Mauricio Guillén

Marta Minujín

Guillaume Robert

CHIARA AGNELLO

SYLVIE BOULANGER

Emilio Prini

PATRICK BERNATCHEZ

GIANNI PETTENA

Martine Michard

Antoine Nessi

Isa Genzken

Daniele Pezzi

Christodoulos Panayiotou

Sonia Leimer

MATT MULLICAN

Roberto Pugliese

ERIC DE CHASSEY

Lili Reynaud-Dewar

ANDY WARHOL

CAPC – PHILIPPE THOMAS

Carlo Scarpa

ENRICO BOCCIOLETTI

LOIS WEINBERGER

VALERIO DEHÒ

Isidoro Valcárcel Medina

Tony Fiorentino

VIRGINIE BOBIN

Silvano Agosti

LORENZO BENEDETTI

Deimantas NARKEVIČIUS

MARIE VOIGNIER

JOHN CAGE

Letizia Ragaglia

Lise Lacombe and Jean-Baptiste Alazard

NINA CANELL

Jean-Luc Moulène

Rosalind Nashashibi

KP BREHMER

Jérémy Laffon

Sandra Patron

Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

Rä di Martino

ROBERT BREER

JULIE PELLEGRIN

CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER

SLAVEN TOLJ

Rainer Oldendorf

Mattin

Marlie Mul

Julia Frank

Gianluca d’Incà Levis

VINCENT VERLÉ

ANDREA VILIANI

JULIETTE BLIGHTMAN

Walter Pichler

CLÉMENCE SEILLES

Sanja Iveković

1:1PROJECTS

MICHAEL E. SMITH

ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

DANIELE BALIT

MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP

LEONARDO BIGAZZI

Leander Schwazer

EMANUELE GUIDI

Jochen Lempert

Roman Ondák

Ann Veronica Janssens

Claire Le Restif

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

Vivien Roubaud

MARCEL BROODTHAERS

JOSEF DABERNIG

LUCY SKAER

ANICKA YI

MARIE COZETTE

CARLO GABRIELE TRIBBIOLI

MATHIEU KLEYEBE ABONNENC

Nina Fiocco

QUENTIN DEROUET

Chris Sharp

Félix González-Torres

Alessandro Rabottini

Valérie Mazouin

ETIENNE BERNARD

Émilie Parendeau/BERNHARD RÜDIGER

Cécile Poblon

SIMONE FRANGI

JACOPO MILIANI

ELAINE STURTEVANT

Marcus Geiger

LORRAINE CHATEAUX

Marianne Maric

Hou Hanru

ILARIA BONACOSSA

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Éric Mangion

Alberto Garutti

MICHAEL DEAN

Benoît Maire

Mandla Reuter

PIERRE BAL-BLANC

Marcello Maloberti

MARIA ALICATA

Dan Graham

RAIMUND ABRAHAM

GUSTAV ANDREAS WOLFGANG

RETO PULFER

Adrienne Drake

TERRE THAEMLITZ

Matthieu Saladin

Bernhard Rüdiger

LAWRENCE WEINER

PETER BUGGENHOUT

BECKY BEASLEY

Prinz Gholam

Rometti Costales

FRANCISCO TROPA

Stefania Meazza

DIANE BLONDEAU

Pratchaya Phinthong

Nathalie Ergino

RON TRAN

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

Allan Sekula

ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI

MARYAM JAFRI

GIORGIO DE CHIRICO

EMILIE PARENDEAU

SIMON FRAVEGA

Alexander Gutke

THOMAS TEURLAI

Jean-Marie Perdrix

Goldschmied & Chiari

Hans Schabus

KEREN DETTON

Gianni Pettena & PIERRE BAL-BLANC

SANTIAGO SIERRA

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Antoine Nessi

2487-09

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Marlie Mul

Marlie Mul, Puddle (Black Disposable), 2013

Marlie Mul, Puddle (Black Disposable), 2013

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Carlo Scarpa

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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Mattin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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ANDREA VILIANI

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

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

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Prepared Piano – Model for a new Institutionalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Hans Schabus

2502-02-tagliata

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

Image:
Hans Schabus, Konstruktion des Himmels, 1994. View of the exhibition The Promise of Moving Things (curator: Chris Sharp), Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, 2014. Photo: André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy of the artist et ZERO…

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Éric Mangion

Eric_Mangion

Éric Mangion has been the director of the Villa Arson’s art center since 2006. He has organized a cycle of exhibitions on ephemeral practices (sound, theater, poetry or performance art): Ne pas jouer avec des choses mortes (Not to Play With Dead Things) in 2008, Bernard Heidsieck’s Poésie Action (Action Poetry), L’Encyclopédie de la Parole (The Encyclopedia of Speech) and Le temps de l’écoute (A Time for Listening) in 2011, À la vie délibérée ! (To Deliberate Life!) in 2012, Des récits ordinaires (Ordinary Tales) and L’encyclopédie des guerres (The Encyclopedia of Wars) in 2014. He has also produced several solo exhibitions including: Iain Baxter&, 2006, Gino De Dominicis, 2007, Zoe Leonard, 2007, Claire Fontaine, 2007, Tatiana Trouvé, 2007, Jean Dupuy, 2008, Ryan Gander, 2009, Roman Ondàk, 2010, Oliver Beer and Shingo Yoshid, 2013.
He directed the FRAC Provence Alpes-Côte d’Azur from 1993 to 2005 where he focused on collecting upgradable works built from generic elements. He produced amongst other exhibitions Ugo Rondinone, 2001, Christophe Berdaguer and Marie Péjus, 2001, La Société Perpendiculaire, 2002, Patrick Van Caeckhenberg, 2003, Björn Dalhem, 2004, Tatiana Trouvé, 2005 and Self in Material Conscience at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, 2002.
He has been the curator of numerous exhibitions including Gérard Gasiorowski’s Recommencer, Commencer de nouveau la peinture (Starting Over, Starting Painting Again) at the Carré d’art in Nîmes, 2010, Arthur Barrio at the University of Philadelphia, 2006, and Vivien Roubaud, Thomas Teurlai and Tatiana Wolska at the Palais de Tokyo in 2014.
He was also artistic director of the 2010 edition of the festival Printemps de Septembre (September Spring), Une forme pour toute action (Every Action Has a Form), and associate curator of the Festival Live in Vancouver in 2011.
As an art critic he has contributed to numerous magazines, including art press, and was artistic director of the review Fresh Théorie III in 2007.

