Le Crédac

Petits poucets

Saint-Thomas d’Aquin High school

Petits Poucets is a long immersion of visual arts high school students in Simon Boudvin’s GRAIN exhibition.

With Olivier Chiron, visual arts teacher at the Saint-Thomas d’Aquin high school in Paris, and with the collaboration of Julia Leclerc, mediator at Crédac, the Petits poucets project is evolving organically, both in terms of its content and its duration.

In keeping with the spirit of the contemporary art center, which provides artists with both physical (production rooms and workshop) and mental space to prepare their exhibitions, Petits Poucets was naturally carried out over a long period of time to allow the students to reflect deeply on artistic practice and on the importance of an exhibition space with a strong architectural identity, the Manufacture des Œillets.

Prepared and completed during weekly art classes at the high school, three sessions at Crédac took place on Saturday afternoons at the beginning and end of Simon Boudvin’s exhibition GRAIN (15.01-20.03.2022). The sessions at Crédac gave rise to class work which, after the month of March, was transformed into an independent exhibition project at the high school. It thus allows the students to build a personal and collective journey that links these two institutions.

During the first session at Crédac, the pupils discover the architecture of the Manufacture des Œillets, the art centre and its functioning, as a preamble to a presentation of the work of Simon Boudvin. The pupils are invited to wander freely through the exhibition and to carry out a sketching session.
After this time of observation of all the rooms, the architecture of the old factory, the exterior landscape and various details, Julia Leclerc collects the students’ remarks and impressions and goes into more detail with them about the artist’s approach in Crédac.

The following week, the students rediscovered the exhibition in rooms bathed in sunlight, which led to other drawings, other conversations, and a real immersion in a site that was now familiar to them.
The content of the project to be built is specified to the students, while deliberately giving few indications: they will have to choose a common and familiar, generational object that is both personal and universal. The students appropriate Simon Boudvin’s approach and working method — observe; photograph; write; document; inventory; deconstruct; construct — for their personal work throughout the following sessions at the high school.

The last session at Crédac consists of a presentation of thirteen personal or collective projects by the students in the exhibition room of their choice. In front of their classmates, each project is completed by questions and comments from the students, Olivier Chiron and Julia Leclerc. The result of their long-term reflection gives rise to a variety of proposals and formats: publishing, inventory, photography, stop motion, sculpture, deconstructed and reconstructed objects, prints on paper, diverted objects.

The final stage is a collective exhibition at the school in May 2022. Its title, Petits Poucets, refers to the title of Simon Boudvin’s exhibition, GRAIN, which evokes a part of a larger whole, like the grains of sand that make up a beach. Elements of the same object are thus scattered throughout the exhibition rooms. Petits Poucets (Little Thumbs) also refers to the notions of pathways, orientation, experimentation, the relationship with adults and institutions, and the imagination through Perrault’s tale.
The preparation of this performance involves the students in discovering and experimenting with a lesser-known facet of the artist’s profession and the behind-the-scenes work of art centers and museums: the presentation of works to the public. This new phase of the project consists of giving a title to each proposal and to the collective exhibition, staging it in a given space, choosing a way of exhibiting and finding technical solutions for hanging the pieces, then thinking about communication, and finally accompanying the public by writing notes on the works and a general text on the exhibition.

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