This fall, FRAC Lorraine hosts for the first time an exhibition developed by an independent curator, Inti Guerrero (1983, Bogota, Colombia), winner of the 2009 MARCO/FRAC Lorraine Award for Young Curators. Inaugurated this year in collaboration with MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo (Spain), this competition aims to support new generations of professional curators.
"Featuring a broad range of international artists and film directors, the exhibition investigates the complex connections between societies and religiosity in relation to institutions, politics, popular culture and collective memory. It asks provocative questions about the ways that belief systems render our psychology, social hierarchies, idiosyncrasies and imaginaries.
The point of departure of the show is a series of aerial photographs of the Nazca lines in Peru taken by Marilyn Bridges in the late 1970's, which is part of the FRAC Lorraine collection. Bridges' dramatic compositions, taken "from up there," invert the traditional gaze of the earth upward to the heavens that these sacred marks invoked in the past, desacralizing the "above" and exposing the void beneath the clouds. Through different media and a wide range of historical, cultural and political references, the works in Flying down to Earth explore a few key subjects: ritualistic structures employed to comment on representations of the social body (Taller E.P.S. Huayco, Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, and Alexandre Vogler); disenchantment and rebellion in the individual's psyche towards religious dogmas (Flávio de Carvalho, Ossama Mohammed and Valérie Mréjen); acts of iconoclasm and iconophily that confront the omniscient presence of power both political and divine (Samuel Beckett, Cristina Lucas and José Alejandro Restrepo). Without fetishizing "the esoteric" or "the occult", this exhibition attempts to understand how our identities are marked by the rituals of affiliation to or emancipation from the sacred. It seeks to capture that precise crucial moment that marks a perceived epiphany or an irreparable disenchantment, as well as the social background of such individual experiences.
The exhibition's installment at MARCO responded to the museum's specific setting – a former panoptic prison – by emphasizing the idea of a divine gaze that pervades our everyday lives. The installation at the FRAC Lorraine builds on this subject of surveillance by integrating a permanent work in the space, Forever by artist Dora García, which allows both the artist and the on-line public to continuously observe the interior of the exhibition space."—I.G.
On the occasion of this exhibition, MARCO and FRAC Lorraine have published a cuatrilingual catalogue (Galician-Spanish-French-English) edited by Inti Guerrero which gathers a number of essays by: Lucy Lippard, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Cosmin Costinas, Álvaro Díez Asteteşand Rasha Salti; artist's text by José Alejandro Restrepo as well as the peculiar aesthetic, psychological and social theses by renowned playwright Samuel Beckett and controversial avant-garde artist Flávio de Carvalho.
CO-PRODUCTION: MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo (Spain)
LENDERS: ArteEast, New York ; Bacanas Books, Sao Paulo ; Collection Fulvia & Adolpho Leirner, Sao Paulo ; Evergreen Review, New York ; Gallery Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid; Gallery Serge Le Borgne, Paris.With the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris