Jean-Marie Perdrix

RETO PULFER

MARIA ALICATA

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

ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

Martine Michard

Silvano Agosti

Tony Fiorentino

Rometti Costales

PATRICK BERNATCHEZ

Vivien Roubaud

ROBERT BREER

Ann Veronica Janssens

Leander Schwazer

Roman Ondák

Christodoulos Panayiotou

LOIS WEINBERGER

MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP

CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER

Dan Graham

Gianluca d’Incà Levis

KP BREHMER

Isa Genzken

Rainer Oldendorf

Marcello Maloberti

Marlie Mul

Cécile Poblon

Alessandro Rabottini

CAPC – PHILIPPE THOMAS

Félix González-Torres

LUCY SKAER

Walter Pichler

ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI

SLAVEN TOLJ

Allan Sekula

Guillaume Robert

Roberto Pugliese

THOMAS TEURLAI

Alberto Garutti

ANDY WARHOL

Lili Reynaud-Dewar

FRANCISCO TROPA

Pier Paolo Pasolini

EMANUELE GUIDI

MATT MULLICAN

NINA CANELL

ELAINE STURTEVANT

Nina Fiocco

Gianni Pettena & PIERRE BAL-BLANC

Letizia Ragaglia

Goldschmied & Chiari

MICHAEL DEAN

PIERRE BAL-BLANC

Marcus Geiger

1:1PROJECTS

Mandla Reuter

EMILIE PARENDEAU

MATHIEU KLEYEBE ABONNENC

Lise Lacombe and Jean-Baptiste Alazard

TERRE THAEMLITZ

Isidoro Valcárcel Medina

Claire Le Restif

Éric Mangion

LEONARDO BIGAZZI

SYLVIE BOULANGER

VINCENT VERLÉ

GIANNI PETTENA

Sanja Iveković

Antoine Nessi

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

Jean-Luc Moulène

Bernhard Rüdiger

JULIE PELLEGRIN

ANICKA YI

JACOPO MILIANI

Prinz Gholam

VIRGINIE BOBIN

Jérémy Laffon

Mauricio Guillén

Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

LAWRENCE WEINER

JOHN CAGE

DIANE BLONDEAU

Marianne Maric

Chris Sharp

Jochen Lempert

Mattin

Julia Frank

CLÉMENCE SEILLES

ERIC DE CHASSEY

Hans Schabus

MICHAEL E. SMITH

ANDREA VILIANI

VALERIO DEHÒ

Valérie Mazouin

Sonia Leimer

MARYAM JAFRI

Hou Hanru

MARCEL BROODTHAERS

Matthieu Saladin

Benoît Maire

PETER BUGGENHOUT

JULIETTE BLIGHTMAN

BECKY BEASLEY

SIMONE FRANGI

GIORGIO DE CHIRICO

Émilie Parendeau/BERNHARD RÜDIGER

ENRICO BOCCIOLETTI

DANIELE BALIT

ETIENNE BERNARD

RAIMUND ABRAHAM

RON TRAN

GUSTAV ANDREAS WOLFGANG

LORENZO BENEDETTI

CARLO GABRIELE TRIBBIOLI

Nathalie Ergino

MARIE VOIGNIER

Daniele Pezzi

JOSEF DABERNIG

MARIE COZETTE

KEREN DETTON

Rosalind Nashashibi

SIMON FRAVEGA

SANTIAGO SIERRA

CHIARA AGNELLO

Marta Minujín

Rä di Martino

LORRAINE CHATEAUX

ILARIA BONACOSSA

Alexander Gutke

Carlo Scarpa

Adrienne Drake

Deimantas NARKEVIČIUS

Sandra Patron

Emilio Prini

QUENTIN DEROUET

Pratchaya Phinthong

Stefania Meazza

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KP BREHMER

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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ERIC DE CHASSEY

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

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

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Prepared Piano – Model for a new Institutionalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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MARCEL BROODTHAERS

Marcel Broodthaers, Soleil Politique, 1972

Marcel Broodthaers, Soleil Politique, 1972

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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Julia Frank

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

Project: From & To

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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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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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GIORGIO DE CHIRICO

Born 1888, Volos, Greece
† 1978, Rome, Italy

One of the most complex and enigmatic artists of the twentieth century, Giorgio de Chirico invented a new mode of artistic expression based on his explorations of the potential meanings of objects. For de Chirico, all forms draw meaning from the associations and memories they arouse in our consciousness. A scholar of classical culture and traditions, during his career he lived in various places before settling in Rome, where he lived until his death. His home now hosts a museum devoted to his life.
1910 saw the work that marked the debut of metaphysical art, the current that brought de Chirico international renown. Metaphysical paintings stand out for their clarity of composition, depicting recognizable objects and forms set in architecturally defined, deserted spaces. In the series entitled Piazze d’Italia, which he began around 1914 and returned to in the 1930s, time seems to be standing still. The surfaces and volumes, and the empty spaces and shadows on the buildings, are carefully outlined. Although the scenes initially appear realistic and rational, they never fail to create a sense of unease in the observer. After making an in-depth study of the rules of perspective, de Chirico reinterprets and subverts them, combining incompatible spatial systems to give rise to his signature settings. For the artist, the architecture of these squares originated in classical Greek culture and offered concrete inspiration for the Italian architecture of the early twentieth century.

Nato a Volos, Grecia, nel 1888
† 1978, Roma, Italia

Tra gli artisti più complessi ed enigmatici del Novecento, Giorgio de Chirico ha gettato le basi di un nuovo modello di espressione artistica, fondato sulle possibilità di significato dell’oggetto. Per de Chirico non esiste forma, il cui valore non scaturisca dalle associazioni e dai ricordi generati dalla nostra coscienza. Attento studioso della tradizione e della cultura classica, nel corso della sua carriera ha vissuto in varie città, per tornare infine a Roma, dove è rimasto fino alla sua morte. La sua casa ospita oggi un museo a lui dedicato. È datato 1910 il primo lavoro con cui de Chirico inaugura la pittura metafisica, corrente che darà fama internazionale all’artista. I dipinti metafisici si distinguono per la loro chiarezza compositiva: raffigurano oggetti e forme riconoscibili, inseriti in spazi architettonicamente definiti e deserti.
La serie intitolata Piazze d’Italia, iniziata intorno al 1914 e poi ripresa negli anni ‘30, è costituita da dipinti in cui il tempo sembra essersi fermato. Masse e superfici, così come l’articolazione dei vuoti e delle ombre degli edifici, sono delimitate con cura. Le ambientazioni, a un primo sguardo realistiche e coerenti, suscitano però nello spettatore un senso di disagio. Le regole prospettiche, attentamente studiate da de Chirico, vengono reinterpretate, e sistemi spaziali incompatibili tra loro sono messi in relazione, dando così vita a luoghi che sono diventati caratteristici della pittura dell’artista. Per de Chirico l’architettura di queste piazze ha origine nel pensiero greco, e si inserisce concretamente nella ricerca architettonica italiana del primo Novecento.

Project: Soleil politique

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Goldschmied & Chiari

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Goldschmied & Chiari, La démocratie est illusion, 2014

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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Marcella Beccaria in conversation with Goldschmied & Chiari

 FOR SECRET EYES ONLY

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

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

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

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2. Genealogia di Damnatio Memoriae 1965-1981, 2009

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

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

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

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

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3. Dispositivo di rimozione #5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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?

5_FG_Buggenhout_Gorgo-#33_3

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?

8_FG_Lempert_Martha_2

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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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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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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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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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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CLÉMENCE SEILLES

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

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

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

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

Project: Exercizing Doubt: On Exhibition as Research

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DOROTHÉE DUPUIS IN CONVERSATION WITH CLÉMENCE SEILLES

DOROTHÉE DUPUIS IN CONVERSATION WITH CLÉMENCE SEILLES

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

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2. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

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

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3. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

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

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4. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

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

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

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

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

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

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Alessandro Rabottini

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 as Curator at Large at 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.