Project: From & To
Space: Villa Arson

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH ERIC MANGION, VILLA ARSON, NICE

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH ERIC MANGION, VILLA ARSON, NICE

Vincent Honoré The Villa Arson is an institution that includes an art school, artist residencies, a multimedia library and a centre d’art. One could say that it’s an institution where contemporary art is taught, researched, produced and exhibited. The only thing missing is a collection, despite a few perennial works installed in 1989-90. How do you conceive your programme’s link to the site’s various other activities, particularly to the art school?
Eric Mangion We very simply try to programme exhibitions, meetings or residencies in relation to practices in or around the school. Sometimes we extend direct invitations to members of the teaching staff who are creating projects–as we did between February and May 2015 with the exhibition Bricologie led by Burkard Blümlein, Thomas Golsenne and Sarah Tritz, all teachers at the Villa Arson. This can also be more indirect projects with residents (Oliver Beer & Shingo Yoshida or Sébastien Remy & Cyril Verde), or invitations to external curators who develop research projects that are close to our interests, as we’ll be doing in 2016 with Géraldine Gourbe.

2. Ryan Gander. The Die Is Cast, 2009. Installation view

2. Ryan Gander. The Die Is Cast, 2009. Installation view

V.H. In a geographical area like yours, specifically what are the main responsibilities of a director of a centre d’art in 2014? And what is your relationship with politics?
E.M. I’m not the managing director of the establishment (that’s Jean-Pierre Simon’s job). So I have no direct involvement in the political side. On the other hand, when I arrived in Nice, I thought about the question of a political territory. This is why in 2007 and 2011 we conducted two research and exhibition projects on the history of performance and on the history of music and sound practices on the Côte d’Azur. These are two ventures that the local population isn’t very aware of, and yet they were rich in very fascinating contents. For me this was all about redefining our political view of a region known more for gloss than artistic experimentation. Quite frankly, it can’t really be said that it worked locally!

Roman Ondák, Door Leading to Many Directions, 1997

3. Roman Ondák, Door Leading to Many Directions, 1997. Installation view

V.H. The fact that the Villa doesn’t have responsibility for a collection: is this a flaw?
E.M. The Villa Arson has a very official status as a school that houses a centre d’art that paradoxically has no status. No school or centre d’art, as far as I know, has the mission of assembling a collection. We have so much else to do that I don’t even consider this question, and I don’t think anyone else here does either.

V.H. How can the DNA of a centre d’art be defined? What distinguishes it from other similar organisations?
E.M. In my view, the Villa Arson centre d’art should–like all of the other centres d’art –serve as a place for artistic experimentation. A place where you test art, where you thoroughly explore not contemporary art as a genre but contemporary creativity full stop. Experimenting means above all testing things without thinking of market values or meeting some predetermined measure of success. The luxury of Villa Arson is to work in a school with its workshops, its research programmes, its enormous library, its complex and multifaceted architecture, and its residencies. Our DNA is to work according to the modus operandi of a potluck, with everyone bringing their own knowledge and experience. However there’s no denying that this system has constraints. The educational concerns are not necessarily the same as the expectations of a centre d’art, and vice versa. Even if we keep up the spirit of a laboratory, we’re a big machine and this catches up with us quite often. We’re constantly living in our own paradoxes.

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

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

V.H. Why did you decide to take part in PIANO, and what’s the project you’re presenting?
E.M. PIANO enabled us to work with Italy, whose geographical and cultural proximity to Nice is well known, and especially to work with the Kunst Meran Merano Arte with which we very quickly shared the same idea. During preparatory meetings between the AMACI and the d.c.a, Valerio Dehò(artistic director of the Kunst Meran) suggested that we revive a project they had initiated in 2007 under the title FROM & TO. It was all about getting young artists to work together without imposing any themes or guidelines whatsoever. We thought this idea seemed just right in the context of an exchange between two organisations, two countries and, quite obviously, between different artists who initially had nothing to do with one another. So we assembled ten artists, five from Italy and five from France who had very different practices. We organised two workshops, then created an exchange platform. The collaborations didn’t live up to our hopes. On the other hand, what worked was that the exhibition very clearly reflects the practices of each artist without any added value. Even if it’s uneven as a whole, we revealed a work site, one that isn’t cohesive but is decidedly generous, and that was the purpose of the game.

5. Lorraine Château, Installation The Cloud, 2014

5. Lorraine Château, Installation The Cloud, 2014

Vincent Honoré La Villa Arson est une institution qui inclut une école d’art, des résidences d’artistes, une médiathèque et un centre d’art. C’est en quelque sorte un institut dans lequel l’art contemporain est enseigné, recherché, produit et montré. Seule manque une collection, malgré quelques œuvres pérennes installées en 1989/90. Comment concevez-vous l’articulation de votre programme avec les différentes autres activités du site, en particulier avec l’école d’art ?
Eric Mangion Nous essayons tout simplement de programmer des expositions, rencontres ou résidences en lien avec les pratiques menées dans ou à la frontière de l’école. Parfois il s’agit d’une invitation directe à des membres du corps pédagogique porteurs de projets – comme entre février et mai 2015 avec l’exposition Bricologie menée par Burkard Blümlein, Thomas Golsenne et Sarah Tritz, tous enseignants à la Villa Arson. Cela peut être aussi des projets plus indirects avec des résidents (Oliver Beer & Shingo Yoshida ou Sébastien Remy & Cyril Verde), ou des invitations faites à des commissaires extérieurs qui développent des projets de recherche proches de nos préoccupations tel que nous le ferons en 2016 avec Géraldine Gourbe.

