08/06 – 15/07/2018, Magasins généraux, Pantin, France
Haig Aivazian (LB), Yuri Ancarani (IT), Gustavo Artigas (MX), Fikret Atay (TR), Muu Blanco (VE), Peter Bogers (NL), Roderick Buchanan (GB), Miguel Calderón (MX), Paolo Canevari (IT), Bady Dalloul (FR), Marie Denis (FR), Daniel Escamilla (MX), mounir fatmi (MA), Massimo Furlan (CH), Maider López (ES), Nøne Futbol Club (FR), Gabriele Rendina Cattani (IT), Anri Sala (AL), Azzedine Saleck & Brian Close (FR/US), Ghislave Sosnowski (PL), Michael Staab (DE), Grazia Toderi (IT), Anna-Lena Tsutsui (DE), Franz Wanner (DE).
Curators: Claudia Buizza, Pietro Della Giustina and Jacques Heinrich Toussaint
As part of “Par amour du jeu 1998 – 2018”, CIY presents “Simulation”, a multidisciplinary programme that integrates the main event across its threshold and embracing its surroundings.
Footbally speaking “simulation is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by falling to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to give the impression that a foul has been committed”. The title comes from the curatorial intention as well as from the nature of what the artists have presented, invited to think upon football in relation to the public space. Therefore, series of furtive interventions are deployed, haunting the exhibition and enlarging its physical and conceptual boarders: a sort of parasitism. The parasite adapts itself to the activities of the host, simulating a certain degree of conformity which is nothing else of an illusion of reality, or, in the words of Michel Serres “the parasite is not in things, but in links”. We propose sound, digital and performative installations and a video screening which blur the rules of the creation’s access and dissolve the bonds between artwork and its audience.
Consumed by media and by the entertainment world, football has become a metaphor of contemporary collectivity: a social alienation tool “invading the ensemble of public space in order to assure the totalitarian hegemony of contemporary capitalism”. The spectator, as a passive consumer, moves away from his/herself, “in favour of the contemplated object [which] works like this: the more he contemplates, the less he lives; the more he readily recognises his own needs in the images of need proposed by the dominant system, the less he understands his own existence and his own desires”, like Guy Debord asserted in his Society of Spectacle. Prominent display of contemporaneity, football gathers its devotees around a sense of collective belonging, a unique credo.
The works presented within Simulation question some critical aspects of football such as the market, the violent events in stadiums, often generated by identity claims, the hope in social success for kids all over the world, the excessive media exposure of its heroes…
Mexican artist Daniel Escamilla perpetrates an action of dissemination in the public realm: his work Aux supporteurs, 2018, presents a series of 120 QR codes spread in the surroundings of Magasins généraux containing some worldwide football anecdotes, such violence records, racism stories and corruption testimonies. The installation infects the public space, progressing in silence like a growing virus, allowing spontaneous and unexpected encounter with the audience.
In FIFA World Cup 2018 – Office of Disinformation, 2018, Michael Staab brings a mimesis strategy to infiltrate himself in FIFA, the biggest organisation on earth which includes two hundred and eleven national associations. The project, hinged on a mysterious entity above FIFA, questions the linkage between alienation tools used by authoritarian structures and the experience of the viewer facing with an artwork.
The sound installation THE 12th MAN, 2018, by Gabriele Rendina Cattani, investigates the collective figure of football fans which, through their chants, attendance and actions, exhorts and accompanies the players to victory. The work grabs its presentation context: a synthetic voice obtained through a vocoder software, sings a text, diffused through loudspeakers in the square in front of Magasins généraux. This sound composition, in abeyance between controlling and supporting tool, haunts the day of festival goers, visitors and fans.
Finally, the video art programme of Simulation questions the mediatisation of football and its bonds with marketing. Broadcasted on a giant screen en plein air, in conjunction with the World Cup matches and their commercial advertising, the artworks escape from their normal presentation context to engage a direct and democratic relationship with the spectators-fans. These screening sessions aim to divert the primary function of the communication device, as proper acts of cultural hacking and culture jamming.
 Michel Serres, Le Parasite, Grasset, Paris, 1979, p.77.
 Igor Martinache, ‘‘Le football au prisme des sciences sociales’’, La Vie des Idées, juin 2010.
 Guy Debord, La Société du Spectacle, Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 1992, p.31.
 Taken from computer science, this concept describes the alteration and recoding of dominant cultural norms. See: Thomas Düllo, Franz Liebl (ed.), Cultural Hacking: Kunst des Strategischen Handelns, Springer, Vienna/ New York, 2004.
 Term commonly referred to a range of tactics used to critique, subvert, and otherwise “jam” the workings of consumer culture. These tactics include media pranks, advertising parodies,
textual poaching, billboard appropriation, street performance, and the reclamation of urban spaces for noncommercial use. See: Marilyn DeLaure and Moritz Fink (ed.), Culture Jamming: Activism and the Art of Cultural Resistance, New York, NYU Press, 2017.