Category Archives: France

Exhibition: DYSTOPIA

After 4000 years of sci-fi
Until 28 August 2011
A show written by Mark von Schlegell
& curated by Alexis Vaillant

musée d’art contemporain
Entrepôt Lainé. 7, rue Ferrère
F-33000 Bordeaux

Opening hours :
Tue, Thur to Sun 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Wed 11a.m.–8 p.m.

Amid global crisis, contemporary art finds itself confronted by its own theoretical and practical dissolution within a thoroughly debunked reality. As the Tao te Ching advises the mysterious protagonist of Dystopia, the exhibition, the point is to “neither beat the pot and sing, nor loudly bewail the approach of death.” Between nihilism and hedonism lie pathways to failure, resistance and survival.

The exhibition Dystopia is the offshoot of a fiction written by the American science fiction novelist and theoretician Mark von Schlegell. Curated by Alexis Vaillant of the CAPC, the art-works of 46 international artists are presented within a world turned horror film. Utopia’s wretched flipside is presented not as subject matter but as setting, not as end but as point of beginning.

According to von Schlegell and Vaillant the enlightenment tradition of Dystopia—”the imaginary place or condition in which everything is as bad as possible”*—offers contemporary art specific pathways (of re-mix, collaboration and radical tradition) into present-tense science fictional struggles with the disintegrating real past and imaginary future. Immersed in the present, dystopian art presumes a weakest-possible point of view within an unresolved fictional narrative presumed to be worsening. As with the theory of black holes birthing new universes within them, it is within concentrated dystopia that the actual utopias appear.(*Oxford English Dictionary)

With all the museum’s windows covered by blood-red cellophane the visible outside world is rendered fictional, casting its glow deep into the museum’s nave. Even so, the art works find idiosyncratic function, adapting with surprising ease to the covering fiction.

Mark von Schlegell’s new novel New Dystopia, featuring work by all participating artists, will be published in English and French by Sternberg Press as catalog for the exhibition.

Featuring works by:
Wallace Berman, Cosima von Bonin, Brian Calvin, Tony Carter, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Peter Coffin, Simon Denny, Andreas Dobler, Roe Ethridge, Keith Farquhar, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Aurelien Froment, Cyprien Gaillard, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, Robert Grosvenor, Sebastian Hammwöhner, Roger Hiorns, Ull Hohn, Des Hughes, Peter Hutchinson, Sergej Jensen, On Kawara, Michael Krebber, Jesús Mari Lazkano, Rita Mcbride, John Miller, Pathetic Sympathy Seekers, Manfred Pernice, Stephen G. Rhodes, Glen Rubsamen, Sterling Ruby, Julia Scher, Frances Scholz, Michael Scott, Markus Selg, Reena Spaulings, Michael Stevenson, Tommy Støckel, Josef Strau, Blair Thurman, Mathieu Tonetti, Oscar Tuazon, Franz West, Jordan Wolfson
and a catastrophe by Eugene Isabey

Corporate sponsors
Air France, Seg Fayat, Lacoste, Lyonnaise des Eaux, 20 Minutes, Mouvement, Château Chasse-Spleen

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Exhibition: The End of the World as We Know it

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse /
La Fonderie Centre d’Art Contemporain

Hadley+Maxwell, “For passing away is the figure of this world,” (Detail) 2010.*

The End of the World as We Know it
16 September – 16 November 2010

Marc Bijl, Claire Fontaine, Cyprien Gaillard, Piero Golia, Hadley+Maxwell, Bernhard Martin, Katrin Mayer, Mladen Miljanovic, Fréderic Moser & Philippe Schwinger

Curator : Bettina Steinbrügge

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse /
La Fonderie Centre
d’Art Contemporain
16 rue de la Fonderie
F – 68093 Mulhouse Cedex
T +33 (0)3 69 77 66 47

In 1987 REM recorded the song: “It’s the End of the World as We Know it” (and I feel fine). The song originated from a previous, unreleased, R.E.M. song called “PSA”, which is short for “Public Service Announcement”. The accompanying video depicts a young skateboarder rifling through an abandoned, collapsing farmhouse and displaying the relics that he finds to the camera. This REM song is one of these that were addressing incredible social concerns of the time. But with its appendix “(and I feel fine)” it also showed a positive attitude towards the future. This can be found in contemporary art practice as well. What art history and theory describe as “détournement” signifies the complex practice of dismantling existing aesthetic structures and reassembling them in an altered and subverted way in order to question or critique society, traditional values, and the status quo. All art, in some ways, conveys a vision for the future.