V.H. Dans un secteur géographique comme le votre, en particulier, quelles sont les principales responsabilités d’un directeur de centre d’art en 2014 ? Et quelles sont vos relations avec le politique ?
E.M. Je ne suis pas directeur général de l’établissement (Jean-Pierre Simon assure cette fonction). Du coup je n’ai pas de prise directe avec le politique. Par contre quand je suis arrivé à Nice, je me suis posé la question d’un territoire politique. C’est pour cette raison que nous avons mené entre 2007 et 2011 deux projets de recherche et d’exposition sur l’histoire de la performance et sur l’histoire des pratiques musicales et sonores sur la Côte d’Azur. Ce sont deux aventures peu connues du public local et qui pourtant sont riches de contenus tout à fait passionnants. Il s’agissait pour moi de redéfinir le regard politique que nous portons sur une région plus connue pour ses strass que pour son expérimentation artistique. Pour être très franc, on ne peut pas dire que cela ait fonctionné localement !

V.H. Le fait que la Villa n’ait pas la responsabilité d’une collection : est-ce un manque ?
E.M. La Villa Arson a un statut très officiel d’école dans laquelle cohabite un centre d’art paradoxalement sans statut. Aucune école et aucun centre d’art n’ont à ma connaissance mission à constituer une collection. Nous avons tant d’autres choses à entreprendre que cette question ne se pose pas pour moi, ni je crois pour quelconque ici.

V.H. Comment définir l’A.D.N. du centre d’art, ce qui le singularise par rapport a d’autres structures similaires ?
E.M. Le centre d’art de la Villa Arson doit à mon sens – comme tous les autres centres d’art – fonctionner comme un lieu d’expérimentation artistique. Un lieu où l’on teste l’art, où l’on met à plat non pas l’art contemporain comme genre mais la création contemporaine tout court. Expérimenter c’est avant tout tester les choses sans penser aux valeurs du marché ou à une quelconque réussite programmée d’avance. Le luxe de la Villa Arson est de travailler dans une école avec ses ateliers, ses programmes de recherche, son énorme bibliothèque, son architecture complexe et multiple, et ses résidences. Notre ADN est de fonctionner selon le mode opératoire d’une auberge espagnole dans laquelle tout le monde amène son expérience et ses savoirs. Par contre on ne peut pas nier que ce système a ses contraintes. Les enjeux pédagogiques ne sont pas forcément les mêmes que les attentes d’un centre d’art. Et inversement. Même si nous entretenons l’esprit laboratoire, la grosse machine que nous sommes nous rattrape bien souvent. Nous vivons en permanence dans nos propres paradoxes.

V.H. Pourquoi avoir décidé de faire partie de PIANO et quel est le projet que vous présentez ?
E.M. PIANO a permis de travailler avec l’Italie dont on connaît la proximité géographique et culturelle avec Nice, mais surtout de travailler avec le Kunst Meran Merano Arte avec qui nous avons très vite partagé une pensée complice. Lors des rencontres préparatoires entre AMACI et d.c.a, Valerio Dehò (le directeur artistique du Kunst Meran) nous a proposé de réactiver un projet qu’ils avaient initié en 2007 sous le titre FROM & TO. Il s’agissait de faire travailler des jeunes artistes ensemble sans imposer de thème ni d’axe quelconque. Cette idée nous est apparue très juste dans le cadre d’un échange entre deux structures, deux pays et, bien évidemment, entre différents artistes qui au départ n’avaient rien à faire ensemble. Nous avons donc réuni dix artistes, dont cinq italiens et cinq français en fonction de pratiques très variées. Nous avons organisé deux workshops, puis créé une plateforme d’échanges. Les collaborations n’ont pas été à la hauteur de nos espérances. Par contre, ce qui a fonctionné c’est que l’exposition reflète très clairement les pratiques de chacun sans valeur ajoutée. Même si l’ensemble est inégal, nous avons mis au jour un plateau de travail, non pas cohérent mais résolument généreux, ce qui était le but du jeu.

Images:
1. Roberto Pugliese, Emergences acoustiques, 2014. Courtesy: Associazione Culturale Dello Scompigio, Vorno, Capannori (Italy) and Galerie Mario Mazzoli, Berlin
2. Ryan Gander, Cyclopean Illusion (Remi), 2009. C-print framed under serigraphed glass, 45 x 30 cm (photograph), 40 x 55 x 4 cm (frame). Courtesy of the artist; Ryan Gander, Gallery Cover, 2000-2007 installation (orange canvas, runners, 9 spots), dimensions of the room. Courtesy of the artist and Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam. Exhibition The Die Is Cast, Villa Arson, 26 June – 18 October 2009
3. Roman Ondák, Door Leading to Many Directions, 1997, installation, 168 x 95 x 27 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Exhibition Shaking Horizon, Villa Arson, 2 July – 17 October 2010
4. Diane Blondeau / Vivien Roubaud / Thomas Teurlai, Jambes de bottes, 2014
5. Lorraine Château, Installation The Cloud, 2014

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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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RETO PULFER

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

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 su due piani del CAB [Centre d’art Bastille] ha reso impossibile una diretta correlazione visiva tra i vari elementi delle nostre installazioni, ma ha accentuato il dialogo tra due diverse metodologie di rielaborazione semantica nello spazio.
Entrambi i progetti si fondano su appropriazioni di strutture narrative pre-esistenti: il tuo sul racconto breve Not with a Bang di Howard Fast, mentre il mio sulla scena finale di A Zed and Two Noughts di Peter Greenaway.
Il piano che ci ha diviso sembra aver funzionato come un filtro che ci ha permesso di rispettare le aspettative sul nostro lavoro. Allo stesso tempo deve aver rilasciato delle informazioni che ci hanno messo in connessione a livello segnico: per esempio l’uso del testo e la figura del cerchio. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Roman Ondák

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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Gianluca d’Incà Levis

