La Traverse is an exhibition space dedicated to emerging artists, located in the eponymous space on the ground floor of the Fondation Pernod Ricard, near its Auditorium. In 2023-2024, the Fondation Pernod Ricard reaffirms its support for regional art schools and their teaching through a partnership with ESACM, the École supérieure d'art de Clermont Métropole.
Théo Levillain & Lou Maneval
January 24 - March 9, 2024
"It's through silence that I approach the practices of Théo Levillain and Lou Maneval. Each invokes it as a witness to what begins and ends, insidiously, between layers. Despite their a priori antagonistic approaches, these artists carve out a revealing gap and raise awareness of our relationship to flow, whether perpetual or abruptly interrupted, whether the culprit or the cure for capitalist anxiety. [...]
In the exhibition space lies Eurovision 1956-2023, a blue satin quilt also by Lou Maneval. Embroidered in the folds of the fabric are the various countries that took part in Eurovision, along with their colonies and occupied territories. These cartographic lines, drawn through the fabric, merge into a fluid, barely recognizable mass, similar to the typography of a black metal band. Contained in a quilt, L'Eurovision has become deaf, like a body contained in a blanket.
The same movement takes place with Flûte, a crude steel tube obstructed by two pieces of polystyrene, suspended by copper wires. Théo Levillain infuses this object, part construction waste, part archeological artifact, with sonic and even musical potential, which collides at both ends of the instrument. The melody remains contained, the music interrupted, the tumult hushed."
Chloé Poulain, curator
Picture : courtesy of Lou Maneval
Konstantinos' practice develops around a preferred object, which he adapts according to context and purpose: the bed. Conceived as places, his works are invitations for collaboration on the one hand, and to a structural experience on the other. The bed is not a theme, but a format on which ideas, forms, and bodies rest.
Konstantinos' approach takes the form of a welcoming proposition: while he creates the conditions and context for others to inhabit his pieces, he does not expect results. In contrast to a solitary practice and an individualistic stance, Konstantinos Kyriakopoulos invites other artists to exchange, collaborate, and find alternative tools and ways of thinking for doing things together. Instead of the result, the lived moment is the work’s priority.
"What I wished to present at the Fondation Pernod Ricard is, first of all, a hanging proposal composed of two paintings: the smaller one is the result of a research experiment around the trace that can be left by a handprint. The second, larger, is a dialogue between real and virtual space, punctuating the exhibition space with its variations in color due to the space and time in which it is located. I bet on the interaction of the spectator who could take a picture of it with the activated flash of his phone: another image of the painting appears in reaction on his screen. The trace meets the digital and the imprint resists its absorption by the digital generated by the technological superpower.
Finally, I wanted to propose a fanzine entitled FFLINTA* created in collaboration with the artist Lucie Wahl, inspired by the exhibition Women choose Women held at the New York Cultural Center in 1973. FFLINTA* is conceived according to the sisterhood: a system of invitations, in network, revalorizing the sensitive links connecting the contributors between them in non-mixed chosen, without curatorial glance."
photo © Léa Guintrand
Francisco G. Pinzón Samper
Francisco G. Pinzón Samper is attached to the notion of "range", which refers to the set of characters that an actor manages to slip into. In the same way, they incorporate, archives, a large number of images, links them and reinterprets them to reappropriate them. Just as the actor goes from one role to another, the artist plays with the images without hierarchizing them. Their subjects become actors and the background of their paintings are transformed into movie sets.
Francisco paints what they truly loves. Their inspirations are multiple and heterogeneous: their interest in Fra Angelico is as sincere as their interest in Emilio Pucci, in the 60's and their acidulous colors, as well as in the more contemporary mangas. Painting, a daily activity, creates a salutary distancing from reality that allows them to immerse themselves in a form of introspection and meditation. Their creations give a glimpse of fragments of intimacy: both portraits of their loved ones and the fruit of their personal contemplations. Just as it is possible to read in cards symbols that refer to our desires, our past and our future, their creations are a range of personal allegories.
11 janvier - 25 février 2023
Tipping Edges, 2022
« Les installations de Lucille Leger oscillent entre sculpture fonctionnelle et mobilier radical, présentant des formes abstraites, auxquelles viennent s'agréger des contours connus pour leurs existences domestiques : lampe, rideau, paravent… Au gré d’hybridations plastiques, l’artiste offre une matérialité et une centralité aux zones liminales, aux entre-deux : entre l’intérieur et l’extérieur, entre le privé et le public, entre le naturel et l’artificiel, entre l’art et l’objet. Ses pièces émoussent les frontières et sont empreintes d’une grande porosité avec les contextes de production et d’exposition. Le dialogue est permanent entre l’espace et l'œuvre, par des jeux de contrastes lumineux, par des transparences ou au contraire des obstructions. En perturbant les manières de percevoir et de voir à travers, l’artiste convoque la notion d’écran, omniprésente mais devenue banale dans nos vies quotidiennes. »
Photo : (c) Raphaël Massart
November 16th 2022 - January 8th 2023
« The work I propose is an installation called Coutures. It is composed of concrete iron imitating the movement of a rope. It looks like it is sewing the wall, forming loops of different dimensions before falling on the ground. This concrete iron is treated so that it has a black color with purple reflections.
