January 7, 2020 - CAC Brétigny - Xavier Antin: The Weavers
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January 7, 2020

CAC Brétigny

Charles Mazé & Coline Sunier, The ABCC of CACB, 2019.

Xavier Antin
The Weavers
January 14–March 7, 2020

Opening: January 18, 5–9pm, Event shuttle from Paris to Brétigny is available by request

CAC Brétigny
rue Henri Douard
91220 Brétigny-sur-Orge
France
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 2–6pm

T +33 1 60 85 20 76
info@cacbretigny.com

www.cacbretigny.com
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Xavier Antin
The Weavers
January 14–March 7, 2020

Opening: January 18, 5–9pm, Event shuttle from Paris to Brétigny is available by request

CAC Brétigny
rue Henri Douard
91220 Brétigny-sur-Orge
France
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 2–6pm

T +33 1 60 85 20 76
info@cacbretigny.com

www.cacbretigny.com
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Xavier Antin
In collaboration with Julien Jassaud and Camille Pageard

Curator: Céline Poulin
 

More than an exhibition, The Weavers is an experiment, the temporary outcome of a project launched almost a year ago by Xavier Antin, an artist-in-residence at CAC Brétigny. A text-producing machine, a political experiment, and an arrangement of sculptures in space at one and the same time, The Weavers reflects the turning point Antin’s work took several years ago. Fueled by a range of readings and the artist’s grounding in several disciplines, Antin’s practice initially grew along two lines of development, experiencing the production processes of visual and scriptural machines, while also reflecting on the narrative potential of forms. This latter aspect takes shape around a pre-existing story that is linked to the sociopolitical questions of production and is embodied in formal creations, whether images, sculptures, installations, or publications. Antin also began to produce objects, which spring from his research into the industrial manufacturing processes of images and writing, which become themselves the supports of a future story. The narrative is freed and left up to the viewer, the interpreter of the work.

Interpretation and authorship are patterns that run through Antin’s growing body of work and in The Weavers these recurrent themes are given a new development. Brought together in the CAC Brétigny exhibition venue, a group of sculptures equipped with AI forms a community that is both a political ecosystem and the site of an experiment in collective writing. The programmer Julien Jassaud, the art historian and publisher Camille Pageard, and the artist himself configured Antin’s sculptures to interact with each other according to preprogrammed scripts that are nevertheless fairly elliptical; the pieces will thus produce throughout the run of the show a narrative made up of several voices. The book that will result from the exhibition[1] will be a transcription of these exchanges, that is, seven weeks of daily discussions between the sculptures, which are called *, **, /, ¶, {, ∞ and )). The programming of the sculptures anticipates as far as possible the materiality of the text and the voices it represents. The intention of the writing dissolves and takes shape between what is determined by the tuning of the writing machines, the quotations they draw from a collection of works that allow them to learn French, and the language interactions taking place between them at that particular moment.

It is the group of works itself that answers to the name “The Weavers”, a reference to workers in the textile industry, who have historically been linked to the development of industrialization and the long struggle to improve society and the lot of the working class (the canuts in France, the Luddites in England, etc.). But it is also the name of the weaver bird, an avian species that lives in large groups and is innately able to weave an elaborate nest. Existing at the intersection of a working group and pseudo-organic entities, the sculptures converse by following several scripts that touch on such notions as empathy, memory, and the economy. While their collective and individual identity is a work in progress and will eventually be determined through writing and exchange, different programmatic and material elements serve to define them. Concretely, each sculpture is encoded to act according to philosophical as well as pragmatic directions, which are in a way, and only partly, represented by the structures and materials making up the pieces. So it goes for a cast bell decorated with hands, a small conveyor belt enclosed in an aquarium, and a sham quantum computer. Thanks to the exhibition, viewers grasp the allegorical dimension of Xavier Antin’s work along with how the artist articulates together the group of signifiers, signifieds, and referents he manipulates.

Céline Poulin

[1] Co-edition Tombolo Presses and CAC Brétigny, with the support of the Centre national des arts plastiques.

Press file available here

Xavier Antin (1981, Paris) works and lives in Paris. Studied in graphic design at the Ecole Nationales des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Royal College of London, he first worked as an independent graphic designer, and then progressively migrated to an exclusively plastic practice. His work has been showed in many places among which: the Salon de Montrouge, Résonnance Biennale of Lyon, the Triennial of Milan, the Cneai (Chatou), the Parc Saint Léger (Pougues-les-Eaux) as part of Hors Les Murs, FRAC Île-de-France, Villa Arson (Nice), La Halle des Bouchers (Vienne) and CAPC (Bordeaux). In 2012, he presented Learning with errors, his first solo exhibition at the Crèvecœur gallery, followed in 2014 by News from Nowhere and an Epoch of Rest at MABA (Nogent-sur-Marne) and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse. where he was interested in the heritage of the writer, designer and utopian William Morris. His last solo exhibitions in France and abroad include the Crèvecœur Gallery, BF15 (Lyon), Spike Island Art Center (Bristol), and Aloft-Fondation Hermès (Singapore). He is presented by the Crèvecœur Gallery (Paris).

CAC Brétigny, Contemporary art center of national interest, is a facility of Cœur d’Essonne Agglomération. It enjoys the support of the Ministry of Culture—Drac Île-de-France, the Île-de-France Region, and the Departmental Council of the Essonne, with additional support by the Ville de Brétigny-sur-Orge. It is a member of the TRAM and d.c.a networks. This exhibition is realized with the support of Némo, Biennale des arts numériques d’Île-de-France, the Departmental council of the Essonne, the Fondation des Artistes and in partnership with the Paris-Saclay University within the framework of Exoplanète Terre, an Arts & Sciences program bringing together nine cultural partners in Île-de-France Region.

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