musée d'art contemporain
de Bordeaux

Exhibition // Collection //

06.02.2010 -> 21.11.2010

CAPC, or : Life in the Grip of Art

A choice from the CAPC and FRAC Aquitaine collections + guests

Inspired by one of the CAPC’s masterpieces, Christian Boltanski’s Inventory of Objects Once Belonging to a Girl of Bordeaux, 1973 - 1990 and by casting an eye over the CAPC collection, this exhibition offers thoughts about the idea of the museum. Curated by Aurélie Voltz, it develops along two lines, on the one hand borrowing its form from another museum—the Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires—and, on the other, introducing, within this new ‘wrapper’, works from the Aquitaine Regional Contemporary Art Collection [FRAC] and pieces by other artists from a younger generation, the aim being to create a dialogue with specific CAPC works.


It is just one quick step from Christian Boltanski’s work to the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires (ATP). The Inventory brings together in a series of showcases more than two hundred items, all neatly arranged and labelled, once belonging to an unknown girl living in Bordeaux. As such it calls to mind the presentation methods peculiar to ethnographic museums, with their concern for scientific objectivity and a collective memory to be shared. As a tribute to the Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires—which no longer exists today—CAPC, or: Life in the Grip of Art1 attempts to bring one museum back to life through another.


Putting art history aside for a moment, the exhibition takes a new look at the collection in relation to different geographies, human activities and social goings-on. The seventeen rooms of the Foy and Ferrère galleries unfurl the way you read a book, chapter by chapter, as works and artists file past2, letting the imagination find its way. Their titles, borrowed initially from Georges-Henri Rivière, founder of the ATP in 1937, involve a re-appropriation.


From the Room of Rivers to the Room of Fields, and the Room of the Ages of life to the Room of Religious Imagery, viewers are confronted by a body of works which no longer necessarily tally with a common, known history, or any precise concept, but proceed, rather, from associations that are free, formal, material, thematic and often poetic. In the Room of Rivers, for example, we find Chohreh Feyzdjou’s bird rubbing shoulders with Miquel Barceló’s tadpoles and Michel Aubry’s sculptures made of reeds, as well as Myriam Holme’s abstract works with their fluid emphases. Further on, in the Room of Portraits, we come upon a dialogue between Richard Fauguet’s bust of a rabbit and Costa Vece’s head.


The goal of the perspectival view of the galleries and an extremely scaled-down set-like arrangement is not only to link up with the architecture of the venue, but also to enhance the works in the building’s original context: a place of work, and life, where people have their history.


One of Georges-Henri Rivière’s aims was to create a guideless museum showing man’s oneness within a cultural plurality, but the works from the CAPC and FRAC Aquitaine collections, plus those by the guest artists, all brought together here under new horizons, appear in a different light. No matter how different they may be, and no matter how strange their comparisons, they share a world where nothing separates beings and things any more.

-> Curator(s): Aurélie Voltz

-> Galerie Foy, galerie Ferrère, second Floor
-> Price: 5€, 2,5€
-> Partner(s): Château Haut-Selve

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