Art Radar selects a few events and highlights not to miss at and during FIAC 2017 in Paris.
Running from 19 to 22 October 2017, FIAC is the largest art fair in France dedicated to international contemporary art. Galleries and institutions around Paris are also opening new exhibitions during FIAC week. Art Radar brings you a few highlights from Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
FIAC is this year at its 44th edition, taking place at the Grand Palais, accompanied by a plethora of exhibitions and events around the city of Paris, including the smaller satellite Asia Now art fair, which will present fresh new perspectives from Asian art scenes. France’s largest international art fair, in 2017 FIAC brings together 193 galleries from 30 countries. This year will also see the second iteration of On Site, a sector inaugurated in 2016, dedicated to the presentation of site-speficic and large-scale installations at Petit Palais and Avenue Winston Churchill. The Hors Les Murs programme presents other monumental installations at the Jardins des Tuileries.
FIAC also features a programme of performances and conversations. Art Radar takes a look at some gallery highlights, selected On Site and Hors Les Murs artworks at the art fair, as well as a few not-to-miss exhibitions in Paris during FIAC this October.
Art at FIAC
In the Galleries sector, Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois are presenting the work of Taro Izumi (b. 1976, Nara, Japan), a Japanese artist who had his first large-scale solo show in France this year at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He uses black humour, a sense of irony and the absurd, creating a world out of exhibition spaces merging images, sounds and objects. He has developed a world expressed in installations, sculptures and videos, whose appearance processes are associated with accidents, play or perturbation.
Imane Farès will feature the work of Sammy Baloji (b. 1978, Lubumbashi, DR Congo), and in particular, Tales of the Copper Cross (2017), a video depicting the hard labour of the Congolese in a copper factory, connected with the angelic voices of a church choir, and a blown-up photo of a Congolese Christian choir.
At STPI, Do Ho Suh‘s (b. 1962, Seoul, Korea) cyanotype images of his fabric objects – like the toilet from his New York apartment – appear side by side with works by fellow Korean artists Ja Hyuk Yim and Haegue Yang. Do Ho Suh has made life-sized environments made of pop coloured fabrics, including his New York apartment. In a collaboration with STPI, he created cyanotypes of these fabric objects and furniture components that look like X-rays. In an interview with Wallpaper, the artist said of these works: “I think ultimately I am seeking something intangible, to see something that I cannot see, a sort of residue.”
Korean artist Kim Sooja‘s A Needle Woman-Kitakyushu (1999) will appear at Galleria Raffaella Cortese. The work is a silent performance video in which the artist lied horizontally with her back to the camera on top of a rock formation. Subsequently she shot a performance video where she stood still in the middle of the passing crowd in Tokyo, thus juxtaposing opposites like the urban setting and nature.
Experimenter features a solo presentation by Ayesha Sultana (b. 1984, Jessore, Bangladesh), who works with sound, drawing, object, painting and photography. Sultana is interested in the poetics of space and the relationship between material and process in notions of making. Recently, her drawing practice investigates the rudiments of form through architectural constructions, often derivative of the landscape.
Green Art Gallery also presents the work of a South Asian artist, Seher Shah (b. 1975, Pakistan), who was trained as an architect and is interested in the intersection between the field of art and architecture. Through drawing, printmaking and sculpture, she conducts explorations on space, landscape, objects and aesthetics.
Galleria Continua, alongside Ai Weiwei and Kader Attia, will display Subodh Gupta‘s work. From Iran, FIAC will feature important artists like Kamrooz Aram (Green Art Gallery), Shirazeh Houshiary (Lisson), Nairy Baghramian (Marian Goodman) and Farhad Moshiri (Perrotin).
Laurent Godin presents work by Taiwanese feminist artist Hsia-Fei Chang (b. 1973, Taipei), who is concerned with challenging the stereotypes constraining women in Western societies. In her work, which encompasses performance, installation, photography, video and writing, she appropriates different female profiles to disrupt viewers’ assumptions.
Laurent Godin will also feature Chinese artist Wang Du‘s (b. 1956, Wuhan, China) painted sculptures, which reflect upon an era of tightly controlled media. He was one of the artists who exhibited in the China Avant-Garde 1989 exhibition in Beijing and was arrested and imprisoned for nine months after speaking out against corruption. He subsequently left for France in 1990.
Another Chinese artist to look out for is exhibited by Vitamin Creative Space. Yuan Jai (b. 1941, Sichuan) is a contemporary ink artist who paints tableaux inspired by traditional Chinese painting and her interest in Art Deco, Art Nouveu, Cubism and Surrealism. Her work merges classical forms with geometric, contemporary contaminations and vibrant colours.
The On Site sector was launched in 2016, and presents large-scale sculptural works and installations at Petit Palais and on the Avenue Winston Churchill, in collaboration with Christophe Leribault, Curator and Director of the Petit Palais, and Eva Wittocx, Associate Curator of On Site.
South African artist Nicholas Hlobo‘s (b. 1975) Mphephethe uthe cwaka is a silent orchestra, exploring themes of transformation, fluidity and ritual. In his native Xhosa language, the title of the work means “blowing them in silence”. The installation references the power of music and sound, and particularly the universality of the horn, but also has sexual connotations, echoed through the phallic bronze mouthpieces attached to each sculpture. Hlobo makes a parallel between the act of playing the instruments and oral sex.
