Turnkey contract – contrat clé en main
21/04 – 24/04/2016, Poppositions Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium
Maxime Boutin (FR), Paul Lahana (FR), Edouard Lecuyer (FR), Davide Mancini Zanchi (IT), Mountaincutters (FR)
Curators: Claudia Buizza, Pietro Della Giustina, Jacques Heinrich Toussaint
Sample of artists’ actions
Today’s society is dominated by pessimistic visions about the future of humanity. The development of military technologies capable of killing millions of people simultaneously, the effect of Neo-Colonialism, the Anglo-American supremacy over the finance world, the use of force by the governments against civil demonstrations, the helplessness of people facing issues linked to ecology for the survival of the planet, the continuous state of crisis which results from the global emergence of asymmetric warfare, the escalation of terrorist attacks are obvious and undeniable aspects of our times that are affecting, in different ways, our way of living.
These issues have also influenced the art world. In a period of economic crisis, in which the state progressively disengages itself from financing cultural activities, we witness the development of phenomena like corporate and private sponsorship. The art market becomes more and more influent at different levels, from the academies of fine arts to the main national museums: the leading international biennials and the monographic exhibitions of blockbuster artists are no more feasible without the monetary participation of galleries and collectors, acting as global players, who are often pursuing their own strategies and interests. As a result, the galleries and museums are increasingly adopting a unidirectional distribution system and the role of the visitors is becoming that of passive consumers of a cultural product. An important part of the contemporary art scene constantly focuses its main discourse on the flaws and vulnerability of contemporary society. Different strategies are developed, stretching from literal denunciation to objective corroboratory evidence or constructive contributions in order to settle a basis for the creation of a better society. Through an attentive analysis, Curate It Yourself interrogates the ways to straighten this wrong bend through artistic remedies. From a general discourse about the society to a more focused one on the art world, Curate It Yourself finds the origins of its positive side in people’s behaviors, encouraging such actors of contemporary art as artists, viewers, collectors and curators to break down the borders between them.
The artistic purpose of Contrat clé en main – Turnkey contract intends to propose alternative visions and antidotes to the dominant system, involving five artists living in different parts of the world. The objective of CIY is to start a virtuous circle of information among diverse cities, namely Brussels (Belgium), Mexico City (Mexico), Montreal (Canada), Beirut (Lebanon) and Urbino (Italy). Curate It Yourself asked the artists to produce a number of contributions reflecting on their everyday life in order to create a modest relief to its wrong side. These proofs can exist in digital form like photography, video, text or sound that will be eventually exhibited on the fair accompanied with a statement. The proposal of CIY points out the central role of the collector in the art market, highlighting his/her ability to influence the system and its main actors by his/her choice.
In Contrat clé en main – Turnkey contract, the collector is the key to the activation of the work of art. The collector can buy one or more contributions and, by signing the sale contract, commit him/herself to take time to respond to the artist’s proposal. The contribution of the artist will be stored in a USB key and sold at its production cost. The system of artists’ contributions and collectors’ responses represents the essence of the work of art that aims at valorizing the human effort beyond the mere monetary exchange, which becomes only a transitional step in the transmission of the work.
Maxime Boutin, MIMOS VERTIGO, 2016, Montréal
By means of this artistic project, Maxime Boutin reflects upon the concept of amusement parks. He considers these places of intense consumption to be a reflection of our era, or an allegory for our society. For this piece, he asked thirty actors to mime which emotions they would feel during a ride on a rollercoaster, a machine which encourages the overconsumption of sensations and emotions. The artist develops a behavioral body of works, choosing to highlight the different affects dizziness can have on the body. Here, the Mimos Vertigo mimes the vertigo in relationships between man and machine, challenging the limits of one’s own body.
Paul Lahana, In the way, 2016, Mexico City
Through a series of ephemeral public installations, Paul Lahana proposes thirty different ways to come face to face with an Estorbo – a heavy, awkward objet, used to barricade streets and to reserve parking spots in the city. An Estorbo is always alone. It is made by man but is rarely accompanied by its creator. As is the case with a dog left behind by his master while he goes on vacation, the artwork is left behind by the artist, in order to become a useless piece of garbage cluttering the street.
Edouard Lecuyer, Interpreting places, 2016, Beirut
If you had to take only one photograph of Beirut, what would it be? This is the question answered by twenty-three Lebanese citizens, with different ages and hailing from different social backgrounds. These participants located their personal cliché on a map of Beirut, without any further indication. Using these mapped results, the artist Edouard Lecuyer takes on the task of wandering through the city in search of each of these predetermined points. With only the indications provided, he reinterprets a series of photographic accounts of the determined location. These samplings are then regrouped by zone, which become the proof, or print, of these territorial interpretations.
Mountaincutters, Abscission, 2016, Brussels
Circling around us, there is a constant and enormous flux of signs and information that we can’t quite grasp. Where does one then go, in a situation where the mass which surrounds us is impenetrable? In this case, one must become a zone of abscission. In biology, abscission (from the latin ab “far” and scindere, “to cut”) is the natural physiological procedure by which an organ (usually a leaf) detaches itself from a plant, or from it’s root. As is the case when one is living in a space while keeping a distance from it, detached from the organs of time. This text, torn from its unity and with butchered punctuation, opens itself to the reader as a reservoir of postures, gestures, micro-languages, rejections, or traces to follow.
Davide Mancini Zanchi, Arte, cibo, calcio, e-vita, 2016, Urbino
Davide Mancini Zanchi’s project, Arte, cibo, calcio e-vita presents a series of photomontages made from images the artist found on the internet. Reflecting on the bad side of his everyday life, Mancini Zanchi addresses the hypocritical behavior of some famous people, the marketing of artworks’ reproductions, as well as the proliferation of goods produced by multinational companies.