Without following a specific theme, the exhibition bringing together the four artists nominated for the Frac Bretagne-Art Norac Award is an attempt to highlight positions, temperaments and perspectives on the world that engage peculiar patterns of attention.
Like the lizards which suddenly appear and immediately disappear, the artists gathered here are interested in transitory states, in moments of shifting from one angle to another, in the body’s impermanence and fragility. Some of the artworks have an ephemeral life, as they develop in response to the exhibition space, and then vanish or persist in another form in another place.
We owe to lizards the origin of the French expressions “lézarder” and “faire le lézard” which evoke states of stasis and lack of movement, often negatively perceived as unproductive moments.
But the lizard’s stillness can never be reduced to immobility or simple rest because motionless under the sun, the lizard is always on the lookout.
For philosopher Jérôme Lèbre, author of « L’Éloge de l’immobilité », immobility corresponds to the decision of occupying a place and holding a stance.
In this age of acceleration, of the need for mobility and flexibility, being an artist means, first of all, making the choice to stop. To stand in a place, not in order to withdraw from the world but on the contrary, to open up the space of possibilities.
Through the lens of very different visual and conceptual approaches, Reda Boussella, Clémence Estève, Fanny Gicquel and Valérian Goalec call upon inaction, slowness, dreams, horizontality as well as fall and failure, because of their potential to resist the thirst for verticality, success and achievement that prevails our present time.
In Valérian Goalec’s installation, this can for instance take the form of a poetic diversion from the standardised architecture of prize-giving venues, subtly questioning the relevance of the notion of competitiveness in the artistic field.
In Reda Boussella’s sculptures, combat sports training equipment can transform into burlesque components, and a scary Malinois Sheperd’s bite into a tender waltz.
Clémence Estève distorts history of art’s great sculptures’ silouhettes, scoliosis being for her a way to question social injonctions on the straightening up of the body, as well as a way to move away while staying set, to grasp a motion where the body seems still.
Trough slowness and slowdown, Fanny Gicquel’s performances are an invitation to contemplation to the point of creating images close from a living painting, which interrogates our current methods in relationships and communication.
The artists suggest that the vulnerability of our environment and bodies gives access to the ability to grow new forms of sharing, of presence and care.
But also to invent new interaction strategies and fresh looks regarding our bodies and their transformations on a physical, intimate and social level.
 Acting like a lizard.
the Frac Bretagne–Art Norac Award
Launched in 2020, the Frac Bretagne–Art Norac Award aims to support the professional development of Brittany-based artists at the international level. The award is a Frac Bretagne initiative supported by Art Norac, the sponsorship association of the Norac group. The goal of the award is to help bring artists active in the region to the international scene, in order to promote the professionalisation of their journey beyond the borders of France.
Les lézards is the exhibition bringing together the 4 finalist artists. During the opening, the winner will be announced. His/Her work will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin, Ireland in 2023.
Top images : Clémence Estève – Photo credit: Denis Estève / Fanny Gicquel – Photo credit: Malo Legrand / © Valérian Goalec / Reda Boussella – Photo credit: All rights reserved.