« With Bare Hands »
Hanging of the collection
Until 2 April 2023
With works by Pierre Ardouvin, Bianca Argimón, Kader Attia, Élisabeth Ballet, Jean-Luc Blanc, Véronique Boudier, Nina Childress, Gaëlle Choisne, Clément Cogitore, Olivier Debré, Mathilde Denize, Romina De Novellis, Edi Dubien, Mario D’Souza, Éléonore False, Sylvie Fanchon, Valérie Favre, Esther Ferrer, Nicolas Floc’h, Mark Geffriaud, Shilpa Gupta, Kapwani Kiwanga, Jirí Kolár, Thierry Kuntzel, Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Ange Leccia, Natacha Lesueur, Annette Messager, Myriam Mihindou, Marlène Mocquet, Charlotte Moth, Frédéric Nauczyciel, Melik Ohanian, ORLAN, Bruno Perramant, Françoise Pétrovitch, Abraham Poincheval, Judit Reigl, Pierre Soulages, Agnès Thurnauer, Jean-Luc Verna, Catherine Viollet, We Are The Painters…
Whether new or old, the works here evoke the reinvention of the self, the future that we must create with our bare hands.
In this shared experience of the obstacles to others and contact with them, of the violent realisation of our bodily fragility and our status as a living body, projecting ourselves into the future and envisaging it with desire, impulse and hope becomes a new kind of imperative.
The works gathered here speak of corporality and its language, of vital fluids, limbs, including hands, which embody the question of self-reinvention in the face of reality, fatality or social determinism.
Fiction, storytelling, staging, and cross-dressing are all strategies used by artists to engage in this reinvention, whether gentle, deter-mined or more warlike.
Addressing the other, their gaze as well as their body, is at the heart of the works. It is done in the making of one’s own image, in portraits or self-portraits that resonate with the historical and contemporary phenomena of the invention of the self.
« Rose is a rose is a rose
Anthology until it went all the way around »
24 December 2022 to 14 May 2023
This exhibition brings together a selection of 23 prints commissioned by the Department for the Roseraie du Val-de-Marne.
With works by Martine Aballéa, Valerio Adami, Dove Allouche, Raphaël Barontini, Carole Benzaken, Jean-Pierre Bertrand, Mark Brusse, Ali Cherri, Delphine Coindet, Mario D’souza, Nicolas Floc’h, José Gamarra, Cat Loray, Lahouari Mohammed Bakir, Roman Moriceau, Eva Nielsen, Pavlos, Sarkis, Anne Slacik, Valérie Sonnier, Patrick Tosani, Jean-Luc Verna, Claude Viallat
A display turned the museum’s reception into a bonbonnière, another name that could have served as a title for the presentation of part of the collection of prints commissioned each year by the Department of Val-de-Marne in order to promote one of its most remarkable gardens, the Roseraie (rose garden) in L’Haÿ-les-Roses, and to affirm a proactive approach to commissioning artists. Rather than simply following the chronology of these commissions, the hanging of this first in a series of shows promoting the Department’s print collection has chosen to place itself under the aegis of the American poet, playwright and writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), and in particular her words: ‘she would carve on the tree Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose
until it went all the way around.’ This gesture of carving into a tree is reminiscent of certain protocols of contemporary artists who leave messages in the bark of trees, like graffiti. What could be closer to the engraver’s tool than the prickle of a rose to cut, to scratch or simply to draw? They are no longer prickles but splinters or pins to
hold back what is least well preserved: fragrances or seasons.
Somewhat in the manner of Gertrude Stein and her book The World is Round, the 23 prints chosen evoke this universe, which is sometimes quite happy to be slightly faded or outdated. This presentation alternates images linked to roses and their lexical and semantic field with others that are more playful, as if they were skipping or playing hopscotch before our eyes. ‘Rose is a rose is a rose’ therefore follows the logic of the tale and the nursery rhyme. Nor does it forget the very shape of the Roseraie which, in the hands of the artists, becomes almost cabalistic, a visual assonance of the cadastral and the astral.
« Paraboles »
7 January to 30 April 2023
Here, an ensemble of new acquisitions and older pieces engage in a dialogue on themes such as the image, writing, erasure and redaction.
With works by Raphaël Boccanfuso, Pierre Buraglio, IFP, Ange Leccia, Angelika Markul, Philippe Perrin, Chryssa Romanos, Thibault Scemama de Gialluly, Jacques Villeglé, Jean-Luc Vilmouth.
Parables: on erasure and some of its issues
It’s fairly easy to find a list of the main parables on your search engine. These edifying stories have their origins in the Gospels. They differ from myths in their moral purpose and have generated many subjects and motifs and inspired numerous artists. Nowadays, parables seem completely outdated and no one seems to bother with them much anymore. None of the artists in this show makes a clear claim to use
them, and it is only the combination of the various works that might justify the reference to this rhetorical figure. The exhibition is organised around the work of Thibault Scemama de Gialluly. His way of intervening in images is similar to redacting (caviardage). This technique, which consists of crossing out a word or crossing out a
shape so that both disappear under the ink or paint, or of simply tearing or scratching, brings into play the principles of description and speculation: guessing what is hidden or trying to reconstitute what has been covered up from what is still readable or visible. This process highlights the words or forms that are not covered and take the appearance of ruins. Caviardage is as much a poetic technique as a
visual one and belongs to ‘the history of words in painting’ (Michel Butor) and in art more generally. Caviardage is part and parcel of the profanation of iconography that Thibault Scemama de Gialluly talks about, and makes interpretation imperative.
Whenever the question of redaction comes up at MAC VAL, Pierre Buraglio naturally springs to mind. For a very long time, this artist had been in the habit of crossing out appointments on his diaries once the deadline had passed. In 1982, aware of the plastic potential of such a process, he systematised it to the point of making it a kind of ‘visual tool’, almost as identifiable as Daniel Buren’s famous stripes or the kidney-bean form used by Claude Viallat. There are also ready-made or allographic caviardages: these are evoked by Jacques Villeglé’s torn, layered posters. They reinvest the randomness and poetry of peeling posters on walls, the shreds of which reactivate the impulse to decipher and interpret. Posters, maps, diaries, prescriptions, censored old books, and redacted letters are all remarkably suited to these cartographic and editorial fictions. One would have to be pretty sharp to find one from the list of authorised parables that is hidden by these artists of different generations who use the same technique. It may be that ‘Parables’ builds the edifying story of interpretation, of its injunction, in which the moral of a kind of recycling transforms rubbish into a rebus.