De Renava OFF x Centre Pompidou
FOR THIS EXEPTIONAL COLLABORATION, DE RENAVA OFF DIVED INTO THE MEDITERRANEAN DNA OF THE CENTRE POMPIDOU'S COLLECTIONS, TO EXTRACT 13 ARTWORKS BY ARTISTS FROM THE "INLAND SEA" OR INSPIRED BY THIS ARTISTIC LANDSCAPE.
La Notte - named after Michelangelo Antonioni’s famous film – is, based on its model, a walk through a Mediterranean night, filled with encounters and offering a nebulous, diffracted, oneiric and non-exhaustive vision of a certain Mediterranean imaginary. The itinerary proposes to explore its representative motifs, which extend beyond this geographical space, transcribing a Mediterranean essence with a universal radiance. Detaching from any cliché, La Notte offers a free and surprising depiction of this imaginary.
The night is here indeed synonymous with freedom. By its inspiring dark light, it is a space where the borders between reality and dream are blurred, a place of reunion between the sacred and the profane, a territory where the bodies wander, melt, fade away, at times leaving only the ghostly traces of their passage.
The exhibition seeks to embody a Mediterranean perfume rather than a tangible, chronological or aesthetic vision. As eternal as it is ephemeral - from classical mythology to popular codes - as plural as it is singular - like the countless cultures coming together under the dome of the Mediterranean identity - it is a perfume that often escapes from us, but from which we cannot escape.
Cerith WYN EVANS
1927 – 2012 Brussels, Belgium
Luc Zangrie, born Luc de Heusch, is a professor, filmmaker, and one of the founders of visual and social anthropology in Belgium. After having obtained his diploma in philosophy at the Université Libre of Brussels, he turns towards anthropology and starts carrying out in-depth research on traditional African societies, in particular those of Congo and Rwanda. His rigorous fieldwork and his innovative theoretical writings soon earn him international acclaim.
His cinematographic work bears the traces of his academic training as well as his many voyages to Africa. It includes, unsurprisingly, multiple ethnographic documentaries. His poetics with surrealist taste highlights his proximity with other avant-garde artists and collectives such as CoBrA, which will eventually produce his first short film, Persephone, presented by De Renava. Inspired by Greek and sub-Saharan mythology, as well as by abstract and experimental cinema, Zangrie creates dreamlike universes, on the frontier between dream and reality, in which characters become ambiguous as they split and simultaneously blend into each other. The contrast between his almost esoteric films on one side and his ethnographic documentary productions on the other, make him a multifaceted and polyvalent personality, in which all different vocations complete each other in the creation of works that are unique, but never univocal.
1964 – Beirut, Lebanon / lives and works in Beirut
Marwan Rechmaoui is one of the most important artists of post-war Lebanon. His work focuses on themes of urban development and social history. His artworks, often realized with industrial materials such as concrete, glass and rubber, reflect his methodical study of socio-geography, of architecture and of the cultural histories of cities and countries. The artist uses cartography, demography and urbanism in order to expose sociopolitical structures and dynamics of power within the Arab world. In addition to his work as an artist, Marwan Rechmaoui is also engaged in a number of educational and social projects that aim at promoting art and culture in his hometown of Beirut. He is recognized for his contribution to the artistic scene of the Middle East and for his innovative exploration of social cartography and urbanism.
Rechmaoui was the subject of exhibitions in institutions and galleries such as the Sharjah Art Foundation (2019-2023) ; the Sfeir-Semler Gallery of Beirut (2012-2020) ; the Busan Biennial (2022) ; the Reina Sofia Museum of Madrid (2021) ; the Istanbul Biennial (2015) ; the Serpentine Gallery of London (2012) ; the Saatchi Gallery of London (2009) and the Sharjah Biennial (2005-2017).
Cerith WYN EVANS
1958 – Llanelli, United Kingdom Lives and works in London and Norfolk
The essence of Cerith Wyn Evan’s work stems from his strong interest for language and communication, which often brings him to utilize found text or quotes from cinema, philosophy or literature.
His career as an artist begins early, all focused on cinematographic production, and heavily influenced by the queer and punk aesthetics of 80s London.
His resolutely vanguardist films harmonize structuralist principles with a sort of erotic oneirism, typical of other provocative directors such as Kenneth Anger. This allows him to be greatly appreciated by both institutional circles and queer and underground subcultures.