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

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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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Silvano Agosti

Born 1938, Brescia, Italy
Lives and works in Rome, Italy
Independent filmmaker Silvano Agosti has been producing his own films since the 1960s. After his films were banned from distribution to Italian cinemas, he founded his own Azzurro Scipioni Cinema on Via degli Scipioni in Rome and the Cinema Paradiso in Brescia, both dedicated to screening independent and auteur films. In the 1980s, Agosti worked extensively on his own films. On the occasion of Soleil politique, the two films Trionfo del vuoto and D’Amore si Vive will be shown at the Filmclub Bolzano. The former is a documentary about Fascist era architecture that Agosti made for the French-German television station Arte. It presents an overview of buildings in various Italian cities, organized by typology. The film shows how Fascist architecture always creates empty spaces where the human element is missing – space is thus understood as a void, and the void as an ideology. The film is dedicated to Primo Levi. D’Amore si Vive is a documentary shot in Parma and based on two years or research consisting of a series of interviews with local residents on the topics of tenderness, sexuality, and love. The main question is how these three manifestations of loving feelings relate to one another. At the end, the interviews come to a close as the film loops back to its beginning. The films will be shown on December 3 at the Filmclub Bolzano, Dr. Streiter Gasse 8/D. Info: www.filmclub.it.

 

Nato a Brescia, Italia, nel 1938
Vive e lavora a Roma, Italia
Regista indipendente, Silvano Agosti ha autoprodotto i propri film a partire dagli anni ’60. La loro diffusione nelle sale italiane è stata fortemente ostacolata per questo motivo ha creato un cinema, Azzurro Scipioni, in via degli Scipioni a Roma dedicato alle proiezioni di film indipendenti e film d’arte, e il Cinema Paradiso a Brescia. Negli anni ’80 inizia anche una fitta produzione letteraria. Per Soleil politique sono presentati al pubblico Trionfo del vuoto e D’Amore si Vive presso il cinema Filmclub di Bolzano. Il primo è un documentario realizzato da Agosti su invito di Arte, emittente franco-tedesca, dedicato all’architettura di epoca fascista: una panoramica su diversi edifici situati in varie città d’Italia e raggruppati per tipologia. Nel documentario è sottolineato come l’architettura fascista racchiuda sempre degli spazi vuoti dove non compare mai la figura umana. Lo spazio è inteso come vuoto e il vuoto come ideologia. Il film è dedicato a Primo Levi. D’Amore si Vive è film-documentario girato a Parma nel corso di due anni di ricerche ed è composto da una serie di interviste fatte agli abitanti della città sul tema della tenerezza, della sessualità e dell’amore e come questi tre aspetti dei sentimenti amorosi sono legati tra loro. La parte finale non contiene interviste ma si ricollega al primo capito del film. Le proiezioni dei due film hanno luogo il 3 dicembre presso il Filmclub di Bolzano, Via Dr. Streiter 8/D, info: www-filmclub.it.

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”.

ROADS-ENDING1

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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Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

Marie Cool, Fabio Balducci, Sans titre, 2011

Marie Cool, Fabio Balducci, Sans titre, 2011

Marie Cool born 1961, Valenciennes, France, Fabio Balducci born 1964, Ostra, Italy
Live and work in Paris, France and Pergola, Italy

Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci began to work together in 1995, and their art is performance-based. Simple, clear, precise, slow gestures, performed mainly by Marie Cool, seek to place the body, time and the materials used on the same plane of meaning and importance. These materials include sheets of paper, pencils, adhesive tape, water and shadows. In other words, simple, humble materials that evoke the 1960s Italian art movement known as “Arte Povera”. At the end of the action, which might just be a simple movement. or a fold made in a sheet of paper, the resulting sculptures, which are unstable and precarious, paradoxically succeed in creating a sense of strength and presence in the exhibition space. They are, in fact, displayed on a table covered by a thin film of water, contained at the edges by a strip of adhesive tape. This tension and unstable equilibrium, combined with the delicacy and precision of such a tenuous barrier, stimulates visitors’ imaginations, confronting them with the physical fact that water can be contained by a strip of sticky tape.

Nati a Valenciennes, Francia, nel 1961 e a Ostra, Italia, nel 1964
Vivono e lavorano tra Parigi, Francia e Pergola, Italia

Marie Cool e Fabio Balducci iniziano a collaborare nel 1995. La loro pratica artistica si attua principalmente nella performance. Con gesti semplici, chiari, precisi e lenti, interpretati per lo più da Marie Cool, i due artisti intendono porre il corpo umano, il tempo e i materiali selezionati per le loro azioni su uno stesso piano di significato e d’importanza. Tra i materiali figurano fogli di carta, matite, nastro adesivo, acqua e giochi di ombre: si tratta di materie semplici e “povere”, aggettivo che rimanda all’omonima corrente artistica italiana degli anni ’60, l’Arte Povera, appunto. Al termine dell’azione, che può essere originata dal semplice spostamento o piegarsi di un foglio di carta, gli oggetti scultorei ottenuti affermano forza e presenza nello spazio espositivo attraverso la loro instabilità e precarietà. Il tavolo in mostra è coperto da un sottile strato di acqua, trattenuta ai margini da una striscia di nastro adesivo. La tensione, l’equilibrio precario e, al contempo, la delicatezza e la precisione dell’azione di contenimento rimandano a un gioco di immaginazione, che il visitatore deve compiere davanti al dato fisico, all’evidenza dell’acqua trattenuta dal nastro adesivo.

Image:
Marie Cool, Fabio Balducci, Sans titre, 2011, courtesy of the artist and Marcelle Alix, Paris. Museion 2014. Photo: Luca Meneghel

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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Bernhard Rüdiger

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

Project: Soleil politique

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DIANE BLONDEAU

Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

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

Project: From & To

 

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

 

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

Image:
Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

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

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

A Dystopian Sculpture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 2015

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

Une sculpture dystopique

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mars 2015

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

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Valérie Mazouin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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RON TRAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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LOIS WEINBERGER

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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ILARIA BONACOSSA

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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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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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LUCY SKAER

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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SYLVIE BOULANGER

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Cneai’s staircase by Bona-Lemercier

Cneai’s staircase by Bona-Lemercier

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

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

Cneai’s Maison Flottante

Cneai’s Maison Flottante

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

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

Cneai’s exhibition space

Cneai’s exhibition space

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protagonist: Sylvie Boulanger
Space: Cneai =
Project: Ephemera

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Prinz Gholam

Wolfgang Prinz born 1969, Leutkirch, Germany and Michel Gholam born 1963, Beirut, Lebanon
Live and work in Berlin, Germany

Wolfgang Prinz and Michel Gholam have worked together since 2000 as Prinz Gholam. Together they have developed a performance practice in which objects and bodies are placed in confrontational situations through the interaction of material and dance movements. Their performances focus on the ways in which we envisage the world through images stored in our minds, as well as images derived from art history and the media.
In response to an invitation by the Centre Pompidou Metz (France) to participate in the exhibition Chefs-d’œuvre?, Prinz Gholam staged a performance in the museum’s expansive nave featuring a series of historical poses. One pose consisted of two boys awkwardly dancing a waltz, from the final scene of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s feature film Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, a free adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s novel. In choosing the scene from Pasolini’s film, the artists thus commented on the context of the invitation. Pasolini shot the scene in the interior of a villa that contained a collection of Cubist and Futurist artworks, whose owners in the film, the Duke, the Bishop, the Judge, and the President, represent four distinct figures of power. In Metz, Prinz Gholam replaced Pasolini’s chosen film set with the French national museum’s collection of modern art, in front of which they reenacted the pose, adding a replica rifle leaning against one of the museum’s walls. In Bolzano, the artists and the curator have restaged the film’s original decor with works from Museion’s collection, thus updating the power relations portrayed in the film.