This installation consists of a gesture evoking the construction of a place, of an architecture. It is a question here of building a space as one builds a garment. By leaving the picture rail, the concrete iron makes an invisible form visible. The gesture of sewing then evokes a way of linking the underside with the top. A game of illusion is created by the contrast between the rigidity of the metal and the rounded, supple forms of a rope. »
September 28th - November 2nd 2022
« Gemini, that is to say, doubled, grouped together, refers to the principle of leap and bounce on which I have been working for several years. First, there is the mirror surface of the painting that reflects the viewer, who sees his body become one with the painting itself. Then there are the successive layers of resin and mica that are superimposed and which archive the process and life in the studio. There is also a kind of theatrical stake of the body, simultaneously pushed to the center and pushed back towards the contours, where the gestures and the paintings themselves ricochet and duplicate in a performative movement. This double-frame and double-painting are as many possibilities for me to question the creative act, as they are to affirm the necessity for a painting to shelter others. »
January 9th - July 9th 2022
Through painting, Lena Long gives an account of a pivotal moment that is difficult to delimit between childhood and adolescence. This passage is replayed endlessly in the frame of the stretcher, by a matt material and acidulous colors.
« I paint packaging, over-decorated cakes, fragile architectures, plastic worlds... Fast food and games are instant and regressive pleasures. They belong as much to the comforting as to the end of the time of men. One oscillates then between tenderness and a bitter-sweet observation. My affection goes to the end of childhood and the beginning of adolescence. It embodies for me the threshold of violence - psychic, economic, climatic. By extracting and appropriating the forces and impulses of adolescence, capitalism regenerates itself. The inflatable, swollen, fluorescent, plastic, dazzling forms are those of this regime. Yet it is also the time of sororities and primaverism. It is these forces and forms that I seek to paint - the place of all these powers. »
May 12th - June 4th 2022
Frederik Exner creates figurative sculptures in various materials.
Images, whether painted, sculpted or even sculptural, are essential in his work, taking precedence over questions of space, form and material.
Creatures, non-human beings, human-object and human-animal hybrids (etc.) often appear in his universe. They fight, caress, invade, cuddle or penetrate each other; devouring themselves in an endless cycle that destabilizes the dualistic hierarchies between nature and culture, subject and object, reality and fiction, human and non-human.
These strange beings are the emissaries of a non-human force and will; of a vitalist materialism that could suggest alternatives to anthropomorphic thinking.
Photo : (c) Tadzio
April 14th - May 7th 2022
Bahar Kocabey explores the plastic possibilities of the portrait and the motif through drawing, painting and ceramics. For the French artist of Kurdish origin, "everything begins with the drawing", a primitive gesture of a double exploration of the form and the formless. Playing with the ambiguities between motifs and "macules" according to the method prescribed by Alexander Cozens1, she then draws on narrative forms not circumscribed to an idea of self-portraiture reduced to a hermetic intimacy.
She thus composes portraits-landscapes. With a gentle hospitality, ochre tones and warm colors dominate the compositions of the artist who articulates the worlds she inhabits simultaneously, while rehabilitating a violently silenced culture. According to the notion of "Kurdish subalternity" developed by Engin Sustam2, she thus draws the horizons of a political cultural identity, multiple and in relation.
1Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, L'art de la tâche : introduction à la Nouvelle méthode d'Alexander Cozens, 1990.
2 Engin Sustam, Art et subalternité kurde : l'émergence d'un espace de production subjective et créative entre violence et résistance en Turquie, 2016.
March 17th - April 9th 2022
« I am interested in the practice of painting not as a medium for creating images, not as a surface, but as a space where I can develop a conversation, confront my own approaches, and especially ask questions about contemporary painting. This space is a zone of conflict between the universal and the personal, abstraction and representation, beauty and truth. I am not interested in a factual truth of the pictorial world but a total truth that comes as an agglomeration of perceptions. It is not always necessary to resolve conflicts, my artistic practice lives in this conflict zone, it leaves me enough air for the development of a singular vision. »
Photo : (c) Aurélien Mole
February 17th - March 12th 2022
« Happy the fault [...] » says a subtitle embroidered under one of Anna Aucante's "Reparations". « Your debt is paid » completes another as if to drive the nail in. In her darned fabrics and augmented with elliptical messages that recall the poetry of the marabouts of Barbès, Anna Aucante intertwines the threads of a sociological as well as artistic texture. Which leads her from the side of the works of young girls of the XIXth century to the most contemporary questions of ecology and debt precisely, that we will be very hardly to honor.
This recent turn in Anna Aucante's practice has allowed her to consider her painting and drawing work in a different way. Mended, patched, sutured, her paintings are also battlefields where it is a question, as the artist nicely says, of putting things in order. And in doing so, to cure an overly pejorative reading of this newfound order, which for her is rather a guarantee of harmony.
John D. Alamer
January 13th - February 12th 2022
John D. Alamer is an artist-author who works to put texts back into circulation through publications that take the form of editorial objects.
December 2nd - December 23rd 2021
This beautiful scam of Luc Balayette... Luc, this new peddler, carries objects and the stories that go with them. He loves to tell his stories to fresh ears.
Loud talking, belching and noises are made possible by his costume: it's his stage. It gives him the ability to express himself in front of a large audience.
His saint-frusquin protects him, exaggerates and amplifies his speech.
It is when he puts on his suit that he is allowed to speak, shout and stamp his feet. It is an armor which withdraws him from himself. Thus dressed in his paraphernalia, he divorces himself from his shyness.
Octobre 28th - November 27th 2021
« In my work, I am mainly interested in the representation of the body. Before the painting stage, which takes place in the studio, I write, draw and stage myself in photographic self-portraits that I sometimes integrate into my paintings. The representation of the female body in cinema has recently been a strong source of inspiration. My interest in storytelling and poetry, however, persists as does an attention to the relationship the final piece has with the exhibition space and its visitors.»
Photo : (c) Thomas Lannes