La vie des tables
Artists: Boris Achour, Pierre Ardouvin, Ethan Assouline, Marcos Ávila Forero, Nour Awada, Eva Barto, Eric Baudart, Katinka Bock, Roxane Borujerdi, Simon Boudvin, Anne Bourse, Flora Bouteille, Tiphaine Calmettes, Corentin Canesson, Ali Cherri, Gaëlle Choisne, Delphine Coindet, Mathis Collins, Morgan Courtois, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Mimosa Echard, Aurélien Froment, Dominique Ghesquière, Louise Hervé & Clovis Maillet, Sheila Hicks, Ana Jotta, Véronique Joumard, Kiösk, Kapwani Kiwanga, Jonathan Loppin, Liz Magor, Paul Maheke, Charlotte Moth, Gyan Panchal, Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza, Nelson Pernisco, Jean-Charles de Quillacq, Hugues Reip, Soraya Rhofir, La Ribot, Bojan Šarčević, Jorge Satorre, Shimabuku, Noé Soulier, Thomas Teurlai, Sarah Tritz, Francisco Tropa, Victor Yudaev, Raphaël Zarka
Ideas often spring up from a walk, from a swim in the crystal-clear water of a lake, from eating a slice of bread and jam, during a sleepless night, while playing a Memory game, or reading inspiring texts in which new, solidly built ideas emerge. When they arise, one has to pinch them hard enough to carry them all the way to the work table. Whether it’s a kitchen table, a workbench or a desk — tables embody the place where intuitions take shape.
The desire to invite artists to exhibit works imagined for such surfaces sprung up a while ago. It expands my reading of Lucy R. Lippard ’s texts 1, wherein the American activist and feminist writer and Art Historian points out that women artists all too rarely enjoy the physical space that is required to create, and end up having to work in domestic spaces — mainly on their kitchen table.
This idea was also nurtured by an artwork by Hugues Reip, entitled 0,25 (1990-91) 2, which consists in a series of 25 tiny sculptures made spontaneously using the inside of bread, rubber, paper clips, nails, and which were presented to the public on formica top kitchen tables, the domestic symbol of the 1950s.
This exhibition seems necessary to us after this spring deprived of social interactions, exchanges and proximity, It has the value of a project of resistance and attention to domestic and private artistic practices. This lockdown period has forced creators to return to modest and DIY artistic practices, while for others this is a regular practice. Focusing on the relationship that artists have with their “work tables” - refuge, playground or passage - we are inviting artists to submit their pieces as one sends a letter. They may have been conceived during the recent period of confinement or in response to this invitation, they may be spontaneous, modest, constructed or sophisticated.
La vie des tables (The Life of Tables) therefore adjusts itself to reality. It adapts to the constraints connected to distancing and it updates, both playfully and out of necessity, Mail Art, which emerged in 1962 with the creation by Ray Johnson of the New York Correspondence School of Art. As the name suggests, Mail Art circulated mainly by post and in a spontaneous manner. This “movement” launched the notion of attitude as an object — a founding concept of contemporary art in the 1970s, which still remains relevant today.
The pieces proposed by the artists will be exhibited at le Crédac on a myriad of tables: kitchen tables, work tables ; Formica, wooden, or plywood tables ; tables that are painted or in the rough ; coffee or dining tables ; square, rectangular or round-shaped ones, all constituting a landscape that is evocative of the work of thinking and of intimacy, that of the model, the sketch or the completed form.
Exhibition film, directed by Thomas James. © Le Crédac, 2020.
Crossed interview between the curator Claire Le Restif and the visual artist Kapwani Kiwanga.
This interview moderated by Ingrid Luquet-Gad is produced as part of Voix d’Automne, a series of podcasts proposed by Les Inrockuptibles and the Festival d’Automne à Paris.