Years after the publishing of the REM song, in 1999, the American Sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein published a text called “The End of the World as we know it.” Wallerstein divides this text between an appraisal of significant recent events and a study of the shifts in thought influenced by those events. “The End of the World As We Know It” concludes with a crucial analysis of the momentous intellectual challenges to society as we know it and suggests possible responses to them.” According to Wallerstein, we live in a post-capitalistic society, in the age of passage. Structures are going to disappear and the new is not yet at the horizon. This notion implies a certain chaos that holds the historical chance for social influence.

J.J. Charlesworth wrote in a recent issue of ArtsReview: “Now that the initial drama of the financial crash has passed, we’re into a much weirder moment where everyone is trying to maintain some working notion of normality, even so it’s becoming obvious that these are not longer normal times. Carrying on making, showing and writing about even serious art, without some acknowledgement that the society art operates in has completely lost the plot, starts to seem slightly futile. So what to do?” Jacques Rancière claims a new form of political subjectivity that would accept the point that we start from equality, from the idea that there is a universal competence—that there is a universal capacity that is involved in all those experiments and that we are trying to expand—to expand the field and the capacities of that competence. Like Wallerstein, he sees us in a kind of interval, in a time without a goal. And he poses the question: “What do we think we are able to do together?”

The artists and artists groups invited take a stand: From the financial crisis, the decline of the welfare systems or the fetishistic visual industries to new hopes, utopias and alternative conceptions of common society. Like a seismograph, the exhibition filters the signs and images of our current life while undermining the governmental power and providing new aesthetic contexts.

The exhibition is accompanied by an audio guide by Cécile Babiole, a 10min mediation piece, a collage of music, lyrics and statements. The audio guide is available for download under

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Art: Dance With Us

Source : Nasdaq Yahoo

Fred Astaire danse au rythme de l’économie américaine. Fred Astaire dances to the rhythm of the American economy.

Dance with US (2008)
Installation interactive / interactive installation
Vidéoprojecteur, écran LCD , bois, ordinateur, joggle, Director
Programmation / Software:Vadim Bernard
The scene, already employed in Possibles Bodies (2002), is connected to the American Stock Exchange in real time. Fred Astaire dances to the rhythm of the economy: the more volatile the tradings, the more fluid the movements.

Born in Paris.
Grégory Chatonsky currently resides in Montreal and Paris.
He holds a philosophy master’s from the Sorbonne and a multimedia advanced degree from the Ecole nationale superieure des beaux-arts in Paris. He has worked on numerous solo and group projects in France, Canada, the United States, Italy, Australia, Germany, Finland and Spain. His works have been acquired by public collectors such as the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie.
In 1994, Chatonsky founded a collective,, and has produced numerous works, such as the websites of the Pompidou Centre and Villa Médicis, the graphic signature for the Musée contemporain du Val-de-Marne, and interactive fiction for Arte. He has taught at the Fresnoy (national modern art studio, France) and at UQAM’s school of visual and media art.
Chatonsky’s body of work, including interactive installations, networked and urban devices, photographs and sculptures, speaks to the relationship between technologies and affectivity, flow that define our time and attempts to create new forms of fiction.

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Article: Europe Struggles to prevent a ‘lost generation’

Europe Struggles to prevent a ‘lost generation’
Young job seekers fear they won’t be hired even when recovery takes hold

Harold Tribune, New York Times
April 28, 2009, Paris
Sophie Hardach

“Malcolm Hammer left university more than six years ago but, like thousands of other French graduates, he is stuck in economic limbo, drifting between internships, temporary jobs and freelance work.

In Italy. Germany, Spain and Greece, many graduates and young workers are in similar circumstances, and the economic crisis is likely to worsen their plight.

