Date : From Friday, December 9, 2016 to Sunday, February 26, 2017. Free admission, tuesday to sunday, 11am to 6pm
Theme : A selection of artists from the Fondation d'entreprise Ricard Prize
Opening: Thursday December 8, 7:30 pm
Winning a prize is an honor, a reward, a bliss. It is a feeling more than anything else. Even the attention it brings to the winner is a fugitive one. Prize-winners come and go, like seasons. An exhibition based on the history of a prize, the outstanding Ricard Prize, which was inaugurated in 1999, and since has distinguished an emerging artist on the young French art scene each year, invites us to think beyond the very logic of what a prize does, which is to single out a personae at a given time. Instead, it asks to consider what can be common, continuous, reiterative in a situation that the award of the Prize creates in the life and work of an artist.
Hence, this situation always happens midstream: it’s neither a starting nor an end point, but a time in a career, one both settled and unsettled, stabilized and troubled. Among the artists in the exhibition, Tatiana Trouvé was awarded the Ricard Prize some fifteen years ago, while Camille Blatrix is a much recent recipient, from 2014. This exhibition of seven of the artists who won the Prize since its inception, calls attention to how artists, undistracted by competition for fame and prizes, develop a practice in the long run, maintain deliberate, conscious control, keeping to the plan, the subject, the gait and the direction of the work.
El Eco, here, wishes to highlight the long-lasting support, and trust, of the Ricard Foundation for the artists who, once, have won the Prize, knowing that what matters is as much what the work is as where it’s going. The exhibition “Time Will Tell” pays interest to how an artist life and practice and the works that it produces represent figures of adaptations, transitions, and transactions, in a world, especially today, with fewer and fewer assurances of futurity.
In many ways, El Eco itself is a space of adaptations, transitions and transactions. Conceived by the German artist Mathias Goeritz and the Mexican businessman Daniel Mont, Museo Experimental el Eco first opened in 1953 as a visionary project dedicated to show the art of its time. A museum with no collection, El Eco was itself an “experiment” of what Goeritz called Emotional Architecture: a direct criticism to Modern architecture for being too rational and too “cold”, proposing instead an architecture design with almost no 90 degree angles. A project space of sorts –an inhabitable sculpture painted in a Modern palette of white, black, gray and yellow–, with an interdisciplinary spirit that followed Goeritz’s aesthetic and pedagogical ideas.
The seven artists participating in the exhibition “Time Will Tell” at El Eco will be traveling to Mexico City to install their work in this very unique, and richly storied, exhibition space. For most of them, it is the first time they are showing work in the country and all are either producing new pieces or attuning ongoing projects to the exhibition. Katinka Bock is focusing on the long entry corridor of El Eco installing a sculpture that takes almost 20 meters of wall space, lodged in the “throat” of the building, which she interprets almost anatomically. Boris Achour and Camille Blatrix will also work site-specifically for the exhibition, considering the singular nature of El Eco, its patio¬—the largest space in the museum—, the natural light and the affects of the space. Isabelle Cornaro will realize new paintings from the series “Reproductions”: spray-painted directly on the wall, they are enlarged versions of images taken from 16mm films that themselves document the execution of spray painted works from the viewpoint of the artist.
Tatiana Trouvé will be showing a series of sculptures that establish a dialogue with the architecture of the space. Raphaël Zarka has developed over the past years an ongoing project titled Riding Modern Art; a personal collection of photographs capturing skaters around the world “riding” Modern public sculptures. He will present a part of this collection in the exhibition, and will use his stay as an opportunity to pursue his research and expand his collection with pictures taken in Mexico City. “Time Will Tell” will also include an important chapter of Lili Reynaud-Dewar’s long term project My Epidemic. It is a large and profuse installation in the room upstairs at the museum that will host a seminar where the artist re-enacts, resumes, and addresses a seminar that Bjarne Melgaard gave in Venice in 2001 entitled "Beyond Death: Viral Discontents and Contemporary Notions about AIDS".
If the artists in “Time Will Tell” are grouped together and unified by the fact that they are all recipients of the Fondation d'entreprise Ricard Prize, the exhibition articulates richer connections between them, connections that have a more pliable logic. Finally, and to the point, they share a temporality and a historicity that are revealed through the common exploration of a particular space.
El Eco –a museum without a collection–, as Goeritz and Mont envisioned it, is a space where the experiential and the transitory are central to its conception, where flows and effects win over objects. In this sense, “Time Will Tell” focuses on the sensorial perception of this building and its spatial, social and aesthetic discourse, to allow the artworks to take place.
The exhibition will be a coproduction between Museo Experimental El Eco, Pernod Ricard Mexico and the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard. Since the beginning, the collaboration between El Eco, which is part of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) since 2005 and the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard has grown naturally in strength. Like El Eco, the Foundation is an experimental, interdisciplinary space. Established in 2006, the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard has been a springboard for a whole generation of artists. The Foundation exists to back today's French art and increase its visibility nationally and internationally.