Wolfgang Prinz nato a Leutkirch, Germania, nel 1969 e Michel Gholam nato a Beirut, Libano, nel 1963
Vivono e lavorano a Berlino, Germania

Wolfgang Prinz e Michel Gholam lavorano insieme dal 2000 sotto il nome di Prinz Gholam. La coppia ha sviluppato una pratica di performance nella quale degli oggetti e dei corpi sono posizionati in situazioni di confronto, attraverso l’interazione tra materia e movimento danzato. Gli artisti s’interessano al modo in cui percepiamo il mondo, sfruttando le associazioni di immagini registrate nelle nostre menti e provenienti dalla storia dell’arte e dei media.
Invitati dal Centre Pompidou di Metz (Francia) in occasione della mostra Chefs-d’œuvre?, sono intervenuti nella grande navata con la performance faces shapes gestures tones acts places (Facce forme gesti toni atti luoghi) articolata in un insieme di pose storiche, tra le quali una riproponeva un celebre film.
Si tratta della scena finale di Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma di Pier Paolo Pasolini, liberamente ispirato a un testo del marchese De Sade, in cui due ragazzi ballano un valzer in modo goffo. La scelta della scena commenta anche il contesto dell’invito, essendo stata filmata in una cornice che rappresenta una collezione di opere cubiste e futuriste, i cui proprietari, il Duca, il Vescovo, il Giudice e il Presidente, sono i rappresentanti di quattro poteri distinti. A Metz, Prinz Gholam sostituiscono la cornice del film con la collezione del museo francese di arte moderna, davanti alla quale riproducono la stessa posa, aggiungendovi un falso fucile appoggiato al muro del museo. A Bolzano, gli artisti e il curatore riprendono il contesto iniziale con delle opere di Museion, rendendo così attuali i rapporti tra i poteri.

Wolfgang Prinz né à Leutkirch, Allemagne, en 1969 et Michel Gholam né à Beyrouth, Liban, en 1963
Vivent et travaillent à Berlin, Allemagne

Wolfgang Prinz et Michel Gholam travaillent ensemble depuis 2000 en tant que Prinz Gholam. Le duo a développé une pratique performative dans laquelle des objets et des corps sont placés en situation de confrontation. À travers l’interaction entre matière et mouvement dansé, ils se penchent sur la manière dont nous envisageons le monde, par des associations d’images présentes dans nos esprits et issues de l’histoire de l’art et des médias.
A l’occasion de leur invitation par le Centre Pompidou Metz (France) dans le cadre de l’exposition Chefs-d’œuvre ?, ils ont réalisé une performance dans la grande nef, articulant un ensemble de poses historiques dont une issue d’un film de cinéma. La pose est celle des deux garçons qui dansent maladroitement une valse, dans la scène finale de Salò ou les 120 Journées de Sodome de Pier Paolo Pasolini, adaptation libre du texte du marquis de Sade. Le choix de cette scène commente le contexte de l’invitation, la séquence du film ayant été filmée dans un décor qui représente une collection d’œuvres cubistes et futuristes, dont les propriétaires, le Duc, l’Évêque, le Juge et le Président, sont les représentants de quatre pouvoirs distincts. À Metz, Prinz Gholam substituent au décor du film la collection du musée national d’art moderne, devant laquelle ils réactivent cette pose en y ajoutant un fusil factice appuyé contre la cimaise. À Bolzano, les artistes et le curateur reconstituent le décor initial avec des œuvres appartenant au Museion, actualisant ainsi les rapports des pouvoirs.

Project: Soleil politique

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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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FRANCISCO TROPA

2. Francisco Tropa, Lantern, 2012

Born 1968, Lisbon, Portugal
Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal

Image:
Francisco Tropa, Lantern (drop), 2012, lantern (brass, wood, stone, projector),
limestone cylinder, glass, liquid, screen, mixed media, variable dimensions.
© Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger (Courtesy: galerie Jocelyn Wolff)

Project: The Registry of Promise

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ANICKA YI

PLE-TPOMPT-001

Born 1971, Seoul, South Korea
Lives and works in New York, NY, USA

Image:
Anicka Yi, Tenzingbaharakginaeditscottronnienikolalosangsandrafabiansamuelaninahannahelaine, 2013 © Aurélien Mole / Parc Saint Léger

Project: The Registry of Promise

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CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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Rosalind Nashashibi

PLE-TPOMPT-056

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Rainer Oldendorf

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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Matthieu Saladin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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MATTHIEU SALADIN, ECONOMIC SCORE: SOLEIL POLITIQUE

MATTHIEU SALADIN, ECONOMIC SCORE: SOLEIL POLITIQUE

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

Audio file

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

 

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

Protagonist: Matthieu Saladin
Project: Soleil politique

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ELAINE STURTEVANT

Born 1930, Lakewood, OH, USA
† 2014, Paris, France

In 2011 Sturtevant was awarded the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Biennale. The jury’s statement called her work “rich and powerful, an invitation to view art in connection with other intellectual arenas.” Long before the avant-garde movements of the 1980s popularized these practices, Sturtevant made repetition and appropriation her focus. Her sculptures, paintings, photography, and video works were an essential contribution to the debate on originality and authorship, anticipating the philosophical and literary investigations of this field and reworking pieces by many artists, including in particular Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, who were her key points of reference. The video Duchamp Nu Descendant un Escalier, one of her first films, references Duchamp’s famous 1912 painting Nu descendant un escalier. Sturtevant feminizes the sexless nude in Duchamp’s Cubist/Futurist original and alternates the figure descending the stairs with hypnotic moving graphic forms. The editing of the frames recalls Eliot Elisofon’s famous series of photographic collages, dated 1952, which depict Duchamp himself going down stairs. Sturtevant uses Duchamp’s piece as the basis for a new work and in this way offers a response to the French artist’s notion of his work being in constant evolution.

Nata a Lakewood, OH, USA, nel 1930
† 2014, Parigi, Francia

Nella motivazione che accompagna l’assegnazione del Leone d’oro alla carriera a Sturtevant, nel 2011, si sottolinea che “la sua opera, ricca e piena di forza, invita a vedere la produzione artistica in connessione ad altri ambiti intellettuali”. L’artista ha fatto della ripetizione e dell’appropriazione il fulcro della sua ricerca, ben prima che le avanguardie degli anni ’80 rendessero popolari questi codici espressivi. Tramite lavori scultorei, pittorici, fotografici e video, Sturtevant ha contribuito al dibattito sull’originalità e la paternità dell’opera d’arte, anticipando l’intensa discussione filosofica e letteraria su questi temi che sarebbe arrivata anni più tardi, e rielaborando le opere di molti artisti, in particolare di Marcel Duchamp e Andy Warhol, che sono state le sue figure di riferimento e a cui ha dedicato diverse serie di lavori.
Il video Duchamp Nu Descendant un Escalier (Duchamp nudo che scende una scala) è uno dei primi filmati di Sturtevant, e riprende il celebre quadro di Duchamp del 1912 Nu descendant un escalier. Sturtevant femminizza il nudo cubo-futurista e asessuato dipinto da Duchamp, e intervalla la figura che scende le scale con forme grafiche dal movimento ipnotico. Il montaggio dei fotogrammi del film ricorda la celebre serie di collage fotografici di Eliot Elisofon, datata 1952, che ritraggono Duchamp mentre scende le scale. Sturtevant utilizza l’opera di Duchamp come base per un nuovo lavoro e, in questo modo, risponde idealmente all’asserzione dello stesso Duchamp, che considerava la propria opera in costante evoluzione.

