May 25, 2016 - Parc Saint Léger - Économie de la tension
May 25, 2016

Parc Saint Léger

Bojan Salaj, European Parliament, Strasbourg, Interiors-Correspondences, 2014.

Économie de la tension
(Tension Economy)
May 29–August 28, 2016

Opening: May 28, 5–9pm

Parc Saint Léger
Centre d'art contemporain
Avenue Conti
F - 58320 Pougues-les-Eaux
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 2–6pm

T +33 3 86 90 96 60
contact@parcsaintleger.fr

www.parcsaintleger.fr
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Économie de la tension
(Tension Economy)
May 29–August 28, 2016

Opening: May 28, 5–9pm

Parc Saint Léger
Centre d'art contemporain
Avenue Conti
F - 58320 Pougues-les-Eaux
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 2–6pm

T +33 3 86 90 96 60
contact@parcsaintleger.fr

www.parcsaintleger.fr
Facebook

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Zbyněk Baladrán, Éric Baudelaire, Julien Bismuth, Maxime Bondu, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Nemanja Cvijanović, Loreto Martínez Troncoso, Roman Ondák, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Sébastien Rémy, Matthieu Saladin, Charlotte Seidel, Remco Torenbosch, Cyril Verde, Marie Voignier, Lois Weinberger, Carla Zaccagnini, as well as H.A. Schwartz, Eichstaedt, Kern, Dziurzynski, Ramones, Agrawal, Shah, Kosinski, Stillwell, Seligman, Ungar

Curators: Émile Ouroumov with Catherine Pavlovic

Through the works of some 20 artists from various countries and generations, along with a group of scientists, Économie de la tension (Tension Economy) aims to explore in what ways these practices take a stance on current issues.

The title of the exhibition reappropriates the notion of the “attention economy” recently analyzed by the researcher Yves Citton. According to this theory, in a world in which there is an overabundance of information, our attention regimes are henceforth characterized by intellectual availability as a scarce resource—at the risk of transforming minds into commodified capital. Far from being something recent, the observed phenomenon has only expanded with the Industrial Age, gradually becoming hegemonic with technological advances at a time when digital networks are widespread. It concerns such diverse spheres as the economy, advertising, the media, education, research, and culture, by focusing in a biased way on a limited set of parameters and an obsession with the quantity rather than the quality of attention.

What is art’s position with respect to this “attention race,” and what are artists’ role and degree of involvement in society?

In France, with the spring of 2016 we see a desire to reappropriate public affairs. Redefining the participatory character of a democracy, this new awareness goes beyond the formal framework of traditional social movements. It takes shape notably around the protest movement known as “Nuit debout” (Up at Night), which has opened a new type of space for debates and proposals. The mistrust there of the mass media gives voice to a desire to renegotiate the field of attention in the space of media, rethink the tools for analyzing society, and even create new ones that reflect a plurality of viewpoints.

It is interesting to compare this new societal desire with those in the field of art. Not inaccurately a recent article entitled “Il se passe quelque chose... (sauf dans la culture)” (Jean-Marc Adolphe, in Mediapart, April 19, 2016) critiques the superficial commitment of and comfortable distance that is maintained by the art world in general and its institutions in particular—commitment and distance being given voice in statements that remain empty rhetoric.

The debate touching on the social function and usefulness of art is certainly nothing new. In particular, the 20th century witnessed a divergence between modernism, which defended the specificity of the esthetic domain, and the avant-gardes, which aimed to abolish the distinction between art and life. In the wake of this contrast, various practices were born, like institutional critique and socially engaged or participatory art, whose effectiveness and legacy would be diluted against a backdrop of the exponential commodification of contemporary art. From another historical perspective, ironically the Eastern Bloc recognized the transformational character of art and its capacity to monopolize minds and hold one’s attention by their being enlisted in the service of propaganda.

In a rich, feverish intellectual climate, Économie de la tension would like to take back the production tool that is embodied by the art center as a platform for experimentation for the plurality of viewpoints that define the art community. Thus, the show envisions the physical and symbolic space of the art center and the attention of its audience as devices for analysis and applying artistic strategies before the authority of political, cultural, or media discourses. Their partial enumeration—observation, irony, deconstruction, resistance, infiltration, perturbation, imposture, and a quest for identity—implies a rift in the hierarchy of behaviors, a tension that has been introduced in the artistic, civic and political domains.

–Émile Ouroumov

 

Related events

Opening
May 28, 5–9pm
Free shuttle from Paris, booking: lea.merit [​at​] parcsaintleger.fr

Intervention by Loreto Martínez Troncoso
May 28, 6:30pm 

Interactive sound installation by Nemanja Cvijanović
May 25–August 28
The work will be on display at the Prieuré, La Charité-sur-Loire. 

Ex-Tension, an evening of events
June 4, 5–9pm
With Selket Chlupka, Nicholas Vargelis, ENSA Bourges, Sébastien Rémy, Cyril Verde 

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