At the invitation of Marie Menestrier, director of artistic programming, I have been an artist in residence at Visages du Monde since July 2014 and through to January 2015.
Visages du Monde is a new cultural institution in the town of Cergy. It includes a multimedia library, an auditorium, a digital arts production space, a community center and a variety of municipal services. I was invited to pursue my work on The Global Library and to create objects for a public presentation on December 20th.
One of these objects is a website that, like everything else that materializes during the residency, will remain open, ephemeral and contextual, and is to be reconsidered within subsequent frameworks according to the advancement of the project.
Visages du Monde is based on the model of the third place, “[…] a notion coined at the beginning of 1980s by Ray Oldenburg, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, as distinguished from the first place (the home) and the second place (the workplace). It is intended as a complementary space dedicated to the social life of the community and refers to places where people can meet, get together and converse informally […]”.
Described by the local press as a new living space, Visages du Monde is primarily for the people of Cergy. I arrived in July, ushering in the first residency. In a building still being tested and a town barely ten years old, I had to present my project and, with Marie’s precious help, make a case for bringing The Global Library to this young structure. Greeted with curiosity by associations and persons directly connected to the inhabitants of the neighborhood, some doubts nevertheless persist among those who find my project too conceptual, not playful enough, somehow ill-adapted to the public at large. Familiar with this standard refrain about contemporary art, I pursue my research with no attempt to doctor my project to make it seem more attractive, the idea being to meet people who use the space, and to create avenues providing access to my work – a long-term endeavor that can only be carried out in the context of a residency.