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Forêt Intérieure/Inter ior Forest is a dual-venue exhibition and publication by Los Angel es-based artist Alexandra Grant in collaboration with Paris-based writer Hé lène Cixous. This multi-dimensional project\, which includes a residency co mponent and contributions by both Los Angeles-based and Paris-based artists \, is presented from April 15 to June 28\, 2013 at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica\, CA and from September 6 to October 20\, 2013 at Mains d’O euvres in Saint-Ouen\, France. Pilar Tompkins Rivas\, Curator and Director or Residency Programs at 18th Street Arts Center\, and Isabelle Le Normand\ , Curator of Visual Arts at Mains d’Oeuvres\, are co-organizers of this pro ject.

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Project background

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Several years ago\, the iconic F rench author\, poet\, playwright and philosopher Hélène Cixous gave Grant o ne of her books\, Philippines\, as a source for imagery and entrea ted the artist to make work about the concepts present in the text.  Ph ilippines is based around the story of Peter Ibbetson\, a novel by Georges du Maurier\, where two childhood friends are separat ed by class and country and reunite as adults in their shared dream-life.  The themes of Philippines are often paired: dreaming and reality\; telepathy and empathy\; the “perfect other\;” the shape of two nuts found in a single mandorla or almond (known as a Philippine)\; and relationships between north and south\, man and woman\, colony and colonizer\, and adult and child.

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Grant’s response to Cixous and Philippines is the project Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest centering on the image of a forest as a representation of b oth the shared imagination and a place for congregation and collaboration.  Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest includes a large-scale i nstallation of a forest and a collaborative drawing that invites community participation. Trees in the interior forest will be made of both text and t extiles. The drawing\, functioning both as an illustration and a text scrol l\, represents a visual narrative of Philippines. Created by Grant in conjunction with other artists and members of the public\, the process of working jointly invites contemplation of Cixous’s concepts and develops a platform for shared imagining. The two iterations of the installation in both Santa Monica and Saint Ouen function as mirror images\, or twin versio ns of the same whole.

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Collabo ration with others/Artists Residencies

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Grant has created two ways for Los Angeles-based and Paris-based artists to participate in her project. First\, collaborating artists are i nvited to produce “Visiting Trees” (Arbres d’Ailleurs) inside the Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest installation in either ci ty. Second\, Grant has established “Drawing Residencies” as part of the pro cess of creating the large-scale drawing. Artists are invited to lead the p ublic\, including students\, guests and passersby\, in 3-hour guided sessio ns\, helping to realize the larger work. Participants to date in the projec t at 18th Street Arts Center creating “Visiting Trees” include Channing Han sen\, Bari Ziperstein\, Annelie McKenzie and Tina Linville\, and participan ts in the “Drawing Residencies” include Steve Roden\, Renee Petropoulos\, L ita Albuquerque and Audrey Cottin.

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Programming

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At 18th St reet Arts Center\, Grant and USC professor Robert Nashak will host a readin g group beginning in January 2013 for members of the Los Angeles community interested in Cixous’s work.

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Programm ing at Mains d’Oeuvres includes a public lecture by Hélène Cixous\, and a r eading of Philippines by Cixous’s long-term collaborator\, Daniel Mesguich\, an actor and director of the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’ Art Dramatique.

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Publication

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18th Street Arts Center and M ains d’Oeuvres will co-publish an exhibition catalog documenting the mirror -image projects of Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest and th e collaborative nature of Grant’s work. Contributors to the publication inc lude Alexandra Grant\, the curators Isabelle Le Normand and Pilar Tompkins Rivas\, Hélène Cixous\, Grant’s long-term collaborator\, the hypertext pion eer Michael Joyce\, and Los Angeles-based art critic Andrew Berardini. The full-color catalog is edited by John Farmer and designed by Jessica Fleisch mann.

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For more information:

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www.foretinterieure-interiorforest.com

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/ForetInterieureInteriorForest

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Twitter: @InteriorForest

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Or contact:

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Pilar Tompkins Rivas

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ptompkins@18thstreet .org

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18th Street Arts Center

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1639 18th Street

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Santa Monica\, CA 90404\, USA

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www.18thstreet.o rg

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Isabelle Le Normand

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isabellelenormand@me.com

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Mains d’Oeuvres

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1\, rue Charles Gar nier

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93400 Saint-Ouen\, FRANCE

\n< p style="text-align: justify\;">www.mainsdoeuvres.org

DTEND:20131020 DTSTAMP:20140421T020037 DTSTART:20130906 GEO:48.9052052;2.3389786 LOCATION:Mains d’Œuvres\,1\, rue Charles Garnier 93 400 Saint-Ouen \nParis\ , SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest\, Alexandra Grant UID:268079 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130906T200000 DTSTAMP:20140421T020037 DTSTART:20130906T180000 GEO:48.9052052;2.3389786 LOCATION:Mains d’Œuvres\,1\, rue Charles Garnier 93 400 Saint-Ouen \nParis\ , SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest\, Alexandra Grant UID:268080 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR