political art or arty politics?
La salle des temps perdus
Vacance was an intervention which happened in a disused funeral house
located in a shopping center in Ivry, a popular suburban area in the south
of Paris, in September 1998.
The space was left in the state in which it had been provided : empty and
dusty. Three mannequins made out of clothes found in the garbage were
displayed and the light was left on night and day. The viewers were the
passers-by, numberless in-between the metro, the market and the three
phonebooths in front of the door.
The former funeral house was not a place of power (corporation, university,
TV studio) which would have allowed an optimal level of subversion, but it
provided a kind of relevance, considering the place (vacant store, empty
box, casket) as well as the time of year (right after the holidays). By
emphasizing the double and opposite meaning of the word vacance - the
plural means holidays/vacation while singular means vacancy - and by
occupying a place devoted to the death business, the context allows one to
assume absence, emptyness, and vacancy as a critical attitude towards an
environment which denies any form of loss.
Vacance, 87 avenue Georges-Gosnat, Ivry-sur-Seine, september 1998.
Organized by Venividi (Beata Malmquist).