15.10.23 – 24.02.24
Frac Île-de-France, les Réserves & Fondation Fiminco, Romainville
Curators: Jade Barget, Daisy Lambert, Camille Martin, Céline Poulin & Elsa Vettier
With the works of : Ismaïl Alaoui Fdili, Pierre Allain, Marie Angeletti, Luisa Ardila Camacho, Fabienne Audéoud, Azzeazy, Andrés Baron, Eva Barto, Éric Baudelaire, Safouane Ben Slama, Abdelhak Benallou, Adam Bilardi, Jean-Luc Blanc, Andrea Blum, Sophie Bonnet-Pourpet, Katharina Bosse, Ulla von Brandenburg, Stéphanie Brossard, Dora Budor, Victor Burgin, A.K. Burns, Laura Burucoa (en collaboration avec Shveta Lebonheur, Sara Bouazzaoui, Yasmine Kicha), Bruno Carbonnet, Tom Cazin, Ève Gabriel Chabanon, Nina Childress, Rina Cho & Nozomu Matsumoto, Claude Closky, Lynne Cohen, Mathis Collins, Éric Corne, Bady Dalloul, Fred Deux, Livia Deville, Inès Di Folco, Lana Duval, Xiao Fan, Sylvie Fanchon, Jenny Gage, Lola Gonzàlez, Laurent Grasso, Renée Green, Wiame Haddad, Shuo Hao, Tirdad Hashemi / Soufia Erfanian, Pati Hill, Mayssa Jaoudat, Nanna Kaiser, Atiéna R. Kilfa, Kapwani Kiwanga, Pierre Klossowski, Nile Koetting, Byong Jin Koh, Sasha Litvintseva & Beny Wagner, Ken Lum, Mira Mann, Mélanie Matranga, Ad Minoliti, Arash Nassiri, Jürgen Nefzger, Josèfa Ntjam, Anouchka Oler Nussbaum, Nygel Panasco, Yuri Pattison, Bruno Persat, Émilie Pitoiset, Agnieszka Polska, Philippe Poupet, Marie Preston, Richard Prince, Alex Quicho, Harilay Rabenjamina, Pipilotti Rist, Johanna Rocard, Liv Schulman, Bruno Serralongue, Chloé Serre, Shimabuku, Cally Spooner, P. Staff, Wolfgang Tillmans, Lauren Tortil, Didier Trenet, Michael Van Den Abeele, Sophie Varin, Yuyan Wang, Rehana Zaman & Liverpool Black Women Filmmakers.
For the 40th anniversary of the Frac, the aim is both to rethink the institution’s history, written in particular through its collection, and to look towards shared and desirable futures.
The Gunaikeîon exhibition invites a number of curators to write their own narratives based on works from the collection and in encounter with other invited works. Traditionally, the gunaikeîon was the flat in Greek and Roman houses where women spent most of their time, and which was set apart so that they had no direct contact with the street. The aim of this exhibition, on the other hand, is to open up the spaces of the Frac’s Réserves and the Fondation Fiminco’s Chaufferie to the surrounding neighbourhoods and the sounds of the world. The exhibition will be divided into several chapters, with each of the curators updating the collection in the light of her own obsessions, which are rooted in contemporary society.
Joue ou Perd – Play or Lose
An institution open to its environment is a mobile institution that welcomes the individual subjectivities that make it up (artists, teams, audiences, governance, etc.) and encourages them to live together, to create common ground. This involves putting in place devices, i.e., rules that enable us to share a language, places and emotions. Indeed, the relationship between people and between humanity and the world is shaped by fiction. We act «as one», as if we were one. This exercise is at the heart of co- creative, participatory and collaborative artistic practices, which may involve the public, amateur groups or friends. The position and status of each person, individual and collective narratives, processes of exchange, gift and counter-gift combine to invent together…
The word «play» indicated on Joue ou Perds by Claude Closky, invites us to throw the dice again and again, with no possibility of winning, like the gift theorised by Marcel Mauss. This section of the exhibition, which can be modified and activated throughout the exhibition, brings together other works from the collection and beyond, exploring the mechanisms of play, pedagogy and transmission…
This multi-stage chapter presented by Céline Poulin is being developed with users of the Frac, local partners, residents and cultural partners, combining professional and amateur practice. Everyone’s voices come together to tell the story of the world.
Mes mensonges sont aussi les vôtres – My lies are also yours
Thrillers are players too. Their cleverly structured narratives initiate a game. In both literature and film, these stories encourage readers and viewers to have fun with what is visible. The idea is to take a close look at what is there, before our very eyes, and sometimes hidden, with the quest for truth always in mind.
Camille Martin takes as her starting point Jacques Monory’s painting Énigme 17 (1995), part of the Frac Île-de-France collection, and stages an investigation. The exhibition becomes a space for simulation and speculation, in the manner of the narrative schemes used in literature and detective films. Like detective novels, the works exhibited explore reality and the illusion of reality. Despite the figurative nature of the paintings on display and the authenticity of the photographic medium, these images possess a mystery that is conducive to inventing stories. The exhibition brings together a young generation of artists with works from the Frac Île-de-France collection dating from 1972 to 2012, to grasp the fascination of these forms, which reveal a great deal but do not necessarily say much more.
Ascendant idéal – Ideal Ascendant
This question of communication, or non-communication, is at the heart of Ascendant Idéal. From the Frac Île-de-France collection, this black and white portrait of teenage actress Natalie Portman is part of a series of images acquired by Richard Prince on the internet. In addition to the star’s alleged autograph, there is the artist’s signature at the bottom of the photograph, as if he were both the recipient and the author of the image, the admirer and the creator. Inspired by this work, a kind of fantasised one-way conversation, Elsa Vettier presents an interpretation of the collection based on attraction, manipulation and friction. Without necessarily addressing the same subjects, the works brought together take the form of dialogues or repetitions, evoking the dissonance and mechanisms of influence and envy that shape our relationships with others.
Sérum Radiance – Radiance Serum
These patterns of interdependence are also at the heart of our relationship with the planet. Agnieszka Polska’s film Perfect Lives, part of the collection, was inspired by the Galileo probe’s mission to study Jupiter’s atmosphere, characterised by its lack of strict limits and its gradual fusion with the planet’s gaseous mass. By taking up this planet-atmosphere model, the artist proposes a vision of the Earth’s atmosphere that goes beyond its chemical dimension, particularly through the geopolitical issues that define it. Jade Barget’s chapter builds on this understanding of atmosphere, bringing together a selection of works on the development and study of ecosystems with works by guest artists highlighting the toxic ecologies of which humanity is an integral part. Named in reference to the culture of beauty care, Sérum Radiance draws parallels between the emergence of these noxious atmospheres and today’s mercantile conception of well-being and comfort.
Apprendre et s’enfuir – Learning and escaping
What is next? Daisy Lambert takes her inspiration from the Afrofuturist science-fiction novel Dawn by Octavia Butler, volume 1 of the Xenogenesis trilogy. In it, the author depicts a post-apocalyptic world where human beings have all but disappeared in a great, murderous war. Only a few are saved by an alien species, the Oankali. Dawn is the world after the one we do not yet know. A world full of hope and renewal, redefining human and inter-species links. In Octavia Butler’s novel, humanity survives only by adapting to radical change. But what is the world of ‘twilight’ like, the world we live in today amid multiple crises? This chapter explores the worlds of Dawn and ‘twilight’ through a selection of works from the collection and artists from the contemporary French scene. They will be contrasted to highlight the enduring dynamics of domination and dependency, and the desire to emancipate ourselves from them in all forms of society.