Sophie Legrandjacques, director of Le Grand Café in Saint-Nazaire, France and Anne Kersten, curator of the Kunstverein in Wolfsburg, Germany
A community is by definition a social grouping united by ties that are either voluntary (intellectual affinities, a shared culture) or imposed (family, ethnic or national ties…). This question of “living together” (building, ritualizing, struggling together) always makes reference to an idea of poetic or political engagement. In recent years, the question has been posed a great deal on an international scale, notably as a response to the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. How do we think of the world together?
The idea is experienced in daily life on a more local scale. Some of the utopias of 1968 have taken form today with a disconcerting pragmatism, in self-managed business communities, residents collectives, cooperative working groups. The community as opposed to the individual: this familiar idea can also take form in architectural projects, inventing spaces in which the experimental is welcome, spaces such as those formulated by the philosopher Joseph Vogl – where one can unlearn, “un-know” or initiate new relationships with one another. In parallel, virtual communities such as Facebook or Twitter have taken over the world. These social networks, which mix avowedly commercial ambitions with an undeniable relational philosophy, profoundly fabricate the concept of community as it is formulated by younger generations. They even facilitate the success of some revolutions…
The exhibition Communauté/Gemeinschaft bears witness to the way in which contemporary art takes hold of these realities and these interrogations. It brings together very diversely orientated researches, although each reflects the question of “being together”. The works call upon the fields of architecture, labour relations and politics, and likewise fashion, music and language: numerous domains grounding artistic positions that are always thought through in specific contexts.
“The importance of Being Elegant”
A film by George Amponsah and Cosima Spender, 2004
April 19th, 8 p.m–Le Grand Café
LE GRAND CAFÉ, Centre d’art contemporain, Saint-Nazaire (F)
Place des Quatre z’horloges, 44 600 Saint-Nazaire – France
T + 33 (0)2 44 73 44 00 – F + 33 (0)2 44 73 44 01
Courtesy of the artist and Hollybushs Gardens Gallery, Londres.