perimetro is an example of how Prini’s works spring from an artistic process that combines everyday objects and materials to forge new experiences. Stampa di un consumo originates from a detail of a photograph that Claudio Abate took on occasion of the exhibition Arte Povera held at the Kunstverein in Munich in 1971 during an action which involved taking apart a technological device. Prini has manipulated the photograph to highlight the star formed by the fingers of a smoker holding a cigarette to his lips. There is a similar effect in the self-portrait entitled Da Goya, where the artist’s eye is framed by a detail from one of his sculptures.

Nato a Stresa, Italia, nel 1943
Vive e lavora a Roma, Italia

Emilio Prini, una delle figure chiave dell’Arte Povera, lavora con diversi media, come luce, fotografia, suono, disegno e testo scritto, indagando i legami che intercorrono tra realtà, riproduzione e percezione. La macchina fotografica e il processo del fotografare, nonché i limiti di questa forma espressiva, sono spesso oggetto della sua ricerca.
Perimetro – Misura a Studio Stanza è stato esposto per la prima volta nel 1967, in occasione della mostra che segnò il debutto dell’Arte Povera alla galleria La Bertesca di Genova. Si tratta di un tubo al neon, talmente arrotolato intorno a un cilindro da sembrare una bobina. Quando il tubo è spento, ha una dimensione concettuale; quando è acceso, invece, assume una forza più immaginifica e poetica. La scultura diventa la rappresentazione allegorica del perimetro di uno spazio e metafora di un sistema di misure astratto. Il profilo e le dimensioni reali della stanza in cui si trova sono piuttosto dati e percepiti attraverso la luce, che è emanata dal tubo stesso. Perimetro è un esempio di come le opere create da Prini nascano da un processo artistico che combina tra loro oggetti e materiali del quotidiano, per evocare nuove esperienze.
Stampa di un consumo trae origine dalla ripresa di un particolare di una fotografia, che Claudio Abate scattò in occasione della mostra Arte Povera, organizzata nel 1971 al museo Kunstverein di Monaco di Baviera durante un’azione che prevedeva lo smontaggio di un apparecchio tecnologico. Prini ha manipolato la fotografia, mettendo in evidenza il dettaglio di una stella formata dalle dita di un fumatore che tiene una sigaretta tra le labbra. Accade così anche nel suo autoritratto, intitolato Da Goya, dove l’occhio dell’artista è sottolineato dal dettaglio di una scultura dello stesso Prini.

Image:
Emilio Prini, Stampa di un consumo – Monaco ’71 Il caffè del Kunstverein, 1971. Courtesy Galleria Pio Monti, Rome

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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Nathalie Ergino

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 large monographic exhibitions (Jimmie Durham, Rodney Graham, Raymond Hains, Ann Veronica Janssens, Carsten Höller) as well as collective exhibitions (Maisons-Cerveaux, Subréel).

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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JOHN CAGE

Born 1912, Loas Angeles, CA, USA
† 1992

Focus: Cage without Cage. Brief notes on the prepared piano and its inventor

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CAGE WITHOUT CAGE – Brief Notes on the prepared piano and its inventor

CAGE WITHOUT CAGE

by Giacomo Fronzi

With the revolutionary discovery of the prepared piano, John Cage opens the doors of music to unexplored worlds of sound and unknown expressive possibilities. Through simple physical alterations of the musical instrument to change its sound, the compositional activity becomes with Cage something completely new, extended, transformed. The PIANO project, inspired by this artist’s experimentations, aims at defining a novel use of the tools of cultural exchange, extending the horizons of art disciplines and geography, mixing practices, connecting places, promoting dynamism and the breaking of schemes. The philosopher and musicologist Giacomo Fronzi focuses here the attention on Cage’s experimentations around this reinvented instrument, highlighting the huge potential of a path always directed towards exceeding the limits.
Genius is the talent (natural gift) which gives the rule to Art.”(1) The history of art is marked by turns, breaks, returns, revolutions and counter-revolutions. These actions are always started by someone who, by virtue of a mysterious “visionary force”, sees and shows,(2) indicating new pathways, suggesting unexpected solutions, establishing (and this happens especially in the twentieth century) new relationships with the artistic and extra-artistic matter.

John Cage, Milano, 1977

John Cage, Milan, 1977

Although John Cage is one of the most controversial figures on the art scene of the twentieth century – the target of fierce and sometimes staid, verbose criticism, as well as the recipient of apologies not always supported by adequate knowledge of the subject –, he remains, in my opinion, a revolutionary who played more than once with his last name, which carried a sort of announced self-denial, a conceptual and practical self-overcoming: a Cage which rejects any cage, whether theoretical, moral, musical.
Cage was an anarchic, funny, humorous, spontaneous, irreverent composer, a character of bizarre and multifaceted passions (arts, eastern philosophy, the I Ching, Zen Buddhism, mycology, plants, mesostics, macrobiotic cooking, chess etc.), many love affairs, not only musical but also literary and sociological-political (Buckminster Fuller, Meister Eckhart, Erik Satie, Marshall McLuhan, Henry David Thoreau, Daisetz T. Suzuki come to mind). An artist capable of brilliant ideas ranging from electronics to prepared piano, from the first “happening” of history to the pioneering of graphical-pictorial scores, from the experience of live electronics or musicircus to works for dance, radio or television.
Cage (whose twentieth death and one-hundredth birth anniversaries were celebrated in 2012(3)) belongs in many histories and revolutions, and is one of those composers who in the mid-twentieth century cultivated the hope of the final ending of the realm of harmony(4), centering his musical discourse and compositional activity on new bases, structured from elements that could be, from time to time, musical, extra-musical, random or number-based.
While in Seattle around the end of the thirties with his wife Xenia, Cage works intensely on percussive music and dance, striking relationships with artists such as Mark Tobey, Morris Graves and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, but also with dancers and choreographers such as Bonnie Bird, Syvilla Fort and, especially, Merce Cunningham. At the Cornish School, Cage conceives the revolutionary prepared piano, specifically for Syvilla Fort’s Bacchanale ballet. One of Cage’s tasks, at that time, is to accompany the dancers during lectures and concerts, although this is something he hates doing. On one of these occasions, as soon as Cage starts playing, a piece of brass placed on a tray on the instrument accidentally falls into the piano case and starts rolling on the strings. The resulting sound piques Cage’s interest, eventually leading to the idea of the prepared piano.(5) Later, when it comes to making music for the Bacchanale, Cage initially tries to find a twelve-tone row that would sound “African”, but his quest fails. He then remembers the sound of the piano when Cowell struck or plucked the strings, or when he slid metal needles over them. From the kitchen he takes a plate and puts it on the strings, together with a book. But the plate bounces. Hence, Cage takes a nail and sticks it between the strings. But again there is a problem: the nail slips away. He thus replaces the nail with a wood screw. This time the solution works. The prepared piano is born(6).

pianoforte_preparato

Senza titolo-5

Prepared piano, preparation by Giancarlo Cardini for the performance of musical compositions by John Cage. Turin, 1984

Since that time, and specifically from the beginning of the forties to the mid-fifties, Cage uses the prepared piano in about thirty of his works (not all published), especially dedicated to dance (from Bacchanale to And the Earth Shall Bear Again – choreographed by Valerie Bettis, from In the Name of the Holocaust to Totem Ancestor, both with choreographies by Merce Cunningham). In addition to the Sonatas and Interludes for piano, the Prelude for Meditation, the Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra and Two Pastorales, the prepared piano is also used in two compositions for film, the first published with the title Music for Marcel Duchamp for the film Dreams That Money Can Buy by Hans Richter, and the second for the film Works of Calder by Herbert Matter; furthermore, we find the instrument in the works for ensemble Amores, for percussion and prepared piano, Second Construction, for percussion and prepared piano, and She Is Asleep, for 12 tom-toms, voice, piano and prepared piano. Although the titles above are not all of Cage’s compositions involving the use of prepared piano(7), they represent the most significant works and examples of using this bizarre but tonally very effective instrument, which offers new creative possibilities both to the composer and the interpreter. As Mario Lavista wrote, with the prepared piano “the interpreter is actively involved in the definition and configuration of the new colors […],” through the deliberate placement of objects inside the instrument. The quality and characterization of the sound depends directly from that placement: “a change of place, albeit small, slightly changes the pitch, the dynamics, and thus the timbre of the sounds. The instrument becomes a percussion ensemble under the control of a single performer.»(8)
John Cage showed new expressive possibilities also through a revolution of the means, once again demonstrating a willingness to participate in a profound metamorphosis, an inevitable revolution, one for which the doors of music have opened to musical universes still surprising and attractive to this day.

