“Nevermore”, the title of the fourth new hanging of our permanent collection, is inspired by a Paul Verlaine poem, whose first verse sets the tone: “Memory, memory, what do you want of me?” The new display is one of recollection, and in part narrates the history of the permanent collection, by recalling that memory is part of its function.
Our pursuit - creating memory using the indeterminate and uncertain present – is tied to the history of the works and is tinged with nostalgia. Major works by Gilles Barbier, Melik Ohanian, Christian Boltanski, Annette Messager, Claude Lévêque, and Shilpa Gupta are shown alongside new acquisitions (Shirley Jaffe, Djamel Tatah, Mark Brusse, Elisabeth Ballet, Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, Claire Fontaine, and Cyprien Gaillard), giving visitors a perfect opportunity to discover or re-discover the MAC/VAL permanent collection. Starting October 22, “Nevermore” allows you see the world through the artists’ eyes.
The display is inspired by an alternation between memory and recollection, with no clear boundary drawn between the two. The overall atmosphere is black and white, with touches of color acting as a sudden flash of memory. In a very cinematographic construction, the display’s design is cross-disciplinary, with painting, sculpture, photography, installations, and videos mixed into a poetic, narrative approach to the artworks.
To celebrate and recall the museum’s inauguration, we have selected some of the collection’s landmarks (L’ivrogne by Gilles Barbier, The Hand by Mélik Ohanian, Les enseignes by Frank Scurti, Souvenir enroulé d’un matin bleu by Gina Pane) as well as new acquisitions never before seen at the museum, thus reaffirming our commitment to support artists through purchases of their work. The collection continues to grow year after year, forming an unprecedented overview of contemporary art in France.
It is a collection that mirrors our local community in its depth, daring, and its ability to fascinate and spark curiosity – for in order to understand the other, difference must be acknowledged and accepted. The overall concept of light, as an apparition and remanent trace, as an inscription and a game, and as a way of situating art in the societal context of the 1960’s, came naturally by returning to the collection’s origins, and by turning to lumino kinetic artists. It is from the gleeful and irreverent approach of the GRAV artists that the more melancholy, but terribly real, concept of memory emerged.
Pierre Buraglio, one of the museum’s most loyal and beloved collaborators, is given a featuring exhibit. With a light-hearted approach, this “featuring” displays several key works by Buraglio interspersed in the collection, giving them a new slant, in this case linked to jazz.
We at the museum are interested in sounding out the idea of loyalty because it creates memory, and we do so by developing longstanding relationships with artists, through the substantive ties between the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions, through long-term work with artists-in-residence, and by reaching out to younger artists. That is precisely the opportunity and the pleasure that we wish to share with audiences: the remarkable encounter, the un-normal, the off the beaten track and the unexpected, this occasion to meet those who help us see the world differently, to challenge our received wisdom, undermine our certitudes and give us the inside scoop.