Project: Soleil politique

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GUSTAV ANDREAS WOLFGANG

Born 1692, Augsburg, Germany
† Augsburg, Germany, 1775

The work Beleuchtetes Merkantilgebäude Anlässlich Der Durchreise Von Maria Isabella Von Bourbon shows the Via Argentieri façade of Palazzo Mercantile in Bolzano by night. Under a large pavilion on the first floor are three paintings depicting Maria Teresa, Archduke Joseph of Austria, and Princess Maria Isabella of Bourbon. Below, between the two entrances, the Austrian double-headed eagle wearing the imperial crown sits above the coat of arms of the Magistrato Mercantile. The façade is atmospherically lit by more than 3,000 candles on the windowsills and band courses between floors. At the bottom of the print is the long dedication from the Guild of Merchants to their guest, with the names of the two groups of judges in office in 1760 and the chancellor. Two of the three portraits displayed for the occasion are those belonging to the Magistrato Mercantile.
The print was created to commemorate the presence of the Princess of Parma (on 19 September 1760) on her way to Vienna to marry Archduke Joseph II on 6 October.

Nato ad Augusta, Germania, nel 1692
† Augusta, Germania, 1775

L’opera Palazzo mercantile illuminato in occasione del passaggio di Maria Isabella di Borbone rappresenta il prospetto del Palazzo Mercantile di Bolzano su via Argentieri in un’ambientazione notturna. Sotto un grande padiglione al primo piano, sono esposti tre quadri raffiguranti Maria Teresa, l’arciduca Giuseppe d’Austria e la principessa Maria Isabella di Borbone. In basso, fra i due portoni, l’aquila bicipite austriaca con la corona imperiale che sormonta lo stemma del Magistrato Mercantile di Bolzano. La facciata del palazzo è scenograficamente illuminata da oltre 3000 candele collocate su candelabri sui davanzali e sulle fasce marcapiano dell’edificio. La stampa reca in basso la lunga scritta con dedica del Collegio dei mercanti all’ospite, con i nomi dei componenti delle due terne di giudici in carica nel 1760 e del cancelliere. Due dei tre ritratti, esposti per l’occasione, sono identificabili con le tele di proprietà del Magistrato Mercantile.
La stampa venne eseguita a ricordo del transito a Bolzano della principessa di Parma (19 settembre 1760) che a Vienna – il 6 ottobre – andò sposa all’arciduca Giuseppe II.

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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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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MARIANNE MARIC, TRAILERS "SOLEIL POLITIQUE", 2014

MARIANNE MARIC, TRAILER SOLEIL POLITIQUE, 2014

Marianne Maric
Trailer « Soleil politique », 2014
Episode I

Marianne Maric
Trailer « Soleil politique », 2014
Episode II

Marianne Maric
Trailer « Soleil politique », 2014
Episode III

For Soleil politique, Marianne Maric 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.

 

Per Soleil politique Marianne Maric 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.

Pour « Soleil politique », Marianne Maric 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.

 

 

Image:
Le char de Tito, Sarajevo, 2012. Photo © Marianne Maric

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Félix González-Torres

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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MATT MULLICAN

Born 1951, Santa Monica, CA, USA
Lives and works in New York, NY, USA

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Jean-Luc Moulène

Born 1955, Reims, France
Lives and works in Paris, France

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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Benoît Maire

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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JULIE PELLEGRIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4. Julien Bismuth, Untitled, 2015

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5. Naotaka Hiro, Untitled drawings, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

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

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

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

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

Project: Double Cross, From Both Sides of a Mountain

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

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JACOPO MILIANI IN CONVERSATION WITH ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

JACOPO MILIANI IN CONVERSATION WITH ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

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

2. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

2. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

3. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

3. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

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

4. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

4. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

5. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

5. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

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

6. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

6. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

7. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

7. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

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

8. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

8. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

9. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

9. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

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

10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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CAPC – PHILIPPE THOMAS

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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ETIENNE BERNARD

SONY DSC

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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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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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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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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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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CARLO GABRIELE TRIBBIOLI

Born 1982, Rome, Italy
Lives and works in Rome, Italy

Project: The Registry of Promise

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NINA CANELL

2487-10

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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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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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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Adrienne Drake

Adrienne_Drake

Adrienne Drake is Director and Curator of the Fondazione Giuliani, Rome. Since 2011 she is also an Arts and Humanities Advisor at the American Academy in Rome.
She is a founding member of the non-profit curatorial platform 1:1projects, and also curates independently, favoring a working methodology of collaboration and participatory practice.
She is a contributing curator for Open Video Projects, a Rome based video archive that organizes screenings of video art, short films, experimental cinema, documentaries and video installations.

Project: Ephemera
Space: Fondazione Giuliani
Focus: Vincent Honoré in conversation with Adrienne Drake, artistic director at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome

 

Direttrice e curatrice della Fondazione Giuliani per l’Arte Contemporanea a Roma. Dal 2011 è Arts and Humanieties Advisor per l’Accademia Americana a Roma. È tra i soci fondatori della piattaforma curatoriale 1:1projects. Nei suoi progetti favorisce una metodologia di lavoro partecipativa e collaborativa. È inoltre contributing curator per Open Video Project, un archivio video a Roma che organizza proiezioni di video d’arte, cortometraggi, cinema sperimentale, documentari e video installazioni.

 

Adrienne Drake est directrice et commissaire d’expositions de la Fondazione Giuliani à Rome. Depuis 2011, elle est également conseillère en arts et humanités auprès de l’American Academy à Rome. Elle est membre fondateur de 1:1projects, et aussi commissaire indépendante, encourageant une méthodologie du travail collaboratif et une pratique participative. Elle est commissaire d’expositions auprès de l’Open Video Projects, un lieu d’archives vidéos à Rome, qui organise des projections de films expérimentaux, de courts métrages, de documentaires et d’installations.

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Vincent Honoré in conversation with Adrienne Drake, Fondazione Giuliani

Vincent Honoré You are the founding director of Fondazione Giuliani, initiated in Rome in 2010 by collectors Giovanni and Valeria Giuliani. What is the core mission of the Foundation and how would you describe its DNA? What makes it different from other spaces in Rome and abroad?

Adrienne Drake As a private, non-profit exhibition space, the Foundation can be flexible, mutable, and our intentions and directives can change over time. Its mission can also shift, as we think about and respond to current trends in contemporary art, but it never strays from the simple objective of creating an accessible space for artists to produce and present new work, developing an arena in which to experiment and collaborate, and engaging the public in artists’ work, focusing on a programme that underscores a perspicacious reflection by artists on contemporary society.
Since the Foundation’s creation in 2010, we have focused primarily on solo exhibitions, with an emphasis on the commissioning and production of new work by artists who have never previously exhibited in Rome, if not Italy. While that focus has not necessarily changed, we’ve recently broadened the programming to include other investigations: the most recent exhibition was a more historical show with works from the 1960s-70s, while the upcoming exhibition will be a group show.

Benoît Maire, Lies on the Beach

2. Benoît Maire, Lies on the Beach, 2013

Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon

3. Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon, 2012

V.H. I understand you are also responsible for the Giuliani collection. I am curious to know how much the founder is involved in the Foundation’s curatorial vision, as well as the Foundation’s relation to its collection. 

A.D. The Giulianis and I always discuss the Foundation’s exhibition programme and activities. I envision each exhibition in terms of groupings of loose thematic cycles, which are not necessarily overtly declared, but rather curatorial reflections also on the direction of the Foundation. The collection is a separate entity from the activities of the Foundation, but one can’t help but influence the other. We have exhibited artists whose work was already in the collection, and these exhibitions provide the opportunity to further research and study the working practice of these artists. Since we focus on production, there are also occasions in which we acquire for the collection works that we produced for an exhibition. This is both a testimony to the Foundation’s exhibition history, and also a means of collecting in real time.

V.H. How do you engage with public institutions in Rome?

A.D. As a small foundation, we can act independently from any long-standing traditional structures which public institutions are more obligated to abide by. We tend to be more orientated towards experimentation and niche production, and are freer to take risks, unrestricted by constraints imposed by the rules and parameters of a museum institution.
Public institutions in Rome must navigate between cultural responsibility and different political agendas and are, unfortunately, often entangled in the dynamics of local and national politics. But all institutions share a common agenda: to build an ever-growing community of enthusiasts and supporters of contemporary culture, and to create centres of experience, learning and points of connectedness.

