In the framework of the “Image/Photographie” season now programmed every spring, the Maison d’Art Bernard Anthonioz of Nogent-sur-Marne is happy to present Performance TV curated by Mathilde Roman from May 31st to July 22nd, 2018. The exhibition will gather works of various media (films, videos, performances, photographs, sculptures, installations and drawings) created by female artists tackling issues related to performance and video, with the work of Spanish artist Esther Ferrer and MABA history as a starting point. With Anna Byskov (Ecuador), Tacita Dean (United Kingdom), Hélène Delprat (France), Esther Ferrer (Spain), Lidwine Prolonge (France), Laure Prouvost (France), and Cally Spooner (United Kingdom).
On the occasion of various Spanish video festivals organized in 1983 and 1985, Esther Ferrer reflected on what could produce the supposedly contradictory association of “Performance” and “TV”. How to perform with a pre- recorded image, meaning controlled and disconnected from chance and life? How to turn the video into an active element? Esther Ferrer plays with her filmed image, with her physically present body and with a sometime trapped audience. Performance TV proposes a mental as well as material reconstitution of these projects, -some of which were never carried on- and opens a dialogue with other artists.
The movie Event for a Stage (2015) by Tacita Dean, shot during four public performances at the Sydney Biennale, is the result of the confrontation between the artist, an actor (Stephen Dillane) and the audience taken in a complex relationship that constantly questions its own structure. The movie invites us to a powerful experience of the connection between image, word and vision reenacted in the dramatized framework of the 16mm projection, which editing disrupts the time-space references of the initial performance.
The exhibition also provides a sort of self-reflection of the various spaces and uses of the Maison d'Art Bernard Antonioz, home to an art center, several studio spaces, a library and a retirement home for artists in the park of Nogent-sur-Marne. The history of the place holds fascinating memories with many echoes to the private life of the two sisters (Jeanne Smith and Madeleine Smith-Champion) who donated the building after their death. Anna Byskov and Lidwine Prolonge decided to immerse themselves in this place, while drawing connections with their own researches on narrative structure, the relationships between meaning and language, performance and image, proximity and distance.
Through their own body or image, artists also question their place and status, and more specifically their role as female artists, as well as that of the spectator. Through “Looking at you looking at us”, Laure Prouvost addresses an audience at once integrated into the exhibition device. In dialogue with art history and its codified representations –among which the female body is a recurring topic-, her series of video-tapestries intertwines many levels of meanings with provocative humor. Cally Spooner also takes hold of the place with a project that prolongs her questioning around the capture of motion and the extension of the performance dimension beyond bodies. Finally, Hélène Delprat is once again invited at the MABA to tell us a story that will chase the ghosts of our memory.