09.27 -- 10.13.2002
Last year, after ten years in Cahors, the Printemps de Cahors changed town and name. Of course, the two tragedies od September 2001 overshadowed everything else, but the festival went ahead nevertheless. Indeed, it seemed to be very much at home in this open and energetic town of Toulouse.
This year, it hopes to give of its best in this city whose wounds are now slowly heading. The scale is different here, as are expectations. In Cahors, the Printemps was supported by a real sense of local solidarity, and the inventive spirit that organisers and artists brought to dealing with the various difficulties. Here, the Printemps is moving into another dimension, a more professional, genuinely international one. As it does so it is determined to remain that "observatory of contemporary art" that the original team set out to create.
Still, art has changed a great deal over the last ten years. Its venues ans circuits have developed considerably, and art-making has become increasingly professional and global, for better and for worse. At the same time, today's art, more than ever, represents a rigorous and radical way of thinking about the world, about its changes, uncertainties and complexity. Its social and political dimensions are now central constituents, whatever the mode of expression, whether inside or outside the institutions.
The unifying theme of the 2002 edition, Fragilities, proposed by the curator of exhibitions, Marta Gili, offers a very acute, subtle take on the present situation, in both the public and the private spheres. Far from being static, this vision encourages us to question the instruments and assumptions with which we attempt to decipher the world. It is, as Gili writes, an invitation to each one of us to bring our "sensibilities out into the open".
Once again, the artists show us the way forward here - for example, by doing without the certainties that come from a well-established practice, from mastery of a single medium. We see them moving between and mixing different forms of expression ( photography, video, projection, installation) and going from museum to public space. The festival itself can be read as a huge installation in progress, combining exhibitions, projects and interventions in the city, projections and live shows (music, performance).
Mobility and hybridity - the guiding principles are clearly in phase with the nature of the big city that to a large extent inspired them, and about which, indirectly, they also speak to us. The "observatory" is now no longer a fixed point. And the "observer" is no longer a detached critical consciousness, but is caught up in the movement between the different forms of expression. He or she is an active participant, like the scientist who is part of the experiment, changing it by the simple fact of being there, or like the beholder who, in a way, "makes" the work.
This "uncertainly principle", which is more than ever at the heart of today's art, is also one of the sources of the pleasure that it gives us. And it is this pleasure that we wanted to share in this Printemps de septembre 2002, which exists thanks to the fidelity of the companies whose sponsorship has financed more than half of this festival ever since its inception - thanks to them and thanks also to the City of Toulouse, whose major, Philippe Douste-Blazy, has always supported art, to the DRAC - Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Midi-Pyrénées Regional Council.