In the early 90s, Evans begins to expand his production to include sculpture and installation, privileging materials such as neon lights and glass.
Numerous museums have dedicated monographic exhibitions to Cerith Wyn Evans, among which the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca of Milan (2019) ; the Tate Britain of London (2018) ; the Serpentine Gallery of London (2014) ; the Institute of Contemporary Art of London (2004) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of Boston (2004).
Evans also participated to Documenta 11 in Kassel in 2002, and he was the first artist to ever represent Wales in the Venice Bienniale.
1927 – 2023 California, USA
Famous for his eccentric and bizarre character, Kenneth Anger is one of the great pioneers of experimental cinema in the second half of the 20th Century, having introduced revolutionary innovations such as jump cuts and the use of pop music for his soundtracks. The controversial nature of his work has over the years contributed both to his consecration as the father of experimental cinema, and to his ostracization from more institutional circles in the industry. The transgressive and homoerotic content of Fireworks (1947), his first successful film, made at just 17 years old, led to the conviction for obscenity of the owner of a Los Angeles theater who showed it in 1957, although the conviction was overturned in 1959. In his more mature works, the strong influence of the mystical teachings of the British occultist Alister Crowley, to which Anger adheres, is evident. The artist’s fascination with esotericism, mystery cults and an almost magical vision of sexuality fill his films with enigmatic images and symbols. Always accompanied by innovative sound- tracks, his work became one of the major sources of influence for the subcultures of the 1960s and 1970s, contributing for example to the definition of queer iconographic and musical lexicons. He has also influenced some of Hollywood’s most important directors, from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch.
Fragments and images taken from Kenneth Anger’s works have been included in multiple exhibitions, notably the Whitney Museum Biennial in New York (2006) ; the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (2008) and the Kunsthaus Zürich (2009). He was also dedicated and important retrospective at the MoMA, in New York, in 2009.
1978 – Blida, Algeria / lives and works in Paris
Mohamed Bourouissa is one of the most widely recognized artists of his generation. His œuvre finds its grounds on an analysis of society operated from the inside, and on an attentive observation of the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion generated by it. Strongly present is also the critique of mass media and of their simplistic attitude towards the representation of the factually multifaceted nature of the individual. This theme is approached through the deconstruction of those clichés which are constitutive of certain visual identities, such as the “suburban kid”, the cowboy or the prisoner, in order to return to the members of a community the status of social subjects. The artist’s production combines documentation and formal composition, so as to create choreographed performances which find historical precedents in figures such as Caravaggio, Delacroix, but also Jeff Wall and the Harlem Renaissance.
Mohamed Bourouissa’s works have been largely exhibited throughout the world: at the Venice Biennale (2011) ; at the Haus der Kunst in Munich (2014); at the Havana and Lyone Biennials (2015); at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2017); at the Musée d’Art Moderne of Paris (2018); at the Rencontres of Arles (2019) as well as at the Sydney Biennial (2022).
1985 – Paris, France / lives and works in Paris
Neïl Beloufa’s research focuses on contemporary society, its representation and its mediation through digital interaction and new technologies. In particular, his work reflects upon relations of power, digital surveillance and strategies of data collection. In his works, themes of identity and nationalist ideologies are also extremely prominent, approached through a post-colonial reading of the world. Through aesthetic choices which channel the influence of the world of video games, of reality TV and of political propaganda, Beloufa exposes the mechanisms of a society whose innermost dynamics are now more than ever shaped by the web, technology and algorithms. His works stage complex social and political situations, tackling subjects such as globalization, alienation and power. Beloufa is also recognized for his interactive installations that combine elements of industrial architecture, found objets and digital technologies, in order to create hybrid spaces in which the real and the imagined come together. The multidisciplinary nature of his production and his tendency to use various media of different nature, such as sculpture, installation, video and film, allows the artist to approach these questions each time through a different lens, always offering new interpretations.
His works have been exhibited by many institutions, such as the Hammer Museum of Los Angeles (2014); the Institute of Contemporary Art of London (2014) ; the MoMA in New York (2016) ; the K11 in Shanghai (2016) and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2018).
