NATHANAELLE HERBELIN | Il était une fois…Hors les murs 23 June 2022 - 20 November 2022
Address : FRAC champagne-ardenne fonds régional d'art contemporain 1, place museux 51100 reims
With : Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Saâdane Afif, Ouassila Arras, Alex Ayed, Sophie Barber, Orian Barki and Meriem Bennani, Eva Barto, Étienne Chambaud, Gaëlle Choisne, Rabiya Choudhry, Julien Creuzet, Freya Dooley, David Douard, Charlotte Dualé, Nathanaëlle Herbelin, Florence Jung, LOW PROFILE, Randa Maroufi, Juliette Mock, Nicolas Momeim, Joanna Piotrowska, Sara Sadik, Rosalie Schweiker, Agnès Thurnauer, Julia Watchel
What story can an art collection that brings together different works by several artists tell us? How, by whom and for whom does this collection exist? What history does it tell us about? The history of the period, of the art, of the work, of the artist? Who tells this story? Bringing together here and now works from the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne collection, whose only common point is their years of acquisition, is a challenge. Will they dialogue, resonate with each other or on the contrary enter into dissonance?
What is certain is that the unknown territory, born of their presence, will exist only once, for the duration of the exhibition. Surveying this sensitive geography allows us to step back, to look back and to put into perspective a selection of four years of acquisitions. Leaving all the room to the impression, following the intuition of a link, listening to the silences and the empty spaces between the works to allow the construction of a free narrative. There is a link, albeit invisible, between them: the work of five personalities from different backgrounds, brought together for four years, from 2018 to 2021 with the mission of enriching the FRAC collection.
The works submitted each year to this group, called the Technical Acquisition Committee, are either spontaneously sent by the artist or his gallery, or presented by one of the members of this committee. They are discussed, debated, and confronted with the history of art and that of the collection. This fund, created in 1984, has the ambition to build for the inhabitants of Champagne-Ardenne and beyond, a collection of art to diffuse, a heritage to share, stories to tell.
The practice of collecting is not foreign to us. However, it is necessary to go far in our memory to find the recollection of gestures that were once so important and today forgotten for most of us. Searching, gathering, finding, studying, classifying, admiring … a stone, a shell, a stamp, a pin, a picture … This exhibition allows us to discover for the first time, a new part of the collection of the FRAC, in other words a treasure that belongs to all of us.
Let’s try to borrow from the child’s look of curiosity and ingenuity on the world and to “see for real what we have in front of our eyes” (1). Let us discover with jubilation the works and let them tell us extraordinary adventures. Let us remember for a moment the incredible discovery that was ours when, as a baby, we discovered by observing a fixed image in a book, a drawing, a painting, that “something that should move is immobilized, something whose thickness is known is flattened, something large is miniaturized” (1).
The artist, writer and illustrator Elzbieta, recounts in The Language of Stories this dazzling and joyful moment of decoding the language of images for a six-month-old baby: “Everything about his gestures, his jubilation, his intellectual excitement, showed that he understood the astonishing magic of it: where had all the properties of what makes a cat, its size, its thickness, its movements, its fur, disappeared? And yet, in spite of these essential lacks, in this tiny flat residue to which one could neither draw the tail nor give to eat, cat there was indeed!
Here, for the time of the exhibition, the movement of the world pauses for us. Let’s listen to the tender whispers between the works, the snippets of stories that we just have to catch in flight to build a story powerful enough to amaze us, to transport us, to move us.
(1) : Elzbieta, Le Langage des contes, éditions du Rouergue, Paris, 2014, p. 17, 21, 23.Press release (PDF)
Vernissage : 23/06/2022 6:00 pm
Curator : Marie Griffay, director of FRAC Champagne-ArdenneExhibition's artists > Exhibition's artworks