political art or arty politics?
La salle des temps perdus

Michael Blum

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).