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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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ETIENNE BERNARD

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Wilfrid Almendra. L’intranquillité, 2013

2. Wilfrid Almendra. L’intranquillité, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen Willats. Talking city, 2011

4. Stephen Willats. Talking city, 2011

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Images:

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

 

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Emilio Prini

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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Sandra Patron

SONY DSC

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

Project: The Registry of Promise
Space: Parc Saint Léger

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

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

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

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

7_Wilfrid Almendra

2. Wilfrid Almendra, Le Splendid, 2013

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

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

Parc Saint Léger

3. Parc Saint Léger

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

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

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

Gabriel Kuri, bottled water branded water. Installation view

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simon Starling, THEREHERETHENTHERE (la Source). Installation view

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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LORRAINE CHATEAUX

Lorraine Châteaux, Cowri, 2013

Lorraine Châteaux, Cowri, 2013

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

Project: From & To

 

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

 

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

Image:
Lorraine Châteaux, Cowri, 2013

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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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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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Claire Le Restif

AppleMark

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Lara Almarcegui, Ivry souterrain

2. Lara Almarcegui, Ivry souterrain, 2013

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

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

3. View of the exhibition Mathieu Mercier

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

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

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

5. Boris Achour,

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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VIRGINIE BOBIN

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

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

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

Project: Exercizing Doubt: Exhibition as Research
Space: Bétonsalon

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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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ANDY WARHOL

PLE-TPOMPT-032

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Deimantas NARKEVIČIUS

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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LUCY SKAER

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Cécile Poblon

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

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

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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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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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ILARIA BONACOSSA

Ilaria_Bonacossa

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

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

 

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

 

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

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SANTIAGO SIERRA

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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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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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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Dan Graham

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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Rometti Costales

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

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

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RODRIGO ORTIZ MONASTERIO IN CONVERSATION WITH ROMETTI COSTALES

RODRIGO ORTIZ MONASTERIO IN CONVERSATION WITH ROMETTI COSTALES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. Outside view of la synagogue de Delme, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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THOMAS TEURLAI

Thomas Teurlai, Camping sauvage, 2012

Thomas Teurlai, Camping sauvage, 2012

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

Project: From & To

 

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

 

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

Image:
Thomas Teurlai, Camping sauvage, 2012

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

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

A Dystopian Sculpture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 2015

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

Une sculpture dystopique

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mars 2015

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

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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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Bernhard Rüdiger

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

Project: Soleil politique

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LEONARDO BIGAZZI

Leonardo Bigazzi is a curator based in Florence, Italy. He recently started working at the Museo Marino Marini where he co-curated the exhibition 30/60 Opere dalla collezione del FRAC Champagne-Ardenne with a selection of over 40 works from the collection of the French institution.
Since its first edition in 2008 he collaborates with Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival in Florence, Italy. For the Festival he curates VISIO – European Workshop on Artists’ Cinema, the VISIO Residency Program, and Notti di Mezza Estate, a summer program of artists’ films and documentaries from the archives of the Festival. Beside collaborating to the selection of films for the main program, in the past edition of the Festival he has been responsible for special projects with the artists Omer Fast, Melik Ohanian and Hiroshi Sugimoto. He is also the co-director of Feature Expanded, a training program developed together with HOME (Cornerhouse) in Manchester.
He recently started an on-going collaboration with the artist Petrit Halilaj and he has worked for the research and production of his exhibitions at the Galerie Kamel Mennour (Paris), Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn), Kölnischer Kunstverein (Koln) and Palazzo Grassi/Punta della Dogana (Venice).
Since 2012 he works at the Gucci Museum in Florence as a consultant for the contemporary art exhibitions organized in collaboration with the François Pinault Collection.

Leonardo Bigazzi lavora come curatore al Museo Marino Marini di Firenze dove ha co-curato nel 2014 la mostra 30/60 Opere dalla collezione del FRAC Champagne-Ardenne.
Sin dalla sua prima edizione nel 2008 collabora con Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival, progetto internazionale dedicato alle relazioni tra cinema e arte contemporanea. Nel contesto del Festival è il curatore di VISIO European Workshop on Artists’ Moving Images, del VISIO Residency Program e del programme estivo Notti di Mezza Estate. Oltre a collaborare alla selezione dei film e degli incontri del programma, ha seguito nelle passate edizioni la produzione di progetti speciali con gli artisti Omer Fast, Melik Ohanian e Hiroshi Sugimoto. È inoltre il co-direttore del progetto internazionale Feature Expanded, un programma di training sviluppato insieme a HOME (Cornerhouse) a Manchester.
Recentemente ha iniziato uno stretto rapporto di collaborazione e di ricerca con l’artista kosovaro Petrit Halilaj per le sue mostre alla Galleria Kamel Mennour (Parigi), Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn), Kölnischer Kunstverein (Colonia) e Palazzo Grassi/Punta della Dogana (Venezia).
In qualità di consulente collabora dal 2012 con il Gucci Museo a Firenze per le mostre di arte contemporanea organizzate in collaborazione con la François Pinault Collection.

Leonardo Bigazzi est commissaire d’exposition basé à Florence.
Il travaille depuis peu au Museo Marino Marini où il a été co-commissaire de l’exposition 30/60 Œuvres de la collection du FRAC Champagne-Ardenne.
Il collabore avec le festival de cinéma Lo Schermo dell’Arte à Florence depuis sa première édition en 2008 : il y est commissaire des programmes VISIO (ateliers, résidences) et de Notti di Mezza Estate, un programme estival de films d’artistes et de documentaires. Il collabore régulièrement à la sélection des films et a été responsable lors de la précédente édition des projets spéciaux avec les artistes Omer Fast, Melik Ohanian et Hiroshi Sugimoto. Il est également co-directeur de Feature Expanded, un programme de formation développé avec HOME (Cornerhouse) à Manchester.
Il travaille avec l’artiste Petrit Halilaj pour la recherche et la production de ses expositions (Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris ; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn ; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne ; Palazzo Grassi / Punta della Dogana, Venise).
Depuis 2012, il est conseiller au musée Gucci à Florence pour les expositions d’art contemporain organisées en collaboration avec la collection François Pinault.