V.H. You invite artists, but also guest curators to engage with the Foundation, its collection and its audience. You open the Foundation to different sensibilities and curatorial methodologies. How do you conceive the mission of a director/curator of a contemporary art space in 2014?

A.D. There are myriad of curatorial methodologies and each of these activate different approaches and sensibilities. My primary point of interest is the investigation of artistic practice, but I’m also interested in exploring curatorial sensibilities, which is why I open the Foundation to guest curators. Curators are cultural practitioners, facilitators, researchers, questioners, and together with artists can create forums for discussion on contemporary socio-political and cultural issues, and new modes of production.

Mutiny Seemed a Probability

4. Mutiny Seemed a Probability, 2010

Benoît Maire, Lies on the Beach

5. Benoît Maire, Lies on the Beach, 2013

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?

A.D. The premise of your question underlines three essential motivations for why the Foundation is participating in the project: the possibility of working collaboratively, exchanging, and interacting with a diverse group of art spaces to broaden aesthetic networks. This type of initiative stimulates dialogue, engagement and participation, while contextualising the Foundation’s local activities with artists, curators and institutions internationally.
Specifically, Fondazione Giuliani is hosting a four-person show, The Promise of Melancholy and Ecology, the first chapter in a series of exhibitions entitled The Registry of Promise. The overall project is guest curated by Chris Sharp, whose curatorial approach I respect and admire, in collaboration with Parc Saint Léger Centre d’art contemporain, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, and SBKM/De Vleeshal, all institutions with whom the Foundation feels a certain kinship and common ground in their research and programming.

Gianni Piacentino 1965-2000

6. Gianni Piacentino 1965-2000, 2014

Giulia Piscitelli, Neopolitan Windows

7. Giulia Piscitelli, Neopolitan Windows, 2010

Carl Andre, 3rd Steel Triangle, 2008

8. Carl Andre, 3rd Steel Triangle, 2008

Seb Patane, Movement (featuring Rose Kallal), 2013

9. Seb Patane, Movement (featuring Rose Kallal), 2013

Space: Fondazione Giuliani
Protagonists: Adrienne Drake, Chris Sharp
Project: The Registry of Promise

 

Vincent Honoré Sei direttore e fondatore della Fondazione Giuliani, creata a Roma nel 2010 dai collezionisti Giovanni e Valeria Giuliani. Qual è la mission primaria della Fondazione e come descriveresti il suo DNA? Cosa rende questo spazio diverso da altri a Roma o all’estero?

Adrienne Drake In quanto spazio espositivo privato e non-profit, la Fondazione può essere flessibile, variabile e le nostre intenzioni e direttive possono mutare nel tempo. Anche la sua mission può subire delle trasformazioni, poiché la nostra riflessione e attività rispondono alle dinamiche attuali dell’arte contemporanea. Tuttavia non ci allontaniamo mai dal semplice obiettivo di creare uno spazio accessibile nel quale gli artisti possano produrre e presentare i propri nuovi lavori, di sviluppare un’arena in cui sperimentare e collaborare, di coinvolgere il pubblico nella produzione artistica, concentrandoci su un programma che stimola la riflessione approfondita degli artisti sulla società contemporanea. Sin dalla creazione della Fondazione, avvenuta nel 2010, ci siamo concentrati principalmente su mostre personali, con un’attenzione particolare alla committenza e alla produzione di opere inedite di artisti che non hanno mai esposto a Roma e spesso nemmeno in Italia. Se da una parte non abbiamo rinunciato a questo interesse, dall’altra abbiamo recentemente ampliato i confini della nostra programmazione per includere altri tipi di ricerca: il progetto più recente è stata una mostra storica con opere degli anni ’60 e ’70, mentre il prossimo evento sarà una collettiva.

V.H. So che sei anche responsabile della collezione Giuliani. Sono curioso di sapere quanto il fondatore sia coinvolto nella visione curatoriale della Fondazione e di conoscere quale sia la relazione tra la Fondazione e la sua collezione. 

A.D. Io e i Giuliani discutiamo sempre del programma espositivo e delle attività della Fondazione. Progetto ogni mostra all’interno di ampi cicli tematici, non necessariamente dichiarati in maniera esplicita, ma piuttosto riconducibili a riflessioni generali sulla direzione della Fondazione. La collezione rappresenta un’entità separata dalle attività della Fondazione, anche se l’una può influenzare l’altra. Abbiamo esposto artisti il cui lavoro è presente nella collezione e queste mostre hanno fornito l’opportunità di portare avanti una ricerca e uno studio più approfonditi sulla pratica di queste figure. Vista la forte concentrazione sulla produzione, ci sono state anche occasioni in cui abbiamo acquisito per la collezione opere prodotte per una mostra. Si tratta allo stesso tempo di una testimonianza della storia espositiva della Fondazione e di una pratica collezionistica in tempo reale.

V.H. Come vi rapportate con le istituzioni pubbliche di Roma?

A.D. Essendo una fondazione di dimensioni ridotte, possiamo agire indipendentemente da tutte le tradizionali regole cui le istituzioni pubbliche sono obbligate a rispondere. Siamo più orientati verso la sperimentazione e la produzione di nicchia, e siamo più liberi di assumere rischi, non essendo limitati dai vincoli imposti dalle norme e dai parametri di una realtà museale.
Le istituzioni pubbliche romane sono costrette a muoversi tra la responsabilità culturale e diversi programmi politici e sono spesso, purtroppo, imbrigliate dalle dinamiche della politica locale e nazionale. Ma tutte le realtà condividono un intento comune: costruire una comunità crescente di appassionati e sostenitori della cultura contemporanea e creare luoghi di esperienza, apprendimento e dialogo.

V.H. Inviti artisti, ma anche curatori a lavorare con la Fondazione, la sua collezione e il suo pubblico. In questo modo apri la Fondazione a sensibilità e metodologie curatoriali diverse. Come concepisci il ruolo del direttore/curatore di uno spazio espositivo d’arte contemporanea nel 2014?

A.D. Ci sono moltissime metodologie curatoriali e ognuna di esse attiva diversi approcci e sensibilità. Il mio interesse principale ruota intorno alla ricerca sulla pratica artistica, ma sono attratta anche dall’esplorazione delle sensibilità curatoriali, motivo per cui apro la Fondazione ai guest curators. Essi sono professionisti della cultura, facilitatori, ricercatori, studiosi e insieme agli artisti possono creare occasioni di discussione su temi socio-politici e culturali della contemporaneità e generare nuove modalità di produzione.

V.H. PIANO aspira a creare un network di spazi espositivi basato sulla collaborazione, lo scambio e l’interazione. Perché hai deciso di unirti al progetto e in cosa consiste la tua  partecipazione?

A.D. La prima parte della tua domanda contiene già in sé i tre motive principali per i quali la Fondazione partecipa al progetto: la possibilità di lavorare in collaborazione, di attivare uno scambio e di interagire con un esteso gruppo di spazi espositivi al fine di ampliare le reti estetiche. Questo genere di iniziative stimola il dialogo, l’impegno e la partecipazione, inserendo le attività locali della Fondazione con gli artisti, i curatori e le istituzioni in un contesto internazionale.
Nello specifico la Fondazione Giuliani ospiterà una mostra collettiva con quattro artisti, The Promise of Melancholy and Ecology, primo capitolo di una serie di mostre intitolata The Registry of Promise. L’intero progetto è curato dal guest curator Chris Sharp, di cui ammiro e rispetto la pratica curatoriale, in collaborazione con Parc Saint Léger Centre d’art contemporain, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac e SBKM/De Vleeshal, tutte istituzioni con cui la Fondazione ha un’affinità e con le quali condivide un comune terreno di ricerca e programmazione.

