WELCOME TO OUR HOUSE, Residency Scrapbook
A tale by Patrick Bernier, Olive Martin and Myriame El Yamani
In January 2006, we left Montréal. We had spent six months there thanks to a residency program*. We had arrived with the curiosity and the naiveté of newcomers. With the hopes of the Indians, the Inuits and the White Negroes. Perhaps also with the arrogance of the French from France. Favorable current events and fortuitous encounters had quickly stimulated a reflection already engaged with identity and territory. Welcome to Our House is a scrapbook that narrates this residency. Anecdotes from our stay mingle with descriptions of artistic projects produced or in process. The text was not written, but elaborated by successive transfers from the artists’ words to the storyteller and from the storyteller to her listener. It doesn’t repeat itself, it risks itself with every presentation. After an initial return to France in January 2007••, Myriame El Yamani, a storyteller from Montreal, returns today to bring us this account from the other side of the Atlantic.
Olive Martin and Patrick Bernier live and work in Nantes. In their collective project, “WELCOME TO OUR HOUSE, Residency Scrapbook” situates itself between “Manmuswak,” a short film portraying an immigrant to Nantes, created in 2005, and “Project for a Jurisprudence” (This probably has an English title already… ), an attempt to open a breach in immigration law currently being carried out through a residency at the Aubervilliers Laboratories.
Woman of words, Myriame El Yamai draws her inspiration from the memory of those who surround her, from the saline scents of Acacia, the secrets of her Vendean grandmother, the colors and arabesques of Maghreb and Yemen, the wisdom of Africa and the mysteries of the Mediterranean.
”WELCOME TO OUR HOUSE, Residency Scrabook” was created during the Inclassables Program, co-financed by CulturesFrance, the Council of Arts and Letters of Quebec and the Franco-Quebecois Office for Youth.
The account was adapted to a hexagonal context at the time of a short residency as part of the curatorial cycle “Fiction” by Estelle Nabeyrat and Fréderic Maufras at the gallery La Box in Bourges.
Vox Artisti: la voix de ses maîtres
Lecture by Guillaume Désanges, assisted by Mélanie Mermod
This conference was specially produced for the performance festival “Trouble” (Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels, 2007). Drawing from hundreds of extracts of archives, sound, performances, conferences and artist interviews, Guillaume Désanges uses the format of the conference to propose a perspective on the relationships between voice and the visual arts through a fictitious dialogue between “phantoms.” He presents a certain history of the voice in art, not as a genealogy of sound poetry, but rather as the harnessing and the hearing of a secret dialogue between artists that don’t know each other and may have already disappeared. By means of montage, he creates a “forced”, artificial conversation between artists, like a musical score. To stop looking and simply to listen: to footsteps, breath, laughter, and whistles, to hesitations, discourses, declarations and harangues. This could also resemble a séance for conjuring spirits. It is matter of believing in the strength – emotional, but also cognitive and intellectual, or in a word, “artistic” – of the artist’s voice, but also of isolating snippets of phrases and with them, creating a new proposition.
During the conference, the room is kept dark. The speaker directly transcribes his discourse, which is projected onto a large screen, while sonorous extracts from artworks and artist interviews are diffused through the space. The speaker remains mute, leaving the “speech” to the artists.
Guillaume Désanges : born in 1971, art critic and curator.
Co-founder and co-director of Work Method, an independent structure for exhibition curating and projects prodecution. Member of the editorial comittee of the magazine Trouble and French correspondent for the magazines Exit Express and Exit Book (Madrid), he has worked with Thomas Hirschhorn (24h Foucault, Musée Précaire Albinet) and coordinated the artistic activities of Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2001-2007). He developed several curatorial projects dealing with performance such as "Une histoire de la performance en 20 minutes" (Centre Pompidou, Paris / De Appel, Amsterdam / MacVal, Paris / U-Turn, Copenhagen, etc..) or "Vox Artisti, la voix de ses maîtres" (Halles de Schaerbeek, Bruxelles), organised and co-organised the exhibitions Pick-Up at Public, Paris, Intouchable, l’Idéal Transparence at the Villa Arson (Nice) and at Musée Patio Herreriano (Valladolid) and Jiri Kovanda vs Reste du monde, galerie gb agency (Paris), De Appel (Amsterdam), La Passerelle (Brest), Centre d’Art Santa Monica (Barcelone).