Space: Museo Marino Marini
Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago

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SYLVIE BOULANGER

 

sylvie_boulanger-(1)

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Cneai’s staircase by Bona-Lemercier

Cneai’s staircase by Bona-Lemercier

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

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

Cneai’s Maison Flottante

Cneai’s Maison Flottante

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

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

Cneai’s exhibition space

Cneai’s exhibition space

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protagonist: Sylvie Boulanger
Space: Cneai =
Project: Ephemera

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PIERRE BAL-BLANC

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

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

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

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

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

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

06. Fosse13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

exhibition view from L’Escorte, CAC Brétigny, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V.H. Is Buren’s work a permanent one?

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

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

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

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

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

V.H. And the graphic artists Vier5…

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

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

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

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7. Atelier van Lieshout, The Edutainer, 2003

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8. David Lamelas, Projection, 2004

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

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

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

Space: CAC Brétigny
Protagonists: Pierre Bal-Blanc

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

V.H. Tu as totale liberté de programmation ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V.H. Et les graphistes Vier5…

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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Isa Genzken

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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LORENZO BENEDETTI

Lorenzo_Benedetti

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

Project: The Registry of Promise
Space: De Vleeshal

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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

CAP-Goldshmied Chiari-009

Goldschmied & Chiari, La démocratie est illusion, 2014

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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Marcella Beccaria in conversation with Goldschmied & Chiari

 FOR SECRET EYES ONLY

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

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

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

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2. Genealogia di Damnatio Memoriae 1965-1981, 2009

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

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

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

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

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3. Dispositivo di rimozione #5, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gianni Pettena & PIERRE BAL-BLANC

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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EMANUELE GUIDI

Emanuele Guidi (1978) is an independent curator and, since July 2013, the artistic director at the kunstverein ar/ge kunst (Bolzano, Italy). Previous projects include a.o.: How to Tell a Story (DEPO, Istanbul 2013, with C. Larqué); Between Form and Movements (Galleria E. Astuni, Bologna, 2012); Rehearsing Collectivity – Choreography Beyond Dance (Tanzfabrik, Berlin, 2011, with E. Basteri, E. Ricci and A. Giannotti); Collective Body (Liquid Loft, Vienna, 2010, curated with A. Giannotti). Among his edited publications: Negus, Invernomuto, Humboldt Books, Milan, 2014; Rehearsing Collectivity,Argobooks, Berlin, 2012(with E. Basteri, E. Ricci); Between Form and Movements, Bologna, 2012; Urban Makers, Parallel Narratives of Grassroots Practices and Tensions, bbooks, Berlin, 2008.

Emanuele Guidi (1978) è curatore indipendente e dal 2013 direttore artistico del kunstverein ar/ge kunst di Bolzano. Progetti precedenti includono, tra gli altri: How to Tell a Story (DEPO, Istanbul 2013, con C. Larqué); Between Form and Movements (Galleria E. Astuni, Bologna, 2012); Rehearsing Collectivity – Choreography Beyond Dance (Tanzfabrik, Berlino, 2011, con E. Basteri, E. Ricci e A. Giannotti); Collective Body (Liquid Loft, Vienna, 2010, curata con A. Giannotti). Ha editato le seguenti pubblicazioni: Negus, Invernomuto, Humboldt Books, Milano, 2014; Rehearsing Collectivity, Argobooks, Berlino, 2012 (con E. Basteri, E. Ricci); Between Form and Movements, Bologna, 2012; Urban Makers, Parallel Narratives of Grassroots Practices and Tensions, bbooks, Berlino, 2008.

Emanuele Guidi (1978) est commissaire indépendant et, depuis juillet 2013, directeur artistique du centre d’art ar/ge kunst (Bolzano, Italie, www.argekunst.it). Parmi ses projets récents : How to Tell a Story (DEPO, Istanbul 2013, avec C. Larqué) ; Between Form and Movements (Galleria E. Astuni, Bologne, 2012) ; Rehearsing Collectivity – Choreography Beyond Dance (Tanzfabrik, Berlin, 2011, avec E. Basteri, E. Ricci and A. Giannotti) ; Collective Body (Liquid Loft, Vienna, 2010, en co-commissariat avec A. Giannotti). Il a coordonné plusieurs publications, parmi lesquelles : Negus, Invernomuto, Humboldt Books, Milano, 2014 ; Rehearsing Collectivity, Argobooks, Berlin, 2012 (with E. Basteri, E. Ricci) ; Between Form and Movements, Bologne, 2012 ; Urban Makers, Parallel Narratives of Grassroots Practices and Tensions, bbooks, Berlin, 2008.

Space: ar/ge kunst Galerie Museum
Project: Exercizing Doubt: Exhibition as Research

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH EMANUELE GUIDI, AR/GE KUNST, BOLZANO

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH EMANUELE GUIDI, AR/GE KUNST, BOLZANO

Vincent Honoré I read in the mission statement of the institution that “in recent years ar/ge kunst has turned its attention toward the idea of the exhibition as a medium.” Can you define further what do you mean by an exhibition as a medium and how this is implemented in the gallery programme?

Emanuele Guidi Exhibitions have always been the main feature of ar/ge kunst since its foundation. That’s why I think it’s important to work with artists, and not just artists, who deal with exhibitions in their complexity. Exhibitions are multifaceted ‘machines’ where artworks play a central, but not exclusive, role. They are the product of relationships between many agents – artist(s), curator(s), artwork(s), audience(s), display, etc. – that have to find an arrangement in space and time. Making an exhibition is about going public, about communicating and about mediating a message, and therefore all elements that constitute the exhibition have to be taken into consideration as agents of mediation and communication; all aspects that make the exhibition a specific medium for ‘going public’. An exhibition is a designed situation, still open to a lot of various uncontrollable factors, time being the first of those; so I am interested in practices that are aware of how this time can be administered and shared among all those who are part of the exhibition, primarily the audience.

