In April 2016, the Frac Centre-Val de Loire will inaugurate its new artistic and cultural project with the exhibition "The City, Faraway".*
"The city moves away", Jean-Luc Nancy tells us, "It has now moved away to a distance which tends to cover the whole territory".The exhibition proposes a plunge into the seething life of the city, trying to capture both the intimacy of a street corner and the vastness of cityscapes.
Now that the Earth has become a set of urban localities, how are local systems installed, how do hopes about what is far away resist and persist? The path of this show is situated in the interstice.
The principle behind the exhibition is based on selecting a work from each of the collections of the 22 other Fracs, in dialogue with the collection of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire and the works of invited artists. In this way the Frac is carrying on its tradition of a place of disciplinary migrations for art and architecture.
The public is greeted by Franco Raggi’s Tenda Rossa. Like the collection as a whole, this work introduces the exhibition in the form of creative wandering, overlapping as much with painting as with sculpture and architecture.
The visitor, as spectator and actor, walks through the exhibition the way he strolls in the city. The specific position of the individual is at the core of Gianni Pettena’s work Paper/Midwestern Ocean.
The artist fills a room with strips of paper which the public cuts in order to make room for itself. The spectator becomes part and parcel of the work.
A little further on, Eko’Polis, an imaginary city devised by the Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh plunges the spectator into a captivating acoustic world.
"The City, Faraway" ends with a fable, Medium total, by Günther Domenig and Eilfried Huth, a tale which imagines an architecture that has become a mutant biological organism.
In this way, through eighty works by artists and architects, the exhibition is a chance for an urban walk both near and far. We come upon a Tower of Babel (Anthony Freestone), a telephone booth (Slimane Raïs), and a skyline of towers.
The City, Faraway extra muros
"The City, Faraway" is conceived like a narrative in four acts, in Orléans, Rouen, Montpellier and Marseille.
For the Month of Contemporary Architecture, the exhibition is being set up in the Maison de l’Architecture in Normandy. Under the title "Limits of Infinity", this exhibition offers a reading of 20th century utopias based on three concepts: the instant, the infinite, and the limit.
At the Frac PACA, a selection of video works from the collection of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire presents "Urban Crossings". At the Frac Languedoc-Roussillon, a monographic show is presenting the work of Superstudio, one of the major groups in radical Italian architecture of the 1960s and 1970s.
Between the four venues of this narrative, and between the voids separating the city far away, the spectator and user unravels the reality of fiction and comes up with a narrative, his/her narrative, that of art and architecture.