notes:
(1) I. Kant, Kant’s Critique of Judgement, translated with Introduction and Notes by J.H. Bernard (2nd ed. revised) (London: Macmillan, 1914), §46, p. 188.
(2) I am referring to the words used by Wassily Kandinsky to describe the artist’s condition:«Veiled in obscurity are the causes moving us forward and upward by “the sweat of the brow,” through suffering, evil, and pain. Many grievous obstacles along this road must be conquered, so as to arrive at the first stage; and even then an evil, unseeing hand may toss more obstacles in the way, so that this road sometimes appears to be totally impassable, as all landmarks vanish. It is then that there unfailingly arises some human being, no different from the rest of humanity but for a secret power of “Vision” within him.He sees and points the way. Sometimes he would prefer to lay aside his power, as it is a heavy cross to bear; but he cannot do so. Though scorned and hated, he never lets go but drags the cartload of protesting humanity after him, ever forcing it forward and upward, over all obstacles in his way.» (W. Kandinsky, On The Spirtual In Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, for the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, N.Y., 1946, p.14).
(3) As regards Cage, see G. Fronzi (edited by), John Cage. Una rivoluzione lunga cent’anni,with a previously unpublished interview, Mimesis, Milan 2012.
(4) B.W. Joseph, “John Cage and the Architecture of Silence”, in October, lxxxi, Summer 1997, pp. 73-99: 73.
(5) K. Silverman, Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2010, p. 31.Presenting, in June 1949, the Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano at Suzanne Tézenas’ salon, Pierre Boulez says: “In his 1942-43, his research narrowed and gradually produced the prepared piano such as you are going to hear today. After many cautious experiments Cage tried to establish what objects could remain stable between the strings of a piano, what were the materials to use and how they should be placed; from this he deduced the necessity of modifying duration, amplitude, frequency, and timbre – in other words, the four characteristics of a sound. To facilitate realization, he used everyday objects such as screws, nails, nuts, felt, rubber, and pennies wedged vertically between two strings or horizontally straddling the three strings relating to a key. Using the una corda pedal would therefore also modify the pitches, since the hammer, shifted sideways, would strike only two strings out of three.” The Boulez-Cage Correspondence, edited by Jean-Jacques Nattiez, translated and edited by Robert Samuels, Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 29, 30.
(6) J. Cage, La musica (fino al 1970), in Lettera a uno sconosciuto, edited by R. Kostelanetz, with a memory by M. Cunningham, preface by E. Sanguineti, Edizioni Socrates, Rome 1996, pp. 99-129: 102 (orig. publ. Conversing with Cage, Limelight Editions, New York 1988; then Omnibus Press, London 1989; ii ed. Routledge, New York 2003).
(7) To listen to all of Cage’s works for prepared piano, cfr. John Cage. Works for Prepared Piano:Mysterious Adventure, A Room, Tossed as it is Untroubled, Primitive, Music for Marcel Duchamp, Totem Ancestor, A Valentine out of Season, Spontaneous Earth, Root of an Unfocus, The Perilous Night, Daughters of the Lonesome Isle, The Unavailable Memory of, And the Earth Shall Bear Again, Triple Paced, Bacchanale, Prelude for Meditation, In the Name of the Holocaust, Our Spring Will Come, Two Pastorales, col legno, WWE 2CD 20027 (2 CD), Germany 2000.
(8) M. Lavista, John Cage e il pianoforte preparato. Alcune considerazioni sugli aspetti formali, in F. Ballardini – A. Cutroneo – E. Negri(edited by), John Cage. L’espressione si sviluppa in colui che la percepisce, Conference proceedings (Riva del Garda, 3-10 September 2002), Lim, Lucca 2003, pp. 115-32:117.

 

 

Con la rivoluzionaria scoperta del pianoforte preparato, John Cage apre le porte della musica a universi sonori inesplorati e possibilità espressive ignote. Attraverso semplici interventi materiali sullo strumento musicale, l’attività compositiva diventa con lui qualcosa di completamente nuovo, esteso, rinnovato. Il progetto PIANO, ispirandosi alle sperimentazioni dell’artista, mira a definire un uso inedito degli strumenti dello scambio culturale, aprendo gli orizzonti delle discipline e delle geografie artistiche, mescolando le pratiche, congiungendo i luoghi, promuovendo il dinamismo e la rottura degli schemi. Il filosofo e musicologo Giacomo Fronzi focalizza qui l’attenzione sulle sperimentazioni di Cage intorno a questo strumento reinventato, mettendo in luce le ampie potenzialità di un percorso sempre volto al superamento dei limiti.