In 2007-2008, he is associate curator in charge of the program of the centre d’art la Tôlerie, at Clermont-Ferrand. He is also teaching at the Fine Arts School of Clermont-Ferrand.
Cinema of People: films by Lawrence Weiner (first part)
Films: Altered to Suit, 1979 (22’), Passage to the North, 1981 (17’), Plowmans Lunch, 1982 (29’)
With the support of Marian Goodman Gallery
While Lawrence Weiner’s work is best known in the form of textual annotations, presented on walls of exhibition spaces or in public spaces, the artist uses also video and film since the late 60s to present his artworks. These films, rarely shown until recently, can shed new light on his practice: taking the form of fictions and using structures inspired by New Wave cinema, they fit awkwardly in the category of conceptualism in which Weiner’s work is often classified. Questions of production and distribution, as well as the collaborative aspect of the cinematographic production, occupy a central place in this work, thus laying the foundation for a “cinema of people”: “I wanted a situation that would allow me to get out of the ivory tower of the studio, where all the decisions are made by the artist. With my films, I found myself in a position where, since there were things that I didn’t know how to do myself, I had to convince others that the project was worthwhile.” The three films presented in this first screening address questions of space, place and displacement as recurrent themes in Weiner’s work, and stage the interactions of characters confronted by these problematics.
Cinema of People: films by Lawrence Weiner (second part)
Film: A First Quarter, 1972 (85’)
With the support of Marian Goodman Gallery
"Using the structure of a feature film as its basic format, A First Quarteradopts the principles of nouvelle vague cinema as its role model. Simultaneous realities, altered flashbacks, plays on time and space are all components of the form and content of the film. Because it was originally shot in video and then kinescoped to 16 mm film, A First Quarter has acquired a poetic, soft look. The dialogue consists entirely of the work as it is spoken and read, built, enacted, written and painted by the players. As the scenarios build, they appear as tropes, one after another." Alice Weiner.
Talk by L’Ambassade (Cécilia Becanovic and Maxime Thiéffine)
A lecture by l’Ambassade Cécilia Becanovic and Maxime Thieffine are continuing their investigations with the help from narrators they met in novels, films and works of art.
L’Ambassade is Cécilia Becanovic and Maxime Thieffine, a team of two curators of contemporary art exhibitions. This collaboration was born out of a shared obsession for accumulating reproductions of art works via books or the internet and from the subsequent necessity to organise this expanding memory. What started as a private hobby became a shared activity and the beginining of L’Ambassade. Mixing those two archives together, they create links and curatorial projects which can lead to either an exhibition or a video program or a lecture or a publication or an exhibition template as a pdf file.
They use works of art, digital art work reproductions, other images sources, documents, texts, casual objects, fragments of TV programs, etc.
They attempt to draw out secret genealogies between artists from different times and orientations, being at once historical, pedagogic & playful in their approach. Tracing paths with art works is a way to appropriate them, to speak with and through them. In order to tell hidden stories or to multiply the connections we may have with them.
Théâtre des opérations
Panel with Pierre Bal-Blanc, Marie de Brugrolle, Joris Lacoste, Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet (Cie Les Gens d’Uterpan)
The round table discussion Théâtre des opérations is organized around two questions that concern modes of presentation from performance, theater and exhibitions: how can we approach the exhibition format in terms of theatricality? And how can we consider theater and performance in terms of an exhibition? The panelists represent diverse disciplines, from the visual arts to theater and dance. Their practices, however, all negotiate the ways in which a work is presented by initiating unexpected correspondences between different presentation formats. The evening will notably address questions about the specific temporalities and the particular relationship to reception generated by the confrontation of these formats.
« Unpacking My Library »
Lecture by Yann Sérandour
Drawing his title from Walter Benjamin’s essay on the collector, Yann Sérandour unveils an selection of works from his library. The library, "joy of the private man" as well as broad network of correspondences, creates an interface between the creative act and the social context that surrounds it. Yann Sérandour’s inserts into the art history library reveal his relation to art through the book. Whether insets, appendices, supplements or footnotes, his work is characterized by its interstitial and polymorphic nature. ’Historical’ works, texts and visual signs serve as sources for his parasitic, dislocated readings.
