Franck Scurti’s Les Reflets “enlighten” the general public thanks to the support of a company that is at the heart of its region: Laboratoires Pierre Fabre
20 September 2013
On the occasion of the national Les Pléiades exhibition and the FRACs’ 30th anniversary in Toulouse, Franck Scurti’s Les Reflets “enlighten” the general public, from Toulouse Matabiau station to Les Abattoirs modern art museum / FRAC Midi-Pyrénées, thanks to the support of a company that is at the heart of its region: Laboratoires Pierre Fabre.
Les Reflets, from station to museum, an invitation to travel
From 20 September to 5 January 2014, visitors to Toulouse Matabiau station will discover Les Reflets by Franck Scurti, 10 luminescent shop signs installed on the “Départ”, “Arrivée” and “Quai n°1” fronts of the most visited public place in the Midi-Pyrénées region, which welcomes nearly 9 million travellers each year. An eleventh sign has been placed on the front of the media library at Les Abattoirs, like a trail of breadcrumbs linking the station to the exhibition Les Pléiades.
With Gares & Connections and the FRACs, this is the most extensive diffusion of modern art ever undertaken in France
Based on an idea from enterprise contemporaine®, a remarkable partnership has been put in place for the 30th anniversary of the Fonds Régionaux d’Art Contemporain (FRAC - regional modern art collections) with Gares & Connexions, a division of the SNCF (France’s national rail company) that manages French stations. With over 30 stations in the whole of France, it is the most extensive diffusion of modern art in the regions: in 2013 tens of millions of travellers will discover works from the FRAC collections or those that have been produced specially for the occasion, such as Alain Bublex’s monumental Plug-In on the construction site at the Montpellier Saint-Roch station.
The FRACs, children of decentralisation, come together for Les Pléiades in Toulouse
Emerging in the framework of the decentralisation law at the same time as the French regions, the FRACs, whose role is to introduce today’s art to a wider audience, celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2013. The grand finale of a whole year celebrating the event in the regions, a large national exhibition has thus been organised at Les Abattoirs in Toulouse: Les Pléiades, which groups together a selection of works on loan from the 23 FRACs, chosen by 26 artists and curators among the 26,000 included in their collections, the third-largest modern art collection in France and one of the largest in the world.
Franck Scurti, a catalyst of new ideas for our towns and our lives
If we were to identify his paternity, Franck Scurti (born in Lyon in 1965, now living and working in Paris) would lay claim to Picabia, Raymond Hains, Marcel Broodthaers, Jacques Tati or Francis Ponge, who taught him to ‘look at objects, analyse them, forget their original meaning, then make them into something new’. His work, inspired by everyday reality and international current affairs, builds on the forms produced by this universe of urban civilisation and consumption.”
Franck Scurti, Home-Street-Museum, Les Presses du Réel, 2010, published with the support of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP – national centre for visual arts).
A large number of exhibitions have been dedicated to him, in particular at the Georges Pompidou Centre (1993) and the Palais de Tokyo (2002) museums in Paris, at the Liverpool
Biennale, the Magasin de Grenoble (2007), and most recently at the Strasbourg Modern Art Museum (2011).
Les Reflets (reflections) for Franck Scurti: from the real to the dream
Les Reflets are representations of luminescent shop signs. I called them ‘representations’ because they are slightly deformed, a bit like how you see a shape in a puddle of water, but here, this perception is fixed, solidified. I have created distortion between the object and its representation, to try and unveil the duality of dream and reality.” (Franck Scurti, Home- Street-Museum, Paris, Presses du Réel, 2010).
From Les Reflets to commercial shop signs: looking for paternity…
In 1720, that far back, Jean-Antoine Watteau painted a sign for the art dealer Edmé-François Gersaint that has remained famous, and which, at the time, attracted the interest of everyone in Paris. In 1960, Marcel Duchamp placed a tobacconist’s shop sign on the front of the Arcy gallery in New York, a symbol of the exhibition Surrealist Intrusion in the Enchanter’s Domain and the cover of the catalogue of the same name. Franck Scurti, too, revives artists’ poetic obsessions, already present in the famous painting Époux Arnolfini by Van Eyck (1534): the reflection. By way of this trick, the painter includes the spectator in the painting. All of the subjectivity of our regard can be seen in a mirror…
Les Reflets at the heart of the city: Toulouse Matabiau station
First presented at the Printemps de September art festival in 2004, thanks to a public commission co-produced by the Ministry of Culture (visual arts delegation), the City of Toulouse and the Electricité de France foundation, and since integrated into prestigious private and public collections, Franck Scurti’s Les Reflets are returning to Toulouse, to the most popular place there is, as signs for these shops that are in some cases already to be found in the station, or nearby. But the attentive traveller will be quickly “troubled”: whether they’re catching up on the news (Presse (newsagents)), trying their luck (Loto), giving in to a guilty pleasure (Tabac (tobacconist)), tasting diverse flavours (Kebab, Boucherie Halal (halal butchers), New Hong-Kong), getting a better view of the world that surrounds us (Opticien (opticians)) or taking care of themselves (Pharmacie (pharmacy)), etc., what they are looking at is in fact a skewed view of our consumer society that Franck Scurti is inviting us to discover: abundant, global, and full of contradictions.
Two guides will be present at the station to grasp what this project and these works “reflect” for passers-by and travellers, in our society and our lives.
Laboratoires Pierre Fabre: patrons of the project
Aurélie Filippetti, French Minister for Culture and Communication, gave a tribute to Pierre Fabre last July, speaking of the “great patron, a man with a heart, a man of action”, involved in the cultural development and influence of his region. Laboratoires Pierre Fabre has supported Les Abattoirs projects since 2007. It is natural that they have joined forced to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the FRACs, for which the national exhibition Les Pléiades at Les Abattoirs in Toulouse and Franck Scurti’s Les Reflets at Matabiau station will be the grand finale.
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