At Crédac, house room according to Proust

“La Fugitive”, the new collective exhibition of Crédac (the center of modern art in Ivry-sur-Seine), highlights the Proustian character of Albertine. The group show brings together seventeen modern and contemporary artists, most of whom aim to express and represent their own lesbian identity.

“La Fugitive” is the title originally given by Marcel Proust to the fifth volume of In Search of Lost Time (1923). The author presents the moment when the narrator, invaded by jealousy, keeps Albertine captive in his apartment. The exhibition defines a journey from the young woman’s domestic space to the author’s conflicting thoughts and seeks to trace Albertine’s sexuality and incomprehensible personality.

The bedroom space is the central object in the exhibition’s first room, where the artists, using very precise vocabulary, invite us into this place of intimate retreat and the expression of desire that constitutes home. On either side of the room, the colorful and silky curtains offAnne Børs (born in 1982, Lyon) gives a familiar aspect to the room. Exhibited in the form of an installation, the film La Chambre (1972) by Chantal Akerman (1950-2015, Brussels) presents the Belgian director, then aged 22, lying in his bed. The bed, the bedroom and everyday life thus form the core of the action both in and outside the film. In the center of the room there is a platform that is fitted with a carpet and pillows, designed by the French artist Marc-Camille Chaimowicz (born in 1947, Paris), who manages to bring us into the affective and intimate dimension of the objects that we live with.

The second room of the exhibition refers to Marcel’s fragmented portrait of Albertine: sometimes a beautiful and desirable woman, sometimes repulsive. Inspired by the post-porn political and artistic movement, which proposes to take sexuality out of private and normative boundaries, Melissa Boucher (born in 1986, Paris) presents a set of silver photographs of female pornographic images. Covered in ultra-reflective glass, his images resemble tinsel, creating an admirable sense of destabilization. Like Albertine and the pictures of Mélissa Boucher, the sculptures of Cecile Bouffard (born in 1987, Paris) is on the border between different states, difficult to define. With a haptic aspect, his wooden objects, coated or covered with fabrics or latex, seem to call for a hand gesture. However, they prove to be elusive due to their fluid and abstract nature.

The last room and Crédakino – the space in the art center dedicated to screenings – show different forms of resistance to desire. Thereby, Tirdad Hashemi (born in 1991, Tehran) and Soufia Erfanian (born in 1990, Mashad), a couple of Iranian origin, tells about their daily life characterized by several trips, through drawings in a childlike style, where everything seems possible. On their side, Pauline Boudry (born in 1972, Lausanne) and Renate Lorenz (born in 1963, Bonn), presents Opaque (2014), a short film built around a curtain and two artists who claim to be representatives of a secret organization. The curtain is up to ensure their anonymity. Behind him, an excerpt from The Declared Enemy (1970) by Jean Genet is spoken, where the writer asks the question of how to proceed in a war or a struggle for the resistance, without a declared and visible enemy. Artists seem to appeal to the desire to have a real, unyielding enemy. To claim opacity is indeed to recognize the right to assert oneself.

As in the Recherche, Albertine is evoked here in fragments. Conceived as a cartography of lesbian women’s cultural productions, this exhibition questions a visual culture inherited from the male gaze and revitalizes the reflection on the place of queer people in the history of art and literature.

Exhibition “The Fugitive”
Until 18 December 2022 in Crédac
1 place Pierre Gosnat – 94200 Ivry-sur-Seine

Marc Camille Chaimowicz, A partial vocabulary1984-2008, courtesy of FRAC Nouvelle Aquitaine MECA

Chantal Akerman, Bedroom2012, courtesy of the Chantal Akerman Foundation and Marian Goodman Gallery / Mélissa Boucher and Adèle de Keyzer, Bad type2022, Courtesy of the artists

Cecile Bouffard, …still confused and refugee2022, courtesy of the artist / Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, Wig Piece (Entangled Phenomena VI)2019, courtesy of the artists, Marcelle Alix, Paris and Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam

Cecile Bouffard, refugee2022, with permission from the artist

Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, Opaque2014, Courtesy of the artists, Marcelle Alix, Paris and Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam

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