artists & participants

press release

Rouge Baiser is one of the most comprehensive presentations of works from the Regional Contemporary Art Collection [FRAC des Pays de la Loire] hitherto shown. As the brainchild of Laurence Gateau, Rouge Baiser offers a way of organizing the works on view which is intended not so much to illustrate a discourse, but rather to make use of the resources of the exhibition’s space-time language, in order to enable visitors, essentially, to experience the nature of a relationship to art which might be described as an amorous one. What are we to think of an exhibition that is presented as a kiss? An exhibition as epiphany, as a climax of desire. A «red kiss» is not a church kiss, it does not seal any mutual commitment; rather, it crystallizes and eroticizes the intensity of a moment, and prefers beauty to reason. Shut up and kiss me. Or rather: let’s talk later.

«It’s not true that the more you love the better you understand; all that loving action gets from me is this wisdom: that the other is not knowable; the other’s opaqueness is in no way a screen hiding a secret, but rather a kind of obviousness, in which the interplay of seeming and being is done away with. Then I become elated at deeply loving someone unknown, someone who remains unknown forever.» («The Unknowable», in Roland Barthes, Fragments d’un discours amoureux).

In the open space of the old ripening depot in the port of Nantes, the exhibition constructs an open dialogue, with many meanings, which resides in the choice of works, as well as in the organization of a walkabout, somewhere between the show, the works, the public, and the venue itself. Because a dialogue can be something immediate, but also something held in suspension, or delayed, to express the fact that what is involved in an exhibition is not learning (a lesson), but understanding (links). The circuit takes in five rooms which communicate through several entrances, and are connected by black boxes where the viewer quite literally passes through the works. This title also conjures up a more general choice in the exhibition, a choice of works with complex, heterogeneous, and composite identities rather than unitary, impure, illicit ones in their relation to traditional genres, showing that identity only exists through construction, through the reconciliation--via merger or conflict--of values, and, when all is said and done, through a connection to otherness. The five rooms each use as their heading the title of one of the works featuring in them, which is a way of intrinsically linking the whole and its parts. Each room thus includes not so much a theme as some predominant feature, to use a pictorial language. «When you put things together, they are brought together» (taken from a work by Antoinette Ohannessian) opens the exhibition with a manifesto-like declaration about the principle underpinning the show, the relation to the other as a condition governing the construction of identity. «A square yard of lipstick» (taken from a work by Fabrice Hyber) develops the relationship to genre, highlighting hybridizations of the traditional categories of art. «Geometree» (taken from a work by François Morellet) shows a set of relations between nature and culture, metaphorically between the datum and the construct in identity. «I wish I was you» (taken from a work by Rob Wynne) emphasizes the notion of incommunicability as an a priori definition of the relation to the other, and as a condition of desire. «Floating houses» (taken from a work by Jeong-a Koo) imagines the conditions of living-together and the construction of an inhabitable world, by way of an evocation of architecture and city-planning.

Last of all, the circuit ends with a programme of five videos which, in their relation to a present-day aspect of the world, open the exhibition up to a political relationship to the present.

only in german

œuvres de la collection du Frac des Pays de la Loire

mit Saadane Afif, Roy Arden, Sven Augustijnen, Maja Bajevic, Richard Baquie, Cecile Bart, Yves Belorgey, Lilian Bourgeat, Jean-Baptiste Bruant, Marika Bührmann, Patrick van Caeckenbergh, Mircea Cantor, Willem Cole, Gerard Collin-Thiebaut, Marc Couturier, Jeremy Deller, Marie Denis, Daniel Dewar, Lili Dujourie, Eric Duyckaerts, Luciano Fabro, Christelle Familiari, Bernard Faucon, Barry Flanagan, Bernard Frize, Hamish Fulton, Michel Gerson, Gregory Gicquel, Toni Grand, Marie-Ange Guilleminot, Fabrice Gygi, Raymond Hains, Mona Hatoum, Jim Hodges, Rebecca Horn, Thomas Huber, Fabrice Hybert, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anne Marie Jugnet (Anne Marie Jugnet & Alain Clairet), Koo Jeong-a, Claude Lévêque, Urs Lüthi, Robert Malaval, David Medalla, Mathieu Mercier, François Morellet, Laurent Moriceau, Deimantas Narkevicius, Paul Noble, Antoinette Ohannessian, Kristin Oppenheim, Orlan , Gabriel Orozco, Gina Pane, Giuseppe Penone, Emmanuel Pereire, Javier Perez , Regis Perray, Abraham Poincheval, Jean-Michel Sanejouand, Peter Saul, Roman Signer, Kristina Solomoukha, Song Dong, Pierrick Sorin, Ettore Spalletti, Simon Starling, Laurent Tixador, Narcisse Tordoir, Didier Trenet, Rosemarie Trockel, VALIE EXPORT, Xavier Veilhan, Michel Verjux, Jean-Luc Verna, Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Andy Warhol, Gary Webb, Robert Wynne, Yan Peiming