Fondation d’entreprise Ricard


19 Jan - 20 Feb 2010

© Gabriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty
"Visionary Iraq", 2009
Courtesy of the artists

Curated by Christophe Kihm

January 19 - February 20, 2010

With Gabriel Abrantes, Bertille Bak, Benjamin Crotty, Bertrand Dezoteux, Sarah Lis, Florian Pugnaire and Tamara de Wehr

Bertille Bak, « Robe », 2009, in collaboration with Charles-Henry Fertin, with the support of Artois.Comm, Courtesy of the artist "I brought together six young artists whom I met during these three last years in a group work around an exhibition project. This group is formed of Gabriel Abrantes, Bertille Bak, Benjamin Crotty, Bertrand Dezoteux, Sarah Lis, Florian Pugnaire, Tamara de Wehr and I. This project's impulse was given more than a year ago, to define a work context that mobilises the exhibition space in its material and strategic dimensions. The question wasn't how to exhibit the artworks (and which ones)? But what can we do of an exhibition space, and precisely, what type of intervention can be produced in this space made available by the Fondation d'entreprise Ricard for contemporary art?
Therefore, it was agreed that this exhibition wouldn't apply cultural, generational, thematic or stylistic cuttings over-determining the coherence of an artwork selection. In this work process, numerous other hypotheses were rejected, linked to the group organisation: we were aware that the absence of a common decision leads every group show project to the creation of a space through punctual and "pertinent" interventions, and that every strict rule submits the involvement of each one of them to a conceptual display. Personally, I didn't want to think the exhibition as a know-how exercise of the disposal or an accrochage technique, with the effects of dialogues, confrontations, speeches or stories. My role in this project will so be in its most modesty, consisting to federate the different energies, so to imagine a shared space, participating to the work context development and to attend the suggestions of each one of them, making them possible in function of the conditions established by an institution. To answer the question (what can we do of an exhibition space?), the title "RESET" imposed itself to underline this reset programme, where the exhibition is considerate as a starting point of the artwork (and not as an ending point), and where all art pieces propose the exhibition as a place.
The artists had to think the exhibition as a construction and that inch by inch and step by step, they put in play their work according to the reconfiguration of a place. In this way, the experience could open itself to fulfilled actions in and on the place, in which the effects through time would play on delay-actions, by appearing openly or would place itself on the border of invisibility. This exercise is strained (spatially, financially, technically), he includes a share of risk and remains uncertain, associating the time of montage to the one of production of art pieces. But the exhibition finds the full-measure of its shape-project, which doesn't fixe itself in a result but is fixed by an operated cut in the heart of its process.
Another question still remains: what builds this exhibition other than a work process (which won't be restored)? It builds a place, whose qualities aren't very assessable according to architectural criteria (it doesn't consist in building an edifice) or formalists (since this construction is subjected to a processed logic). The artist's propositions are as much space propositions proceeding to a intensification, an opening-out, to the extension of the place (given) by others (who set themselves in), by appealing to techniques of inscription, of transcription, of intrusion or erasure... And as all these suggestions intend places (film set, destroyed villages, offices, geographical courses, drains...), the built space is a circuit where potentials places connect. Such is the temporary conclusion of this experience, which precise a relative point to the shape of a created construction."

Christophe Kihm

Tags: Gabriel Abrantes, Bertille Bak