Alessandro Rabottini

EMANUELE GUIDI

LORENZO BENEDETTI

MICHAEL E. SMITH

Silvano Agosti

ELAINE STURTEVANT

Alexander Gutke

BECKY BEASLEY

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

NINA CANELL

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Valérie Mazouin

Cécile Poblon

DANIELE BALIT

Allan Sekula

Benoît Maire

ANDY WARHOL

Émilie Parendeau/BERNHARD RÜDIGER

EMILIE PARENDEAU

Goldschmied & Chiari

SYLVIE BOULANGER

LAWRENCE WEINER

Roberto Pugliese

RAIMUND ABRAHAM

MATT MULLICAN

SANTIAGO SIERRA

QUENTIN DEROUET

Roman Ondák

Adrienne Drake

MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP

GIANNI PETTENA

VALERIO DEHÒ

Chris Sharp

Isidoro Valcárcel Medina

Mattin

RETO PULFER

Prinz Gholam

Deimantas NARKEVIČIUS

PATRICK BERNATCHEZ

JULIE PELLEGRIN

Rä di Martino

ANDREA VILIANI

Éric Mangion

JULIETTE BLIGHTMAN

GIORGIO DE CHIRICO

Marcello Maloberti

RON TRAN

Isa Genzken

PETER BUGGENHOUT

Matthieu Saladin

LOIS WEINBERGER

ERIC DE CHASSEY

Stefania Meazza

Alberto Garutti

MARIE COZETTE

Guillaume Robert

Jérémy Laffon

JACOPO MILIANI

Mandla Reuter

1:1PROJECTS

VINCENT VERLÉ

Bernhard Rüdiger

MICHAEL DEAN

ROBERT BREER

Mauricio Guillén

Jochen Lempert

SIMON FRAVEGA

LORRAINE CHATEAUX

JOHN CAGE

Rainer Oldendorf

Walter Pichler

TERRE THAEMLITZ

MARIE VOIGNIER

Marta Minujín

PIERRE BAL-BLANC

Christodoulos Panayiotou

Nina Fiocco

Emilio Prini

ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI

MARYAM JAFRI

Gianluca d’Incà Levis

Vivien Roubaud

LEONARDO BIGAZZI

Antoine Nessi

CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER

Marcus Geiger

Hou Hanru

Félix González-Torres

Rometti Costales

MATHIEU KLEYEBE ABONNENC

Claire Le Restif

Letizia Ragaglia

ANICKA YI

ENRICO BOCCIOLETTI

Julia Frank

DIANE BLONDEAU

VIRGINIE BOBIN

Marianne Maric

LUCY SKAER

ETIENNE BERNARD

Sanja Iveković

Gianni Pettena & PIERRE BAL-BLANC

Tony Fiorentino

Hans Schabus

ILARIA BONACOSSA

Lili Reynaud-Dewar

MARCEL BROODTHAERS

CLÉMENCE SEILLES

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

Nathalie Ergino

MARIA ALICATA

Daniele Pezzi

Rosalind Nashashibi

FRANCISCO TROPA

Ann Veronica Janssens

Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

SIMONE FRANGI

Jean-Marie Perdrix

KEREN DETTON

Marlie Mul

CHIARA AGNELLO

Jean-Luc Moulène

CAPC – PHILIPPE THOMAS

JOSEF DABERNIG

ALESSANDRO DI PIETRO

Carlo Scarpa

Sandra Patron

Leander Schwazer

SLAVEN TOLJ

GUSTAV ANDREAS WOLFGANG

Sonia Leimer

Martine Michard

THOMAS TEURLAI

KP BREHMER

Lise Lacombe and Jean-Baptiste Alazard

CARLO GABRIELE TRIBBIOLI

Dan Graham

Pratchaya Phinthong

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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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MICHAEL DEAN

Michael Dean

hnnnhhnnn-hnnnhnnnnh (Analogue Series), 2014

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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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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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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Matthieu Saladin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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MATTHIEU SALADIN, ECONOMIC SCORE: SOLEIL POLITIQUE

MATTHIEU SALADIN, ECONOMIC SCORE: SOLEIL POLITIQUE

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

Audio file

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

 

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

Protagonist: Matthieu Saladin
Project: Soleil politique

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Christodoulos Panayiotou

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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Gianluca d’Incà Levis

Gianluca_D_Inca_Levis

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

Project: Piano – alto!
Space: Dolomiti Contemporanee

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

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

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

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

2. New Venue of Casso

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

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

3. New Venue of Casso

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Images:
1-3. New Venue of Casso