1952 – Beirut, Lebanon / lives and works in London and Berlin
Mona Hatoum is often referred to as a “nomadic artist”. This is because of her personal and cultural identity being dislocated between three countries: Palestine, homeland of her parents; Lebanon, where she was born and which she was eventually forced to flee from and England, where she still lives and works. Through the use of different media, especially installation, sculpture, video and performance, her politically engaged work explores themes of power, identity and belonging. Hatoum’s production often relies on everyday objects, transformed in powerful and ambiguous symbols. Her creations, imbued with minimalism and conceptualism, reflect upon the tension between the intimate and the political, exploring notions of distance, border and exclusion.
Widely recognized for her experimental and multidisciplinary approach, Hatoum was exhibited in some of the most important museums in the world, such as the Castello di Rivoli in Turin (1999) ; the MoMA in New York (2004) ; the Hamburger Kunsthalle (2004) ; the Tate Modern in London (2016). She has also taken part in the Istanbul Biennial (1995), the Venice Biennial (1995), Documenta 11 in Kassel (2002) and Documenta 14 between Kassel and Athens (2017).
1977 – Moscow, Russia / lives and works in Casablanca and Paris
The work of Zoulikha Bouabdellah, visual artist and videographer, explores questions of identity, gender and postcolonialism, utilizing a variety of media such as video, performance, installation and photography. She is heavily influenced by her experiences as an Algerian woman evolving amidst different cultures and traditions. Often using cultural and religious symbols, this artist’s installations and video works tackle themes of religion, sexuality and politics, so as to arouse critical reflection and question stereotypes. Through her works, the artist invites the spectator to put into perspective the whole system of indent and social values.
Her work has been notably exhibited at the Venice Biennale (2009), at the Brooklyn Museum of New York and at the LACMA of Los Angeles.
1973 – Buenos Aires, Argentina / lives and works between Paris, Buenos Aires and Montevideo
Leandro Erlich is best known for his innovative artistic installations which explore the relation between space, perception and reality. He developed his distinctive and experimental style at the University of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires, where he studied.
His interactive installations, inviting visitors to participate actively, have made him one of the most widely appreciated artists of his generation. Swimming pools suspended in thin air, houses looking like they’re about to crumble to the ground, or deceptive mirrors that play with the perception of space; his creations are immersive experiences putting into question our conventional comprehension of the environment which surrounds us.
Erlich takes inspiration from elements of everyday life, transforming banal objects into fascinating works of art. By exploring notions of perception, deception and reality, he offers to the public a unique and captivating artistic experience, reminiscent of certain works of Maurits Cornelis Escher or Renée Magritte.
His installations have been presented to the public at the Whitney Museum of New York (2000) ; at the Palais de Tokyo of Paris (2006); at the Museo Reina Sofia of Madrid (2009). He has also participated at the Biennales of La Havana (2000), Istanbul (2001), Venice (2001-2005), Shanghai (2002) and São Paolo (2004).
1952 – Minerviu, Corsica / lives and works in Paris
Ange Leccia is a pioneering artist in the field of video art and is internationally renowned for his work at the crossroads of experimental cinema and installation. He simultaneously reflects on the object and works on the moving image. He explores the capacity of the video medium to capture natural and cognitive phenomena.After studying plastic arts, he began his research as a resident at the Académie de France in Rome. Inspired by the cinematographic image, the artist developed a practice that oscillates between the manifestations of the mind (obsession, memory, perception) and the materialization of natural elements, in which each and every detail seems to be magnified. Through a delicate manipulation of effects made possible by the technical characteristics of video (editing, overprinting, mixing, speed, repetition and reuse of extracts that take on a whole new meaning), Ange Leccia creates complex and contemplative works that gather both the vibrant and effervescent aspect of the phenomena they encapsulate, and the patient and serene softness of a deeply pictorial scene. His research into luminosity and contrast, as well as his fascination with the aesthetics of the natural spectacle and the childlike fears associated with it, recall the works of the Impressionists and Romantics.
