These days the Proa Foundation presents a very good exhibition created from a selection of the Regional Funds for Contemporary Art (FRAC) in France.
The FRACs constitute a state network created in 1982 during the presidency of the Socialist François Mitterrand, by the Minister of Culture, Jacques Lange.
The function of the FRACs, for forty years, has been, to decentralize French culture, remove focus from Paris or leave Paris as a mandatory step and target 23 regions of the country, to bring together public collections of contemporary art, support young artists and disseminate contemporary art to a new audience. In this process, management is shared by the national state, regional council and municipal administration in each place.
Thanks to an invitation from the French state, I had the opportunity to visit the various regional headquarters of FRAC on various occasions, during the ninth and first decade of the twenty-first century. In certain cities in the Alsace region, for example, I visited high quality and well-managed contemporary art centers, dazzling in their architecture and setting, in the context of highly conservative societies. This phenomenon, which was first resisted and seen as the arrival of a UFO among the inhabitants, has been incorporated over the years into the cultural life of the place, and children of those very conservative families have begun to take an interest in contemporary culture. , they began to study art or research and find work at their local FRAC headquarters. It is worth repeating: FRACs are state money, the product of a cultural policy, devised and implemented by a socialist government and persisted throughout the decades.
These regional funds are seen as nomadic and itinerant groups, with works by nearly six thousand artists, half of whom are French and the other half from other countries. Which is reflected in the selection of Proa (which includes artists from France, Argentina and several countries), under the title the followingCurated by Sigismond de Vajay and Juan Sorrentino.
The exhibition includes works by Peter Coogler, Vincent Genefit, Roman Signer, Monica Bonvecchini, Michele Blasi, Gordon Mata Clarke, Sebastian Diaz Morales, Shilpa Gupta, Clement Cogator, Joel Peter Whitkin, Lottie Rosenfeld, Joan Jonas, Gita Preferini and Severini. Hubbard, Jennifer Dusinelle, Victor Florido, Vincent Lamoureux, Carsten Nicolai, Gabriel Orozco, Denis Safari, Elena Brothers, Arnaud Raphael Minkinen, Bache Berge, Celeste Porcier Moginot, Pauline Fondevilla, Laurent Purbuss, Maurizio Catrinell. A major work by Tom Burr, a genealogy wall by Richard Serra, will soon be added, which will be located in the public space.
Regarding the title, the curators explained that “it has many ways of interpretation, but we are interested in thinking about this collection of short works that constitute a great movement, and it is a wonderful work.” the followingAnd Composed of many pieces – which have a logical relationship to music -, to experience, to place and also to the game of the idea of the future. They are ideas very present at the moment, because of the context.” There is a whole series of vocal works included in the selection. So much so that from sound, silence can be thought of as the zero pitch of sound and this is what is observed from the entrance hall and staircase, with the work of Peter Kogler, Designed both for the audience and for photography and videography, when the third dimension suggested by the work emerges most clearly.
As explained by the organizers, “The design of the project began in 2019, adapting organizationally and conceptually to the new realities of cultural spaces. Starting with the languages of contemporary artistic practice, which allows the release of new versions of specific location, Remote implementation and adaptation of work to each display space, the following It was a collection of pieces that put distant artists from different cultures in dialogue, in both space and time.”
With clear reactions of adaptation and sensitivity with respect to obstacles, but especially with the possibilities arising from the pandemic period; and a very fruitful use of concepts, most of the work is the result of some kind of instruction manual, which has been interpreted and constructed in this other side of the world with creativity, adaptation, and variations in case. What traveled was information, while materials and realization were contributed locally, with artists, curators, and montagestas interacting.
In the gallery you can see site-specific works, sound arts, photos, installations, videos, sculptures and paintings. Several selected artists are exhibiting their work for the first time in the country.
The works cover different meanings of wing, As a musical form consisting of brief mechanical movements, which can assume a certain heterogeneity and at the same time a common element, a common thread: there the vocal tracks and the spatial ace converge. Another meaning of wing: The one in the adjoining rooms. If this meaning extends a little, we can talk about the gallery rooms, their communication spaces, stairs, mezzanines, landings, and perhaps think about continuity and fluidity before the break, to visualize the space and combine the selected works.
Sentence the followingFrom the French “what follows”, “continuation” or “what comes”, it speaks of the imminent next world. If art is to coexist or imagine possible worlds among others, the idea is very relevant. And in the context of the pandemic, the question of what’s to come is full of meaning.
* At Fundación Proa, Pedro de Mendoza 1929, La Boca, until November.