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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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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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MARIE VOIGNIER

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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TERRE THAEMLITZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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Letizia Ragaglia

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

Project: Soleil politique
Space: Museion

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VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH LETIZIA RAGAGLIA, MUSEION, BOLZANO

VINCENT HONORÉ IN CONVERSATION WITH LETIZIA RAGAGLIA, MUSEION, BOLZANO

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

2. Danh Vo, We the people

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

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

3. Klara Lidén, Invalidenstraße

3. Klara Lidén, Invalidenstraße, Museion, 2013

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

4. Paweł Althamer, Polyethylene, Museion, 2012

4. Paweł Althamer, Polyethylene, Museion, 2012

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protagonist: Letizia Ragaglia
Space: Museion
Project: Soleil politique

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PATRICK BERNATCHEZ

PLE-TPOMPT-013

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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DIANE BLONDEAU

Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

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

Project: From & To

 

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

 

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

Image:
Diane Blondeau, Belle Jar, 2012

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

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

A Dystopian Sculpture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 2015

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

Une sculpture dystopique

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mars 2015

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

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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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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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PETER BUGGENHOUT

5_FG_Buggenhout_Gorgo-#33_3

Peter Buggenhout, Gorgo #33, 2013

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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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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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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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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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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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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MÉLANIE BOUTELOUP

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

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

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

Project: Exercizing Doubt: Exhibition as Research
Space: Bétonsalon

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

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

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

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

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2. Bétonsalon façade

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

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3. Bétonsalon façade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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KEREN DETTON

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

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

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

Space: Le Quartier CAC
Project: Alfred Jarry Archipelago

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

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

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

Project room

2. Project room, Le Quartier CAC

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

05 Pierre Labat

3. Pierre Labat, Mr. Anderson, 2012

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

Ante Timmermans, Der Souffleur des ICHTS, 2014-2015

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

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

Nadashi

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

Pauline Curnier Jardin   Blutbad Parade, 2014-2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jean-Luc Moulène

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

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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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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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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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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Jochen Lempert

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

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

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

2. Jochen Lempert, Martha, 2005

2. Jochen Lempert, Martha, 2005

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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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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MARYAM JAFRI

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Exercizing Doubt: On Exhibition as Research

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ROBERT LECKIE IN CONVERSATION WITH MARYAM JAFRI

ROBERT LECKIE IN CONVERSATION WITH MARYAM JAFRI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Mandla Reuter

SONY DSC

Mandla Reuter, The Agreement, Vienna 2011

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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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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JULIETTE BLIGHTMAN

PLE-TPOMPT-076

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

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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LOIS WEINBERGER

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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Jérémy Laffon

4. Jérémy Laffon, Construction protocolaire non aléatoire, 2013

Jérémy Laffon, Construction protocolaire non aléatoire, 2013

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

Project: Piano – alto!

 

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

 

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

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

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CÉLINE KOPP IN CONVERSATION WITH JÉRÉMY LAFFON

CÉLINE KOPP IN CONVERSATION WITH JÉRÉMY LAFFON

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

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2. Jérémy Laffon in residence in Casso

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protagonist: Jérémy Laffon
Project: Piano – alto!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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DANIELE BALIT

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

Project: Red Swan Hotel

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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).

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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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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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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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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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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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RETO PULFER

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

Project: The Registry of Promise

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Rainer Oldendorf

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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ANICKA YI

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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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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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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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Marcello Maloberti

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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ERIC DE CHASSEY

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

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

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Prepared Piano – Model for a new Institutionalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guillaume Robert

Mariage

Guillaume Robert, Vérifier l’Arcadie, 2013-2014

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

Project: Piano – alto!

 

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

 

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

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

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Marcus Geiger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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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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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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Rä di Martino

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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CAPC – PHILIPPE THOMAS

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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

Architectural collective founded in 1993 by François Roche,Stéphanie Lavaux, and Jean Navarro

François Roche is cofounder of the R&Sie(n) agency. Sensitive to the conflicts of the urban environment, he advocates a form of architecture built in successive stages as a means of recreating zones of exchange between the individual and the collective. Such an approach privileges physical and climatic factors and focuses on the “hyperlocal” in order to generate singularity in opposition to contemporary architecture’s abstract “signals” and “flagships.”
One of the award-winning projects for a building to house the Fond regional d’art contemporain de la région Centre in Orléans, France, Olzweg stems from a flexible method of urban research, employing processes of self-determination in the form of building algorithms that combine as stimuli fragments of individual and collective physiological data. The project entails a glass envelope progressively added to the building’s façade and positioned according to an algorithm generated by a robot that reprograms its shape during construction.
The resulting translucent accumulations add to the building’s circulation, providing multiple passageways. Visitors are equipped with pocket computers that enable them to interact with information on the art center’s collection and to locate their position in the building throughout their visit. Locally recycled glass is used in the construction, thus creating a link to an art space and architecture on the basis of exchange. The building program takes place over a time span of ten years or more, with emphasis on the public character of a “working process.”

