67 vernacular practices for nothing. A poetics of utilitarian anti-design in a way. At the MAC, the coral ceramics by Josèfa Ntjam were reminiscent of Californian ceramics experimentation: the abstract ceramics by Peter Voulkos in Los Angeles, Robert Arneson’s funk caramics in northern California – minus the school-boyish humour. The ceramics that we see flowering today, in France as elsewhere, are more affected. They are prettier. Their colours are bright and saturated: kitsch (deliberate), a little shapelessness and a good dose of irony. Ntjam’s ceramics evoking corals were presented in a large silk print, a quasi-banner (luxury?), photomontage of stereotypical computer wallpapers. Entitled the installation oscillated between cheap exotic iconography and refinement of the objects produced, in an almost alluring way. The recent works of Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel, winners of the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2012, are part of a similar phenomenon. Last autumn, on the stands of different galleries at the Fiac and at the MAC in Lyon, you could see wooden sculptures, without digital hybridizations, without GIF or animated films as in the past: works showing a return in force of technicity and the working of the material, in the service of a surrealistic iconography sometimes confusingly erotic, disturbing or amusing – but ultimately decorative to the point of obsession. The discomfort, however, is not so much to do with the works as the immense space with which they were gratified: two whole floors of the MAC ... Naming a trend is a delicate exercise. In so doing, works are inevitably impoverished, their singularity is spoiled to identify a phenomenon in which they participate without being reduced to it. Here the Art & Craft revival, delighting in the hollow apology of the pleasure of doing, is badly served by its systematic character. But though the effect of accumulation is tiresome and though the processes swiftly irritate, some nevertheless play their cards right, like Esturillo and Keresztes, who manage to create real universes. Poetic, enigmatic, these impose themselves by their coherence and resist being reduced to discourse. Morgan Courtois. « A blow. Falling forms. Armpits, hip and twisted back with a bouquet of Heracleum mantegazzianum ». Détail de l’installation. Usines Fagor, Biennale de Lyon 2019. (Court. l’artiste et Balice Hertling, Paris ; Ph. Blaise Adilon) millennium, the exhibition last summer at the Regional Museum of Contemporary Art in Sérignan, took the risk of a regionalist withdrawal. American artist and essayist John Miller recalled in 2006 that the myth of the dominant culture (the mainstream) too often leads either to considering counter-traditions as inviolable, or capitalist hegemony as indisputable. Two positions serving, according to him, “a reactionary programme (7)”. The difficulty of the Sérignan exhibition is that it wanted to associate “the South”, a more geographic than metaphorical fact, whatever the curators said, with a “theory of the minor”.Then came back the “chounette” [Southern turn of phrase meaning cutesy], praised with corrosive irony by the cheeky lads of Presence Panchounette until 1990, minus spirit of derision This spirit of derision is lacking in the Southern paths, which are too serious in their revaluation of vernacular techniques and know-how.The global health crisis may mark the end of derision in the arts, to which new authenticities may be preferred. In the review the and the that accompanies the eponymous cycle of exhibitions at the Criée de Rennes, Sophie Kaplan suggests another direction to ward off the risk of withdrawal: “taking cuttings”. In the cuttings and grafts of fruit trees is invented a future that conjures the obsession with roots. “Cutting” invites you to plant and grow elsewhere than where you come from. The renewal of vernacular practices in contemporary creation can thus open up new horizons marked by mixing, hybridity or creolization: spaces where roots spread. Translation: Chloé Baker Chemins du Sud, Under the Mangrove, what the vernacular would be to pop culture: a place of resistance (often fantasized) to mass production, to industrial-commercial reason. At the end of the 1980s the popular culture that Jeff Koons invokes in his work was not (or is no longer) vernacular: it was pop in the sense of English popular culture, produced industrially and shaped by the mass media. But if, by being products en masse and mass-produced, the popular, folklore and the vernacular have become pop, “folkloric” and kitsch, can they still outsmart the homogenization of tastes and cultures? By wanting to do battle at all costs with this alleged homogenization, we quickly forget two things. First, that pop culture as well as standardized consumer goods is always likely to be customized, diverted and re-appropriated in our practices (Michel de Certeau spoke in this regard of “invention of the everyday”). Then, that the vernacularrustic tendency risks tension, a bit reactionary, on origins: confusing the local and the traditional, to fall back on fictional roots. In 1983, in the heyday of postmodern architecture and after the rehabilitation of the “commercial vernacular” by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in Kenneth Frampton warned against populism and the attempts to revive “the hypothetical forms of a lost vernacular (6)”, to which he opposed a critical regionalism: taking into account the local situation, the materials, the climate, the light in order to reject regionalist sentimentalism as much as the installation of air conditioning, symptomatic of the domination of a universal technicism. By playing the folklore revivalists of the new Lili, rozell marimba (1) See Clément Chéroux, jour, 2013. (2) On the alternative represented in the 1990s by the figure of the stupid and apathetic adolescent to the modern triad of the mad, the savage and the child, see Morgan Labar, Vernaculaires, Le Point du The Glory of stupidity. Regression and superficiality in the arts since the end of the 1980s, to be published by Les Presses du réel in 2021. (3) nuary 23 and 24, 2020, University of Paris / INHA. (4) Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, La Découverte, 2009. (5) Exhibition scheduled until September 21, 2020. (6) Kenneth Frampton, “Toward a Critical Regionalism”, in Hal Foster (dir.), Seattle, Bay Press, 1983, p. 21 (7) John Miller, “Positions in Vernacular Space: If You Lived Here”, in Zurich, JRP / Ringier, 2012, p. 114. RISK OF WITHDRAWAL Learning from Las Vernacular Ways – in tribute to François Brunet, Ja- We noticed a revival of craft techniques and the working of material, as well as a certain pleasure, sometimes carnal and sensual, taken in this exploration. With these technical advances showing their vernacular character must be associated the ambiguous attraction that the imagination of rural folklore exerts, as evidenced by the exhibition at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (5). Folk objects are said to be to kitsch trinkets Vegas, La Nouvelle Rai- son du monde, The Anti-Aesthetic, Folklore The Ruin of Exchange and Other Wri- tings on Art,
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