“Il genio è il talento (dono naturale), che dà la regola all’arte”(1). La storia delle arti è attraversata da sterzate, rotture, ritorni, rivoluzioni e controrivoluzioni. A dare l’avvio a simili dinamiche trasformative c’è sempre qualcuno che, in virtù della propria misteriosa forza “visionaria”, vede e fa vedere(2), indicando nuovi percorsi, suggerendo inaspettate soluzioni, istituendo (e questo accade specificamente nel Novecento) nuove relazioni con la materia artistica ed extra-artistica.
Sebbene si tratti di una figura tra le più controverse del panorama artistico del XX secolo, bersaglio di critiche feroci talvolta barbose e verbose, così come anche destinatario di apologie non sempre supportate da un’adeguata conoscenza della materia, John Cage resta, a mio modo di vedere, un rivoluzionario, un rivoluzionario che più di una volta ha giocato con il suo cognome, nel quale era inscritta una sorta di autonegazione annunciata, un autosuperamento concettuale e pratico: un Cage (che in lingua inglese, si sa, significa “gabbia”) che rifiuta qualsiasi gabbia, teorica, morale, musicale.
Cage era un compositore anarchico, divertente, ironico, spontaneo, irriverente, un personaggio dalle passioni bizzarre e multiformi (arti, filosofie orientali, I Ching, buddhismo zen, micologia, piante, mesostici, cucina macrobiotica, scacchi…), dai numerosi amori, non solo musicali, ma anche letterari e sociologico-politici (si pensi a Buckminster Fuller, a Meister Eckhart, così come a Erik Satie, a Marshall McLuhan, Henry David Thoreau o Daisetz T. Suzuki). Un artista capace di idee geniali che vanno dall’elettronica al pianoforte preparato, dal primo happening della storia alle pionieristiche partiture di tipo grafico-pittorico, dalle esperienze live electronics o del musicircus alle opere per danza, radio o televisione.
Cage (del quale, nel 2012, si sono celebrati i vent’anni dalla morte e i cento dalla nascita(3)) rientra in molte storie, in molte rivoluzioni, è uno di quei compositori che a metà Novecento hanno coltivato la speranza di porre fine, definitivamente, al regno dell’armonia(4), centrando il discorso musicale, l’attività compositiva su basi nuove, strutturate a partire da elementi che potevano essere, di volta in volta, musicali, extra-musicali, aleatori o numerici.
Mentre si trova a Seattle (siamo alla fine degli anni Trenta) insieme alla moglie Xenia, Cage svolge un intenso lavoro sulla musica percussiva e sulla danza, entrando in rapporto con artisti come Mark Tobey, Morris Graves o Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, ma anche con danzatori e coreografi come Bonnie Bird, Syvilla Fort e, soprattutto, Merce Cunningham. È qui, presso la Cornish School, che Cage concepisce il rivoluzionario pianoforte preparato, più precisamente per il balletto Bacchanale di Syvilla Fort. Uno dei compiti di John, in quel periodo, è quello di accompagnare i ballerini durante le lezioni e i concerti, per quanto fosse qualcosa che detesta fare. In una di queste occasioni, non appena Cage inizia a suonare, un pezzo d’ottone posto in un vassoio sullo strumento cade accidentalmente nella cassa del pianoforte e comincia a rotolare sulla corde. Il suono che proviene dallo strumento suscita in Cage un particolare interesse. È del tutto concentrato su questo oggetto, che rotola su e giù per le corde. Inizia a farsi strada l’idea del pianoforte preparato(5). Successivamente, quando si tratta di realizzare la musica per il Bacchanale, Cage inizialmente cerca di individuare una serie dodecafonica che potesse suonare “africana”, ma senza riuscirci. Gli viene allora in mente il suono del pianoforte quando Cowell percuoteva o pizzicava le corde, o quando vi faceva scorrere sopra degli aghi di metallo. Si sposta in cucina, prende un piatto e lo mette con un libro sulle corde. Ma il piatto rimbalza. Cage prende allora un chiodo e lo infila tra le corde. Ma si presenta un altro problema: il chiodo scivola via. Viene allora in mente a John di sostituire il chiodo con una vite da legno. La soluzione funziona. Era nato il pianoforte preparato(6).
Da quel momento, Cage – dall’inizio degli anni Quaranta a metà degli anni Cinquanta – inserisce il prepared piano in una trentina di suoi lavori (non tutti pubblicati), soprattutto dedicati alla danza (si pensi, a partire da Bacchanale, a And the Earth Shall Bear Again – con coreografia di Valerie Bettis –, a In the Name of the Holocaust o Totem Ancestor – ambedue con coreografia di Merce Cunningham). Oltre che nelle pagine pianistiche di Sonatas and Interludes,del Prelude for Meditation, del Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra e delle Two Pastorales, il ricorso al pianoforte preparato non manca anche in due lavori per il cinema, il primo pubblicato con il titolo Music for Marcel Duchamp per la pellicola Dreams That Money Can Buy di Hans Richter e il secondo per il film Works of Calder di Herbert Matter, ma anche in Amores per pianoforte preparato e trio di batterie, in Second Construction per quartetto di batterie e pianoforte preparato e in She Is Asleep per quartetto di batterie, voce, pianoforte preparato e pianoforte non preparato. I titoli appena citati non coprono certo tutta la produzione cageana che prevede l’impiego del pianoforte preparato(7), tuttavia si tratta delle opere più significative ed esemplificative dell’utilizzo di questo strumento bizzarro, ma timbricamente molto efficace, e che offre inedite possibilità creative tanto al compositore quanto all’interprete. Come ha scritto Mario Lavista, con il pianoforte preparato “l’interprete partecipa attivamente alla definizione e configurazione dei nuovi colori […]”, attraverso la giusta collocazione degli oggetti all’interno dello strumento. La qualità e la caratterizzazione del suono dipende direttamente da tale collocazione: “un cambiamento di posto, seppur piccolo, modifica anche lievemente, l’altezza, la dinamica e quindi la qualità timbrica dei suoni. Si tratta di una vera e propria orchestra di percussioni, un’orchestra controllata da un unico esecutore”(8).
Anche attraverso questa rivoluzione dei mezzi, John Cage ha indicato nuove possibilità espressive, dimostrando ancora una volta la volontà di partecipare a una metamorfosi profonda, a una rivoluzione inevitabile, quella per la quale le porte della musica si sono spalancate a universi sonori sorprendenti e ancora oggi decisamente attraenti.

(1) I. Kant, Critica del Giudizio (1790), trad. it. di A. Gargiulo, rev. di V. Verra, introd. di P. D’Angelo, Laterza, Roma-Bari 20053, §46, p. 291.
(2) Mi riferisco, qui, alle parole che dedica Wassily Kandinsky alla condizione che è propria dell’artista. Ecco il passo completo: “Non sappiamo perché sentiamo il dovere di andare avanti con “sudore della fronte”, tra sofferenza, malvagità e crisi. Raggiunta una meta, eliminati molti sassi pericolosi dalla strada una mano invisibile e crudele getta su questa strada nuovi blocchi, rendendola irriconoscibile. Allora però arriva un uomo, che ci assomiglia, ma ha in sé una misteriosa forza “visionaria”. Egli vede e fa vedere. A volte vorrebbe liberarsi di questa superiore capacità che per lui costituisce spesso una pesante croce. Ma non può. Fra scherno e odio trascina in alto il pesante carro dell’umanità, che oppone resistenza e si blocca fra i sassi” (W. Kandinsky, Lo spirituale nell’arte, a cura di E. Pontiggia, SE, Milano 1989, p. 21; ed. orig. Über das Geistige in der Kunst, R. Piper& Co., München 1912).
(3) Su Cage, mi sia consentito rinviare a G. Fronzi (a cura di), John Cage. Una rivoluzione lunga cent’anni,con un’intervista inedita, Mimesis, Milano 2012.
(4) B.W. Joseph,John Cage and the Architecture of Silence, in “October”, lxxxi, Summer 1997, pp. 73-99: 73.
(5) K. Silverman, Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2010, p. 31. Presentando, nel giugno 1949, le Sonate e Interludi per pianoforte preparato nel salotto di Suzanne Tézenas, Pierre Boulez dirà: “Nel 1942-43, la sua ricerca si precisa e arriva a poco a poco al pianoforte preparato così come lo sentirete oggi. Dopo molti tentativi, Cage prova a stabilire quali oggetti possano rimanere fermi fra le corde di un pianoforte, quali siano i differenti materiali da usare e come debbano essere sistemati; ne dedusse la necessità di modificare durata, ampiezza, frequenza e timbro, vale a dire le quattro caratteristiche di un suono. Per comodità di realizzazione, utilizzò oggetti quotidiani, come viti, chiodi, dadi, feltri, gomme e monete, incuneati verticalmente fra due corde o sovrapposti orizzontalmente alle tre corde relative a un tasto. L’uso del pedale una corda potrà dunque modificare anche le altezze, perché il martelletto, spostandosi lateralmente, colpirà solo due corde su tre” (Pierre Boulez presenta Sonate e Interludi per pianoforte preparato di John Cage nel salotto di Suzanne Tézenas, in P. Boulez – J. Cage, Corrispondenze e documenti, trad. it. a cura di W. Edwin Rosasco, Archinto, Milano 2006, pp. 49-57: 52; ed. orig. Correspondance et documents, a cura di J.-J. Nattiez et al., Amadeus, Winterthur 1990).
(6) J. Cage, La musica (fino al 1970), in Lettera a uno sconosciuto, a cura di R. Kostelanetz, con un ricordo di M. Cunningham, prefaz. di E. Sanguineti, Edizioni Socrates, Roma 1996, pp. 99-129: 102 (ed. orig. Conversing with Cage, Limelight Editions, New York 1988; poi Omnibus Press, London 1989; ii ed. Routledge, New York 2003).
(7) Per un ascolto completo dei lavori per pianoforte preparato, cfr. John Cage. Works for Prepared Piano:Mysterious Adventure, A Room, Tossed as It Is Untroubled, Primitive, Music for Marcel Duchamp, Totem Ancestor, A Valentine out of Season, Spontaneous Earth, Root of an Unfocus, The Perilous Night, Daughters of the Lonesome Isle, The Unavailable Memory of, And the Earth Shall Bear Again, Triple Paced, Bacchanale, Prelude for Meditation, In the Name of the Holocaust, Our Spring Will Come, Two Pastorales, col legno, WWE 2CD 20027 (2 CD), Germany 2000.
(8) M. Lavista, John Cage e il pianoforte preparato. Alcune considerazioni sugli aspetti formali, in F. Ballardini – A. Cutroneo – E. Negri(a cura di), John Cage. L’espressione si sviluppa in colui che la percepisce, Atti dell’omonimo Convegno di Studi (Riva del Garda, 3-10 settembre 2002), Lim, Lucca 2003, pp. 115-32: 117.

all images © Roberto Masotti

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Cécile Poblon

Cécile Poblon, director of the BBB centre d’art since 2009, defined the new artistic and strategic axes of the establishment. She participated in the prefiguration of the International Centre for Graphic Design in Chaumont (2008) and managed from 2003 till 2008 the gallery Guy Chatiliez in Tourcoing. Her research takes into account the context: the position of both artworks and visitors within the context of philosophical considerations and experimentations, joining a representation and a putting into perspective of our time from the art, from the world.