Images:
1. Simon Dybbroe Møller, Hello, 2011-2012. Photo: Francesco De Michelis
2. Benoît Maire, Lies on the Beach, 2013. Photo: Giorgio Benni
3. Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon, 2012. Photo: Giorgio Benni
4. Mutiny Seemed a Probability, 2010. Photo: Claudio Abate
5. Benoît Maire, Lies on the Beach, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Giorgio Benni
6. Gianni Piacentino 1965-2000, 2014. Photo: Giorgio Benni
7. Giulia Piscitelli, Neopolitan Windows, 2010, adhesive paper on satined plexiglass, ink, 45 x 33 cm each. Photo: Gilda Aloisi
8. Carl Andre, 3rd Steel Triangle, 2008, hot rolled steel, 1 x 150 x 150 cm. Ahmet Öğüt, Intervento n.1:, 2 tape measures. Photo: Gilda Aloisi
9. Seb Patane, Movement (featuring Rose Kallal), 2013, video, 11’14’’. Photo: Giorgio Benni
All images installation views at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome

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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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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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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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KEREN DETTON

Keren Detton is curator and director of Le Quartier, contemporary art centre in Quimper (Brittany, France) since 2009. She works with artists from different generations and develops exhibition projects and publications on a national and international scale. Her programme includes monographic exhibitions (Guy de Cointet, Ann Veronica Janssens, Claude Closky, Carey Young, Adva Zakai, Fayçal Baghriche…) and collective exhibitions, which focus on forms and languages, perception of images and the construction of identities. From 2004 to 2009, she worked in Air de Paris gallery and conducted a prospective programme titled La Planck. She held the position of president of the association C-E-A (French association of curators) from 2007 to 2009, and is still involved as a board member.

Keren Detton è curatore e direttore dal 2009 del centro d’arte contemporanea Le Quartier a Quimper (Francia). Ha lavorato con artisti di varie generazioni e sviluppato progetti espositivi su scala nazionale e internazionale. Il suo programma include mostre monografiche (Guy de Cointet, Ann Veronica Janssens, Claude Closky, Carey Young, Adva Zakai, Fayçal Baghriche…) e collettive che indagano i diversi linguaggi formali, la percezione delle immagini e la costruzione dell’identità. Dal 2004 al 2009 ha lavorato alla galleria Air de Paris dove ha portato avanti un programma chiamato La Planck. Dal 2007 al 2009 è stata presidente dell’Associazione dei Curatori Francesi (C-E-A) di cui è tutt’oggi membro del consiglio.

Keren Detton est commissaire d’exposition et dirige Le Quartier, centre d’art contemporain de Quimper depuis 2009. Elle s’attache à porter un regard sur plusieurs générations d’artistes et à développer des projets d’exposition et d’édition dans une dynamique nationale et internationale. Sa programmation comprend des expositions monographiques (Guy de Cointet, Ann Veronica Janssens, Claude Closky, Carey Young, Adva Zakai, Fayçal Baghriche…) et des expositions collectives qui révèlent un intérêt pour le langage et ses formes, la perception des images et la construction des identités. De 2004 à 2009, elle a travaillé à la galerie Air de Paris et mené un programme prospectif intitulé La Planck. Elle est membre de l’association C-E-A (commissaires d’exposition associés) qu’elle a présidé de 2007 à 2009.

Space: Le Quartier CAC
Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH KEREN DETTON, LE QUARTIER CAC, QUIMPER

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH KEREN DETTON, LE QUARTIER CAC, QUIMPER

Vincent Honoré When was Le Quartier Contemporary Art Center created, and what were the factors that brought it into being?
Keren Detton Le Quartier was founded in 1990 on the initiative of the former director of the Quimper art school, Michel Pagnoux. Its underpinnings were the intense competition in art, literature and film in Quimper and the implementation of the decentralisation policies initiated by Jack Lange in the mid-1980s. A series of preview exhibitions with international artists convinced municipal decision-makers to support the creation of a centre d’art. Le Quartier was set up in the same building as the art school but operated autonomously, enabling it to be part of a professional network to which students had special access. Subsequently, the implementation of a contract with the state, region and department guaranteed that it would be possible to work with the public in a sustained way, particularly through the assistance they provided for the production of works and for mediation activities.

Project room

2. Project room, Le Quartier CAC

V.H. Charles Esche described his ideal museum as fundamentally uncertain: simultaneously and fully a community centre, laboratory, institute and gallery. A place where production is not necessarily “productive”, a place that is always being reconfigured, an open form with an incomplete architecture. How did you structure the centre’s curatorial approach when you took up the director’s post?
K.D. A centre d’art is by definition a place of reconfigurations and reconsiderations. In 2010, I suggested reviewing the allocation of the spaces in Le Quartier so that we could create a Project Room, an artistic experimentation zone serving as a counterpoint to the exhibitions, reactive to artists’ ideas and able to accommodate works in progress or works stemming from collective creative processes. The idea was to shake up the annual programme, introduce different rhythms, play on synchronic or diachronic effects, while preserving an artistic research space over the long term and continuing to do creative work with publications (catalogues, anthologies of texts, artist books). I also wanted to work on the porosity between the inside and outside in order to shatter the military aspect of this former barracks and highlight the seeing conditions. The fact of opening the exhibition rooms to the light of day had an effect on the centre d’art’s regulars. It was as if visitors were both surprised and relieved to see the works integrated into their day-to-day life. This pleased me, because I think a centre d’art should be able to bring itself into play just as much as it presents things, favouring encounters and questioning disparities. Recently, artist and architect Catherine Rannou offered a visit to the worksite of an exhibition setup tackling architecture through language and imagination, radically transforming the institution. I find it very stimulating when works speak to visitors on the level of their relationship to the body and to language.

05 Pierre Labat

3. Pierre Labat, Mr. Anderson, 2012

V.H. What is the role of the director of a contemporary centre d’art in 2015 ?
K.D. Le Quartier will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in a shaken political, economic and media context. The state is withdrawing, the map of regions is changing and the status of centres d’art is very weakened. As we speak, Le Quartier is being threatened by drastic budget cuts, and yet its balance sheet has been unanimously praised by all of its public partners. It runs an untimely programme alongside artists, investigates our visual cultures through images and language, and merrily crosses the boundaries between disciplines. Yet it is being told to justify its legitimacy. If mobility is greater today, what can a centre d’art offer in the provinces? Le Quartier is in a prime position between the art school, to which it offers genuine professional springboards, and the fine art museum, with which it collaborates regularly. But above all it is a place of emerging forms and ideas, passions and questions. It is rooted in its territory and resonates with places elsewhere, and keeps up a dialogue with artists and visitors. The director’s role is to keep this relationship with art and artists alive.

Ante Timmermans, Der Souffleur des ICHTS, 2014-2015

4. Ante Timmermans, Der Souffleur des ICHTS, 2014-2015

V.H. PIANO wants to create a forum for exchange and dialogue between Italian and French art centres. Why did you wish to participate and what programme are you proposing?
K.D. It’s a chance, through an association like d.c.a, to be able to connect with an art scene in another country, develop a better knowledge of its network of institutions and independents, exchange ideas and build things in with several others. It’s even essential, because a centre d’art feeds on alterity. Alfred Jarry Archipelago was born of the desire to understand artistic creation today through Alfred Jarry, the father of pataphysics. The project has turned into an open curatorial platform, which apprehends the legacy of the author of Ubu Roi not historically but speculatively. Since he was a well-informed observer of the artists of his time, we decided to make way for Alfred Jarry the curator! With Julie Pellegrin, director of the centre d’art La Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel, we are presenting a two-part exhibition, La valse des pantins – Act I and II. Leonardo Bigazzi, curator at the Museo Marino Marini in Florence, is presenting a programme of performances. Eva Wittocx, curator at M – Museum and for the Playground Festival in Leuven (Belgium) is joining us by linking monographic exhibitions and performances. The project framework is open enough to incorporate different points of view on this subversive figure full of contrasts, and to more closely examine his relationship to theatre, his projection of bodies and desire, his use of codes and absurdity, and the mixing of genres and identities. A publication in the form of an almanac will be the receptacle of this multiplicity of perspectives, with supplements provided by new contributors, authors and artists.

