Travess Smalley

LandscapeScript (working title), 2021

Digital image, 5100 × 6600 px
Courtesy of the artist

Des champs de fraises pour l’éternité

Linus Bill + Adrien Horni, Ann Craven, Alex Frost, Sebastian Jefford, Bernard Jeufroy, Sister Corita Kent, Pentti Monkkonen, Travess Smalley, Sue Tompkins, Sarah Tritz

22 Jan. — 2 Apr. 2022

  • Curating:Marc Bembekoff and It’s Our Playground (Camille Le Houezec & Jocelyn Villemont)
  • Opening:21 Jan. 2022

The “Des champs de fraises pour l’éternité” project began in January 2020, just before the pandemic that has now affected the world for more than a year took hold. Originally planned for 2021 the exhibition will finally open in January 2022 and will thus take the current realities onboard. The postponement makes “Des champs de fraises pour l’éternité” out of step with its time, but the delay has meant the exhibition has been able to integrate the reverberations of this period, which many of us have lived, in both visual and conceptual terms, within parentheses. 

 

On revisiting the project in January 2021, we realised that “Des champs de fraises pour l’éternité” would be part of the long line of “post-Covid” exhibitions, presenting at once a risk and an opportunity. The risk lay in falling into repeating such exhibitions, all founded on the same mechanics, of getting a second wind, of being able to breathe, of the calm after the storm. The opportunity rests in offering a particular perspective on artistic creation that, in the face of a reality forcefully driving our emotions, searches for vivacity and magic.

 

This exhibition offers respite from the economic, ecological, political and social crises we are experiencing. In this space, withdrawal takes the form of a mental escape, which, once effected, allows us to understand reality from new angles. Though increasing industrial progress marked the end of the nineteenth century both historically and structurally, elements of the period’s artistic currents are imbued with obscurantism and a pronounced esotericism (the Nabi movement, Symbolism, etc.).   

 

The crises we initially discussed were structural rather than pandemic related, but these were already entrenched, infiltrating our society, economy, institutions, entertainment and schools, as well as all aspects of politics, ecological and economic. Towards the end of this epidemic, the makeshift tents are still in place, the critical situations remain critical, and prevailing precarity has profited from these many months to remodel its space in the depths of our societies.

 

The exhibition’s title is clearly a reference to the Beatles’ song, Strawberry Fields Forever, recorded in 1967. Starting from his childhood and the notion of nostalgia – Strawberry Field was a children’s home he played near as a child – John Lennon created an abstract, introspective song about each individual’s vision of the world. Translated into French, the title is somehow even more poetic, immersing us in a totally subjective, hallucinatory universe.

 

In recent times, the childhood yearning the song evokes has been shattered by domestic, sedentary and claustrophobic intervals where the only way to see the other and the world was via a screen. All this has profoundly changed our relationship to comfort, to technology, to education, and to our very perception of reality. During the weeks of confinement representations of nature gave us solace. In this sense, their effect on each of us was psychotropic.  

 

This exhibition is supported by the Fluxus Art Projects.

Around the exhibition

Thursday 10 February 2022, 7pm (online)

Virtual tour of the exhibition, followeb by a talk with artist Travess Smalley

In English

 

Saturday 12 March 2022, 5:30pm

Panel discussion with curators Marc Bembekoff and It’s Our Playground (Camille Le Houezec & Jocelyn Villemont) about our relationship with screens

 

Thursday 17 March 2022, 6:30pm

Digital art workshop

Guided tour of the exhibition, followed by a workshop at Médiathèque Roger-Gouhier

 

Saturday 2 April 2022, 4pm 7pm

4pm: Soldat Google, performance by Bernard Jeufroy

5pm: Special strawberries apéro-karaoké

“Culture et Art au Collège”
  • “Les profondeurs de l’écran” project
  • With It’s Our Playground (Camille Le Houezec & Jocelyn Villemont)
  • Audience: a year 8 class from Collège Jacques Prévert

 

“Les profondeurs de l’écran” is part of the ongoing research of the duo It’s Our Playground around communication tools and the dissemination of images online. As their starting point, Camille Le Houezec and Jocelyn Villemont chose an object that all young people either covet or have: the smartphone. They will also introduce the students to the practice of sculpture to enhance their expertise. Thus the students produce objects by experimenting with different mediums and by taking on the role of artists, curators and exhibition designers. 

 

More information on the “Culture et Art au Collège” projects

More information