Collettivo di architetti fondato nel 1993 da François Roche, Stephanie Lavaux e Jean Navarro

François Roche è il fondatore dell’agenzia R&Sie(n). In empatia con un contesto urbano conflittuale, difende un’architettura che si costruisce per aggregazioni successive, con il fine di ricreare delle zone di scambio tra individuo e collettività. Il suo approccio privilegia i fatti fisici e climatici, e si orienta verso l’“iperlocale”, per far emergere la singolarità dei progetti, in contrasto con l’architettura contemporanea e la sua produzione di “segnali” e di “navi ammiraglie” astratti.
Uno dei progetti che ha partecipato al concorso per il Fonds régional d’art contemporain Centre (Orléans, Francia), Olzweg persegue una ricerca di urbanistica adattiva, utilizzando dei processi di autodeterminazione attraverso degli algoritmi di costruzione che integrano, come degli stimoli, dei frammenti di dati psicologici individuali e collettivi. Il progetto mostra un rivestimento di vetro unito nelle facciate, disposto secondo un algoritmo generato da un robot che riprogramma le forme durante la costruzione. Gli accumuli traslucidi servono alla circolazione dell’edificio, così da permettere molteplici sviluppi.
Il visitatore è dotato di un computer portatile, che gli permette di interagire con i dati sulla collezione e di riposizionarsi nel circuito. Il vetro proviene dal riciclo locale, ciò che unisce l’arte e l’architettura attraverso delle nozioni di scambio. La durata del cantiere si protrae per più di dieci anni, insistendo sul carattere pubblico del “working process”.

François Roche, Stephanie Lavaux et Jean Navarro, collectif d’architectes fondé en 1993

François Roche est le cofondateur de l’agence R&Sie(n). En empathie avec un contexte urbain conflictuel, il défend une architecture qui se construit par agrégations successives afin de recréer des zones d’échange entre individu et collectif. L’approche privilégie les faits physiques et climatiques et s’oriente vers l’ « hyperlocal » pour faire émerger la singularité, en opposition avec l’architecture contemporaine et sa production de « signaux » et « vaisseaux amiraux » abstraits.
Un des projets lauréats du concours pour le bâtiment du Fonds régional d’art contemporain Centre (Orléans, France), Olzweg poursuit une recherche d’urbanisme adaptatif, utilisant des processus d’autodétermination à travers des algorithmes de construction qui intègrent, comme des stimuli, des fragments de données physiologiques individuelles et collectives. Le projet propose une enveloppe en verre agrégée sur les façades, déposée selon un algorithme généré par un robot qui reprogramme les formes en cours de construction. Les accumulations translucides servent aux circulations du bâtiment, permettant de multiples cheminements. Le visiteur est muni d’un ordinateur de poche qui lui permet d’interagir avec les données sur la collection et de se retrouver dans son circuit. Le verre utilisé provient du recyclage local, tissant ainsi un lieu d’art et architecture à travers des notions d’échange. La programmation du chantier s’étale sur plus de dix ans, insistant sur le caractère public du « working process ».

Project: Soleil politique

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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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GUSTAV ANDREAS WOLFGANG

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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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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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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Marie Cool Fabio Balducci

Marie Cool, Fabio Balducci, Sans titre, 2011

Marie Cool, Fabio Balducci, Sans titre, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

Project: Soleil politique

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Leander Schwazer

4- Leander Schwazer, Globe, 2014 Foto Augustin Ochsenreiter

Leander Schwazer, Globe, 2014

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

Project: From & To

 

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

 

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

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

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COSTANZA PAISSAN IN CONVERSATION WITH LEANDER SCHWAZER

COSTANZA PAISSAN IN CONVERSATION WITH LEANDER SCHWAZER

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

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

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

Costanza Paissan La tua ricerca artistica si interessa ai temi legati alla cultura pop, alla geopolitica, al capitalismo, all’economia industriale e alla produzione artig