Nadashi

5. Shelly Nadashi, Poupée épouvantail avec pots et sac à dos, 2011-2014

Pauline Curnier Jardin   Blutbad Parade, 2014-2015

6. Pauline Curnier Jardin, Blutbad Parade, 2014-2015

Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago
Space: Le Quartier CAC
Protagonist: Keren Detton

Vincent Honoré Quand a été créé Le Quartier, centre d’art contemporain et qu’est-ce qui a présidé à sa création ?
Keren Detton Le Quartier a été fondé en 1990 à l’initiative de l’ancien directeur de l’école d’art de Quimper, Michel Pagnoux. Les prémisses étaient ceux d’une forte émulation artistique, littéraire et cinématographique à Quimper et la mise en place des politiques de décentralisation initiées par Jack Lang au début des années 80. Une série d’expositions de préfiguration avec des artistes internationaux a convaincu les décideurs municipaux de soutenir la création d’un centre d’art. Le Quartier a pris place dans le même bâtiment que l’école d’art mais avec un fonctionnement autonome qui lui permet de s’inscrire dans un réseau professionnel auquel les étudiants ont un accès privilégié. Par la suite, la mise en place d’un conventionnement avec l’Etat, la région et le département a pu garantir la possibilité de travailler de manière soutenue avec les publics, notamment par leur aide à la production d’œuvres et aux actions de médiation.

V.H. Charles Esche a décrit son musée idéal comme étant fondamentalement incertain : a la fois, simultanément, et intégralement, centre communautaire, laboratoire, institut, galerie. Un lieu où la production n’est pas obligatoirement “productive”, un lieu en permanente reconfiguration, une forme ouverte à l’architecture incomplète. Comment avez-vous structuré l’approche curatoriale du lieu quand vous en avez pris la direction ?
K.D. Le centre d’art est par définition un espace de reconfigurations et de remises en question. En 2010, j’ai proposé de revoir l’affectation des espaces du Quartier de manière à créer un Project Room, une zone d’expérimentations artistiques en contrepoint des expositions, réactif aux idées des artistes et pouvant accueillir des œuvres en train de se faire ou bien issues de processus de création collectifs. L’idée était de bousculer le programme annuel, d’introduire des rythmes différents, de jouer sur des effets synchroniques ou diachroniques, tout en préservant un espace de recherche artistique dans la durée et un travail critique avec les éditions (catalogues, anthologies de textes, livres d’artistes). Je voulais aussi travailler sur la porosité entre le dedans et le dehors pour casser le côté militaire de cette ancienne caserne et mettre en exergue les conditions du regard. Le fait d’ouvrir les salles d’exposition à la lumière du jour a marqué les habitués du centre d’art, c’est comme si les visiteurs avaient été, à la fois, surpris et soulagés de voir les œuvres inscrites dans leur quotidien. Cela m’a plu, car je pense qu’un centre d’art doit pouvoir se mettre en jeu autant qu’il met en scène, favoriser les rencontres et questionner les écarts. Récemment, Catherine Rannou, artiste et architecte, a proposé une visite sur le chantier d’un montage d’exposition attaquant l’architecture par le verbe et par l’imaginaire, transformant l’institution de manière radicale. Je trouve très stimulant quand les œuvres interpellent le visiteur dans son rapport au corps et au langage.

V.H. Quel est le rôle d’un directeur de centre d’art contemporain en 2015 ?
K.D. Le Quartier fêtera ses 25 ans cette année dans un contexte politique, économique et médiatique bouleversé. L’Etat se retire, la carte des régions se modifie et le statut des centres d’art est très fragilisé. A l’heure où je vous réponds, Le Quartier est menacé de coupes drastiques dans son budget, pourtant son bilan est unanimement salué par tous ses partenaires publics. Il porte une programmation intempestive avec des artistes, investigue nos cultures visuelles à travers l’image et le langage, et franchit allègrement les frontières entre les disciplines. Pourtant, on le somme de justifier sa légitimité. Si la mobilité est plus grande aujourd’hui, que peut apporter un centre d’art en région ? Le Quartier occupe une place de choix entre l’école d’art, pour laquelle il offre de véritables tremplins professionnels, et le musée des beaux-arts avec lequel il collabore régulièrement. Mais c’est avant tout un lieu d’émergence de formes et d’idées, de passions et de questions. Il est ancré dans son territoire et résonne avec l’ailleurs, entretient un dialogue avec les artistes et les visiteurs. Le rôle du directeur est de garder vivante cette relation à l’art et aux artistes.

V.H. PIANO veut créer un espace d’échanges et de dialogues entre des lieux d’art italiens et français. Pourquoi avez-vous souhaité participer et quel programme proposez-vous ?
K.D. C’est une chance, à travers une association comme d.c.a, de pouvoir se relier à une scène artistique étrangère, développer une meilleure connaissance de son réseau institutionnel et indépendant, échanger des idées et construire à plusieurs. C’est même essentiel car un centre d’art se nourrit de l’altérité. Alfred Jarry Archipelago est né de la volonté de comprendre la création artistique d’aujourd’hui à travers Alfred Jarry, père de la pataphysique. Le projet s’est transformé en une plateforme curatoriale ouverte, qui appréhende l’héritage de l’auteur d’UbuRoi non pas de manière historique mais spéculative. Puisqu’il était un observateur averti des artistes de son temps, il s’agissait pour nous de céder la place à Alfred Jarry commissaire ! Avec Julie Pellegrin, directrice du centre d’art de la Ferme du Buisson à Noisiel, nous présentons une exposition en deux volets, La valse des pantins – Acte I et II. Leonardo Bigazzi, curateur au Museo Marino Marini à Florence, propose un programme de performances. Par ailleurs, Eva Wittocx, curatrice au Museum M et pour le Playground Festival à Louvain (Belgique) nous a rejoints en associant des expositions monographiques et des performances. Le cadre du projet est suffisamment ouvert pour croiser les points de vue sur cette figure contrastée et subversive, examiner de plus près son rapport au théâtre, sa projection des corps et du désir, son usage des codes et de l’absurde, le mélange des genres et des identités. Une publication sous la forme d’un Almanach sera le réceptacle de cette pluralité de regards avec des prolongements apportés par de nouveaux contributeurs, auteurs et artistes.

Images:
1. Façade, Le Quartier CAC. © Le Quartier
2. Project room, Le Quartier CAC. Exhibition view, Variations autour de Bruno Munari – Posters d’artistes, Le Quartier CAC, 2013. Photo:  © Dieter Kik
3. Pierre Labat, Mr. Anderson, 2012. Exhibition view, Armer les toboggans, Le Quartier CAC, 2012. Photo: © Dieter Kik
4. Ante Timmermans, Der Souffleur des ICHTS, 2014-2015. Exhibition view, Alfred Jarry Archipelago – The Waltz of the Puppets – Act I, Le Quartier CAC, 2015. Photo: Emile Ouroumov
5. Shelly Nadashi, Poupée épouvantail avec  pots et sac à dos, 2011-2014. Exhibition view, Alfred Jarry Archipelago – The Waltz of the Puppets – Act ILe Quartier CAC, 2015. Photo: Emile Ouroumov
6. Pauline Curnier Jardin, Blutbad Parade, 2014-2015. Exhibition view, Alfred Jarry Archipelago – The Waltz of the Puppets – Act ILe Quartier CAC, 2015. Photo: Emile Ouroumov

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Jean-Marie Perdrix

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

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

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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CÉLINE FLÉCHEUX IN CONVERSATION WITH JEAN-MARIE PERDRIX

CÉLINE FLÉCHEUX IN CONVERSATION WITH JEAN-MARIE PERDRIX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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MARYAM JAFRI

1. Maryam Jafri, Independence Day 1934-1975, 2009-ongoing (deatil)

1. Maryam Jafri, Independence Day 1934-1975, 2009-ongoing (detail)

Born 1972, Karachi, Pakistan Lives and works in New York, NY, USA and Copenhagen, Denmark Maryam Jafri is an artist working in video, performance and photography, with a specific interest in questioning the cultural and visual representation of history, politics and economy. Over the last years, she notably investigated the connections between food production and the production of desire (Avalon, 2011); the elaboration of historical narratives through a post-colonial perspective (Siege of Khartoum, 1884, 2006); the effects of globalization on working conditions (Global Slum, 2012) or the political stakes of food networks (Mouthfeel, 2014). Solo exhibitions include Mouthfeel (Gasworks, London, 2014); Backdrop (Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, 2013);  Headlines and Small Print (Galerie Nova/WHW, Zagreb, 2012), Global Slum (Beirut, Cairo, 2012). In 2015, she will be part of the Belgian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennial.

