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Vitry-sur-Seine: Angelika Markul

June 30, 2017 - September 30, 2017

Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne


Artists: Angelika Markul, Claire Adelfang, Dove Allouche, Ismaïl Bahri, Élisabeth Ballet, Oliver Beer, Amélie Bertrand, Anne Brégeaut, Elina Brotherus, Clément Cogitore, Stephen Dean, Sylvie Fanchon, Lola Gonzàlez, Benoît Maire, Charlotte Moth, Jean-Luc Moulène, Stéphanie Nava, Jean-Christophe Norman, Vincent Olinet, Bruno Peinado, Paul Pouvreau, Evariste Richer, Sophie Ristelhueber, Jérôme Robbe, Franck Scurti, Alain Séchas, Tatiana Trouvé, Jean-Luc Vilmouth and others.


Conceived around historic artworks from the museum collection as well as new acquisitions, this 8th exhibition of the museum collection artworks revolves around the construction of narratives. Its aim is to have a look at the expressive power of artworks, at their ability to tell stories, to question and suggest. Quiet or talkative, discreet or immersive, sometime contemplative, artworks all have stories to tell. They spark emotions and reveal the fragility of situations while embarking us through reality, fiction or imagination.

The exhibition also reflects the collection history: a long journey punctuated by discoveries, intuitions, encounters and reunions, which, through time, led to the constitution of large and significant groups of works by major artistic figures of today’s creation.

With this new exhibition of the museum collection, we have decided to showcase and highlight artworks based on their expressive power and intention. Because they all express a certain narrative power and a more or less obvious desire to communicate. It is this ability, this calling, but sometimes also this discretion that we wish to investigate and prolong in different modes, now and in the future.

Artists invent stratagems, scenarios and schemes; they create places of projection, ellipses or silences in order for works to entice, open up or, on the contrary, keep their mystery- some of them being totally self-referential.

Talkative, explicit, specific, discreet, circumspect or outspoken, they convoke a mode of narration and expression that resonates differently in each of us. They tell stories. They are like invitations to go further and elaborate. They create an atmosphere. But they also suggest, evoke or, instead, hold on. Can artworks still suggest someplace else since the invention of modernity? Are there times when telling stories is overlooked and exhausted, and others when it becomes a necessity? Are there emergency situations that implicitly entice artists to speak up and bear witness, and are there more speakable ones than others? Is our time, in the broad sense of the term, one when artists are part of the world, or is the latter always, inevitably and relentlessly, the same?

Do some artworks only talk about themselves while others do not? The – obviously more complex- question revolves around the address and source of emission intersecting that of the receiver.

This new showcase of the collection entangles these possibilities of expression, retention and discretion of artworks, as much as it questions our own capacity to look, investigate and inquire in a passive or active way. Are we able and willing to complete artworks and project our own aspirations on them?

It is like a score made of very diverse pieces, from different time periods and expressive means, a polyphonic display in search of what art brings us and what we are able to receive.

In order to continue history and leave stories open, we want to frequently rethink this exhibition. It will evolve in time, spark new relationships between artworks and rewrite bits and pieces of narratives around residency projects by Columbian artist Juliana Góngora, and an invitation to five Quebecker and Canadian artists from the 2017 Manif ’ d’art, Biennale du Québec, along with three artists from the museum collection, Sylvie Fanchon, Jean-Christophe Norman and Christian Boltanski.

—– Alexia Fabre, Conservatrice en chef