FRAC

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

The whole FRAC collection in and around Paris (or nearly).

The Mac/Val and the FRAC Ile-de-France share quite a few similar views such as both backing and promoting, on a national level, contemporary artistic creation to the general public and also how for the past twenty-five years, they have respectively acquired their own collection. Both institutions boast a strong commitment to promoting artists by choosing the most contemporary works so as to participate in tomorrow’s heritage.

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

Petit Journal

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Presentation

The whole FRAC collection in and around Paris (or nearly)

The Mac/Val and the FRAC Ile-de-France share quite a few similar views such as both backing and promoting, on a national level, contemporary artistic creation to the general public and also how for the past twenty-five years, they have respectively acquired their own collection. Both institutions boast a strong commitment to promoting artists by choosing the most contemporary works so as to participate in tomorrow’s heritage.

So it seemed only natural for the Mac/Val to spontaneously invite the FRAC Ile-de-France to show, for the first time, its entire collection to be exhibited in a museum.

By programming “Toute la collection du FRAC Ile-de-France (ou presque)” during the two summer months, the museum offers the public a rare occasion to embark on a legacy tour in its entirety, to understand the diversity, to share the pleasure of discovering art works of all sorts and to genuinely savour contemporary creation from this past quarter of a century.

Under the guidance of both curators, Xavier Franceschi and Frank Lamy, it was decided for the exhibit layout to reflect reality, by transposing the FRAC Ile-de-France works within the museum’s temporary exhibit area, in the same configuration as in the Frac’s storeroom, and presenting the works little by little from the complete collection.

During the summer, there will be four “parts” to this hide and seek of artwork. Visitors can witness different works exhibited while others are removed back to the “storeroom”, and then again new ones which appear … witnessing the choices made by the curators to re-interpret this ensemble.

The public therefore discovers the collection’s soul and life, and will be invited to become an active part in these choices, uniqueness and its abounding and multi-faceted identity.

Mac/Val’s welcomes this present friend-and-partner structure – the FRAC Ile-de-France - with open arms, thus reasserting its commitment to French Culture, to encourage and advocate its importance, emphasizing the distinction between art and all-too-often confusion with a consumer good.

By deciding to present this entire collection, the Mac/Val is fighting for the intrinsic rights of public collections and increased backing for artistic creation in general. A heartfelt committal to its job of defending and protecting a common heritage and access to art for everyone.

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