Project: Piano – alto!
Space: BBB centre d’art

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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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Guillaume Robert

Mariage

Guillaume Robert, Vérifier l’Arcadie, 2013-2014

Born 1975, France
Lives and works in Lyon, France
His work has essentially developed out of video, but over the last few years his practice has opened onto installation, object-based work, sound, writing and photography. His work involves scripted forms exploring the creative process, carried out as a series of invitations given to a (Bosnian) garage mechanic, a geophysicist (to model the propagation of riots across the globe),performers (dancers and actors), a blacksmith, a musician, a beekeeper, a sound artist…His projects bring into play specific materials and contexts (historical, architectural, geopolitical or literary…) which, after a process of appropriation, are then linked into the display environment.

Project: Piano – alto!

 

(1975, vive e lavora a Lione)
Guillaume Robert sviluppa il suo lavoro per progetti, spinto dall’interesse per tutto ciò che fa mondo (linguaggio, storia, politica, scienza, rappresentazione, percezione…) La sua produzione video si apre da alcuni anni all’oggetto, all’installazione, al testo, al suono o alla fotografia. L’artista riunisce materiali e contesti specifici, si basa su processi di creazione dalla forma narrativa che si risolvono attraverso il coinvolgimento di varie collaborazioni (un meccanico, un geofisico, degli interpreti, di danza o teatro, un fabbro, un musicista, un apicoltore…). Le strategie processuali e plastiche procedono per accumulazione e sovrapposizione di strati (sedimentazione narrativa, sedimentazione di materiali, di senso, sedimentazione del tempo).

 

Né en 1975, vit et travaille à Lyon. Sa pratique se développe par projets. Il explore des formes variées, souvent transversales, traversées par le souci d’embrasser ce qui fait un monde (langage, histoire, politique, science, représentation, perception…). Sa pratique de la vidéo s’ouvre depuis quelques années à l’objet, à l’installation, au texte, au son ou à la photographie. Il convoque des matériaux et des contextes spécifiques, s’appuie sur des formes scénarisées de processus de création qui se résolvent via l’invitation lancée à un garagiste, un géophysicien, des interprètes (danse, théâtre), un forgeron, un musicien, un apiculteur… Les stratégies processuelles et plastiques mises en place procèdent par accumulation, superposition de couches.

Image:
Guillaume Robert, Vérifier l’Arcadie, 2013-2014, installation, sculpture, photograph. Courtesy of the artist

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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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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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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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Walter Pichler

Prozession mit Tragbarem Schrein, 1970

Prozession mit Tragbarem Schrein, 1970

Born 1936, Nova Ponente, Italy
† 2012, Vienna, Austria

Together with Hans Hollein and Raimund Abraham, Walter Pichler was one of the leading exponents of radical architecture in the 1960s. His projects combat the formal coldness and monotonous surfaces of modern architecture, using unusual materials to create buildings that tell a story. Pichler often associates his interest in places of worship with the creation of his sculptures and the places that host them, forging a consummate union between landscape, sculpture, and architecture.
In 1995 he was invited by the Turin City Council to present a public art project for the underground railway link. Walter Pichler’s project consists of a door that connects the city with the railway area. The structure is composed of a series of prefabricated elements in cement and is entitled Passage, given that its only function is to connect two different areas. Inside Passage, light plays a key role, and the work is indeed subtitled Lichtkäfig (Light Cage). This public project was not actually constructed but it reveals a distinctive trait of the artist’s aesthetic, namely the creation of a modular system for sculpture and architecture. Indeed for the Gutmann private collection Pichler designed a room to present this project and a version of it for the space outside. Tragbarer Schrein (Portable Shrine) is another example of how Pichler enjoys using different materials, and it also reveals the mystic element that accompanies his sculptures and installations. The piece is a portable sculpture comprising a central component in zinc, a base in dried grass, and a wooden structure to transport it, as the photos of the artist’s family show. The main section is a reliquary containing a mirror from St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. This objet trouvé can be seen through a small hole: when viewers move closer to take a look inside, they come face to face with their own reflection. The exhibition also presents a selection of drawings devoted to the Passage project that express the artist’s more intimate, spiritual side.

Nato a Nova Ponente, Italia, nel 1936
† 2012, Vienna, Austria

Walter Pichler, insieme a Hans Hollein e Raimund Abraham, è uno degli esponenti di spicco dell’architettura radicale degli anni ‘60. I suoi progetti avversano la freddezza formale e la monotonia materica dell’architettura moderna, prediligendo materiali insoliti e lasciando gli edifici liberi di raccontare delle storie. Pichler associa spesso il suo interesse per i luoghi di culto alla realizzazione delle sue sculture, e delle dimore dove esse sono ospitate, dando così vita a una perfetta comunione tra paesaggio, scultura e architettura.
Nel 1995 l’architetto è stato invitato dalla città di Torino a presentare un progetto di arte pubblica per il Passante Ferroviario. La proposta di Walter Pichler consiste in una porta, che mette idealmente in collegamento la città e l’area del Passante. La struttura è composta da una successione di elementi prefabbricati in cemento ed è intitolata Passage, dato che si tratta di uno spazio senza destinazione d’uso, se non quella di collegare due luoghi diversi. All’interno di Passage la luce ha un ruolo importante, e infatti l’opera è sottotitolata Lichtkäfig (Gabbia di luce). Il progetto per lo spazio pubblico non è stato realizzato, ma testimonia un tratto distintivo del pensiero dell’artista, ovvero lo sviluppo di un sistema modulare per scultura e architettura. Infatti lo stesso Pichler ha progettato una stanza dedicata alla presentazione di questo progetto e una sua realizzazione per lo spazio esterno per la collezione privata Gutmann. Tragbarer Schrein (Scrigno portatile) è un secondo esempio di come Pichler ami utilizzare diversi materiali, ma rivela anche l’aspetto più mistico che accompagna la realizzazione delle sue sculture e installazioni. Si tratta di una scultura portatile, costituita da una parte centrale in zinco, una base di erba essiccata e una struttura in legno per il trasporto, come documentano le foto della famiglia dell’artista. Lo scrigno centrale è concepito come un reliquiario. Al suo interno è contenuto uno specchio proveniente dalla basilica di San Marco, a Venezia. L’objet trouvé è visibile da un piccola fessura: avvicinandosi e sbirciando all’interno, l’osservatore si trova faccia a faccia con il proprio volto.
In mostra è presente anche una selezione di disegni dedicati al progetto Passage, in cui si esprime anche il lato più intimo e spirituale dell’artista.

