Elle rit — Une exposition Lab’Bel au Palais de Tokyo


Mixed media

Elle rit
Une exposition Lab’Bel au Palais de Tokyo

Past: November 26 → December 26, 2021

Lab bel art contemporain 13 grid Elle rit ! — Palais de Tokyo Riche d'une trentaine d'oeuvres, l'exposition fait résonner les problématiques inhérentes au sujet de la marque Vache qui rit qui, abordées frontalement, dévoilent des directions de réflexion passionnantes.

Lab’Bel was created in the spring of 2010 with the aim of supporting contemporary creation. The activities of this think-tank or laboratory, which favours innovation and a certain sense of mischievousness, are divided between the creation of a collection, and the production of exhibitions and artistic events both in France and Europe. Lab’Bel is also behind a number of publications and multiples such as The Laughing Cow® Collector’s Edition Boxes.

To date, eight artists have accepted the challenge of transforming a box of 24 portions of soft cheese into a work of art. Launched in 2014 and held every autumn, the Collector’s Edition Box project invites a renowned artist to use the box to create a work of art with a pre-defined format, the aim of which is to make art accessible to a wider public, via the distribution channels of large supermarket chains, thereby challenging received notions about contemporary art and encouraging new collectors. This year, to coincide with the one hundredth anniversary of The Laughing Cow®, the exhibition Elle rit (She’s laughing!) offers the ideal opportunity to bring together the work of these artists within the same exhibition, and to analyse, via the insights brought by their other creations, the conceptual dimensions of their different propositions.

Before being asked to participate in this project, several of these artists already had close ties with The Laughing Cow® and some had even used it in their previous artworks. Naturally, a selection of these older pieces will be on display in the exhibition. Others have deployed their creative process in an individual fashion or in the form of a commission specially conceived for the event, and will also be presented.

However, beyond the link maintained with a brand and the image of a red, laughing cow that has become iconic over time, it is the ambivalence of our positioning regarding an artwork that is really being explored here. Elle rit does not simply question our gaze in terms of the multiple or an artwork produced as part of an industrial process but highlights, often in a humorous fashion, how prisms like the presence or absence of an artist’s signature, the dimensions of the artwork, market value and presentation context are susceptible of changing aesthetic judgement.

The exhibition also showcases the change in approach likely to bring about the intervention of an industrial brand and the degree of suspicion that such an involvement can foster in public consciousness. In various ways, this show raises questions concerning the relationship that can emerge between art and business, as well as the different alternatives that this interaction can bring for artists in a context where the intervention and support of the private sector in the international arts scene is done in an increasingly sensitive and woke manner.

Each of the eight participating artists demonstrate this same desire to change perceptions when it comes to contemporary art, whether this is by making a dent in its icons; by associating an artistic gesture with the proliferation of bovine images; by endowing it with an experimental dimension, or more simply by inviting it to play a role in our daily life in a surprising way. All of these processes and ideas are at work behind the propositions for the Collector’s Edition Boxes and will undoubtedly continue in future editions.

Laurent Fiévet, Lab’Bel Director

Misc venues for this event

The artists