09.21 -- 10.21.2018
Whilst searching for the generic title under which the exhibitions, con- certs, screenings and performances of the next edition of Le Printemps de septembre could be placed, the words of sound and fury surfaced again and again, galvanised by Shakespeare's celebrated formula. That is not to say that our festival has undertaken the task of illustrating the vio- lence of the world, but it was obvious that several of this year's emblem- atic artworks were inspired by the will to position themselves in the midst of history's conflicts and tensions. This is now the principle adopted by many contemporary artists.
Lisa Reihana and Vincent Meessen lucidly confront the colonial issue (one at the Théâtre Garonne, the other at the Musée Saint-Raymond). Tracey Moffatt (also at the Théâtre Garonne) addresses its consequences, as, more distantly, does Laurent Mareschal (at the Hôtel-Dieu). The works of Alexander Kluge (at the Goethe-Institute and various other sites) and Ange Leccia (at the Maison Salvan in Labège) are haunted by war. Domination never establishes itself without commotion. And what can art, with the fra- gility of its multiple forms, do when confronted by this deafening insistence of history? Its condition remains that of a frail sound, the music of resistance.
In the opening of the fourth and last volume of his autobiographical undertaking The Rule of the Game, Michel Leiris described this Frêle bruit as an “archipelago”, a “constellation” or a “mozaic”, in any case an “assem- blage”. As many metaphors that stand for our festival. Like the fragmen- tary structure of Leiris's book, the festival's anatomy clearly states the refusal or the impossibility of a unified vision. Contemporary art's condi- tion in the polycentered world of globalisation suggests the image of an archipelago of archipelagos. Indeed, the sparse extent of coexistent para- digms defies any totalising understanding, unless we adopt the dogmatic comb of ideology.
Thus, at the scale of Toulouse (but also in Colomiers, Cugnaux and Labège) and with extensions in the Occitania region (in Grisolles and Saint- Gaudens), Le Printemps de septembre presents thirty-two exhibitions of works created for the occasion or shown for the first time in France as well as concerts, performances and the return of it’s famous Radio du bout de la nuit, animated and directed this year by Alain Bublex with *DUUU – radio.
he auto-reflexivity of the museum exhibition and its institutional critique made up a large sequence of the festival's previous edition. They resur- face in Nina Childress's exhibition at the Musée Paul-Dupuy, where she develops her view on women in painting throughout history from a selec- tion of forty-one pieces dating from 1501 to 1925 taken from the Musée des Augustins' collection to which she adds thirty-one of her own paint- ings.
The exhibitions of Bruno Gironcoli (in the refectory of the Jacobins con- vent), Hippolyte Hentgen (at the Château d'Eau gallery), Marie Losier (at the BBB centre d'art) and Virginie Loze (Musée Paul-Dupuy) echo Nina Childress's caustic humour, as does the group exhibition by Sylvie Auvray, Florent Dubois and Amandine Meyer (Grottesques, at the Pavillon Blanc in Colomi- ers) or the wrestling match of Cassandro El Exotico at the Cartoucherie – as many accounts of contemporary burlesque's formidable craftiness.
The forms of “After Cinema” moving image are notably illustrated by Gerard Byrne and Sven Anderson's installation at the Fondation espace écureuil, by David Claerbout's considerable exhibition at the Abattoirs, by Ange Leccia's new videos as well as the small films created by Alexander Kluge for the festival, or Philippe Decrauzat's new film, the soundtrack of which is set with live music by Will Guthrie.
The echo of current conflicts resounds in Barbara Barberis's photo- graphs of the occupied factory Rimaflow in Milan (Espace Saint-Cyprien), in the Jacqueline de Jong retrospective at les Abattoirs or in the homage paid to Bert Theis.
Elegiac sensitivity to urban entropy pervades Yvan Salomé's commis- sioned works that are inspired by the Bellefontaine neighbourhood as much as it does the suburban railway landscapes paced by Michel Perot around Paris (at the CIAM – La Fabrique).
Attention to the visually impaired and the hard of hearing's sentient experience is revealed in Tarek Atoui's musical sculptures and perfor- mances as well as in Camille Llobet's videos in Cugnaux or Javier Téllez's film (during The Night of Courtyards).
Drawings, paintings, sound performances; Élodie Lesourd and Laurent Proux share Lieu-Commun; Latifa Echakhch sets up at the Chapelle Saint- Jacques in Saint-Gaudens; Stéphane Dafflon has designed a coloured ceiling for the forecourt of the Riverside building by the Canal du Midi.
Anne Deguelle's installation in Grisolles builds upon the investigation into Marcel Duchamp's patronal and still mysterious work, a kind of hom-
age to this figure who remains inseparable from the modern canon. The group exhibitions imagined by Jill Gasparina at the isdaT, by Marc Bembe- koff and Garance Chabert at the Carrosserie Sérignac and by Arnaud Fourrier at the Pavillon Blanc in Colomiers contribute to the genealogy of contemporary forms and sensitivities.
Finally, the Jacobins receive a creation by Sarkis, Mesure de la Lumière, in their sublime and singular church.
In these ways, Fracas et Frêles Bruits brings to light and to sound the coexistence of forms and practices – inclusive of the concerts, perfor- mances and other one-off events imagined by Anne-Laure Belloc – as so many attempts at saying and conceiving the world as well as what art can add to it without hampering or losing it.
In 2016 Le Printemps de septembre held the first of its biennale editions. Many of us will remember the tune from Ragnar Kjartansson's installation at the Théâtre Garonne, the sand that Hans Op de Beeck spread out as far as the eye could see at the Jacobins or the local statuettes taken from the Fondation Cartier's collection that joyously stood alongside the Roman- esque ones from the Musée des Augustins. Guided by Christian Bernard and the twelve curators associated with that year's edition, Le Printemps de septembre wished to move the city, its places and its residents by cre- ating a living, emotional circuit as much for the ears as for the eyes.
Without ambiguity, the amount of counted admissions (over 200 000) show the public's inclination and curiosity for contemporary creation in all its diversity as well as for the exigency of its forms. This year's edition fur- thers the trait of a festival of exhibitions and performances, affecting our senses, gazes and minds, closely echoing the spaces that host them and introducing us to emerging forms of expression. One of the titles imagined by Christian Bernard for one of the festival's exhibitions – I'll Be Your Mirror – seems especially representative of the project as a whole by suggesting the singular reflection of the world as it is today and now. I am of course delighted, for example, that the festival attests to the extraordinary vitality of female creation.
Marc Bembekoff and Garance Chabert, Marie Delanoë, Émilie Flory, Arnaud Fourrier, Jill Gasparina, Valérie Mazouin, Manuel Pomar, Valentin Rodriguez, Paul de Sorbier and Annabelle Ténèze are the associate cura- tors for this year's edition. Our wish was for it to be plural, fed by multiple worlds and practices that would pervade the city, its urban area and the Region. I wish to take this opportunity to warmly thank all of Le Printemps de septembre's public and its partners who contribute to making Tou- louse an essential stopover for art. I hope that together we will continue to develop it even more in the years to come.