Saturday, September 09, 2006

Now, Here, Over there 16.09-6.11 FRAC LORRAINE, METZ (FR)

« The fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil »(1) happens over and over every day somewhere or other, sending back its now distant echoes through the sanitized filter of the media image. Utopias gone astray, political and/or religious forms of authoritarianism, repression and violence on minds and bodies melt into the magma of current affairs. As an alternative to prevalent information, artists are raising the question of their role, the scope of their engagement. As actual players rather than witnesses, they ensure a form of transmission that goes beyond textual and literal demands.

Lida Abdul (Afghanistan) and Tania Bruguera (Cuba) respectively engage in a reflection on their country’s situation, and tackle performative art head on, bringing their body into play and putting a political slant on what they have to say. Between the experience of exile and regular returns home, they address the question of one’s roots, one’s cultural identity, displacement, and take on a role of player-cum-transmitter that extends well beyond the context of their own country. Performances or installations, whatever the preferred device, Lida Abdul and Tania Bruguera break with the distancing of images ; we are destabilized, disturbed, and flip for a while into a cathartic, albeit pretty artificial experience.

Here for the first time in a joint exhibition, they stress the importance, now more than ever, of questioning images, casting doubt on and subverting the dominant and official rhetoric.

Emily Jacir and Renaud-Auguste Dormeuil, each in their own way, carry on this incitement to vigilance, this questioning of the notion of commitment. Disregarding frontiers and periods, their reflection on the refugee figure evokes control and constraints brought to bear on people and bodies, separation and uprooting.

1 – Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, quoted by Giorgio Agamben, Ce qui reste d’Auschwitz, Rivages poche / Petite Bibliothèque, Paris, 2003.

Access : admission free. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 12-19.00 and Thursdays from 13-20.00.

Partners: Giorgio Persano Gallery, Torino ; MMK Frankfurt am Main ; Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London ; Cac Brétigny – Centre d’art contemporain.

Friday 15 Sept 06 from 20.00

Tania Bruguera / Lida Abdul

« Performance is the art of space, presence and time » (Esther Ferrer, artist). This ephemeral art which plays around with notions of endurance, pushing back physical and psychological limits, is something which the Frac has been seeking in recent years to feature in its collection to complement the fixed, finished work that is the art object.

For both Tania Bruguera and Lida Abdul, performance art is a crucial mode of expression whereby the body becomes the medium and the witness, the vector of history, of a demand or criticism. 15 September will be a red-letter day, a unique landmark moment when the two artists will be staging a live performance.

Also until 5 November:
This approach to performance art will be extended throughout the duration of the exhibition with a documentation area devoted to Lida Abdul and Tania Bruguera performances on film.
49 Nord 6 Est –
Fonds régional d'art contemporain de Lorraine


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