December 23, 2008 - Centre Des Monuments Nationaux - Andreas M. Kaufmann and Alain Josseau
December 23, 2008

Andreas M. Kaufmann and Alain Josseau

Above: Stuffed Silence by Andreas M. Kaufmann
Below: Topography by Alain Josseau

Andreas M. Kaufmann and Alain Josseau
Duration: 7th July to December 31st, 2008
Exhibition extended until January 31st 2009

Forteresse de Salses
Centre des Monuments Nationaux

BP 35
66600 Salses-le-Château, France
Tel. + 33 (0) 4 68 38 60 13
Fax: + 33 (0) 4 68 38 69 85

The fortress of Salses, under supervision of the Centre des monuments nationaux, and the association In Visu present the third edition of “Lieux de belligérance” (Places of belligerence), a program of exhibitions and artists’ interventions in the fort’s military architecture, with support from the Ministry of Culture (DRAC) and the Region Languedoc-Roussillon. After Monika Anselment, Francesc Abad and Bruno Serralongue in 2007, Sophie Ristelhueber, Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil and Till Roeskens in 2006, Antoni Muntadas in 2005 and Joan Fontcuberta in 2003, Alain Josseau and Andreas M. Kaufmann have created this year two installations “in situ”.

Built between 1497 and 1504 by the King of Aragon, in order to impede French access to Roussillon, the fortress of Salses is a masterpiece of military architecture. The sophisticated panoptical structure is networked by a labyrinth of defense devices, from the third to the seventh level designed to contain as well as defend.

Stuffed Silence by Andreas M. Kaufmann, a values-on-demand-project.

A critical observer of today’s world, Kaufmann’s body of work continues to express the notion of collective memory. Using primarily mass media relics and images, he masters the expression of space and time relationships within the public sphere.

Stuffed Silence is an installation presented in the impressive 45 by 5.5 meters space in the northern dwelliag space of the fortress. Inspired by the Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a charismatic figure actively engaged in the human rights movement and a free and united Africa, Kaufmann examines the process of rapid identity loss and weakening societal norms and values, a process stemming from an increasing standardization of the planet.

Creating the work required an analysis of constitutions and human rights declarations from all over the world, revealing value verbiage such as “freedom”, “justice”, “fraternity” and “peace”, which are extracted, and choreographed into a four-channel video-installation conceived in collaboration with the musician and composer Gabriel Ananda, who created the soundtrack.

The final piece was driven by the implicit assumptions of all kinds of fundamentalism, showing that these values are anyway merely rhetorical, weighing on a peaceful and tolerant coexistence of humans worldwide. Kaufmann notes that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed on October 12th, 1948, celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year.

Topography by Alain Josseau

Painter and manipulator of images, Alain Josseau’s work sets up landscape, historical scenes and episodes of war in such a way as to provoke confusion between illusion and testimony. He creates spectacular installations where one becomes trapped between the realistic evocation of known events and fascination for the technical skills used.

The piece produced in Salses is an installation of very large proportions in black light, set up in the 50m long north wing stables of the fortress. This piece reveals a landscape made of 1500 threads tightly strung on an invisible structure. One is dealing here with a translation into the third dimension of a digital visualization of the sound of the following sentence, written by Julien Gracq: “Ces pays de l’Est sont nés pour la guerre” (“These eastern countries were born to go to war”), taken from “Un balcon en forêt“. The writer, deceased in 2007, evokes the topography of a landscape inescapably scarred by the passing of several wars.

This piece echoes within the walls of the fortress, as these walls are full of memory of thundering artillery – the sound made to announce violent death.

Contact information:
Jean-Michel Phéline
Administrator/Curator of the Forteresse de Salses
Phone: + 33 (0) 4 68 38 60 13 Fax: + 33 (0) 4 68 38 69 85

Louis Mesplé, president of the association In Visu
2, rue des Remparts 66300 PASSA
tél. + 33 (0)6 89 86 02 47

Lieux de belligérance 3

Centre Des Monuments Nationaux
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