Current exhibitions

Current exhibitions

Villa Arson

November 29, 2006

Iain Baxter&: Art is all over
Pierre Bismuth: Siamo sulla buona strada
Jean-Max Colard & Thomas Lélu: After

20 avenue Stephen Liégeard
06105 Nice cedex 2, France
Telephone: 33 (0)4 92 07 73 73 
Fax: 33 (0)4 93 84 41 55

Iain Baxter& Art is all over
Curators : Marie-Josée Jean & Christophe Domino

Iain Baxter& is a founding figure of the Vancouver art scene. Though still not widely known in Europe, he is represented in major collections around North America, where he is currently generating renewed interest.. The Villa Arson’s Centre National d’Art Contemporain, along with VOX, the Centre de l’Image Contemporaine in Montreal, is putting on the first important exhibition of his work in France, with significant projects from the period between 1964 and the present day.

For forty years, Baxter& Duchampian and McLuhanesque, prolific, multifocussed, a conceptual artist and pioneer of photoconceptualism has been building up an unpredictable, singular oeuvre free of any artistic or cultural hierarchy, and marked by pressing social issues. He was a precursor when he gave his artistic activity the form of a commercial venture, the N.E. Thing Co., which soon won international recognition. It was founded in 1966, officially registered in 1969, and, between 1970 and 1978, jointly run by Baxter& and his wife Ingrid Baxter. The main function of its eleven departments including Research, Projects, Consulting, COP (Copies and Plagiarism), Cinema and, of course, Thing is “to produce sensorial information”. In a tone marked by derisive nominalism, Baxter& has been putting together an extraordinary aesthetic programme that delves into a wide range of domains: expertise, marketing, telecommunications, studies, publishing, documentation, teaching, the environment, restoration, circulation, surveying, and activism in every field not to mention numerous artistic languages, including photography as an everyday practice.

Pierre Bismuth Siamo sulla buona strada
Curator : Thierry Davila

Pierre Bismuth (born in Paris in 1963) is one of the most prominent French artists on the international scene, but this exhibition of his work is the first to be put on by a French institution since 1994.

On this occasion he has decided to concentrate on a certain number of important, or even exemplary, gestures representing the deep structure of his approach, some of which have been revisited and enriched. The series En suivant la main droite de (“Following the right hand of”), for example, consists of following the right hand of an actress for the entire duration of a film, and projecting it onto a wall to make a monumental, abstract mural. Aside from this example, Bismuth’s work is marked by reflexive processes that are also well represented in the exhibition. In particular, he tackles questions of translation, game-playing, procedure and the relationship with the cinema. The exhibition takes into account the architectural setting, which has been simplified and radicalised. It provides an opportunity to gauge the relevance and importance of Bismuth’s work, whose acuity is its paramount quality.

Jean-Max Colard & Thomas Lélu
Curator : Eric Mangion

After” Van Gogh, “After” Baldessari, “After” Cézanne, “After” Warhol, “After” Bruce Nauman, and so on: each of the photographs presented in the exhibition After shows an object, element or situation that makes an explicit reference to a modern or contemporary work of art. After is a photographic game created by Jean-Max Colard and Thomas Lélu as a way of probing the everyday for clues to “We were looking for references or signs relating to the history of art. Or, in some cases, the opposite: we were making images which, in themselves, made us think of this or that artist. It was a mode of operation we found entertaining. And as our conversations went on, the project took shape.” Based, in the first instance, on amateurism, After evolved into a data base whose contents were collected and exchanged, then real archives that were used by their compilers to reflect their tastes and commitments. The exhibition is now a book-cum-exhibition project for interrogating the artists’ experience, in the double sense of the word “after” not just “subsequent to” Edouard Manet or Dan Flavin but also “in imitation of” the different artists who have made such an impression on us.

Press relations:
Céline Chazalviel
33 (0)4 92 02 73 84

The Centre National d’Art Contemporain is open every day (except Tuesdays), 2:00 6:00 pm. Admission is free.

20 avenue Stephen Liégeard
06105 Nice cedex 2

Telephone: 33 (0)4 92 07 73 73
Fax: 33 (0)4 93 84 41 55

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Villa Arson
November 29, 2006

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