2_Falke Pisano con Archive Books_Constellations of One and Many_installation view_photo by_Ivo corra¦Ç

2. Exhibition view, Falke Pisano/Archive Books, Constellation of One and Many

V.H. Nikolaus Hirsch asked this question: “Who are the authors in the construction of institutional space?”. Who are the authors of ar/ge kunst, which the name is being an abbreviation of the German word ‘Arbeitsgemeinschaft’ (working group)?

E.G. The authors of ar/ge kunst have been and are still ‘many’, although we are a small-scale institution with a small staff. When it was founded in 1985 the name ar/ge kunst was chosen to indicate a collective dimension behind the institution, and a collective working methodology. Various people, mainly from the field of art and architecture, curated and organized exhibitions and activities of different kinds with a quite intense rhythm (up to twelve exhibitions a year). Since I was appointed I’ve found it interesting how the meaning of ‘Arbeitsgemeinschaft’ disappeared behind its own abbreviation (ar/ge) and remains unknown to most people. The 30th anniversary in 2015 seems to be the best occasion to explore the notion of ‘collective work’ that originally inspired the choice of the name. And I am doing this by inviting artists, designers, choreographers, theorists, etc., who put into practice this idea of a working community in their research, especially by using the exhibition as a medium to activate forms of relationships.

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3. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

V.H. The mission of your institution is to produce and present regional, national and international artistic practices and to conduct critical research on the role of art and its relationship with the social and political sphere within which it operates. I would like to ask you what you think is the core responsibility of the institution nowadays, with regard to the artists and the audience.

E.G. I feel it’s extremely important – and a mark of respect towards both artists and audience – to find ways to mediate the artists’ practices for the benefit of the regional context in which we operate. It’s clearly important to avoid the risk of being ‘parochial-minded’, and we try to do so by facilitating practices and approaches that are critical and capable of producing links and connections between local and more widespread issues. And I guess this is possible just by administering resources (first of all, time, as the most precious one) in a savvy way. Working in the South Tyrol, a region at the border between Italy and Austria with an extremely dense historical, political, linguistic profile, and therefore not being in any of the ‘official centers’ of the art world, we are able to understand and use time differently, giving artists the opportunity to undertake longer periods of research that can create interesting fractures in the way the local is perceived by the audience. In these terms it’s very important to mobilize forms of community around the artists’ practice and allow them to influence the research as well as adding layers of meaning to the work.

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4. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

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?

E.G. Since arriving in Bolzano I’ve been trying to activate a number of collaborations and co-productions locally, nationally and internationally. It is a process that takes time, but some good steps have been made in this direction. Pierre Bal-Blanc invited me to look into PIANO and introduced me to Bétonsalon. And with Mélanie Bouteloup and Virginie Bobin, we agreed it was important to go beyond the simple exchange of artists and to look at how both institutions relate to the idea of ‘Exhibition as a Medium for Research’. This relates to our current exhibitions in a number of different ways (ar/ge kunst is showing the work by the French artist and designer Clémence Seilles at the moment). We also discussed this topic at a conference at Bétonsalon on 30 May with the Italian collective Invernomuto and the French curator Rémi Parcollet.

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5. Exhibition view, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert

Vincent Honoré Ho letto nello statement riguardante la mission dell’istituzione che dirigi, che “negli ultimi anni ar/ge kunst ha concentrato la propria attenzione sull’idea dell’exhibition as a medium”. Puoi precisare cosa intendi per ‘exhibition as a medium’ e come si sviluppa questa nozione all’interno del programma dello spazio?

Emanuele Guidi Le mostre sono sempre state l’attività principale di ar/ge kunst, sin dalla fondazione. È per questo che credo sia importante lavorare con artisti, e non solo, che si interessano all’idea di mostra nella sua complessità. Le esposizioni sono “macchine” complesse, nelle quali le opere svolgono un ruolo centrale ma non esclusivo. Esse sono il risultato di relazioni tra diversi attori – artisti, curatori, opere, pubblico, display ecc. – che devono trovare una sistemazione nello spazio e nel tempo. Fare una mostra significa creare un qualcosa di pubblico, comunicare e mediare un messaggio, perciò tutti gli elementi che concorrono a definirla devono essere considerati quali fattori di mediazione e comunicazione. Sono tutti aspetti che fanno della mostra un medium specifico finalizzato a creare qualcosa di pubblico. Una mostra è una situazione progettata, che rimane tuttavia aperta a diversi fattori incontrollabili, il primo dei quali è il tempo. Per questo motivo mi interessano le pratiche che implicano la consapevolezza che il tempo può essere gestito e condiviso tra tutti coloro che sono parte della mostra, primo tra tutti il pubblico. 

V.H. Nikolaus Hirsch si poneva la seguente domanda: “Chi sono gli autori della costruzione di uno spazio istituzionale?”. Chi sono gli autori di ar/ge kunst, il cui nome è l’abbreviazione del termine tedesco ‘Arbeitsgemeinschaft’ (gruppo di lavoro)?

E.G. Gli autori diar/ge kunst sono stati e sono tuttora ‘molti’, nonostante siamo un’istituzione di piccole dimensioni con uno staff ridotto. Quando lo spazio fu fondato, nel 1985, il nome ar/ge kunst fu scelto per indicare la dimensione collettiva su cui esso si fondava, così come la sua metodologia di lavoro collettiva. Diverse persone, provenienti soprattutto dai campi dell’arte e dell’architettura, hanno curato e organizzato mostre e attività di vario tipo con un ritmo piuttosto intenso (fino al 12 mostre l’anno). Sin da quando sono stato nominato direttore ho trovato interessante come il significato di ‘Arbeitsgemeinschaft’ fosse scomparso dietro la sua abbreviazione (ar/ge) e come fosse sconosciuto ai più. Il 30° anniversario dello spazio, che cade nel 2015, mi è sembrato la migliore occasione per riflettere sulla nozione di “lavoro collettivo” che ha ispirato originariamente la scelta del nome. Sto quindi portando avanti tale riflessione attraverso il coinvolgimento di artisti, designer, coreografi, teorici ecc., che mettono in atto questa idea di comunità di lavoro all’interno della loro ricerca, in particolare usando la mostra come medium al fine di attivare nuove forme di relazione.

