Artists: Saâdane Afif, Delphine Coindet, Yan Duyvendak, Sylvie Fleury, Amy Granat, Alix Lambert and Olivier Mosset, Renée Levi, Mathieu Mercier, Edit Oderbolz, Florence Paradéis, Steven Parrino, Didier Rittener, Alain Séchas, Pierre Vadi, Jean-Luc Verna
With Midnight Walkers, Claire Le Restif and Sabine Schaschl-Cooper, respectively directors of le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine and the Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz, present a project that originally sprang from the way they perceive the architectural environments which confront them in their work.
Indeed, both these art centres are partly underground and partly blind spaces. Whilst the Kunsthaus Baselland is divided into three levels (ground floor, gallery, underground room), le Crédac - originally intended to be a cinema - has three underground rooms. It is a perfectly enclosed environment therefore. The cinema “box”, as Robert Smithson called it and which Jean-Pierre Criqui compares to “… a sort of fixed vessel where the human race comes to lose itself in the contemplation of a substitute world”, is transformed into a visual box.
Both these places are also situated on the outskirts of large urban centres, on the fringe of important art centres: Basie or Paris. The project Midnight walkers teases us with a title that sounds like a rock song, a thriller or then again reminds us of two books, both of which are significant for contemporary art history: Lipstick traces by Greil Marcus and To five free or die by Bob Nickas.
It is a slightly romantic idea of the night stroll that steered us towards a visual language of the “under-exhibition” (night) and underground (in the strict sense of the ward) that is emblematic of these two places intended to show art.
The horizon of this landscape remains synthetic and fictitious. The night stroll symbolises an atmosphere of quest, melancholy, meditation, punctuated with irony and humour - a reconciliation with life.
Midnight Walkers is the result of the connivance of two exhibition curators. We have provoked an encounter between works and artists from one or another of le Crédac's or the Kunsthaus Baselland's past or present programmes. The project combines various positions and artistic sensibilities creating, by fragments, the landscape of an exhibition.
Rejecting the idea of an exchange that would amount to showing Swiss artists in France and French artists in Switzerland (especially since the presence of American artists is possibly at variance with any «nationalistic» character of the project!), different works of some artists will be shown simultaneously at both sites.
It is a treasure hunt therefore, the fruit of ramifications, elective affinities and programming efforts that makes the project as a whole possible today.
A publication true to the spirit of Midnight Walkers will be published at a later date.
Sentimental, sensual, fetishist, nocturnal, cruel, perverse, dark, visual, climatic, atmospheric, romantic…
Women’s feet wearing stiletto heels walking on Christmas baubles (Sylvie Fleury); pieces of broken glass strewn over the floor and large, transparent Zen chimes hanging from the ceiling (Pierre Vadi); a phosphorescent mural (Renée Levi); an anti-heroic guitarist (Alain Séchas); a car with dazzling headlights pinned to the floor by an enormous stone on its roof (Florence Paradéis); a black monochrome vortex pierced in the centre (Steven Parrino); a shower of paste jewellery (Edit Oderbolz); scratched films projected onto a black wall (Amy Granat); Alix Lambert and Olivier Mosset’s project sprang from the name of a New York cinema, Chelsea Odeon, a black monochrome canvas by Olivier Mosset on which Alix Lambert has placed lu minous garlands; posters made of black and white transfers (Didier Rittener); a «chimera» with six hands created for this exhibition (Saâdane Afif, Delphine Coindet, Mathieu Mercier); Jean-Luc Verna’s magnificent graphic universe, dark and passionate; Yan Duyvendak who has been invited to carry out a performance.
Kunsthaus Baselland : Saâdane Afif, Delphine Coindet, Anne-Lise Coste, Sylvie Fanchon, Sylvie Fleury, Amy Granat, Mathieu Mercier, Markus Müller, Olivier Mosset, Florence Paradéis, Frédéric Post, Didier Rittener, Alain Séchas.