3 October – 20 December 2014
DRAF is invited by the Fondation Hippocrène, Paris to present a new exhibition for the 13th edition of Propos d’Europe. The invitation is within the framework of a programme of partnerships with European foundations, initiated in 2013. From 3 October to 20 December Le musée d’une nuit (script for leaving traces), curated by Vincent Honoré (Director, DRAF), brings together some thirty works from the two thousand comprising the David Roberts Collection as well as a number of special commissions, for DRAF’s first exhibition outside the United Kingdom.
Paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, installations and films by modern artists such as Man Ray or Tamara de Lempicka, and contemporary figures including Nina Beier and Marie Lund, Yto Barrada, Martin Boyce, Enrico David, Michael Dean, Ayan Farah, Bethan Huws, Pierre Huyghe, Sergej Jensen, Renaud Jerez, Sarah Lucas, Benoît Maire, Marlie Mul and Rosemarie Trockel take over the former architectural practice, built in 1927 by Robert Mallet-Stevens and now the headquarters of the Fondation Hippocrène.
Every building created by Robert Mallet-Stevens looks like one of his film sets, and the people in it are like actors. Like film sets, Mallet-Stevens’ buildings proceed by indications (base, window, chimney, etc., defined simply, just enough to be recognisable) and act by suggestion, putting the onus on the beholder to recreate the totality using the fragments with which they are provided. Architectural historian Fernando Montes.
The practice – or studio – of Mallet-Stevens (1886-1945), founder of the Union des Artistes Modernes (1929), was built during the golden age of modernist architecture by one of the major architects of the day, on a par with Le Corbusier. However, Mallet-Stevens’ body of work began to fade soon after his death. Almost none of his constructions have survived: only traces remain. Most of his villas were left incomplete or were altered. The larger buildings were destroyed or denatured. It was only in 2005, with a retrospective exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, that his work began to enjoy greater public recognition.
This exhibition is articulated in relation to its context, and to the twofold figures of the architect and collector. To present a collection is implicitly to paint a portrait of the person who created it. This makes us think of a collection not in terms of a process of accumulation but as a fundamental dynamics of loss. To exhibit works in a Mallet-Stevens building is to inhabit a memory of architecture and the sets of silent films (Mallet-Stevens started his career building sets, notably for the filmmaker Marcel L’Herbier).
In addition to works from the David Roberts Collection, the exhibition will include special commissions from artists with a long relationship with DRAF. Benoît Maire has made a work inspired by Man Ray’s 1929 film Les Mystères du Château du Dé, shown in one of the Fondation’s spaces, while Nina Beier and Marie Lund are reactivating a performance previously given at DRAF in 2008. Renaud Jerez will present a new intervention in the space.
Le musée d’une nuit (script for leaving traces) is an exhibition which proposes an experience of loss. Notions of trace, conservation and ruin sustain a fiction in which artworks from the 1930s to the present play on a certain formal fragility, orchestrating an exhibition that reveals itself to its own remnant, staged within a space that itself exists as an echo of what it once was.
This exhibition is part of the Parcours Privé section of FIAC 2014. In collaboration with the Fondation Hippocrène. With thanks to Slash-Paris and cura magazine.
Created in 1992 by Jean and Mona Guyot, the Fondation Hippocrène is an independent family-run foundation recognised as promoting the public interest. Its main role is to bring together European youth, to “make Europe a living reality” by providing financial support for cultural, educational, humanitarian and social projects. Since 2001, the Fondation has been headquartered in the former studio of architect Mallet-Stevens and, since 2002, it has hosted art exhibitions under the general title Propos d’Europe, each designed to spotlight the art scene of a given country, and so promoting Europe’s cultural richness.
Fondation Hippocrène, 12, rue Mallet-Stevens 75016 Paris – France
Metros: Ranelagh – Jasmin Bus: 22
Tel.: +33 (0)1 45 20 95 94
Exhibition: 3 October-20 December 2014
Tuesday to Saturday, 2pm-7pm. Admission free