V.H. La mission della tua istituzione consiste nel presentare pratiche artistiche provenienti dal contesto regionale, nazione e internazionale e nel condurre una ricerca critica sul ruolo dell’arte e sulla relazione che essa intrattiene con la sfera sociale e politica in cui si realizza. Vorrei chiederti quale credi sia la principale responsabilità di un’istituzione oggi, sia rispetto agli artisti sia in relazione al pubblico.

E.G. Credo sia molto importante – quale segno di rispetto verso gli artisti e il pubblico – trovare il modo di mediare le pratiche degli artisti a beneficio del contesto locale in cui operiamo. Ovviamente è molto importante evitare il rischio di una mentalità troppo ristretta, cosa che tentiamo di fare presentando pratiche e approcci che siano critici e capaci di produrre legami e connessioni tra temi locali e idee più ampie. Credo che ciò sia possibile solo gestendo le risorse (prima tra tutti il tempo, la più preziosa) in modo consapevole.
Lavorando in Sud Tirolo, una regione al confine tra Italia e Austria con un’identità storica, politica e linguistica estremamente densa, e non trovandoci perciò in nessuno dei “centri ufficiali” del mondo dell’arte, siamo in grado di comprendere e usare il tempo diversamente, dando agli artisti l’opportunità di concentrarsi su periodi di ricerca di più lunga durata che possono creare interessanti fratture nel modo in cui il contesto locale viene percepito dal pubblico. In questi termini, è molto importante far sì che si creino forme di comunità intorno alle pratiche degli artisti e permettere che esse ne influenzino la ricerca, aggiungendo stratificazioni nuove al significato del lavoro.

V.H. PIANO intende creare una rete di spazi artistici che lavorano insieme, attraverso le pratiche dello scambio e dell’interazione. Per quale motivo hai deciso di prendere parte al progetto e come si realizza la tua partecipazione?

E.G. Sin da quando sonoarrivato a Bolzano ho cercato di attivare una serie di collaborazioni e coproduzioni a livello locale, nazionale e internazionale. È un processo che richiede tempo, ma abbiamo compiuto importanti passi in questa direzione. Pierre Bal-Blanc mi ha invitato a esaminare il progetto PIANO e mi ha presentato a Bétonsalon. Così, insieme a Mélanie Bouteloup e Virginie Bobin, abbiamo convenuto che era importante andare oltre il semplice scambio di artisti e concentrarsi su come le due istituzioni affrontavano il tema dell’“Exhibition as a Medium for Research”. Esso viene sviluppato all’interno delle nostre mostre attuali in molti modi diversi (ar/ge kunst presenta in questo momento il lavoro dell’artista e designer francese Clémence Seilles). Abbiamo inoltre discusso questo tema in occasione della conferenza tenutasi presso Bétonsalon lo scorso 30 maggio, cui hanno partecipato il collettivo italiano Invernomuto e il curatore francese Rémi Parcollet.

Images:
1. ar/ge Kunst space. Photo: Ivo Corrà
2. Exhibition view, Falke Pisano/Archive Books. Constellation of One and Many, 2014. Photo: Ivo Corrà
3-5. Exhibition views, Clémence Seilles, Bassin ouvert, 2015. Photo: aneres. Courtesy the artist and ar/ge kunst

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Mauricio Guillén

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Project: Soleil politique

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SIMON FRAVEGA

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

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

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

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

Project: Double Cross, From Both Sides of a Mountain

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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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Sanja Iveković

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

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

 

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

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

Née à Zagreb, Yugoslavie, en 194

9
Vit et travaille à Zagreb, Croatie

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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EMILIE PARENDEAU

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

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

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

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

Project: Double Cross, From Both Sides of a Mountain

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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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Émilie Parendeau/BERNHARD RÜDIGER

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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ÉMILE OUROUMOV IN CONVERSATION WITH ÉMILIE PARENDEAU AND BERNHARD RÜDIGER

ÉMILE OUROUMOV IN CONVERSATION WITH ÉMILIE PARENDEAU AND BERNHARD RÜDIGER

varda sora – città – derlickln

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

Parendeau_Rudiger_02bis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parendeau_Rudiger_05bis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris, May 2015

varda sora – città – derlickln

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris, mai 2015

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

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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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Lili Reynaud-Dewar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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GIANNI PETTENA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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JOSEF DABERNIG

Born 1956, Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria

Having studied sculpture in Vienna, Josef Dabernig subsequently developed an artistic practice in a wide variety of media. Using conceptual tools, Dabernig investigates the ways in which knowledge and rationality are categorized through conventional forms and behavioral norms. He has copied entire books by hand in response to the discipline present during his years at boarding school, made lists, and built sculptures from found materials or according to mathematical rules. His films favor a structured storyline and an open end, introducing systems of order where confusing and implausible parameters create discrepancies. The absent subject of his photographs, which represent empty spaces on the outskirts of large cities, nevertheless offers a sense of narrative and traces of economic and social change.
His “not further developed” proposal for a new art center takes a documentary form, made up of images and texts. More a discursive construct than a project for construction, ironic in the way it portrays the potential “innovative” qualities of the future art center, the work focuses on different architectural details through a series of found photographs: an eclectic choice of building façades, a dilapidated restaurant, an underground forum, a guest room, shelves of archives (including those of the artist), suburban homes’ emergency exits, and spectacular annexes.

