Microscopie du banc


Installation, painting, mixed media, video

Microscopie du banc

Past: April 9 → June 25, 2016

Microscopie du banc exposition micro onde 2 grid Microscopie du banc — Micro Onde, Vélizy Inspirée de la pensée du sociologue Marcel Mauss et son invitation à poursuivre l’observation de notre quotidien, l’exposition Micr... 2 - Bien Critique
Examining the bench

Micro Onde, presents a collective exhibition entitled Examining the Bench. Curated by Sophie Auger and Aline Gheysens, it features an unprecedented selection of works that explore the multiplicity of meanings projected by the public bench and the varied approaches of visual artists to this element of the built environment. The selection includes both historical and contemporary works, some of the latter created especially for the exhibition, by James Benning, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Julie Desprairies, documentation céline duval, Isa Melsheimer, Martin Parr, Zoyâ Pirzâd, Alexandra Sà, Anne Laure Sacriste and Jorge Santos, to name a few. Many of the works are displayed within the Micro Onde’s exhibition spaces, but the presentation also extends out into the streets of Vélizy-Villacoublay.

James benning microscopie du banc medium
James Benning, BNSF, 2012 — Photogramme Vidéo HD, 195 minutes © James Benning — Courtesy of the artist & neugerriemschneider, Berlin

Through installations, films, videos, sculptures, photographs and performances, the exhibition — whose design is the work of the architects Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius and Andreas Krauth of the Berlin-based collective raumlaborberlin — thus has both indoor and outdoor components. It aims to bring together constellations of works revealing the multiple ways in which artists and other thinkers, without geographic restrictions and from varying periods, have addressed two clusters of questions raised by the bench: its form inviting rest and observation, and its purpose as a social instrument.

Collectif raumlaborberlin microscopie du banc medium
collectif raumlaborberlin, The generator — Canapé Saint-Nazaire, 2011 Saint-Nazaire, France Commande par Le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire — Centre d’art contemporain © raumlaborberlin

In large part, the exhibition is inspired by Marcel Mauss’s writings, and in particular his “Techniques of the Body”. In this work, Mauss extends an invitation to all later researchers in the social and human sciences, urging them to devote closer attention to the habits, the attitudes of the body with which we fill our lives. The bench, and the practice of sitting on a bench, are certainly among those things to which we typically ascribe little importance, if not none at all. Nevertheless, the bench is that object of our existence, hardly noticeable when it is shrewdly positioned, where we sit to remake the world, fired by a vision that encompasses everything, whether close by or much farther away. It is on a bench, taking a breather between two pressing matters, between two sources of anxiety, that we find an environment conducive to refocusing our mind on ourselves and the world.

Documentation celine duval medium
documentation céline duval, Points de vues, série, 2015 — Encre polymère sur dibond — 80 x 53 cm Courtesy Semiose galerie, Paris

Examining the Bench presents works that encourage us to look at the bench as an object in a system of relations — relations maintained by individuals with themselves, with others, and with the landscape around them — thus underscoring the ways in which the bench activates these relations, in spaces that may or may not naturally lend themselves to contemplation. Among examples are the series of photographs and postcards put together by documentation céline duval or Zoyâ Pirzâd’s short story “Le banc d’en face”, describing the projection of a man’s anxieties and desires, while seated on a bench, onto the person standing opposite him.

Anne laure sacriste coper floral microscopie du banc medium
Anne-Laure Sacriste, Coper floral, 2015 — Acrylique sur toile — 150 x 195 cm © Nicolas Pfeiffer — Courtesy of the artist

The exhibition also unveils pieces evoking or provoking a moment’s rest, encouraged by the presence of a bench within the exhibition. This is the case for Anne Laure Sacriste’s work, which is directly inspired by the universe of Isamu Noguchi, and the care he devoted to the selection of stones in conceiving a bench. But it is also true, bringing to bear very different languages of representation, for the site-specific stucco creation by Jorge Santos, James Benning’s film BNSF and the photographic series Three Sheep by Daniel Gustav Cramer.

Jorge santos microscopie du banc medium
Jorge Santos, Tragaluz, 2005 — Flaque de plexiglas noire avec le dessin du reflet d’un arbre Courtesy of the artist

The experience continues outside Micro Onde’s walls, but in the vicinity of the art centre, where Julie Desprairies proposes an experimental intervention taking the form of an unusual stroll through town, while a group of sculpture installations by Alexandra Sà recasts the urban landscape.

L’exposition sera fermée du 16 avril au 2 mai 2016 inclus

78 Yvelines Zoom in 78 Yvelines Zoom out

8 bis, avenue Louis Bréguet

78140 Vélizy-Villacoublay

T. 01 78 74 39 17

Official website

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday, 1 PM – 6:30 PM
Saturday, 11 AM – 4 PM
Les soirs de spectacles, ouverture 1h avant la représentation

The artists

  • Martin Parr
  • Alexandra Sá
  • Anne Laure Sacriste
  • Daniel Gustav Cramer
  • Documentation Céline Duval
  • James Benning
  • Julie Desprairies
  • Zoyâ Pirzâd
  • Jorge Santos