Esther Ferrer — Face B. Image / Autoportrait


Installation, photography, video

Esther Ferrer
Face B. Image / Autoportrait

Past: February 15 → July 13, 2014

Esther ferrer mac val 2 grid Esther Ferrer — Mac/Val Avec cette très belle rétrospective intitulée « Face B. Image / Autoportrait », c’est une figure de l’art atypique et singulière qu... 2 - Bien Critique

To launch the 2014 season, the MAC/VAL is honouring Esther Ferrer, pioneer of action and performance art, in a solo exhibition based on her self portraits created since the 1970s.

Bringing together installations, videos and over a hundred photographs, the present exhibition reveals how aspects of the body and its transformations have nourished Ferrer’s art from its earliest days.

This second event follows a 2013 exhibition at the Frac Bretagne1 devoted to commemorating Ferrer’s performance art.

Esther Ferrer seeks to define her own individuality, using her body as a tool for creation and expression with both simplicity and radicalism. Although she is the primary subject of her own work, her production functions as an offering of the self, a straightforward method for making and saying things without the addition of superfluous props or decor in an utter austerity and economy of means.

She stages her own body to observe the world evolve in time and space.

The work of Esther Ferrer blends humor, laughter, the absurd, irony, derision, and formal economy.

Hers is an art without compromise, brut, if not brutal, at times violent, but also eminently political. Although her primary purpose lies elsewhere, from the beginning, Ferrer’s art has been both social and political — before being an artist, she is a feminist, an anarchist, and a political activist.

Without imagining that she will change the world, Ferrer seeks to encourage new manners of perception and awareness among its members.

For nearly fifty years, her coherent, crafted and constant message has always been an invitation to freedom, one that remains in perfect resonance with the present.

Born in 1937 in San Sebastián, Spain, Ferrer has lived and worked in Paris since the 1970s. In 1999, she represented Spain at the Venice Biennale. In 1967, Ferrer joined ZAJ, a group founded in 1964 by Raymond Barcé, Walter Marchetti, and Juan Hidalgo. She remained a faithful member until the group’s dissolution in 1997. ZAJ came into existence under the Franco dictatorship and was influenced by the work of John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, and the Fluxus movement (although it was not truly affiliated with the latter). Its members favored radical and experimental performances in which music played an important role. Whether in collaboration with ZAJ or in her more personal activities, Esther Ferrer created a broad range of plastic work, which was nevertheless linked to ephemeral events. An emblematic figure of performance art, the medium upon which most of her work is based, she also creates reworked photographs, videos, installations, models, and objects. These works are always marked with a minimalist spirit and extreme rigor.

1 The exhibition “Le chemin se fait en marchant (face A)” took place from 11 January to 14 April 2013 at the Fonds régional d’art contemporain Bretagne in Rennes.

  • Esther Ferrer, Face B. Image / Autoportrait Opening Friday, February 14, 2014 at 6:30 PM
  • Interludes - MAC VAL Musée d'art contemporain du Val-de-Marne Interludes — Deux jours pour explorer certains aspects de la performance aujourd’hui Event April 5 → 6, 2014

    Two days to explore some aspects of performance today with Esther Ferrer’s exhibition.

  • Projections et interludes critiques autour d’Esther Ferrer — 15h / 19h Event Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 3 PM

    A selection of films, videos and sounds which cast different shades of light on Esther Ferrer’s oeuvre. ‘Interludes critiques’ will punctuate the program, providing periods of interruption in the flow of images and sounds. With Xavier Boussiron, Patricia Brignone, Marion Daniel, Esther Ferrer, Cyril Jarton, Tom Johnson, Frank Lamy, Sophie Lapalu.

  • La peinture élargie Event Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 3 PM

    Three painters from the MAC/VAL collection leave the canvas surface in order to tackle the themes of ‘stage’, ‘live’ and ‘event’. With the spectacles : ‘Portait numéro 8’, Hippolyte Hentgen / John John — ‘Objet spectacle’, Emmanuelle Villard — ‘Les enfants travaillent pour se réchauffer’, Virginie Yassef.

94 Val-de-Marne Zoom in 94 Val-de-Marne Zoom out

Place de la Libération

94400 Vitry-sur-Seine

T. 01 43 91 64 20

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday, 10 AM – 6 PM
Saturday & Sunday, noon – 7 PM
Fermeture les 1er janvier, 1er mai et 25 décembre

Admission fee

Full rate €5.00 — Concessions €2,5

Entrée gratuite pour tous les premiers dimanches de chaque mois

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Venue schedule

The artist

  • Esther Ferrer