Image:
Prozession mit Tragbarem Schrein, 1970 (Walter Pichler and Werner Stupka). Photo: Marina Faust

Project: Soleil politique

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Gianluca d’Incà Levis

Gianluca_D_Inca_Levis

Gianluca d’Incà Levis is the creator and curator of Dolomiti Contemporanee, and the director of the New Venue of Casso/Nuovo Spazio Espositivo di Casso.
Since 2010, he has been launching a series of curatorial projects that link contemporary art, recovery of industrial or civil disused sites, and mountains. The idea of producing innovative images is central, working on the natural environment in a critical and projective manner, and rejecting the stereotypical readings. Starting from 2014, he has been carrying out a study at the Cà Foscari University of Venice’s Department of Management, on the following subject: Cultural entrepreneurship and creative industries as factors of local development. Branding of the territories and creative regeneration. Rethinking nature and the industrial landscape through contemporary art.

Project: Piano – alto!
Space: Dolomiti Contemporanee

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH GIANLUCA D’INCÀ LEVIS, DOLOMITI CONTEMPORANEE

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH GIANLUCA D’INCÀ LEVIS, DOLOMITI CONTEMPORANEE

Vincent Honoré Can you introduce Dolomiti Contemporanee, its history, missions and programmes?
Gianluca d’Incà Levis Dolomiti Contemporanee is a cultural platform which works for the redefining of the meaning and fruition of the physical and mental contexts with which it comes in contact. Art, every kind of art – art in general – is the most performative instrument in the battle for the constant re-definition of the meaning of things and of their raison d’être. This battle is one of the few raison d’être, indeed, that the human possesses should it not content itself with static definitions and approaches based on other people’s experiences. The project was born in 2011, and operates in the context of the UNESCO Dolomites, re-activating great abandoned sites (industrial archaeology compounds, locations symbol of closure and death, which are transformed, through innovative art and culture, in open “constructions sites”).

V.H. How do you think a residency can benefit an artist?
G.D.L. Artists are a sensitive selectors. They seize stimuli, and re-broadcast them. The more the external contest is stimulating, the stronger and profound the resonances created in them may be. The residency project gives the artist a chance to come in contact with new contexts. The dolomitic contexts, made of rock, verticality, environment and nature, thin air, great exhumed architectures, which we reactivate, are exceptionally incentivized in that sense.

2. New Venue of Casso

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?
G.D.L. Dolomiti Contemporanee isn’t an institution. It is an experimental project, which questions once again the manner of approach to the territory, the sites, the spaces, the thoughts, the meaning of the artistic endeavour and the curatorial practices, and the relationship between all these things. It  isn’t at all possible for the cultural contexts to be completely cannibalized by the institution, the museums, the “powerful players”. There’s always room for those who want to innovate. Thus, the more the system will become organized, the more space there will be for subversive, or simply critical, projects.

V.H. Is it an advantage to have a nomadic structure, that has to find new space all the time for its projects?
G.D.L. It is not a question of advantages. Changing constantly is hard. But, this way, we’re declaring not to be in search of a “house for the arts”. Art doesn’t need a house. It is pervasive, universal, mobile, liquid. We’re not interested in managing, arranging a structure, and setting up “art exhibits” inside it. We’re interested in taking care of the places, reflecting on the landscape, putting it in motion. Every time we face a new site, we do it because it makes sense, it is necessary, to bring a system of re-activation in that site, which is always a great dead location, that we believe must be exhumed, transformed, regenerated. However, we settle in some sites for at least 3-4 years (Casso, Borca). Thus, we’re not perfectly nomadic either. The format isn’t defined: it changes in relation to the locations, which are always different. But the project is extremely clear, and stable. It opens closed contexts. It assaults inertias, and ideational laziness. It proves that every good idea, when pursued rigorously, can be successful.

3. New Venue of Casso

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?
G.D.L. Dolomiti Contemporanee, as a project, has its founding in the idea of network. In four years (DC was created in 2011), we’ve worked with over 400 public, private, productive, cultural, artistic partners. The basis of our “diet” is relational. Every good network interests us. The project isn’t at all limited to the Dolomites. That is where it started, where we continuously welcome artists and people (Residency), and from where it steps out all the time, through partnerships, relationships, exchanges, in Italy and abroad. PIANO’s plan, the idea of the project, seemed good, stimulating. We’ve gladly decided to take part in it all. The only regret was the complete lack of participation of the public Italian institutions. But in Italy the art system doesn’t work, that is a well known fact. Thus, we’ve taken part in the Piano-Alto! project. A few French artists have been DC’s guests in the residency projects of Casso and Borca. A few Italian artists have worked, instead, in the French art centres that are partners of the project. In the next weeks and months, the results of their research will be presented. Moreover, we’ve included in the PIANO platform one of our projects: “Two calls for Vajont”, a complex and important international artistic contest (www.twocalls.net). We hope that the French artists will decide to take part in it. This would be another marker of the fact that the cultural network really has worked, through the sharing of the platforms.

www.dolomiticontemporanee.netwww.twocalls.netwww.progettoborca.net

Space: Dolomiti Contemporanee
Protagonist: Gianluca D’Incà Levis
Project: Piano – alto!

Vincent Honoré Puoi presentare Dolomiti Contemporanee, la sua storia, la sua mission e il suo programma?
Gianluca d’Incà Levis Dolomiti Contemporanee è una piattaforma culturale che mira alla ridefinizione del significato e della fruizione dei contesti fisici e mentali con cui entra in contatto. L’arte, di ogni genere, l’arte in generale è lo strumento più performativo nella lotta per la costante ridefinizione del significato delle cose e della loro ragion d’essere. Questa lotta è in effetti una delle poche ragioni d’essere che l’uomo possiede per non accontentarsi di definizioni e approcci statici basati sull’esperienza altrui. Il progetto è nato nel 2011 e si colloca nel contesto delle Dolomiti, sito protetto dall’UNESCO, riattivando importanti luoghi abbandonati (siti di archeologia industriale, luoghi simbolo di chiusura e morte, che vengono trasformati attraverso l’innovazione dell’arte e della cultura in “cantieri” aperti).

V.H. In che modo, secondo te, un artista può sfruttare l’esperienza di una residenza?
G.D.L. Gli artisti fanno le loro scelte con sensibilità, colgono gli stimoli e li riproducono. Più è stimolante il contesto esterno, più forti e profonde possono essere le risonanze create in loro. Il progetto di residenza dà all’artista l’occasione di entrare in contatto con spazi nuovi. Il contesto delle Dolomiti, fatto di roccia, verticalità, ambiente e natura, aria fine, grandi architetture riesumate e riattivate, è incredibilmente stimolante in questo senso.

V.H. Come immagini il futuro di un’istituzione come Dolomiti Contemporanee in un contesto in cui musei e istituzioni globalizzati assumono un crescente potere, assorbendo tutte le energie, le categorie di pubblico e le risorse economiche?
G.D.L. Dolomiti Contemporanee non è un’istituzione. È un progetto sperimentale, che mette in discussione ancora una volta l’approccio al territorio, i luoghi, gli spazi, i pensieri, il significato dell’attività artistica e delle pratiche curatoriali, e le relazioni tra tutti questi elementi. Non è possibile che i contesti culturali siano completamente cannibalizzati dalle istituzioni, dai musei, dai player più potenti. C’è sempre spazio per coloro che vogliono innovare. Più il sistema diventerà organizzato, più spazio ci sarà per i progetti sovversivi o semplicemente critici.

