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Repairs: Frac Centre-Val de Loire opens group exhibition
Group exhibition bringing works by Kader Attia face to face with works from the Frac Centre-Val de Loire collection.

ORLÉANS.- Repairs is a group exhibition bringing works by Kader Attia face to face with works from the Frac Centre-Val de Loire collection: Kader Attia, Shigeru Ban, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Daniel Buren, John Hejduk, Tadashi Kawamata, Alina Slesinska & Eustachy Kossakowski, Minimaforms & Krysztof Wodiczko, Daniel Libeskind, Miguel Palma and Massinissa Selmani.

A dialogue in the form of whispers, as once Robert Filliou wanted the history of art to be whispered. The "whispers" that take place in this exhibition will allow the notion of "repair" to be extended to contemporary creation as a whole and to use this concept, honed by Kader Attia over almost 20 years, as a contemporary practice of art and architecture.

Could we characterise a work by its style, its period, and now its repair? And therefore describe a work as "repair" as we would say a futurist, surrealist, symbolist, abstract or figurative work? Use the term repair for a work like we say, installation, environment, digital and virtual or sculpture, painting and photo?

Kader Attia conducts analogies, collisions between two worlds of repair: that of Europe and that of non-western worlds: "Repairs, in traditional cultures, are visible measures, renewal that changes the early form of the object forever. In the modern western world, in contrast, repair is synonymous with a return to the initial state of things and the elimination of the wound."

The exhibition, based around works by Kader Attia, ends with Arab Spring, 2014, a eulogy, if ever there was one, to destruction. The work recalls that representations of reality must be destroyed for art to come about as formerly Caravaggio was born to destroy painting.

The exhibition display cases of ethnographic and natural history museums reconstructed by Kader Attia highlight the ontological differences that western and non-western cultures sustain with forces of nature (Mimesis as Resistance, Measure and Control, 2013). Elsewhere, the precariousness of Tadashi Kawamata’s architecture blends into the immediate surroundings and recalls that at the outset of architecture, there is one "there." The place always dictates "the aesthetics—politics" of a reconstruction—therefore a repair. It is also the case with the models of Daniel Libeskind’s project for a district of Berlin in a state of abandon since war damage; a project where the city space is built upon the time for memory. And to remember that a work is never a posteriori, it is a priori to any situation.

The angel of the Annunciation that appears in the images of Libeskind’s project resounds with Angel Catcher by John Hejduk, 1991, a monumental sculptural prosthetic system to catch the fallen angels of our dreams. It opens up the ambivalence of utopia. This notion, that permeates the exhibition and has a polarising effect on the questions of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire collection, features in two variants in notebooks by Massinissa Selmani within the installation 1000 villages, 2015, and in the sculpture/model of Hotel Independence in Dakar produced by Kader Attia (Indépendance Tchao, 2014).

Lastly, if to repair is to never return to the initial state but to integrate the wound to live with it, Vehicle (War Veterans), 2006–10—elaborated by Minimaforms & Krysztof Wodiczko—crafts the idea of prosthesis imitating the animal mechanism in a desperate attempt for the body to start functioning again. The "graft" carried out by Daniel Buren in the courtyard of Palais Royal, in Paris, Les deux plateaux, 1986, serves as a scarification inverting and deforming the classical architecture to reveal the substructure.

The exhibition is conceived like a whisper intrinsic to art and architecture when these spheres of the imagination are restored like a transition through the current catastrophe or through its stirring up to bring back the earliest memories and therefore repair reality.

Curator: Abdelkader Damani (director of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire)

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