In 2020, the programme at the Frac is to be devoted to dance and visual arts centred on two group exhibitions — Dancing Machines and Danser sur un volcan — and a monographic exhibition devoted to Cécile Bart.
The first and founding image is that of our own reflection. This allows awareness of ourselves, of our otherness, and induces our relation with the Other. Our representations of ourselves are hence the fruit of negotiation with the world around us, with the body of others and with the image that we have of others.
In the arts, representation of the body is the reflection of our successive religious and philosophical conceptions. Our history of art and dance shows their evolution and the great societal and ideological upsets that we are experiencing. With the horrors of the 20th century, wars and genocides — which continue today — representations of the body have swept away the traditional codes and observe the collapse of humanism.
Thus, after the disfigured, tormented, torn, disarticulated and fragmented bodies of Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, Jean Fautrier, Alberto Giacometti or Francis Bacon, to mention just a few, came ‘post-human’ art intrinsically linked with progress in genetics, aesthetic surgery and biotechnology.
In parallel, the history of dance in the 20th century shows an identical calling into question of academic codes in order to test the scope of the possible for the body and to move towards more expressibility and liberty. As scores became more complex, dance soon became focused on the study of the internal potential of the body (from Leonardo DeVinci’s Vitruvian Man to the kinesphere of the dancer, choreographer and dance theoretician Rudolf Laban) to attempt to go beyond its constraints.
Starting with the observation that artists use happenings and performances to make their own bodies a work of art, while broadening their discipline to the field of living art but without ever blending into it and that choreographers borrow from the field of contemporary art, the exhibition Dancing Machines questions the way in which these disciplines interact and the way artists and choreographers represent and show the body today — under the angle of its limits and internal constraints.
In the exhibition, that groups plastic or performance works by visual artists and choreographers, three questions are therefore addressed: the hinged body, the body as an object and the technological body.
The exhibition is markedly participative and invites the public to handle, experiment and put into play his/her own body. The visitor is in turn a walker or an actor, abandoned or dreaming, alone or in a group and has physical involvement in the works, gaining an almost intimate relation with the exhibition. Performances by the dancers and artists Laurent Goldring, Noé Soulier, Esther Ferrer and Wagner Schwartz are also held throughout the exhibition.