V.H. Avere una struttura nomade, che ha bisogno di trovare ogni volta una nuova sede per accogliere i suoi progetti, rappresenta un vantaggio?
G.D.L. Non si tratta di una questione di vantaggi. Cambiare continuamente è difficile. Ma in questo modo affermiamo di non essere in cerca di una “casa per le arti”. L’arte non ha bisogno di una casa. È pervasiva, universale, mobile, liquida. Non ci interessa gestire, organizzare una struttura e allestire “mostre” al suo interno. Ci interessa “prenderci cura dei luoghi”, riflettendo sul paesaggio, mettendolo in moto. Ogni volta che affrontiamo un sito nuovo, lo facciamo perché ha senso, è necessario portare in questo specifico luogo abbandonato, che noi crediamo debba essere riesumato, trasformato, rigenerato, un sistema di riattivazione. Ci stabiliamo in determinati luoghi per periodi di 3-4 anni (Casso, Borca), per cui non siamo esattamente nomadi. Il format non è definito, ma cambia in relazione ai luoghi, sempre diversi. Ma il progetto è estremamente chiaro e stabile e consiste nell’aprire contesti chiusi, aggredire l’inerzia e la pigrizia mentale. Esso testimonia che ogni buona idea, se perseguita con rigore, può avere successo.

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?
G.D.L. Il progettoDolomiti Contemporanee si basa sull’idea della rete. In quattro anni (DC è stato creato nel 2011), abbiamo lavorato con oltre 400 partner pubblici, privati, produttivi, culturali e artistici. La base della nostra “dieta” è relazionale. Tutte le buone reti ci interessano. Il progetto non è affatto limitato alle Dolomiti. Parte da qui, dove accoglie con continuità artisti e persone (attraverso il programma di residenza), e da qui si muove costantemente, attraverso partnership, relazioni, scambi sia in Italia sia all’estero. Il programma di PIANO, l’idea del progetto, sembrava buona, stimolante. Abbiamo deciso con piacere di prendervi parte. L’unico dispiacere riguarda la totale mancanza di partecipazione delle istituzioni pubbliche italiane. Ma in Italia il sistema dell’arte non funziona, è un fatto noto. Abbiamo quindi preso parte al progetto Piano – Alto!. Alcuni artisti francesi sono stati ospiti di DC nei progetti di residenza di Casso e di Borca, mentre altri artisti italiani hanno lavorato nei centri d’arte francesi partner del progetto. Nelle settimane e nei mesi che verranno, saranno presentati i risultati delle loro ricerche. Inoltre abbiamo inserito nel progetto PIANO uno dei nostri progetti, Two Calls for Vajont, un importante e complesso concorso artistico internazionale (www.twocalls.net). Speriamo che gli artisti francesi decidano di parteciparvi, perché ciò rappresenterebbe un altro segno del fatto che, attraverso la fusione delle piattaforme, la rete culturale ha funzionato.

www.dolomiticontemporanee.netwww.twocalls.netwww.progettoborca.net

Images:
1-3. New Venue of Casso

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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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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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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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ROBERT BREER

Born 1926, Detroit, MI, USA
† 2011, Tucson, AZ, USA
Associated with many of the avant-garde movements in France and America in the 1950s, Robert Breer began his artistic career in experimental cinema and abstract painting yet soon discovered that he was more interested in the artistic process than the end result. In 1965 he made his first foray into sculpture. Influenced by the spirit of performance art, Breer revisited minimalist sculpture, focusing in particular on the role of the pedestal and the mechanisms that determine the spaces and times of an exhibition. His Floats (floating sculptures), for example, are bodies with wheels and a motor attached, meaning they trundle around at random. Breer’s idea was to explore the visual and physical aspects of sculpture, including the temporal and spatial dimension inhabited by the observer, who is also in motion. His Variations were presented for the first time at the Bonino Gallery in New York in 1970: 93 elements with the same basic shape, namely a mold of the inside of a coffee cup, with a curved top. Each element presents a small variation (hence the title), which makes each single piece unique. At the New York presentation, these little motorized sculptures made almost imperceptible movements on a table. The piece Column (1967) was also based on the same principle: lending movement to a minimalist sculpture.

Project: Soleil politique

Nato a Detroit, MI, USA, nel 1926
† 2011, Tucson, AZ, USA
Associato a molti movimenti dell’avanguardia francese e americana degli anni ‘50, Robert Breer inizia la sua carriera confrontandosi con il cinema sperimentale e la pittura astratta, e scopre presto di essere maggiormente interessato al processo della composizione artistica che al suo risultato. Il 1965 segna la nascita del suo vocabolario scultoreo. Influenzato dallo spirito che animava in quegli anni l’esperienza della performance, Breer rivisita la scultura minimalista, concentrandosi in particolare sul ruolo del piedistallo e sui meccanismi che determinano gli spazi e i momenti espositivi. I Floats (Sculture galleggianti), per esempio, sono corpi cui l’artista aggiunge delle rotelline e un motore, che li fa muovere lentamente e in maniera casuale. Breer è così in grado di esplorare gli aspetti visivi e fisici della scultura, inclusa la dimensione temporale e spaziale dell’osservatore, anch’egli in movimento. Le Variations (Variazioni) sono presentate per la prima volta presso la Bonino Gallery di New York nel 1970. Robert Breer crea novantatre elementi con la stessa forma base, ovvero il calco dell’interno di una tazza da caffè, stondato nella parte superiore. Ciascun elemento presenta una piccola variazione, da cui il titolo della serie, che rende ogni pezzo unico. Nella presentazione a New York le piccole sculture motorizzate si muovevano impercettibilmente su un tavolo. Anche la scultura Column (Colonna) del 1967 si basa sul medesimo principio: conferire movimento a un’opera scultorea minimalista.

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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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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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Letizia Ragaglia

Born in Montebelluna in 1969, Letizia Ragaglia majored in museology and contemporary art at the universities of Florence and Bologna as well as at the École du Louvre and the Sorbonne in Paris.
She worked as a freelance curator specializing in projects for public spaces on behalf of various Italian and international institutions. She was a member of the jury for the 54. Venice Biennale and a member of the jury for the Vienna-based project KÖR (Kunst im Öffentlichen Raum / art in public spaces) from 2010 until 2013.
Since 2009, Ragaglia has been director of the Museion in Bolzano, where she has curated solo exhibitions of Monica Bonvicini, Isa Genzken, Andro Wekua, VALIE EXPORT, Carl Andre, Claire Fontaine, Paweł Althamer, Rosemarie Trockel, Danh Vo, Klara Lidén and Ceal Floyer.
She lives and works in Bolzano.

Project: Soleil politique
Space: Museion

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH LETIZIA RAGAGLIA, MUSEION, BOLZANO

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH LETIZIA RAGAGLIA, MUSEION, BOLZANO

Vincent Honoré In the mission statement of the museum, one reads: “Museion works as an international research laboratory and as a commissioner of works of art […]. The aim is to be interdisciplinary and these efforts can be seen in the fact that not only figurative art finds its place at Museion, but also architecture, music, performance, film and theatre all have a space in the yearly programme.” I am curious to know how structurally interdisciplinarity informs your programme? How do you articulate it? And, importantly, why is it still relevant to be interdisciplinary?
Letizia Ragaglia The fact that visual arts cannot be perceived in isolation from other forms of art is not a new discovery. Reference to such statements can be found in ancient periods as well as in the present. However, I see contemporary art as a hybrid construction – in a positive sense – which not only connects different cultural disciplines, but also integrates disciplines that are far beyond the cultural field. In my opinion, therefore, a museum of contemporary art has to underline and to create different links that move through the present-day cultural scene.
Museion’s “core business” is still visual art, but we want to show that rigid barriers cannot be erected. This Summer, for example, a young Italian artist, Luca Trevisani, was invited to create a video for our media façade: he, in turn, invited MK, a dance company, giving rise to an ensuing fruitful collaboration with the Bolzano dance festival. This Fall, moreover, we will present a show, in which Carol Bove, an American artist, interacts with the well-known architect Carlo Scarpa: how can a museum avoid considering architecture and, more particularly, reflecting on the display of works? In our show When Now Is Minimal. The Unknown Side of the Sammlung Goetz we hosted concerts with minimal music and we also pursue collaborations with designers such as Martino Gamper, who continuously move between art and design. These are just a few examples of how we articulate “interdisciplinarity,” although I must admit I’m not a fan of this word. Regarding the importance of interdisciplinarity: it is a mirror of how contemporary culture moves.