By extending the propositions of other artist with his unexpected developments, he has notably published Thirtysix Fire Stations in reference to the works of 60s artist Ed Ruscha, and a supplement to be inserted in the catalogue raisonné Specific & General Works, which presents Lawrence Weiner’s work from 1968 to 1993.
Born in 1974, Yann Sérandour is currently in residency at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris. He recently exhibited at the CNEAI (Chatou) in 2007.
My friends of reflective abstraction
Invitation to Falke Pisano
Performances and readings by Will Holder, Frank Koolen, Charlotte Moth, Falke Pisano
For Rendez-vous Falke Pisano invited two artists and a writer/designer/editor with whose practices she feels to be in continuous conversation. The performances and readings that will be presented during the evening have in common that they originate in the reflective relation between the self and aspects of the external world (literature, nature and the supernatural, confined space, form) and show an awareness of the generative quality of the processes of perception, interpretation and (re)construction.
Will Holder (UK) once read that the oral tradition would lead us out of the post-modern condition, and has since become preoccupied with "publishing". The majority of the preoccupation is spent in finding suitable forms for transmission, as these publications do not always take the form of ink and paper. True to his typographical roots, he is interested in scoring and composition as an intermediary, or set of instructions for the articulation of language, and its relationship to a sculptural, 3-dimensional space.
Will Holder recently co-edited and designed "Agapê" and "Intersections" with Alex Waterman (NY) Miguel Abreu Gallery (NY) and The Kitchen (NY): an investigation into the social implications of reading, and various methods of writing and scoring from the late 60s until today. Holder and Waterman are currently working on a monograph in the form of operatic scores of composer Robert Ashley. He is also currently editing a book on the writings and lectures of Falke Pisano for the Henry Moore Institute, England; and is editor (with Dieter Roelstraete and Ann Demeester) and designer of FR DAVID, de Appel’s journal based on reading and writing in the arts.
The work of Frank Koolen (NL) can be described as an ongoing search for moments in which the everyday and the magical seem to collide, creating unexpected logic. Helped by this logic he investigates new possibilities to reactivate the meaning of (sometimes generally known) objects, images and ideas and he investigates the precarious link between the self and the world of objects. Covering virtually all media in his work, he displays a direct process-related attitude towards the world, art, his actual surroundings and himself.
Frank Koolen’ s work has recently been shown at de Appel, W139, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Reliance in London. He ran the temporary television station “Generosity Television”, made the set design for the modern dance piece “Eureka steps! Composing the unsought’ by Monica Antezana and published several excerpts from his photographic archive in bookform.
Frank Koolen is currently resident at de Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
Charlotte Moth (UK) has an ongoing collection of images concerned with a phenomenological reading of architectural spaces. Looking at avenues of externalization for these images create moments where an image’s essence or specificity is explored. This results in a practice where the mediums of sculpture, installation, writing and photography find a way to cross over creating a ground and context of investigation.
Charlotte Moth has recently shown work at Jet in Berlin, Project in Dublin and Dolores at Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam. She also works collaboratively with the artist Peter Fillingham, where recent shows have been shown at Cell, London and the David Risley Gallery, London. She is involved in the artist initiative falkeandcharlotte. Charlotte Moth is participating in the current promotion of the Pavilion at the Palais de Tokyo and will be involved in a group exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in March.
The lecture-performances, text-based video’s, objects and photocopied publications of Falke Pisano (NL) are the elements of a body of work that is distinctly induced by a practice of writing. Although mainly text-based, Pisano’s work displays a strong concern with the existence and features of concrete objects, and in particular abstract concrete objects. Using language as a means to re-think the potential of abstraction, sculpture and artistic practice she activates the abstract sculpture as a thought-generating principle and employs the idea of the instable, transforming and disintegrating object as a way to address issues concerning object-qualities, form, construction and engagement.
Falke Pisano wrote essays for several publications, set up the mobile artists initiative falkeandcharlotte together with Charlotte Moth and organized the symposium As Yet about the nature of speculation in De Appel with Will Holder. She currently has a solo show at BaliceHertling in Paris. Upcoming shows include a collaborative show with Benoît Maire at Croy Nielsen, Berlin and a performance at The Berlin Biennale.
Falke Pisano is artist in residence at Villa Arson.