The whole FRAC collection in and around Paris (or nearly).
From July 4th to August 31st 2008

A word from the Public Service Manager

A FRAC and a MAC

The MAC/VAL has invited the
Frac Île-de-France to celebrate
its 25th birthday in Vitry-sur-Seine by way of a completely
new experience: for the duration
of the summer they will join
forces, with the Frac’s entire
collection being shown at the
MAC/VAL while the museum’s
own collection is given a facelift. The collection will appear
before us freed from any
thematic constraints, providing
the opportunity for an in-depth
review of the works (almost
900 by more than 400 artists),
which will be displayed in the
MAC/VAL’s huge 1,350-squaremetre space. This is a rare
opportunity to view a broad
artistic heritage.

The first interesting aspect
of this exhibition is that
it demonstrates that a Fonds
Régional d’Art Contemporain
and a museum can work well
together. Although they have
different missions, they have
many aims in common,
in particular that of sharing
a vision of the contemporary
landscape with the general
public through the creation
of their own collection.

Although the Frac collection
travels a great deal, however, it
is never displayed in its entirety
and rarely in museums.

The second interesting aspect is:
wow, the Frac Île-de-France has
all that! And you will be able to
see everything (or almost).
You will see works by artists
who are also represented in
the MAC/VAL’s collection and
works that are related: although
the two collections are very
different, they nonetheless
cover the same terrain and
period. And they both have
the particularities of a public
collection, with masterpieces
rubbing shoulders with
unknown pieces.

The third interesting aspect
of this project is the partnership
between the director of the Frac
and the head of exhibitions
at the MAC/VAL: for this one
exhibition there will be two
organisers, who decide to
exhibit everything – or almost.
And from this ‘almost’ arises
the question of selection,
negociation, the material part
and the accursed part. It is a
broad selection, in which major
works are juxtaposed with all
the others. And yet the very first
question asked was: how do we
display an entire collection?
It was decided to display
the Frac’s storeroom collection
as it is in reality, covering
the same area in the same
configuration. Consequently,
racks, packing boxes, and other
storage and conservation
material will be displayed.

So what exactly will we see
given that little is visible
of works in storerooms?
The organisers (Frank Lamy
and Xavier Franceschi) have
made a selection, in the form
of a four-part scenario, deciding
to spotlight certain works,
bringing them out of the
storeroom at four different
moments during the exhibition.
A game of hide and seek is
thereby instigated which tells
a story and sets up a dialogue
with a particular work.

Some pieces will be present
throughout; others will return
to the storeroom for a while—
the exhibited storeroom.
What happens will be roughly
as follows: a sculpture by
Bertrand Lavier will emerge
from a container, a photograph
by Lynne Cohen will come out
of its packaging, an exhibition
module by Didier Trénet
will materialise, a work by
Tony Cragg will arrive,
forging a dialogue with
an ephemeral sculpture
by Michel Blazy, which will
resonate with a picture
by Sylvie Fanchon;
then a François Morellet
will come out of its case,
followed by a Jacques Monory
and an installation by
Nathalie Elemento. One work
will replace another, throwing
into relief the next one, and so
on… To give a complete list
would be a laborious task,
because everything will be
there, in the room. And viewers
will be invited to witness
all this. They will be able to see
what they never normally see,
to witness a journey from
storeroom to exhibition that is
usually concealed, to weave
meaning from one work to
the next and imagine what
remains hidden from view
but physically present.

In fact, the history of the
organisers’ choices will unfold
live, as will some of the goings
on that normally take place
behind the scenes in a museum.
Thus a collection in its entirety
(or almost) is laid bare.

Muriel Ryngaert, curator of education
and cultural program

 

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