It is a place of production and distribution born 30 years ago, on the borders of the Belgian Ardennes, in Vielsalm. In this unusual place installed in a disused former barracks, creators weakened by a mental deficiency work with contemporary artists invited in residence. Place of emancipation and artistic laboratory, The “S” Grand Atelier breathes tremendous energy into all those who meet her! And the Sétois museum had the good idea to open its doors wide to it…
The director of YUM, Francoise Adamsbaumunderlines the proximity between the two places, the two approaches… “We knew The “S” Grand Atelier for a long time, we felt like a “family spirit” with the MIAM (…) So it was only natural that we gave them carte blanche…”
A bias against the categories for the “disability punks”
Curators of the exhibition, Anne-Francoise Rouche and Noelig Le Roux insist on “artistic adventure”. “It’s not art therapy, nor medico-social, we are really in an artistic process, an exchange with the artists who come in residence (…) and thanks to a wide distribution of these unexpected creations, through the creative process, we contribute to the disinvisibilization of the handicap…”
Indeed, far from the clichés about disability, The “S” Grand Atelier defends a demanding art where artists with mental disabilities and artists without cognitive disabilities work together. “This group practice where everyone works out with the other, produces hybrid works that blur the boundaries usually separating art brut and contemporary art”, underline the organizers. A bias against the categories which earned him the nickname of Disability Punk.
Let yourself be carried along by the event
The title of the exhibition sète, Modest Fictions and Augmented Realities, “also attests to particular and unconventional artistic practices on the margins of contemporary art. We discover raw artists who have seized on the narration to share their truth and build their own founding myths in the company of contemporary creators ready to put their practices and knowledge into play. Beyond these unusual narrative experiences, the exhibition also develops the field of possibilities of a raw art 2.0, deployed by a few professional digital arts magicians…”
But beyond theories, as is often the case with MIAM exhibitions, the important thing is to let yourself be carried along by an event that plunges the visitor into a series of new and fascinating worlds! Opening with a series of photos of the Belgian Ardennes (signed Eric Guglielmi), the scenographic route of the exhibition unfolds in several chapters related to the particular environment of this territory in eastern Belgium.
Follow artists on the winding path to their freedom
Fascinating encounter, in particular, with Joseph Lambert who over the days writes or “knits” his life in long colored linessigns that cling to each other to form a visual phrase… the architectures of Marcel Schmitz or the revisited comics of Jean Leclercq which, taken out of their context, can take on very unexpected meanings…
And there are many more to discover at MIAM. As Anne-Françoise Rouche explained, “for many of these artists, creative work is a way of escaping confinement…” and the luck of the visitors to the Sète museum is undoubtedly to be able to follow them here on the winding paths that their imaginations take…
International Museum of Modest Arts – 23 quai Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny – 34200 Sète – +33 (0)4 99 04 76 44
The other exhibition-event in Sète: Banksy at the Seamen’s Club
The Banksy Humanity Collection gather objects, limited editions, posters, which outline the career of the artist over several decades. This set shows the human depth of his work and its accessibility to the greatest number. This collection exhibits certain works unknown to the general public, objects or media that are part of his career as a committed artist, very often published in limited series.
After Grigny and Montpellier in 2021, the exhibition is presented in Sète in the premises of Seamen’s Club (Quai du Maroc) from February 19 to March 6. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Banksy, through the passionate gaze of a collector. If the entrance is free, the sale of serigraphs published specifically for each exhibition and the donations of the visitors will make it possible to collect these funds. And all the funds collected during this exhibition will be donated to SOS Mediterranean.