His work has been exhibited at the Musée d'Art Moderne and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, at Documenta Kassel, Skulptur Projekte in Münster, the Venice Biennale and the Seibu Museum of Art in Tokyo. In 1997 he became a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure de Cergy, and in 2000 director of the Pavillon du Palais de Tokyo. Ange Leccia has taught at the Geidai Tokyo University of the Arts and was resident at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto. In 2013, the MAC/VAL devoted a solo exhibition to the artist, as did the Palais de Tokyo in 2014 and the Akureyri Art Museum in 2019. In 2017, he had a retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery in Reykjavik, and in 2018 and 2022 the Musée de l'Orangerie has devoted the Contemporary Counterpoint space to him for a specially conceived creation based on Monet's Water Lilies.
1910 – 1988 Paris, France
Jean Genet is a writer, playwright and film director, as well as an extremely particular figure in French cultural history. His life and artistic work have always been so profoundly intertwined, that it is difficult to make a clear distinction between made-up episodes and the author’s actually lived experiences. His work explores themes of marginalization, transgression and sexuality, making him one of the most influential personalities of 20th century literature and theatre.
Genet lived a very difficult childhood and spent a big part of his life in correctional institutions and prisons. It is there that he started to write, developing a provocative and subversive literary style which defies social norms and explores the depths of the human condition.
In 1950, thanks to his friendship with Henri Langlois, the founder of the Cinémathèque Français, he realizes his fist and last film: Un chant d’amour, exhibited by De Renava. Deemed scandalous, the film was forbidden, and seemingly destroyed by the censorship. A few years later, a copy resurfaced in the United States, where it was showed anew by Jonas Mekas, a fundamental figure of the New York underground scene, generating a new scandal and a new censorship. Jean Genet’s history with cinema is a short and tormented one, but it has gifted us with an incredibly emotionally charged movie and an important glimpse onto the visual universe of an exceptional artist.
1970 – Dugny, Seine-Saint-Denis, France / lives and works in Paris and Berlin
The work of Kader Attia, French-Algerian visual artist, is profoundly influenced by his multicultural origins and his experience of migration and diaspora. His works are characterized by their political engagement and their reflection upon cultural history, collective trauma and questions of social justice. In his installations, he also explores concepts of reparation and healing, underlining the scars left by history and proposing possibilities of transformation and reconciliation.
On top of his artistic work, Kader Attia is an engaged thinker and sought after lecturer, contributing to debates on questions of cultural alterity and collective memory. His multidisciplinary artistic approach and his ethical engagement make him an essential voice in the contemporary artistic landscape, inviting us to rethink power structures and promoting reconcilement and mutual comprehension.
His works have been exhibited by internationally recognized institutions, such as the Hayward Gallery in London (2013); the Whitechapel Gallery in London (2013); the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2013); the Beirut Art Centre (2014 ; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (2017); the SMAK in Gent (2017). He has also taken part at the Documenta 13 in Kassel (2012); the Venice Biennial (2017); at the Shanghai Biennial (2018); the Gwangju Biennial (2018) and at Manifesta 12 in Palermo.
1962 – Buchs, Switzerland
lives and works in Zurich
Know for a personality that is often perceived as eccentric and eclectic, Pipilotti Rist is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of 90s video art.
She starts gaining recognition in the 80s as a member of the post-punk pop group Les Reines Prochaines, for which she created her very first video work.
The artist’s interest for all forms of electronic media production immediately drew her to that artistic current which, in the early 90s, had started to explore video installation as a creative medium.
With the passing of time, Pipilotti Rist managed to create a unique and immediately recognizable aesthetic, which bears the influence of feminist video art, but also of the hyper-kinetic works of Nam June Paik.
Using the language of television and of TV propgrammes such as MTV, Pipilotti explores the theme of desire, and in particular its representation in mass media and pop culture.
The particularity in her work resides precisely in the fact that these major questions are approached through the creation of fantastic ambiences, filled with irony and humor.
Today, Pipilotti Rist remains one of the most important figures of contemporary art, and her immersive installations, colorful and bright, are presented by countless institutions throughout the world.
Amongst her most renowned collaborations, we can count the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chiacgo (1996) ; the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (1998) ; the Reina Sofia Museum in Mardid (2001) ; the Serpentine Gallery (2004) ; the Fundaciò Joan Mirò in Barcelona (2009) ; the MoMA in New York (2008) ; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2015) ; the New Museum of New York (2016) and the Kunsthaus Zurich. She has also participated to numerous Biennales: Venice (1993, 1999, 2005) , Sao Paulo (1995) , Lyon (1997) ; Berlin (1998) and Sydney (2000).