August 26, 2013 - Biennial of Sélestat - Sletto & Corso
August 26, 2013

Sletto & Corso

Photo: D.R. Ville de Sélestat.

Sletto & Corso: 20th Sélestat Biennial of Contemporary Art Selest’art
September 21–October 27, 2013

Inaugural parade: Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sélestat, France

Artists: Nicolas Boulard, Valentin Carron, Nicolas Cilins, Jean Claus, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Derat, Goldiechiari, Tom Holmes, Scott King, Genêt Mayor, Adrien Missika, Tom Nicholson, Amy O’Neill, Alessandro Piangiamore, Renata Poljak, Tony Regazzoni, Andreas Slominski, Franz West, Raphaël Zarka

Curators: Marc Bembekoff and Julien Fronsacq

Titled Sletto & Corso, the 20th edition of the Sélestat Biennial of Contemporary Art pays tribute to the Sletto mythical figure and the Corso Fleuri parade. These two significant aspects of the identity of the city of Sélestat allow to explore both the differences and similarities between mythology and folklore, the heritage and the event, the perennial and the transient.

From historical sites to singular spaces, Sélestat and its surroundings offer the ideal circumstances to propose an extended and wide-open definition of the monument, recalling that there’s some part of festive in the Memorial.  Our contemporary context shows some kind of an erosion of the monumental symbolic: Its meaning—in the era of globalization and new technologies—may sometimes seem obsolete, but the monument remains not less a spatial and temporal marker summoning different degrees of reading and various moments in history. If, literally, the monument refers to a sculptural or architectural work—or even to a significant part of a landscape or a literaryœuvre which became part of history—it is also everything that dedicates, manifests and perpetuates the memory of an event or a person, like the ‘Schlecht’ or ‘Sletto’—a legendary giant who founded the city of Sélestat—and the ‘Corso fleuri’—the spring parade of floats covered with dahlia flowers weaving through the city once per year. The Sletto & Corso project questions beliefs generated by monuments, in a time when their meanings get dissolved, and illustrates how a monument develops itself through time and stratifications.

Sletto & Corso includes a few references to the monument (Tom Nicholson, Scott King, Raphaël Zarka), but also presents objects as various as a wall of plastic flowers (Sarah Derat) or a vineyard (Nicolas Boulard), amusement parks (Nicolas Cilins), a furniture storehouse (Jean Claus), as well as memory of the Bible stories (Amy O’Neill), update of the repressed in history (Goldiechiari) and issues of the principle of authenticity (Franz West, Andreas Slominski).  From analysis of the complex processes of History (Renata Poljak) to the celebration of the moment (Alessandro Piangiamore), whether interested in the minor forms (Jeremy Deller, Tom Holmes, Genêt Mayor) or geological monuments (Adrien Missika), Sletto & Corso artists tear forms from their isolation to reveal their incredible value in use (Valentin Carron, Tony Regazzoni).

The biennial will unfold in different sites of the city of Sélestat: Caveau Sainte-Barbe, Saint-Georges and Saint-Quirin churches, medieval buildings, the Humanist Library, outdoor sites and the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle.

For the opening, on September Saturday 21, an inaugural parade will be organized, using the ‘Corso fleuri’ municipal floats.  Weaving through the streets of Sélestat, this festive procession will celebrate the works presented during the Biennial.

This 20th edition of the Sélestat Biennial of Contemporary Art is also an opportunity to implement local and cross-border collaborations, including the Sammlung Grässlin in Germany, the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle and Frac Alsace.

Marc Bembekoff is an independent curator. In 2004, he co-founded the collective Le Bureau/ with which he conducts many projects in France and abroad. He worked as a curator for many institutions (Frac Champagne-Ardenne, musée Rodin, and Palais de Tokyo).

Julien Fronsacq is curator, art critic and teacher.  He has been teaching at the art school of Lausanne since 2001. He directed Forde (Geneva, 2004-2006) and co-directed Glassbox contemporary art space (Paris, 1999-2003). He’s been curator at Palais de Tokyo since 2007.

Ville de Sélestat 
Direction Promotion Culturelle et Touristique 
9 place d’Armes 
BP 40188
F-67604 Sélestat cedex

T +33 (0) 3 88 08 69 64
arts.contemporains [​at​]

The 20th Sélestat Biennial of Contemporary Art benefits from the support of Pro Helvetia and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Biennial of Sélestat
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