Between the lines. Art and literature

Guest authors : Jakuta Alikavazovic, Christine Angot, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, Maryline Desbiolles and Daniel Rondeau.

After a first interdisciplinary exhibition devoted to French figurative painting, MO.CO. Montpellier Contemporain explores the numerous links between art and literature, between artists of words and artists of forms.

This exploration begins with a historical introduction to the subject of art criticism, from Denis Diderot to Simone de Beauvoir, via Charles Baudelaire, Paul Claudel, André Malraux, Paul Valéry and Francis Ponge. Painted masterpieces are set against texts that enhance them.

The exhibition is not, however, an overview of the history of literature and of the arts. Five authors have been invited to conceive a special project, to reveal their link with contemporary art. These include : the friendship that unites a writer and an artist (Daniel Rondeau and Eduardo Arroyo), the intimate knowledge of the studio (Maryline Desbiolles and Bernard Pagès), the work created together (Christine Angot and Patrick Bouchain), the artwork that nourishes reflection and the work of writing (Jean-Baptiste Del Amo), to the art that we admire because it crystallizes time (Jakuta Alikavazovic). Each artist was free to take over one of the spaces and propose his or her own exhibition, creating a varied itinerary and a kaleidoscope of singular, subjective proposals.

The exhibition also features artists’ books, writers speaking of painting, artists talking about literature, and the figure of the poet-artist (Gao Xingjian, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000).

The links between art and literature were highlighted by Daniel Rondeau in the form of a tribute to Eduardo Arroyo. This recently-deceased Spanish painter never ceased to pay tribute to men and women of letters in his paintings and sculptures. Maryline Desbiolles, for her part, has long worked with artists, as her collection of texts Écrits pour voir (Writing for seeing) attests. She proposes to fix her gaze on works that are familiar to her, with which she never ceases to trace her own path, focusing on the notion of “place.” The decompartmentalization of artistic practices allows a porosity that enables certain authors and artists to collaborate on a collective creative project. Today, Christine Angot joins forces with architect Patrick Bouchain for a piece entitled Dressing.

At MO.CO. Panacée, Jakuta Alikavazovic and Jean-Baptiste Del Amo take over the spaces. She sees the exhibition as a feeling of time suspended between past and future, memory and foreboding, ruin and rebirth. Jean-Baptiste Del Amo investigates a project that began with a text written for the stage. He explores bodies and a particular place with which they are associated: the forensic medical institute.

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