Née à Karachi, Pakistan, en 1972
Vit e travaille à New York, NY, USA et Copenhague, Danemark

Maryam Jafri développe son travail artistique autour des représentations visuelles et culturelles de l’histoire politique et économique, à travers la photographie, la vidéo, mais aussi la performance. Ces dernières années, elle s’est notamment intéressée aux liens entre la production des biens de consommation et celle du désir (Avalon, 2011) ; à la construction de récits historiques dans une perspective postcoloniale (Siege of Khartoum, 1884, 2006) ; aux effets de la mondialisation sur les conditions de travail (Global Slum, 2012) ou encore aux enjeux politiques des circuits alimentaires (Mouthfeel, 2014). Parmi ses expositions les plus récentes : Mouthfeel (Gasworks, London, 2014) ; Backdrop (Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, 2013) ; Headlines and Small Print (Galerie Nova/WHW, Zagreb, 2012) ou encore Global Slum (Beirut, Cairo, 2012). En 2015, elle participera au Pavillon Belge de la 56ème Biennale de Venise.

Project: Exercizing Doubt: On Exhibition as Research

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ROBERT LECKIE IN CONVERSATION WITH MARYAM JAFRI

ROBERT LECKIE IN CONVERSATION WITH MARYAM JAFRI

Robert Leckie Your current exhibition The Day After at Bétonsalon focuses on the ongoing project Independence Day 1934-1975, initiated in 2009. Please could you describe the work and what is specific to this iteration in Paris?
Maryam Jafri The photo series Independence Day1934-1975 consists of archival photographs mainly from the first independence days of various Asian, Middle Eastern, and African countries. A key concept of the work is that the images come from archives, usually official archives, located in the countries themselves. In its current iteration at Bétonsalon, I have sixty images from twenty-nine archives. A great deal of artistic and academic research has been done on both the colonial and post-colonial eras but my project looks specifically at that moment of transformation – that twenty-four hour period during which a set of rituals, ceremonies and speeches herald the transformation of a territory into a nation state. When Mélanie Bouteloup (the director of Bétonsalon) approached me to show the work in Paris, she asked if I was interested in giving the research behind the work a visible form within the exhibition space. Hence along with the wall-based photo series, I have also conceived, in dialogue with Bétonsalon and designer Hadrien Gerenton, an architectural display system made up of various research modules that give different views into the process and ideas related to Independence Day 1934-1975. For example, some modules contain personal contributions by historians and others who helped me in my research such as Helihanta Rajaonarison, a historian from Madagascar, and Franck Ogou, archives manager at École du Patromoine Africain in Benin. Still others contain fictional materials that inspired me in different ways, such as my personal copy of Jean Genet’s play The Screens about the Algerian War and Sadat Hasan Manto’s famed short story about the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan, Toba Tek Singh. We also have some modules in the space which are the result of workshops by students who responded or in some way related to the themes of Independence Day 1934-1975,since Bétonsalon is located on the campus of University Paris Diderot and collaborations with the students and scholars from the university are an important aspect of its programme.

2. Maryam Jafri, Independence Day 1934-1975, 2009-ongoing

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

R.L. I have the impression that the workis more about dependence than independence, as it highlights the similarities between the political aesthetics adopted by newly independent nations and those of former colonial powers that, more often than not, had a coercive hand in the independence process.

M.J. The images reveal a specific set of ceremonies and rituals whereby the nation state comes into being, an odd mix of theatricality and bureaucracy, a “civic religion” to borrow Ariella Azoulay’s term. These rituals and ceremonies are Western in origin as would be expected since they are bound up with the nation state, but what makes the images in Independence Day 1934-1975 so unsettling is that the displacement from centre to periphery results in a hybridization of those political aesthetics as it comes into contact with local traditions and histories. Thus the images look both familiar and estranged – a repetition with a difference.

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

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

R.L. To what extent does this inform how the work is presented? How do the display strategies you use, for example, relate to these ‘repetitions’, as you call them?
M.J. In this piece form and content cannot be easily separated. The content is the form and the form is the content. At first glance one sees a typology, a strategy long associated with photography from Aby Warburg to the photo-conceptualists. But what is it that the photos in Independence Day 1934-1975 actually reveal? They reveal the serialization of modernity’s ultimate political form –the nation state – throughout large parts of the world.

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

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

R.L. What about questions of access and copyright? How key are these issues to your thinking?
M.J. When I first started this work a lot of people were surprised by my decision to bypass Western archives and look for the images in the countries themselves. I was interested in seeing how each country was preserving images of itself coming into being. Furthermore, at a time when most people, including myself, get their visual information from Google, I felt it important to render visible these archives, official but often unknown even within the countries themselves. In terms of copyright, it’s usually quite straightforward: one pays what is usually a modest licensing fee from the archive in question, which is also credited in the work – and so it should be, since this work is partly about making visible these analogue, often fragile archives.

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

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

Project: Exercizing Doubt: Exhibition as Research
Space: Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche
Protagonist: Maryam Jafri

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

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

Images:
1. Maryam Jafri, Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche, 2015. Exhibition view with Getty vs Ghana, Maryam Jafri, 2012
2. Maryam Jafri, Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche, 2015. View of Independence Day 1934-1975, Maryam Jafri, 2009-ongoing
3. Maryam Jafri, Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche, 2015. Exhibition view
4. Maryam Jafri, Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche, 2015. Exhibition view with Independence Day 1934-1975, Maryam Jafri, 2009-ongoing, and Flowers for Africa, Kapwani Kiwanga, 2012
5. Maryam Jafri, Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche, 2015. Exhibition view
6. Maryam Jafri, Le jour d’après, Bétonsalon – Centre d’art et de recherche, 2015. Exhibition view
Photos: Aurélien Mole

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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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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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JACOPO MILIANI

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

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

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

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

Project: Double Cross, From Both Sides of a Mountain

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JACOPO MILIANI IN CONVERSATION WITH ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

JACOPO MILIANI IN CONVERSATION WITH ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

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

2. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

2. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

3. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

3. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

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

4. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

4. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

5. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

5. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

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

6. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

6. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

7. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

7. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

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

8. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

8. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

9. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

9. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

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

10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bag

10. Jacopo Miliani, Not with a bang

11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN - Props

11. Alessandro di Pietro, AZATN – Props

Jacopo Miliani Iniziamo con una riflessione sulla nostra collaborazione all’interno del progetto Double Cross. Abbiamo lavorato indipendentemente sullo spazio e sul progetto espositivo; in seguito, in fase di allestimento, c’è stato dialogo e ascolto tra i due progetti. Definirei la nostra collaborazione come un’influenza reciproca sulla narrazione fittizia. Cosa ne pensi a proposito?
Alessandro di Pietro Direi che la nostra collaborazione ha avuto, sin dall’inizio, una predisposizione a non essere esplicita. La disposizione