Promenade au Zoo. Group show with Bruno Peinado, Mathieu Mercier, Nicolas Moulin, Petra Mrzyk & Jean-François Moriceau, Tixador & Poincheval, Alain Declercq, Dewar & Gicquel, Kristina Solomoukha, Flavie Pinatel, Mladen Bizumic and Michael Riedel, curated with Saadane Afif.
This exhibition is a portrait and tribute to a key figure in contemporary art in France, Patrice Joly, founder and director of the Zoo Galerie de Nantes and the free and critical review 02. It is a stroll through the zoo, subtitled like a picaresque novel, “Where it is a question of a missionary of contemporary art who knew how to take advantage of the high-speed line between Paris and Nantes”, a stroll that revealed the barely romanticised adventures of an entire provincial, courageous and chivalrous community, walking around worthlessly the ground of contemporary creation when Paris withdrew into its institutional dungeons.
The exhibition developed along three ideas.
The first room is a very subjective sketch by Patrice Joly, in the form of a Chinese portrait, through a room where the pieces of Claire Fontaine, Stéphane Calais and Pierre Ardouvin overlapped, followed by a large room reuniting some thirty creations shown at La Zoo Galerie since the beginning of the decade with Bruno Peinado, Mathieu Mercier, Nicolas Moulin, Petra Mrzyk & Jean-François Moriceau, Tixador & Poincheval, Alain Declercq, Dewar & Gicquel, Kristina Solomoukha…
In a second room, entitled Propaganda, were shown the artists’ projects produced for the magazine 02.
Finally, in the last room, three artists never exhibited at the Zoo Galerie are showing their works: Flavie Pinatel, Mladen Bizumic and Michael Riedel.
The catalogue of the exhibition is also its labelling: Promenade au Zoo. It works both as a book and as the exhibition signage. Each page of the book constitutes a real size signage: one torn page becomes a caption, a series of pages placed side by side becomes a title. Thus, this small book constructs the exhibition as much as it reports it.
More about the book on DeValence website.
The exhibition took place at the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon (MAC) from September 2007 to January 2008.
images credit: photo by dean mouhtaropoulos/getty images