La galerie de la Biennale
Adrian Paci’s piece is an installation which includes a projector and its clicking – which breaks in on the sound track – and even its light beam, which can be seen in the images: images of children who pick up fragments of mirrors before beginning to play in a pastoral setting. In Latin "Per Speculum" means "on the other side of the mirror": a mirror which in the hands of these young actors, becomes a light source, literally piercing the screen and blending its reflections into the light emerging from the projector. Thus the already complex cinematic illusion is made perfect: lush surroundings, the torment of a game that slides into panic, the tree branches on which the children perch, the fragmentation and reconstruction of images via the broken glass of the mirror – all these things help shape a meditative atmosphere imbued with the great myths and classical painting.
Adrian PACI
Per Speculum, 2006
Photos: Blaise Adilon
photo 42/81
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An authorial biennale rooted in a museum project

The Lyon Biennale stemmed from a project by Lyon's Museum of Contemporary Art, directed by Thierry Raspail since its inception in 1984. From 1984-1988, the Biennale was preceded by an annual event entitled "October of the Arts", which ended with the exhibition "Colour Alone": The Experience of Monochrome". This retraced the adventure of monochrome, from the beginnings of Impressionism and the historical avant-gardes to topical work by artists ranging from Malevitch to Anish Kapoor. Staged in various venues around the city, "Colour Alone" was highly successful, making its mark and illustrating Lyon's potential for hosting an international event, following the Paris Biennale's closure in 1985. The event gave rise to the inaugural Lyon Biennale in September 1991.
The desire to create an event capable of artistic self-renewal while building a stable, long-term project that bonded with its host territory led to an organisational model specific to the Lyon Biennale: an Artistic Director builds the event's identity over time, and for each edition chooses a curator/ curators with whom he collaborates closely to devise an artistic project.
The Lyon Biennale is therefore truly an authorial biennale and, as Jean-Hubert Martin noted, "a clever way of having themes addressed through the personalities of others". Each biennale provides the opportunity to explore a specific issue. Its nine editions thus far have formed three successive trilogies: the first devoted to History, the second to Globalisation, and the third to Temporality. They have been curated by an international array of art historians, critics and professional curators including: Harald Szeemann, Jean-Hubert Martin, Le Consortium (with Robert Nickas and Anne Pontégnie), Stéphanie Moisdon and Hans Ulrich Obrist, and now, in 2009, Hou Hanru.

 


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