In 1991, Robert Milin was invited to participate in Escales, an event curated by Jérôme Sans, which proposed to invest various places in the Côtes-d’Armor in a close relationship with the landscape. The artist then became interested in a small rural commune, Saint-Carré, and its inhabitants, with whom he made friends. Sharing with them the local life, at the crossroads of ancestral activities – work of the fields and care of the animals – and of the modern life, he has soon access to the personal photographs of several families.
In these boxes lie as many silent witnesses of the collective religious or secular events that have marked the village, as intimate moments that take on importance only in the history of each. He chose to bring 13 of these photos to light by enlarging them, transferring them either to enamel plates or to porcelain, and placing them, with the active complicity of the inhabitants, in different parts of Saint-Carré: the playground, the gable of a barn, the henhouse, etc. In doing so, he created a work of public art that overturned the usual canons, notably in the relationship between the private and the public: the private became public and the entire village an open-air exhibition space.
In 1994, the Frac Bretagne acquired Saint-Carré, a work that particularly resonates with one of its essential missions, to bring the citizen closer to the challenges of today’s art. Like any work in the public space, Saint-Carré has suffered the assaults of time and the vagaries of weather. Carried by the common will of the inhabitants, the Frac Bretagne and the artist, a restoration was undertaken at the good care of the latter in 2018. In addition to the renovation of certain pieces, this process led to the reorganization of the hanging, to take into account the changes in ownership, the evolution of the building and the roadway.
WORK FROM THE FRAC BRETAGNE COLLECTION
Image : Robert Milin, Chan’nic, Saint-Carré, 1991 © Robert Milin – Photo credit: Frac Bretagne