La Nuit électrique

Anne FrémyYona FriedmanThéodora BaratPeter DownsbroughLola GonzàlezYan TomazewskiNicholas Vargelis

Under the curatorship of Sylvie Boulanger and Nicholas Vargelis: films and light installation.

As part of Nuit Blanche 2020, cneai = joins the MABA park for an electric and video journey.

A shared and electric Nuit Blanche, a pathway of films and artist installations in the MABA Artists’ Park.

Lit by a guiding thread of lighting that reveals the infrastructure and alters the light on the environment (Nicholas Vargelis), the film journey magnifies the urban electrical network that serves as a conduit here. The pathway unveils the public infrastructure, the common good for residents. The indispensable electrical network for urban development transforms into a living network, bringing forth images from artists that question our place in this world, the connections between nature and the city, the territory, and the role of living beings in society.

Théodora Barat
Or anything at all except the dark pavement
vidéo 5’24″, 2011

“Or anything at all except the dark pavement” is a two-part traveling shot: a nocturnal breakthrough in the city that fades into the background in favor of luminous urban staging, fantasized visions of roadside landscapes. The film was co-produced by cneai = and Théodora Barat.

Peter Downsbrough
vidéo 4’20 », 2003

Peter Downsbrough’s films constitute a lesser-known part of his work. The human figure gradually disappears in favor of the representation of the city and its flows, with moving images as their main subject. In SET[TING], a sonic, linguistic, and visual composition unfolds from a meeting room located in the heights of a skyscraper in the La Défense district in Paris. It’s a film about the urban environment, constructed as a natural environment for humans.

Anne Frémy
Le langage des f….
vidéo 2’56 », 2010

The reference image in architecture deserves to be considered as a thought image,” writes the artist. “Le langage des f….” seems to be a hiatus in Anne Frémy’s research on architectural images.

“No one knows that I love you” “Don’t forget me” “Can I love again” “I believe in you”… Poem or list of romantic expressions; a literary register situated between the language of the insane and the language of flowers. It’s the image from our imagination at stake, and ultimately the only true image if one considers that behind the image, it’s the supports of the meaning’s investment that play the main role in the work of the artist-researcher. Ultimately, architecture, flowers, or love are the same subject when it comes to questioning the conditions of image emergence, how or when an image can inspire or trigger a project, or finally, “who wanders between space and time thanks to images?”

Yona Friedman
Vidéo 8’35’’, 1980-1990

Drawn on 16mm film and edited at sixteen images per second, this film was published by Cneai in 2011 (original silver packaging, 150 copies). “Gribouilli” is the animated version of the architectural principle “Irregular Structures,” one of the foundations of the Spatial City developed by the artist since the 1960s. The film is accompanied by an original sound creation by Areski Belkacem.

Advocating disciplined anarchy and realistic utopia, Yona Friedman, as seen with “Gribouilli,” goes beyond disciplinary boundaries. Architect, artist, sociologist, anthropologist, he develops research applied to ways of inhabiting the earth. Far from any ideology, Yona Friedman develops processes of self-decision. The right to understand and the right to interpret according to one’s own experience are the passwords underlying a holistic and systemic but above all, a political philosophy.

Lola Gonzàlez
Yuyan & Dédé
vidéo, 0’49 », 2019

Telma & Anouk
HD video, 4’25 », 2019

Anouk & Lola
HD video, 2’42 », 2020

Sing Outvidéo,
2’4″, 2011

Lola Gonzàlez’s approach lies at the heart of the identity, community, and friendly concerns of the youth she frequents. She dramatizes fictional situations, often filming with the help of her friends or young people she meets in her daily life.

In these video vignettes, often shot in a single take, the characters - not all of them actors - are sensitive to expressions, postures, intonations; both their own and those of others. This attention brings about a form of belief in the act of talking to oneself, even if, obviously, no one talks to oneself according to the usual standards of accepted language. Through the invention of imaginary dialogues, it’s about communicating from language to language and heart-to-heart.

Yan Tomaszewski
The Good Breast and the Bad Breast
vidéo, 22’21 », 2019

2002, Palm Springs, California: an incredible house, that of architect Richard Neutra, is bulldozed by its buyer who had just acquired it for 2.5 million dollars. Built in 1962, this “modernist jewel” is designed by Richard Neutra to house a large art collection. Drawing from Neutra’s interest in psychoanalysis and rumors of a personal vendetta by the buyer, the film investigates our desire to protect and destroy beauty.

Nicholas Vargelis
Two – Three – Two : a system for Reading

track lights, light bulbs, paint and existing infrastructure, 2020
(in the library)

Red-Hot Cool Trio
light bulbs, paint, sockets, wood, electrical cable, 2020
(library facade)

nous ne sommes plus au soleil : Correction for the Façade
light bulbs, paint, sockets, rope, electrical cable, 2020
(in the courtyard)

Duo Contre le Stade
light bulbs, paint, sockets, wood, electrical cable, 2020
(park stairs)

Down Stage Right Four Lights
spike lamps, light bulbs, paint, 2020
(left lawn)

Cache-Cache Duo
spike lamps, light bulbs, paint, 2020
(facing lawn)

Lights in the Hole
spike lamps, light bulbs, paint, 2020
(facing lawn)

Trancher le Jardin
spike lamps, light bulbs, paint, 2020
(statue grove)

Up Light or Down and Around the Tree
spike lamps, light bulbs, paint, 2020
(right lawn)

“Light is a color. Neutral white does not exist. As soon as we are no longer under the sun, our visual perception becomes artificial, constructed. It’s not about thinking of light as a filter or a sculpture, but as infrastructure.” Using simple materials from French and American hardware stores, Nicholas Vargelis shapes the luminous infrastructure usually absorbed into the building. Light is one of the fundamentals of architecture, a common object in all forms of habitats and urban structures. Rails, lamps, circuits, buttons, wires, bulbs are everyday objects in every household, but their aesthetics evolve with standards, rules, and cultures, often unbeknownst to us.

While the technical object of light corresponded to its form until the end of the 20th century, new techniques now mimic the old forms. “I like constructed lights, colorful lights at carnivals, dynamic lights, and entertainment lighting; ultimately, social organizations underlie technological forms.”

For the Electric Night, Nicholas Vargelis even went as far as painting light bulbs. “Since I can no longer buy the frosted 60 watts - the first to be banned - I paint the bulbs, but poorly, on purpose. I fail a bit, on purpose.” When Nicholas Vargelis paints the bulbs, he likes the industrial object to bear the trace of the brush’s bristles. But he refuses to create this effect on new technologies (LED or fluorescent bulbs), which are too bland to bear the mark of the painter. “I’m interested in intervening on a technical support but not on an aesthetic support.”

From the strange exploration of natural and synthetic constructions by Théodora Barat, to the spatial relationship explored by Peter Downsbrough, to the power of collectivity and its limits questioned by Lola Gonzalez, to the links between the city and humanity filmed by Anne Frémy, the architectural and psychoanalytical investigation around the Neutra house by Yan Tomaszewski, and the animated explanations of humans to extraterrestrials by Yona Friedman, the journey is structured by a luminous installation by Nicholas Vargelis.

MABA MABA 16 rue Charles VII 94130 Nogent-sur-Marne : Practical Information

In partnership with MABA, Fondation des artistes as part of Nuit Blanche and with the support of the Métropole du Grand Paris.

{As part of Nuit Blanche 2020, MABA, 16 rue Charles VII, 94130 Nogent-sur-Marne.}

{MABA} {Fondation des artistes} {Métropole du Grand Paris}