Otobong Nkanga (b. 1974, Nigeria) presents In A Place Yet Uknown, a tapestry that displays a poem written by the artist. The end of the woven textile is dipped in ink, which over time rises through the tapestry. The work grows through a process of chromatographic contamination, floating “in the place between stillness and motion”, effacing itself through time.
Barthélémy Toguo (b. 1967, Cameroun) revisits an installation created in 2000 that was never exhibited. Ten totemic wooden sculptures, carved directly from tree trunks, feature silhouettes that evoke fantastical creatures recalling those with pointed horns and beaks often seen in his work. The scultpures are placed on a checkerboard of African carpets, and embody the violence of our contemporary world.
Interdisciplinary artist Seung-taek Lee (b. 1932, Seoul) works with sculpture, installation and performance, and he was an advocate of “anti-concept”, “anti-art” in the Korean art scene. At On Site, he re-enacts Sound of Wind, originally created in the late 1970s. Lee uses red, blue and silver vinyl strips to create a sculpture that responds to breezes, allowing the spectator both to visualise and to hear the wind.
Wang Wei (b. 1972, Beijing, China) presents Natural History 4 (square), a work intended for a public setting. Wang is interested in creating immersive installations that introduce artifice in real life settings. The work in Avenue Winston Churchill can be viewed and interacted with. It is a mosaic tile platform, with a pattern identical to those found in Dongguan, Guangdong. Wang Wei thus creates a parallel between modes of construction, decor and personal living styles by transporting a material typically used in China to the streets of Paris.
Hors Le Murs
Since 2006, FIAC and the Louvre’s Hors les Murs programme exhibits monumental, outdoor works at Jardins des Tuileries. Architectural projects, sculptures, performances and sound pieces are installed for one month on the alleys, lawns, ponds and fountains of the garden.
Hera Büyüktaşçıyan (b. 1984, Istanbul) presents Freely You Have Received, Freely Give, a proposal for an archaeological garden that was inspired by the detail of a relief at the entrance gate of the Constantine and Helena Church in Sinasos, a village in Cappadocia, Turkey. The motif chosen by the artist is the grape pattern found on the church’s barrel vault ceiling, historically a symbol of abundance and benevolence. Through the appropriation of the motif in a contemporary context, the artist draws attention to the transformations occuring to our experience of life on a global scale.
Ali Cherri‘s (b. 1976, Beirut) The Flying Machine is a tribute to the work of inventors and artists and their early attempts to fly, from Abbas Ibn Firnas to Leonardo da Vinci and the Wright brothers. Cherri’s hybrid machine imitates the flight of birds, bringing together elements that “trespass the nature/culture divide”, like organic materials such as bamboo and crow wings now used as construction materials. The work takes the form of an unfinished project, like that of a dreamer.
Navid Nuur (b. 1976, Teheran, Iran) presents an installation of an ordinary park bench, onto which lies a crumpled aluminium foil sandwich wrap with breadcrumbs on it. The crumbs attract the birds in the garden, as well as the attention of visitors, who are both participants and spectators in what is a quasi-performative work. Nuur’s work brings attention to the relationships that exist between time, living beings, the transformation of matter and the ongoing performance.
Exhibitions around Paris
At Centre Pompidou, the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017 finalists exhibition is ongoing until 8 January 2018, while the winner will be announced on 16 October 2017. Among the finalists are the Lebanese duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.
During FIAC week, the museum is also launching Nalini Malani’s “The rebellion of the dead retrospective 1969-2018” (18 October – 8 December2017) and “Cosmopolis” (18 October – 18 December 2017). Nalini Malani‘s (b. 1946, Karachi, Pakistan) retrospective is organised in collaboration with Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy, and is the first for the artist both in France and Italy. The pioneering artist works in film, video, photography, installation and performance, and this exhibition features her work from 1969 to now.
“Cosmopolis” is a new biennial platform devoted to research-based artistic practices that also reflect a renewed engagement with theories of cosmopolitanism. Its first edition, “Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence”, brings together the work of artist collectives from around the world, whose practices revolve around research and the sharing of knowledge, and who engange in dialogue and discussion with their social, political and urban environs. The exhibition focuses on the collaborative practices of Asia, Africa and Latin America, with the work of young collectives such as Vietnam’s Art Labor, Colombia’s PorEstosDias and South Africa’s Chimurenga.
Jeu de Paume
Jeu de Paume features Ali Kazma‘s (b. 1971, Istanbul) solo exhibition “Subterranean” (17 October 2017 – 21 January 2018), which reveals the evolution of Kazma’s work over the past ten years. The show includes an important number of his recent works, with around 20 video works and a photographic publication, as well as two works made specifically for this exhibition. Kazma’s oeuvre constitutes a kind of archive of human activity, raising fundamental questions about it in the economic, industrial, scientific, medical, social and artistic spheres.
At Fondation Cartier, Malick Sidibé‘s retrospective “Mali Twist” (20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018) presents a vast collection of vintage photographs and portraits from the artist’s archives, one year after his death in 2016. Nicknamed “the eye of Bamako”, Sidibé captured the vitality of the youth of Bamako since the 1960s.
Villa Vassilieff presents “Punascha Parry” (14 October – 23 December 2017), an exhibition curated by Pernod Ricard Fellow 2017 Samit Das, with Research Curator Sumesh Sharma. The show features the work of artists such as M. F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Krishna Reddy, Nirode Mazumdar and N. F. Souza, examining the visual vocabulary of Indian modern art in an attempt to re-evaluate the idea of Modernism through the lives and works of Indian artists in Paris.
C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia
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