Bordeaux, 25 March 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Bordeaux’s contemporary art museum, CAPC, opened its latest exhibition on 5 March, entitled “Procession: une histoire dans l’exposition”. This selection of works from its collection, curated by Julie Maroh and Maya Mihindou, is to be on show until 16 November.
Initiated by Alexis Vaillant, who oversees CAPC’s programme, the project was entrusted to the comic strip author Julie Maroh, whose first graphic novel, Blue Is The Warmest Colour, was adapted for film – winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes. She has developed a five-act script for this exhibition, addressing the notion of conflict through a selection of works from the museum’s permanent collection.
“It’s about confronting the political issues which arise from the changing aspects of territory, walls, borders, and conflict,” explains Alexis Vaillant. “’Procession’ addresses our balance of power in the middle of the complexity of contemporary conflicts that have lost their binary Manichaeism,” adds Julie Maroh.
These issues are approached in the same way as in a graphic novel, transforming the museum’s picture rails into comic book pages. Maroh called upon illustrator Maya Mihindou to carry out the production. “’Procession’ is the result of moments from a story – it is the end result of groups of characters drawn by Maya and I. It is the visitor’s journey through this physical experience of the Other,” she explains in her curator’s notes.
The visual story combines artworks created between the 1980s and 2000s with illustrations from the two invited curators. Paintings, sculptures, installations and drawings by 25 artists such as Annette Messager, Miquel Barceló, Robert Combas, Hervé Di Rosa, Claude Caillol, Fabrice Hyber, Mario Merz and Pierre Molinier are accompanied by stencils, drawings and graffiti through various stages of the exhibition – entitled “État des lieux” (State of affairs), “Métissage” (Melting pot), “Soumission” (Submission), “Exil” (Exile), and “Confrontation”.
The structure of the exhibition includes a “dramatised wall” and the floor bears the quotation “La peur de la perte de l’identité culturelle” (Fear of a loss of cultural identity), a theme of the exhibition “that we hear a lot, but is rarely discussed”, says Maya Mihindou. “The notion of the ’melting pot’ has a violent history. A great effort is needed to truly understand the Other,” she continues. “Melting pots talk about issues as things which are simmering, and bubbling up.”