2. Danh Vo, We the people

2. Danh Vo, We the people, Museion, 2013

V.H. There are different models of what a museum should be, of what its missions should be. What is your vision, in 2014, of what a museum should be?
L.R. I can only answer for a museum of contemporary art, a museum which works predominantly with living artists and which, therefore, differs slightly from other museums that deal with artists and objects from the past. Although it is true that these other kinds of museums also constantly re-enact their collections and put them into a dialogue with the present, this process is accentuated in a museum for contemporary art, where the scientific work on the collections is continuously related to collaborations the museum has with the artists invited to create/produce new shows. Is the traditional museum dead? I don’t think so: a museum must constantly question its own role and, even if the years of institutional critique are over, it must remain aware of its public task and try to keep up with the times, providing new inputs to the traditional tasks of conserving, researching, exhibiting and communicating.

3. Klara Lidén, Invalidenstraße

3. Klara Lidén, Invalidenstraße, Museion, 2013

V.H. I particularly appreciate a question asked by Nikolaus Hirsch: “who are the authors in the construction of institutional space?”. Who are the authors of Museion?
L.R. Last year, Museion invited Carol Yinghua Lu and Liu Ding as guest curators and they created a very interesting show, Little Movements. Self-practices in Contemporary Art. The show analyzed different individual practices in the field of contemporary art and pointed out the importance of individual movements/actions. At the same time, the show gave us the chance to go through each different individual practice in our team, from the security guards in the exhibition rooms, to the accountant and the secretary. Each employee made a presentation to the public on a separate occasion and offered a glance into their own, special task within the “Museion machine:” for me, it is all of those people that are the authors of Museion.

4. Paweł Althamer, Polyethylene, Museion, 2012

4. Paweł Althamer, Polyethylene, Museion, 2012

V.H. Who do you speak to? How would you describe the persons visiting Museion: a public, an audience, actors, spectators, clients?
L.R. That’s a tricky question! In 2014, the guest curator of Museion is Pierre Bal-Blanc. We will talk about him further on in relation to the PIANO collaboration. I invited Pierre Bal-Blanc because I saw his show The Death of the Audience at the Secession in Vienna. Among the many inspirations I received from that show, I read between the lines that nowadays there is not one single public, but a number of different ones. At this point, I would also like to quote Félix González-Torres, who once said that one (i.e. the public) cannot look at an artwork without considering his or her political, social, economic and sexual background. I would never use the word “clients” nor “spectators” or “actors”: audience and public is fine, but much more important than the definition itself is the fact that I/we really believe that it is very important to make the museum accessible for everybody. We have high, even “elitist” contents, but we want everybody to share them with us, therefore we offer a large variety of mediation services, that can be accepted or ignored. I think that one should never underestimate his or her public! And if you keep in mind Félix González-Torres you have to go further and consider that your public may also come from non-western cultures or, for example, that elderly people may have different needs than younger ones.
Furthermore, I have a dream: to eliminate the word “comprehension.”. We want to be there for people who want to engage and have an experience. This involves delving much farther beyond our rationality.

5. Museion, Media façade: Michael Fliri, the unseen looks like something you have never seen, 2011

5. Museion, Media façade: Michael Fliri, the unseen looks like something you have never seen, 2011

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?
L.R. I have to be sincere and explain that Museion had already thought about a collaboration with Pierre Bal-Blanc and the CAC Brétigny before the possibility of the PIANO platform arose. Once we heard about that, though, we were obviously enthusiastic about collaborating in a wider network. I strongly believe in exchanges and collaboration with other institutions, especially if the partners share needs and mission-statements. As a guest curator, Pierre Bal-Blanc has done a lot of research on our territory and brought his perspective from outside in order to make us perceive our context in a different way. Thanks to his excellent skills, he has managed to produce a “local” exhibition of international relevance. And I think that the fact that the show is present on the PIANO platform has added value to it.

 

Vincent Honoré Nella mission del museo si legge: “Museion è un laboratorio internazionale di ricerca e un committente di opere d’arte […]. Museion coltiva una vocazione all’interdisciplinarità: non solo l’arte figurativa, ma anche l’architettura, la musica, la performance, il cinema e il teatro trovano espressione nel programma annuale”. Mi interessa sapere in che modo il programma di Museion sia improntato strutturalmente all’interdisciplinarietà. Come viene articolato? E, cosa ancor più rilevante, perché è ancora importante essere interdisciplinari?
Letizia Ragaglia Il fatto che le arti visive non possano essere percepite in maniera isolata rispetto ad altre forme d’arte non è una scoperta. L’applicazione di questa idea può essere rintracciata nell’antichità così come nel presente. In ogni caso, ritengo che l’arte contemporanea sia una costruzione ibrida, in senso positivo, che non solo si ricollega agli altri campi culturali, ma integra in sé discipline anche lontane dalla cultura. A mio avviso un museo d’arte contemporanea deve insistere e creare diversi collegamenti all’interno della scena culturale attuale.
Il “core business” di Museion resta l’arte visiva, ma sentiamo il bisogno di oltrepassare la rigidità dei confini. Quest’estate, per esempio, un giovane artista italiano, Luca Trevisani, è stato invitato a realizzare un video per la nostra facciata mediale: a sua volta, ha invitato MK, una compagnia di danza, dando vita così a una fertile collaborazione con il festival di danza di Bolzano. Quest’autunno, inoltre, presenteremo una mostra, in cui l’artista americana Carol Bove interagirà con il noto architetto Carlo Scarpa: come può un museo esimersi dalla relazione con l’architettura e, in particolare, dalla riflessione sul display delle opere? Nella nostra mostra When Now Is Minimal. The Unknown Side of the Sammlung Goetz, abbiamo ospitato concerti di musica minimale e portato avanti collaborazioni con designer come Martino Gamper, che si muovono continuamente tra l’arte e il design. Sono solo alcuni esempi di come articoliamo l’idea dell’“interdisciplinarietà”, anche se devo ammettere che non amo questo termine. Sempre a proposito dell’importanza dell’interidisciplinarietà: è lo specchio di come si muove la cultura contemporanea.

V.H. Ci sono diversi modelli di cosa dovrebbe essere un museo e di quale debba esserne la mission. Cosa pensi debba essere un museo nel 2014?
L.R. Posso rispondere solodal punto di vista di un museo d’arte contemporanea, ossia un museo che lavora specificamente con artisti viventi e che, per questo, differisce in maniera significativa dagli altri musei che hanno a che fare con artisti e oggetti del passato. Sebbene anche gli altri tipi di museo riallestiscano costantemente le loro collezioni e le facciano dialogare con il presente, questo processo si accentua in un museo d’arte contemporanea, in cui il lavoro scientifico sulle collezioni è sempre legato alle collaborazioni che il museo intesse con gli artisti invitati a realizzare/produrre nuove mostre. Il museo tradizionale è morto? Non credo: un museo deve interrogarsi senza sosta sul proprio ruolo e, anche se gli anni dell’institunional critique sono passati, deve continuare a prestare attenzione al proprio compito pubblico e cercare di tenersi al passo con i tempi, dando nuova vita alle tradizionali funzioni di conservazione, ricerca, esposizione e comunicazione.

V.H. Trovo molto interessante questa domanda formulata da Nikolaus Hirsch: “chi sono gli autori della costruzione di uno spazio istituzionale?”. Chi sono gli autori di Museion?
L.R. Lo scorso anno, Museion ha invitato come guest curators Carol Yinghua Lu e Liu Ding, che hanno realizzato una mostra molto interessante, Little Movements. Self-practices in Contemporary Art. Il progetto prendeva in esame diverse pratiche individuali nel campo dell’arte contemporanea e insisteva sull’importanza dei movimenti/azioni individuali. Allo stesso tempo, la mostra ci ha dato l’opportunità di mettere in luce le pratiche individuali di ciascun membro del nostro staff, dal personale di sicurezza all’interno delle sale espositive al personale amministrativo e della segreteria. Ogni impiegato ha fatto una presentazione personale al pubblico e offerto la possibilità di gettare uno sguardo sul proprio specifico compito all’interno della “macchina Museion”: per me gli autori di Museion sono tutte queste persone.