Nato a Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria, nel 1956
Vive e lavora a Vienna, Austria

Dopo gli studi in scultura a Vienna, la pratica di Josef Dabernig si diffonde in diversi campi. Utilizzando strumenti concettuali, l’artista s’interessa alla categorizzazione del sapere e alla razionalità, alle forme organizzate e ai comportamenti normati. Ricopia interi libri a mano come reazione all’eccessiva disciplina dei suoi anni di collegio, compila delle liste, realizza delle sculture a partire da materiali di recupero e secondo regole matematiche. I suoi film privilegiano una sceneggiatura strutturata e un finale aperto, introducendo dei sistemi d’ordine i cui parametri confusi e insensati finiscono per provocare degli iati. Il soggetto assente delle sue fotografie, che rappresentano luoghi deserti nei dintorni delle grandi città, lascia spazio a una narrazione in filigrana e alle tracce dei cambiamenti economici e sociali.
La sua proposta “non perseguita” per un nuovo centro d’arte è presentata sotto forma di un insieme documentario, composto di immagini e di testi. Più una costruzione discorsiva che un vero e proprio progetto edilizio, con un punto di vista ironico sul possibile carattere “nuovo” di questa ipotetica istituzione, l’opera mostra nello specifico differenti elementi architettonici in una serie di fotografie ritrovate: una scelta eclettica di facciate, un ristorante decadente, un luogo d’incontro in un sotterraneo, una camera in affitto, dei ripiani di archivio (tra cui quelli dell’artista), delle porte sul retro di villette e degli allegati particolarmente scenografici.

Né à Kötschach-Mauthen, Autriche, en 1956
Vit et travaille à Vienne, Autriche

À la suite d’études de sculpture à Vienne, la pratique de Josef Dabernig se dissémine en divers médiums. À travers des outils conceptuels, il s’intéresse à la catégorisation du savoir et à la rationalité, aux formes planifiées et aux comportements normés. Il copie des livres entiers à la main en réaction à ses années de pensionnat à la discipline prononcée, dresse des listes, réalise des sculptures à partir de matériaux trouvés et selon des règles mathématiques. Ses films privilégient un scénario structuré et une fin ouverte, introduisant des systèmes d’ordre dont les paramètres confus et déraisonnables finissent par provoquer des hiatus. Le sujet absent de ses photographies, représentant des espaces vides aux alentours des grandes villes, laisse place à une narration en filigrane et aux traces des changements économiques et sociaux.
Sa proposition « non poursuivie » pour un nouveau centre d’art est présentée sous la forme d’un ensemble documentaire comportant des images et des textes. Davantage construction discursive plutôt que projet de construction, ironique sur le possible caractère « nouveau » de cette hypothétique institution, l’œuvre détaille différents éléments architecturaux au fil d’une série de photographies trouvées : un choix éclectique de façades, un restaurant défraichi, un espace de discussion en souterrain, une chambre d’hôtes, des rangements d’archives (dont celles de l’artiste), des sorties de secours pavillonnaires et des annexes spectaculaires.

Project: Soleil politique

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Pier Paolo Pasolini

Born 1922, Bologna, Italy
† 1975, Lido di Ostia, Italy

The short film Pasolini e… la forma della città, produced by RAI in the autumn of 1973 and broadcast the following year, was directed by Paolo Brunatto and not, as could have been expected, by its subject— the Italian poet, writer, director, screenwriter, playwright, and journalist Pier Paolo Pasolini. Yet it is so redolent of Pasolini’s personality and aesthetic that it looks like his own work. The documentary features a series of interviews with personalities from the Italian cultural scene, who are asked to talk about a specific work of art.
Pasolini has chosen Orte and Sabaudia, two towns that played an important role in his life. Filmed mostly by Pasolini himself, this short piece comes across as a harmonious interweave of words and pictures. He films the area around Orte, approaches the town center, and then moves to Sabaudia, where on a windswept beach he himself appears, lamenting the environmental, urban, and cultural degeneration of Italy. The conclusion sums up some of his impassioned arguments against standardization, which were published in the newspaper “Corriere della Sera.” Throughout the film, Pasolini does not address a generic audience of viewers but engages with a specific “you,” his actor friend Ninetto Davoli. Pasolini himself went on to use part of the footage in the short film Le mura di Sana’a, devoted to the capital of North Yemen, an ancient city whose history and culture were threatened by the advance of modern progress.

Nato a Bologna, Italia, nel 1922
† 1975, Lido di Ostia, Italia

La regia del cortometraggio Pasolini e… la forma della città, prodotto dalla RAI nell’autunno del 1973 e trasmesso l’anno seguente, non è del poeta, scrittore, regista, sceneggiatore, drammaturgo e giornalista italiano Pier Paolo Pasolini, bensì di Paolo Brunatto. Tuttavia, la personalità di Pasolini e gli aspetti salienti della sua poetica permeano a tal punto l’opera che egli sembra esserne l’autore. Il documentario si compone di una serie di interviste, intitolata Io e …, a personalità della cultura italiana, a cui viene chiesto di parlare di una determinata opera d’arte.
Pasolini sceglie di parlare di Orte e Sabaudia, due città che avevano un ruolo importante nella sua vita. Pasolini, che per buona parte del film tiene in mano la telecamera ed è dunque autore delle riprese, imposta La forma della città come un intreccio armonico di immagini e parole. Riprende i dintorni di Orte, si avvicina al centro della città, e, infine, arriva a Sabaudia, dove, su una spiaggia ventosa, è ritratto mentre denuncia la degenerazione ambientale, urbanistica e, quindi, culturale dell’Italia. La conclusione del cortometraggio sintetizza alcuni degli argomenti della polemica pasoliniana contro l’omologazione, come si esprimeva in quel periodo sulle pagine del “Corriere della sera”. Per tutto il film, Pasolini non si rivolge mai al generico telespettatore, ma colloquia con un “tu” specifico, ossia l’attore e amico Ninetto Davoli. Pasolini utilizzerà in seguito parte delle riprese per Le mura di Sana’a, un cortometraggio sulla capitale dello Yemen del nord, città antichissima che la modernità minaccia di distruggere.

Project: Soleil politique

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