Frac Bretagne, La Criée centre d'art contemporain, Musée des beaux-arts, Rennes
In the context of
With the support of
Art is Magic
Art is Magic is the first French retrospective of the celebrated English artist Jeremy Deller (1966, London), winner of the prestigious 2004 Turner Prize and Britain’s representative at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
Deller is interested in popular culture and counter-cultures. His artistic inquiries focus not just on social issues and history but also on music. Deller’s oeuvre is tinged with acerbic humour and conscious socio-political discourse, making a connection between vernacular or mass culture and the world of work. The artist’s quest has led him to explore the social history of his country and further afield via the social conflict of the Thatcher era, the pop group Depeche Mode, the world of wrestling, the spawning ground of Brexit… and even acid house and the rave movement. In each case, Deller has constantly strived to involve other people in the creative process.
The Art is Magic exhibition provides a broad overview of Deller’s work from the 1990s to the present day, focusing on 15 major projects and key works that have marked his career. In addition, the event will be an opportunity to publish the first retrospective of the artist’s work in French.
Art is Magic exhibition is a city-wide co-production that takes place in the spaces of Frac Bretagne, La Criée Centre d’art contemporain and the Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes.
It is part of the Exporama summer season organised by the City of Rennes and Rennes Métropole. It resonates with the exhibition Forever Sixties of the Pinault Collection, at the Couvent des Jacobins in Rennes, which explores the spirit of the 1960s between liberation and repression.
In 1956, the French artists Gil J. Wolman and Guy Debord proposed a guide to détournement, re-purposing advertisements and magazines as a means of subverting society. This practice, which included cutting up city maps to encourage unplanned excursions through the city of Paris, was a way to effect disorientation. As the writers stated: “not many people would remain unaffected by an exact reconstruction in one city of an entire neighbourhood of another.”
Détour presents selected works from the collection of the FRAC Bretagne in Rennes, France. In addition to Gil J. Wolman’s 1960s collages, the exhibition includes artworks such as Raymond Hains’ photographs of signs found in rural villages, Vera Molnar’s computer-generated renderings of the Saint-Victoire mountain range, and Charlotte Moth’s filmed depiction of Parisian architecture. Thomas Teurlai and Ugo Schiavi’s display showcases scrolls of recovered graffiti samples, while Isabelle Arthuis’ evocative black-and-white images capture the landscape during a nocturnal eclipse. Through works by contemporary international artists, Détour reimagines and reconstructs the FRAC Bretagne collection, transposed to Rennes’ sister city of Cork and the Glucksman’s unique architectural setting.
Curated by Chris Clarke
Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme,
Sigurdur Árni Sigurdsson,
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz,
Thomas Teurlai & Ugo Schiavi,
Franz Erhard Walther,
Gil J. Wolman
Détour: Selected works from the Frac Bretagne collection is supported by The Arts Council Ireland, University College Cork and private philanthropy through Cork University Foundation.
L’autre musée, the treasures of a major contemporary art collection
In 2023, in France, the Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain celebrate their 40th anniversary!
Established in 1981, the Frac Bretagne has been building up a nationally and internationally reknown collection of contemporary art over the last four decades. Often unknown by a wide audience, it nevertheless holds more than 5,500 works by more than 750 artists of over 80 nationalities.
The exhibition is an opportunity to highlight and emphasize what this regional heritage conceals in terms of nuggets.
Among these treasures, there are of course great names of French and international art, such as Pierre Soulages, Vera Molnar, Martha Rosler or Andy Warhol, that the Frac Bretagne had the opportunity to acquire the works of at a time when the art market still allowed it. But there are also many other artists, younger or less renowned, whose works, as fascinating as delicate, describe and problematize our world.
The exhibition does not have any theme. Rather, it is a display of works that represent both the main axes of the Frac Bretagne collection and the diversity of art forms of the last forty years. Through the practices of about sixty artists from all horizons, the audience will discover abstract painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, installations, artists’ books as well as video.
So many abundant treasures that are a common heritage that people from Brittany will have the opportunity to discover during this anniversary exhibition.
Bern et Hilla Becher
Monia Ben Hamouda
Jacqueline De Jong
Marion Scemama et David Wojnarowicz