Johana Blanc and Simone Holliger: Carta

Johana Blanc and Simone Holliger: Carta

Centre culturel suisse, Paris

November 13, 2022
Johana Blanc and Simone Holliger
November 17, 2022–January 21, 2023
Opening: November 16, 6pm
La BF15
11 Quai de la Pêcherie
69001 Lyon

The Centre culturel suisse in Paris is currently undergoing renovation work until 2024 and is presenting an On Tour programme throughout France, with a stop in Lyon between January 12 and 21, 2023. On this occasion, Centre culturel suisse is partnering up with La BF15 around two exhibitions starting on November 17, 2022: one populated by the imposing sculptures of Simone Holliger and the other, more textual and performative, by Johana Blanc. In their encounter, the work of these two artists question fragility and robustness, and an uncertain condition of existence.  

Curators: Claire Hoffmann & Perrine Lacroix

“Our words are not words of love, but our words to speak of love are a practice of our love, and that’s why I record my friends when they speak, because I like it when they speak, but I don’t know why our love has to be built like that, by this endless work of piling up words, all these words, which prepare other words, that we won’t say to each other. Our words bring us together around an emptiness, and I often ask myself: when we talk like that, do we hold ourselves back from falling, or do we push ourselves into it?” Johana Blanc

Johana Blanc takes a corpus of informal conversations about love as a starting point for the show at BF15, which she recorded over several months with her friends. These words inhabit the space, modulating and saturating it, inviting the public to seize, activate, and respond to them. She is particularly interested in peripheral discourses and their revolutionary potential. For the opening, Johana Blanc performs these conversations in J’aime bien quand tu parles, questioning their value as a social ritual. In Meeting Protocol, in collaboration with the artist and scenographer Delphine Abrecht, the public is invited to replay one of the conversations. The exhibition also hosts a reading club and collective writing workshops, for which the artist has chosen a format without cis-het men. This workshop is part of the Ouais, grave publishing project led by the artist in collaboration with Leo Sciarrino.

“After concentrating, in recent months, on questions of recycling and possible new materials to explore, I feel the desire and the need to return to the basis of my practice. Here I am showing new works made of paper, developed on the basis of two sculptures by Henri Laurens. Each one is made up of two elements that come together, hold on to each other and thus support the sculpture.
They become an organism, not clearly attributable to the human, animal or vegetable world. They look compact, hard and stable, but are empty inside, like giant covers or models. Placed directly on the floor of the exhibition space, they form a small group, a family, the members of a species.” —Simone Holliger

Simone Holliger pursues an artistic practice in the fields of sculpture and installation. By using paper as a flexible but partly unpredictable construction material, she playfully reinterprets and recontextualises a formal vocabulary inspired by modern sculpture, among others. In spite of their original appearance, the volumes, many of which are close to bas-relief, are often gaunt. Like large, hollow shells, they appear as moulds of sculptures in the making or fragments of scenery from a show that was finished long ago. What might initially have seemed to be polystyrene or metal turns out to be nothing else than a paper-collage. Simone Holliger thus encourages a certain gymnastics of the gaze, which is always pushed to consider the full and the empty, front and back, the visible and the hidden. The artist claims an aesthetic of vulnerability, the medium becoming the vector of an artform that is both minimal and organic, compact and friable, synthetic and precarious.

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Centre culturel suisse, Paris
November 13, 2022

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