artists & participants
The two solo exhibitions presented by the Frac Franche-Comté are devoted to Georgina Starr and Saâdane Afif, two artists of the same generation. Both post-conceptual in approach, they share an interest in the musical world, vinyl records, fairy tales, performances and the occult sciences.
Georgina Starr: Hello. Come here. I want you. The first important survey exhibition of Georgina Starr in France, charting the career of this British artist from 1992 to the present, Hello. Come here. I want you. is also an opportunity to showcase previously unpublished works, produced by the Frac.
Part of a generation of artists who broke with art that sought to be resolutely self-reflective and anti-narrative, Georgina Starr is one of the Young British Artists: a group made up of artists who had opted to express everyday life through at times provocative works that explored both personal narratives and the artist’s role in society. She is also part of a generation who, having grown up in the 1970s with mass media, has been marked by television, films, magazines, the glamour of popular culture, its icons of fashion and pop music—all pervasive influences that constantly fuel her imagination.
Hello. Come here. I want you. styles itself as a vast installation with a baroque aesthetic. It invites us to enter a composite world punctuated by videos, drawings, photos, scenic devices, the artist’s writings and poems, sounds that she has recorded, performances and more generally narratives, which appear to draw on both autobiography and the fantastic, to the extent that we will not attempt to discern the true from the false, preferring to see Georgina Starr as the narrator of a fiction orchestrated around herself. In this strange universe, memories of childhood or adolescence, with their share of joys, as well as traumatic ordeals, both real or re-imagined, mingle with the supposedly real but ever transforming life experience of someone who has become an adult, an artist and a woman.
Saâdane Afif: The Fairytale Recordings Saâdane Afif has developed a body of work that takes various forms (including performances, texts, sculptures, posters and installations). The Vanitas theme and an acute awareness of the inexorable disappearance of living beings—as well as, in his view, of the works themselves—lie at the heart of his oeuvre.
The Fairytale Recordings, a series of eight vases presented in its entirety for the first time in France since its creation at the RaebervonStenglin gallery in Zurich, is showcased at the Frac Franche-Comté exhibition.
The ensemble is the result of a performance whereby the operatic singer and actress, Katharina Schrade, undertook the spoken delivery of eight texts—written beforehand by Tom Morton, Lili Reynaud Dewar, Mick Peter, Ina Blom and Tacita Dean for Saâdane Afif—and consigned her words within each of the vases made by the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory after a design by the artist. Each vase was then sealed with a lid surmounted by a delicate figurine depicting Schrade in the pose that she takes at the beginning of each of her performances. In both their form and function, the vases are reminiscent of Egyptian canopic jars, whose lids were often an effigy of the deceased. While these jars were intended to hold human remains, to testify to its occupant’s existence and, especially, to ensure his eternal afterlife, the vases of Saâdane Afif claim to preserve an intangible trace of his passage: his voice, his words.