We are the people who did everything right: good degrees, internships, accepting any working conditions, and we still can’t find a proper job, said Hammer, 34, who shares an apartment in Paris with friends. It’s just so much easier for companies to take interns instead of creating jobs.

As the youth riots in Greece showed last year, frustration can quickly turn into violence. France, too, has a record of protests.

More worrying is the risk of the downturn creating a Iost generation in Europe that will miss out on an eventual upturn, as occurred in Japan, where young workers have been excluded from the formal job market since the last crisis in the 1990s.

Slowing growth is alarming workers everywhere, but for young people like Hammer, the outlook is particularly bleak.

For the past few years, they have grappled with a rigid labor market in much of Europe, where older employees cling to welI-protected permanent jobs while younger temporary workers or interns fill the gaps and are discarded when no longer did. Within the family, solidarity is strong since many have to stay with their parents for longer, Hammer said, adding that this contrasts with social friction outside the family.

There’s a war of generations and strong competition between the different age groups, he said.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, the unemployment rate for French workers aged 15 to 24 was 21.2 percent, having steadily risen over the year. That age group represents 8 percent of France’s active work force. Their unemployment was nearly three times the jobless rate for those aged 25 to 49, which stood at 7.4 percent. For workers over 49, it was 5.2 percent.

With the French economy estimated to shrink 1.2 percent in the first three months of this year, according to a Reuters survey of economists, companies are likely to lay off more temporary staff and invest Iess in training.

That could aggravate one of Continental Europe’s big problems: workers who flit between jobs and are unable to plan their future, start a family or buy a house because of constant uncertainty.

Some temporary contracts are very good stepping stones for young people, said Glenda Quintini, a researcher at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, who studies youth labor in Europe. For others, it can be a trap that can last forever.

Japan, once a proud defender of lifetime employment, saw its job market crash during the decade-iong slump of the 1990s.

By 2007, roughly a third of Japanese workers were in non regular employment, according to a report by Changun an, another O.E.C.D. researcher. When Japanese companies started hiring again a few years ago, they picked fresh graduates rather than workers tarnished by years of low-skilled work or unemployment.

Three years ago, Hammer and his friends set up Generation Precaire, a French organization that defends the rights of interns and other workers in precarious situations. Their anger is shared by many.

According to a study published in 2008 by the Foundation for Political Innovation, an independent French policy research group, only 26 percent of French people between the ages of 16 and 29 see their future as promising, compared with 60 percent of Danes and 54 percent of Americans in the same age group.

Germany and Italy have bred similar movements fighting for the Praekariat and the precariato, respectively.

They want companies to give steady jobs to young people instead of using interns as a inexpensive alternative to hiring a practice that is particularly tempting at a time when budgets are tight.

The crisis is forcing us to be particularly vigilant about the proper use of internships by employers, France’s top official for youth issues, Martin Hirsch, said in a speech in March.

Pressured by protests, President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced a plan to spend more than 1 billion, or $1.3 billon, on youth job initiatives. Ideas include promoting training programs, like apprenticeships, and courses to retrain graduates who cannot find work in their sector.

Some have proposed subsidizing jobs linked to the local community or non- profit organizations, or rewarding companies for hiring young people.

Some previous government efforts, like a contract proposed in 2006 that would have made it easier to hire and fire first-time workers, have been scrapped in the face of large protests by youths who feared it would make life even more uncertain.

France’s young people are preparing for more protests, taking inspiration from the 1968 student uprising that blossomed into a general strike.

There’s an anger among the young that’s even stronger than in May 1968, Julien Bayou, who finished his studies five years ago and now runs a public reIations business, said during student protests earlier this month. It’s an entire age group that’s being held in contempt.”

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Event: World-Information City / Paris

World-Information City / Paris
Urban In/visibility, Access and Zoning

Conference: 30/31 May 2009

Speaker: John Urry from Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University

Mobility Futures
“This paper examines a range of future possible scenarios as to the character, scale and significance of mobility patterns. These scenarios are examined within an emerging era which may well be characterized by dramatic climate change, the peaking of oil supplies and potential tipping points. The paper will address the question as to whether the period of high and growing mobility especially during the C20th was actually only a brief interlude in the longer term processes of human history.”






photos submitted by: Nicolas Sauret

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