OPENING on Friday December 2, 2016 at 8PM
EXHIBITION from December 3, 2016 to February 25, 2017
(closed from 23/12 to 27/12 and from 31/12 to 03/01)
Clément COGITORE, Mathieu COPELAND, EL PAQUETE (Ludwig Foundation, Cuba), Alban HAJDINAJ, Pascal LIÈVRE, Rachel MACLEAN, Shana MOULTON, Ken OKIISHI, Laure PROUVOST, Catherine RADOSA, Jon RAFMAN, Peter SCOTT, Heimo ZOBERNIG
Curated by Benjamin Laugier (NMNM) and Mathilde Roman
A L’ECLAT and La Station co-production as part of the Forum MOVIMENTA
In synergy with the art video festival OVNi
La Station and L’ECLAT thank La Villa Arson for its support
A support for projection or broadcast, the screen has become a tool present on all levels of daily life. Beyond the recurrence of a pattern, it is a format framing the construction of the real, its representations as well as its sensitive experiences. Image invades the physical, architectural, urban space, and artists grab it to reflect on its perception incarnated, on its participation to the intimate and collective landscape. It is not as much up to a critique of the image society that pieces in the exhibition commit us as to a reflection on fictional narration inherent to the look; and to socio-political perspectives emanating from it. Cinema, television, internet, and all the digital tools associated to their use created means to tell stories about oneself and the world, produced news writings where the gesture has a central place. Replaying the history of painting by displacing it like a frame and a window, the screen is vested into its capacity to launch separate states, to be the location for overflowing and covering.
The incessant flux of the virtual is haunted by the disappearance of its data and permanently invents new means of archival management. As a response to this abyss, the images here anchor in the location, talk to the spectator, to his point of view, his personal and collective memory, his wanderings. A telephone at arm’s length filming a show, a finger tracing the name of feminists on a dark glitter screen, film credits put end to end, this positions among many others questioning the legacies and the oversights our societies produce permanently.
To begin by the end and a compilation of film credits (Film Titel Video, 1997) introduces de facto the numerous mechanisms of digestion and aestheticization of the audio-visual industry as well as the composition of three projection screens, (Untitled, 2005) would be its abstractizing counterpart in Heimo Zobernig’s work.
The mobile telephone screens Clément Cogitore films in Elégies (2014) on their part are the witnesses of a scene off camera that the verses of RM Rilke come to subtitle. A «numerical liturgy» in which the filmmaker maintains, like in the rest of his productions, a certain connection to the sacred.
Picture City II (2016) takes two films as a starting point, Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) and Sex in the City (Darren Star, 1998-2004), their common point being that they occur in New York. However, the image of NYC in these films is opposite, bearing witness to its real evolution but also to the imaginary associated with it. By a system of double projection, Peter Scott turns the screen into the meeting space between these two films, and questions the construction of the real.
Veille Extinction, 2016. Invited for a residence in Beaugency, a small peaceful city near Orléans and next to a nuclear plant, Catherine Rodosa is marked by the impact in the public debates of the recent decision of the municipality to turn off public lighting at midnight. By a framing and a symptomatic editing of surveillance camera images, she questions our representations of urban space at night, and introduces its discrete presence.
In L’Exposition d’un Film, Mathieu Copeland invites some fifteen artists to turn an exhibition into a film, the film of an exhibition or even a film exhibited. Systematically questioning the formats of the exhibition, Copeland offers here to see the posters made by the artists for this project, the projection of which shall be on December 3, at the Cinéma de Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
In Break up (2015), Alban Hajdinaj, an Albanese artist, lifts the various strata of family photographs that cover a frame that used to belong to his grand-mother, who passed away in 2001. He thus discovers a portrait of Enver Hoxha, the communist dictator of Albania until 1985, which was the photograph originally framed. A way to think about the covering of political memory and the relationship between the intimate and the collective.
The series or works by Ken Okiishi entitled gesture/data joins the support/surface problematics applied to that of painting 2.0 for which the screen is worth the canvas and the video medium that of painting. Here the gestures of painting remind those of digital interactivity and images come from VHS copies of TV shows.
Jon Rafman manipulates the numerical technological codes, their mechanisms of fetishizing and socializing of which the screen is both an element of alienation and of intrusion. In Still Life (betamate), he composes a still life from the crudest and darkest images of the web. “While you are looking at the screen, it is possible to believe that you dive into eternity», says the feminine artificial voice as an introduction.
Since 2002, Shana Moulton has directed Cynthia, her alter ego. A burlesque character, hypochondriac and depressive, Cynthia is in reality the political allegory of the oppressions to which the women are still subject. In 2016, we find her in Feed the Soul, in the middle of a silent incantation of the personal development theories abundant on the internet.
In Monolog (2009), Laure Prouvost, a French artist belonging to the English scene, plays on the means of self-filming. If we can find some proximity with the videos of Vito Acconci, it is mostly to the multiple use of self-filming in the private spheres it refers to. With humor, she questions the figure of the spectator-voyeur or the value of the artistic activity whilst putting in tension the relation between the image and the frame, the language and its significance, or even the passage from the interior (the intimate) to the outside (share on the virtual).
Rachel Maclean is a young Scottish artist permeated with the aesthetic of the virtual and who uses editing and post-production to insert social and political stories with a fantastic vision. Germs (2013) answers to an order by English TV Channel 4. As usual, she interprets all the characters, from the feminine stereotype to the sarcastic microbe, associating the codes of advertisement to a kitsch and violent universe to denounce its excesses and perversions.
Rêver l’obscur (2016) by Pascal Lièvre is a long succession of fixed shots where a finger traces carefully the names of figures of feminist fight in a thick layer of black glitters. Going through the 20th century, the work pays a tribute to overlooked history. This work continues the fights of these activists against oversight and offering the spectator a moment of historical and geographical distance. But it is also a reflection on the screen, on appearance and disappearance, and on its embodiment by the drawing.
El paquete. Cuba is still one of the rare countries where Internet access is very limited, because only accessible from some places, in a very expensive way, and with a weak connection. In parallel, television only offers five channels. But every Sunday, a «paquete» gathering data downloaded on the Internet circulates in the streets and can be bought in complete illegality. It regroups TV shows, films, advertisements, including for restaurants in Cuba that seized this opportunity to become known.
The Ludwig Foundation, established in La Havana for many years, started some research work around the Paquete, analyzing its operation and evolutions. The document presented here offers a tool to reflect on what Internet access can represent today.