UN NOUS is neither a group nor a collective, although some of its members have been making art together for over fifteen years. They circulate their work in urban spaces, open up explorations of alterity and issue regular challenges to accepted notions of making contact and achieving interchange. Of the two UN NOUS works on show at the Biennale, the first is a rectangular volume with plexiglas windows through which can be seen a utopian city made up of leftovers from an academic year at the architecture schools in Versailles, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne and Lyon: here student maquettes and abandoned projects that should have been thrown out at the end of the year are brought back as UN NOUS sets about an impossible urban project. The installation’s soundtrack is made up of different noises from a period covering the 18th–20th centuries. On the walls are posters and graphic works that UN NOUS also pasted up around Lyon to mark the Biennale: unauthorised postering as a way of raising big issues?
With the support of Agnès B. and with the participation of the architecture schools of Grenoble, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Versailles and of college Jean Vilar in Villeurbanne
From 16 September 2009
We are living in the society of the spectacle. In spite of its alienating effects on our life and social relationships, it’s one of the very fundamental conditions of our existence. We perceive the world and communicate with each other through the spectacle – a system of image production and representation dominated by the logic of market capitalism which tends to “develop” our faculties of perception, imagination and reflection towards a “one dimensional model” formatted by the language of consumerist ideology. This is also the very contemporary condition of our self-identification and social order “guaranteed” by the established power system. As a main typology of artistic and cultural events of our time, biennials of contemporary art are no doubt an ultimate form of expression of such a tendency...
The first three Lyon Biennials - in 1991, 1993 and 1995 – were part of a largely historical perspective, from which problematics, stakes and themes were derived. The first one, called “The love of art”, chose to assess the situation of creation in France. Resolutely going against the trend, this biennial noted that since the so-called “Pompidou exhibition” (Paris 1969), no such far-reaching project had been imagined in France.
The European Biennial Network is a collaborative structure that aims to promote dialogue, interaction and collaboration between contemporary art biennials in Europe.
For more information : www.europeanbiennialnetwork.org
The Biennale of Lyon is a Les Biennales de Lyon event