V.H. A chi ti rivolgi? Come descrivile persone che visitano Museion: un pubblico, un’audience, attori, spettatori, clienti?
L.R. Domanda insidiosa! Nel 2014 il guest curator di Museion è Pierre Bal-Blanc. Ne parleremo più avanti in relazione alla collaborazione di PIANO. Ho invitato Pierre Bal-Blanc dopo aver visto la sua mostra The Death of the Audience alla Secession di Vienna. Tra le molte ispirazioni che ho tratto da quella mostra, mi pare di aver letto tra le righe che oggi non esiste un unico pubblico, ma diversi. A tal proposito vorrei anche citare Félix González-Torres, che una volta ha affermato che il pubblico non può guardare un’opera senza tenere conto del proprio background politico, sociale, economico e sessuale. Non userei mai i termini “clienti” o “spettatori” o “attori”: audience e pubblico funzionano meglio, ma ciò che conta di più, al di là della definizione, è il fatto che credo e crediamo fortemente nell’importanza di rendere il museo accessibile a tutti. Proponiamo contenuti elevati, persino “elitari”, ma desideriamo condividerli con tutti, motivo per cui forniamo una gran varietà di servizi di mediazione, che possono essere utilizzati o meno. Penso che non si debba mai sottovalutare il pubblico! E, tendendo a mente Félix González-Torres, bisogna andare oltre e considerare la possibilità che il pubblico possa essere composto anche da non-occidentali, per esempio, o il fatto che le persone anziane hanno bisogni diversi rispetto a quelle giovani.
E poi, ho un sogno: cancellare la parola “comprensione”. Vogliamo avere a che fare con persone che desiderano essere coinvolte e vivere un’esperienza, andando a fondo e superando i confini della razionalità.

V.H. PIANO intende creare un network di spazi espositivi che lavorano insieme, attraverso lo scambio e l’interazione. Perché hai deciso di aderire al progetto e come si attua la tua partecipazione?
L.R. Devo dire la verità: Museion aveva già pensato di avviare una collaborazione con Pierre Bal-Blanc e il CAC Brétigny prima che si presentasse la possibilità della piattaforma PIANO. Una volta che questa è emersa, abbiamo reagito con entusiasmo alla possibilità di collaborare all’interno di una rete più ampia. Credo fortemente nello scambio e nella collaborazione con altre istituzioni, specialmente se i partner hanno gli stessi bisogni e le stesse mission. Pierre Bal Blanc, in qualità di guest curator, ha portato avanti una approfondita ricerca sul nostro territorio e ha offerto il proprio punto di vista esterno per farci percepire il nostro contesto in maniera diversa. Grazie alle sue eccezionali qualità, è riuscito a produrre una mostra “locale” di rilevanza internazionale [Soleil politique]. E penso che l’inserimento della mostra nella piattaforma PIANO non faccia altro che aggiungere valore all’iniziativa.

Images:
1. Museion. Photo: Ludwig Thalheimer / Lupe
2. Danh Vo, We the people. Exhibition Fabulous Muscles, Museion, 2013. © Danh Vo, courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel. Photo: Othmar Seehauser
3. Klara Lidén, Invalidenstraße, exhibition view, Museion 2013. Courtesy Galerie Neu, Berlin / Reena Spaulings, NY / the artist. Photo: Othmar Seehauser
4. Paweł Althamer, Polyethylene, Museion, 2012. © Pawel Althamer, courtesy neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Photo: Othmar Seehauser
5. Museion, Media façade: Michael Fliri, the unseen looks like something you have never seen, 2011, Collection Museion. Photo: Othmar Seehauser

Protagonist: Letizia Ragaglia
Space: Museion
Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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Marianne Maric

Born 1982, Mulhouse, France
Lives and works in Paris and Mulhouse, France

At the age of ten, after watching François Truffaut’s The Wild Child on television, Marianne Maric escaped from her room through a window in the middle of the night. She was discovered the following day, by a forester who returned her to her parents. In the wake of this event, Maric promised herself she would become an artist in order to act out her fantasies without anyone forcing her to reason. Since 2007, she has developed a transdisciplinary practice in which she deconstructs the boundaries of different media, using the body as a sculptural weapon. In her works, art, fashion, design, photography, music, and video merge through the use of the female body as “an extraordinary and fascinating form of architecture.” She deconstructs stereotypes to better re-employ them and plays with symbols to better subvert them. Marianne Maric is currently artist in residence at the Centre d’art contemporain de Brétigny, for which she has prepared several projects that will be shown in Brétigny in the fall of 2014. For Soleil politique, she is presenting a video trailer in several episodes that associate certain elements from the exhibition with her own work. These will be distributed on the Internet before and during the exhibition.

Nata a Mulhouse, Francia, nel 1982
Vive e lavora a Parigi e Mulhouse, Francia

All’età di dieci anni, Marianne Maric scappa in piena notte dalla finestra della sua camera da letto dopo aver visto Il ragazzo selvaggio di François Truffaut in televisione. Il giorno dopo, una  guardia forestale la trova e la riaccompagna a casa. Dopo questo episodio cruciale, Marianne  giura a se stessa che farà di tutto per diventare un’artista, per liberare la propria fantasia senza  che nessuno la riconduca alla ragione. Così, dopo il 2007, sviluppa un lavoro transdisciplinare,  nel quale decostruisce le frontiere tra i mezzi artistici utilizzando il corpo come un’arma  scultorea. Nelle sue creazioni l’arte, la moda, il design, la fotografia, la musica e il video si  fondono attraverso l’uso dei corpi di donne come “una straordinaria e affascinante architettura”. L’artista decostruisce gli stereotipi per poi riutilizzarli meglio, e si diverte a giocare  con i simboli, deformandoli. Marianne Maric è attualmente in residenza al CAC di Brétigny, dove sta preparando vari progetti che saranno presentati a settembre 2014.
Per Soleil politique l’artista propone un trailer in più episodi, realizzati e diffusi su Internet prima e durante la  mostra. Queste sequenze collegano alcuni elementi dell’esposizione con il suo lavoro.

Née à Mulhouse, France, en 1982
Vit et travaille à Paris et Mulhouse, France

À l’âge de dix ans, Marianne Maric s’enfuit en pleine nuit par la fenêtre de sa chambre après avoir vu L’Enfant sauvage de François Truffaut à la télévision. Le lendemain, elle est découverte par un garde forestier qui la raccompagne chez ses parents. Après cet épisode marquant, Marianne se jure de tout faire pour devenir artiste, afin de réaliser ses fantasmes sans que personne ne puisse la ramener à la raison. Ainsi, depuis 2007, elle développe un travail transdisciplinaire, dans lequel elle déconstruit les frontières entre les médiums en utilisant le corps comme une arme sculpturale. Dans ses créations, l’art, la mode, le design, la photographie, la musique et la vidéo fusionnent à travers l’utilisation des corps de femmes comme « une extraordinaire et fascinante architecture ». Elle déconstruit des stéréotypes pour mieux les réemployer, s’amuse à jouer avec les symboles pour mieux les détourner. Marianne Maric est actuellement en résidence au Centre d’art contemporain de Brétigny pour lequel elle prépare plusieurs projets qui seront montrés à la rentrée 2014.
Pour Soleil politique, elle propose une bande-annonce vidéo en plusieurs épisodes, réalisés et diffusés sur Internet avant et pendant l’exposition. Ces séquences associent certains des éléments de l’exposition à son propre travail.

Project: Soleil politique

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