In the context : LE PRINTEMPS DU QUÉBEC EN FRANCE
The project's goal was to present contemporary French and
Quebecois videos under the overpass of the Parisian Stalingrad
More than 35 videos (19 from Quebec and 16 from France) were
presented to the riders of the Stalingrad subway for 4 days.
The project brought contemporary art, and more specifically
video art, to a neophyte public from a working class Parisian
neighborhood. The project also made it possible to make use
of the original and destructured architecture of the subway
stations in order to explore novel means of presenting electronic
art. The project offered a panorama of Quebecois and French
video productions and stimulated exchange between the Quebecois
and French artistic milieu as well as between the public.
Towards an immaterial scenography.
Gaëtan Desombre - Pascal Masson
Time before Space.
In intervening in the subway to present video art one comes
up against a complex space, made up of intertwining paths
where the optimization of passenger flow and movement is the
One temporarily finds oneself in a space in-between two stations
whose main desired quality is speed. Faced with transportation
time, space loses all its qualities.
Halls, platforms, escalators, ceramic tiles, benches, trashcans,
Codified, filled with signs, unchanging, this envronment disappears
rapidly behind commuter behavior.
Yet there is advertisement, like so many windows opened on
a changing world.
But it too, in its repetition from station to station, erases
any of its distinctive marks, leaving us lost in a vast continuum.
Modifying the Everyday.
By tipping this daily reality towards dreams, questionning
or doubt, through the intermediary of an extranaeous element
in movement, one opens a gap in the space-time of commuting.
Through its incongruous presence, we become strangely receptive
to the mutliple visions transmitted by these artists. This
often-fleeting pause creates a partial perception of the videos.
Making the general public aware of a new form of art through
a forced intrusion into daily banality is more important here
than the contemplation of a work.
Our curiosity is first piqued by the presence of a sound.
Then there are these images, these moving images.
This double audio and visual movement captivates our attention
and temporarily replaces our physical movement with a mental
movement that drifts into these parallel universes. The scenography
serves to highlight these images: a large screen (9*12m) is
strikingly visible in this exhibition set-up.
The scenography is essentially based on light as an element
that contributes to the breaking of commuter habits: one stops
and rediscovers the place. Colored filters on the lights create
a bluish halo that transforms the appearance of commuters
who pass through the space. Something is happening—sensations
This bluish ambiance, conducive to calm and concentration,
entices one to take a pause, to understand these images that
are passing by.