Touching the Moon _ Group show _ January 12 – February 25, 2012
Collective exhibition in collaboration with La Galerie 5 and the University of Angers.
curators: Laurent Fiévet + Sílvia GuerraWalking on the moon is now almost ancient history, the story of a forgotten dream, of an outdated conquest or an obsolete fantasy from the realm of science fiction. In his great poem, ‘On the Nature of Things’, Lucretius (1st century BC) says that the moon appears stable. Nothing seems to affect it, in contrast to the earth pulverized by Antares, as related in Lars Von Trier’s film Melancholia. Selene remains this unchanging satellite of whom one side is always hidden. Kubrick’s intuition has lost none of its relevance. A year before man walked on the moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey told the story of man’s eternal journey into the void, confronting us with the inexorability of infinite space, all the while attempting to domesticate the unknown. The abyss is disconcerting at a time when risks seem to have been statistically controlled.
Putting together a collection of artworks can be seen as a way of gathering fragments of space. The Lab’Bel Collection consists of artworks produced after the year 2000. The collection offers itself as a space of free thought, without trying to provide the keys to an unequivocal interpretation. Questioning is at the heart of our relationship to all of these oeuvres; it is the common denominator allowing everyone freedom of thought. Putting together a collection of contemporary artworks is an adventure in today’s modern times after so many declarations have been made about the death of art. Begun two years ago with Night and Day (2008, video by John Wood and Paul Harrison), the collection is the chiaroscuro story of the history of the world and of art itself. The collection includes a portrait which allows us to see the world upside down, similar to Vercruysse’s Menine piece. New Trees by Robert Voit shows engines that are truer than nature. And thanks to Michel Blazy’s Galet Mou (2011) we understand the connection between art and food chemistry, and its findings. We are also aware of an error, an uncontrollable interference by the man who wrote one of the most romantic scores of all time, Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. Space can also compose music and Katie Paterson recreates it in Earth-Moon-Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon, 2007). In Roman Signer’s work, in contrast, we find men on skis walking through terrestrial hemispheres (Ski de fond [Cross-country skiing], 2009).
And returning to lift-off, we have an alternative version of the launch by Ceal Floyer with 0-10 (2011), like the announcement for the great departure of volatile discs in Fontaine 1 (2011) by Vincent Ganivet – providing a music backdrop to the collection in the guise of a stream. It is here in Angers, in the spaces of Galerie 5 in the Bibliothèque Universitaire (University Library), a place par excellence for the sharing and transmission of knowledge that we have chosen to present the collection for the first time. This is a conscious choice on our behalf. We are depending on the direct contact of students with the oeuvres for the collection to live outside and beyond the circles of enlightened amateurs and to be part of a wider desire for knowledge, daily reflection, a personal future. The vocation of this collection is to be open to everyone, by exhibiting in spaces that are not usually used for such activities, thereby inviting the public to travel freely and without imposing any preconceived notions about art.
Silvia Guerra, co-curator.
Artist list _ Michel Blazy, Ceal Floyer, Vincent Ganivet, John Wood & Paul Harrison, Katie Paterson, Roman Signer, Jan Vercruysse and Robert Voit.