“‘The POF are openings, possibilities’, Fabrice Hyber likes to say”
For us, to exhibit the 160-odd POF made to date is a militant action. A programmatic action.
This exhibition is part of a programming sequence that resonates with the fifth in our ongoing redisplays of the collection, titled ‘Vivement demain’, which explores the myth of the visionary artist.
Following on from the group show ‘Situation(s) [48°47’34” N / 2°23’14” E]’, which developed ideas and imperatives of existential resistance, and preceding a show by Fiona Banner, with her close attention to the crisis in the various forms of domination, Fabrice Hyber’s show resonates strongly with the history of the museum.
From the creation of the Fonds Départemental d’Art Contemporain (FDAC) in the early 1980s to its most recent developments, this museum has always been focused on the Other: the public.
The POF embody an economy of encounter. An encounter shifts the coordinates of the real, changing the world forever. The event profoundly marks the artwork, the visitor and the museum. And so much the better, too.
Instead of a retrospective, which freezes the work, we wanted a show that captures the artist at a specific moment, revealing the work in process and the activity of thought.
Collaterally, such an exhibition impels the museum concerned to rethink its own modus operandi, to become aware of its limits just as it displaces them. Indeed, nowadays places that host the public are subject to increasing numbers of requirements (including safety standards), which sometimes (often) restrict their projects.
What is the best way of reconciling art and respect for the rules? It’s a fascinating challenge for the exhibition teams.
Showing the POF is a process that amplifies the collective dimension of exhibition-making.
To properly conceive such an event, you need to pool the skills of the whole team. As we often point out, the MAC/VAL is a museum in process. And, one might add: a Prototypal Museum in Function.
The POF tell and prompt stories.
The POF language objects.
Objects, devices and situations are presented to visitors for them to appropriate, to make their own and devise ways of using, ways that are always unusual.
The work is not (is no longer?) a closed, static, authoritarian place, but on the contrary a multiple, open space that is constantly evolving, constantly being (de)constructed and (de)defined. Always in motion. Its fluidity is essential.
The POF provide opportunities both poetical and political. Each one invites individual and collective appropriation.
In a permanent back-and-forth between self and others, undercutting all slogans, they place art within a fundamentally libertarian dynamic.
The visitor is freed of any fixed role as viewer or protagonist, but is also confronted with his responsibility: to define his place, to take a stance.
It is for him to situate himself, to define the place that he wishes to occupy at this moment in time, in a constant and perpetual redefinition of roles and expectations.
What do I do with art?
What don’t I do with it?
The artist elaborates reflexive tools, instruments for analysing the world. Because, in the end, the POF are really about our relation to the world.
In a single movement the POF hold up a mirror that both reflects the I and opens up new possibilities for I to be another. I am the Subject of the work.
Alexia Fabre and Frank Lamy