Mille plateaux-repas [One thousand meal trays], Stéphane Bérard
Published on the occasion of the production of the work of the same title in the town of Le Vernet as part of the VIAPAC contemporary art trail
Authors: Stéphane Bérard, Nadine Gomez-Passamar, Nathalie Quintane, Natacha Pugnet
Publishers: Yellow Now
in collaboration with the Musée Gassendi, CAIRN Art Centre, Réserve Naturelle Géologique Haute Provence
Description: 112 pages, 12 x 17 cm
The Alpes de Haute-Provence area is one of Stéphane Bérard’s places of experimentation. He has know it well for a long time. In this area, for him, it is not just a matter of highlighting or enhancing a landscape, exalting its beauty or its shortcomings, attracting tourists to it or consoling the local people. […]
[…] The works conceived and the work completed in situ, Mille Plateaux-repas, have in common the constant concern for what could be done with them, and the view that they invite is never separated from a practical thought – and reflection on our habits and our routines. These works are addressed to passers-by, whether they are from the local area or from elsewhere.
In this sense, Mille Plateaux-repas is emblematic. These picnic tables, which are seen so often that they are no longer noticed, are brutally lifted by an anticipated earthquake, projecting us into a future that is already past, which is the specific temporality of the geological reserve: tomorrow is yesterday. The oldest soils, turned over, cover the most recent. The artist’s work produces a physical and mental imbalance that can only refer us to geological upheavals, in the upside-down sense of time. It does so with a certain humour, which, however, must not exclude relative gravity.
For humour is indeed the other common feature of the projects presented here: from the first stone of the column of the Digne-les-Bains to Caraglio motorway to the homage to cross-border ravers, Bérard’s work invites our reactions and our biased view. In so doing, he gets us to take another look at what exists already, before our eyes, another look at the town, another look at the local area: what seemed natural is no longer natural, and what was previously taken for granted becomes surprising. Art can then no longer be separated from a critical vision.
Stéphane Bérard – a French artist born in Lille in 1966 – develops multiform work in which invention is a means of critical intervention. All fields that art was involved in at the turn of the century (design, fashion, architecture, film, sound, writing) are explored in his work.
Exhibitions: Brutal Warburg (Marion Meyer Contemporain, Paris); L’Arôme pénis pour préservatifs (Le Triangle, Bordeaux), Burlesques Contemporaines (Jeu de Paume, Paris), L’Idiotie, (Domaine Pommery, Reims), etc. /// Films: Les Ongles Noirs, 80’ (with Xavier Boussiron, Nathalie Quintane, etc.), Mortinsteinck, fiction, full-length video, 75’ /// Recordings: Erik ça tue !, Al Dante; Progressistes, with Nathalie Quintane, Al Dante, etc. Performances: L’Horreur comique, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Donne-moi ton sperme en direct, with Xavier Boussiron, etc. Books: L’Enfer, complete translation, Al Dante; Charles de Gaulle. Mémoires d’espoir, complete translation, theoretical questions.