Landslides and Parallel Visions

8 October 2022 – 13 November 2022

Palazzo Re Rebaudengo

Landslides. Haunting is about endings that are not over

On the occasion of the 10th year of collaboration with ENSBA Lyon – École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo presents the first solo exhibition in Italy by Caroline Déodat, an artist participating in the Post-diplôme 2022 promoted by the French school.

The exhibition “Landslides. Haunting is about endings that are not over” presents the video installation of the same name created by the artist in 2020 for a series of festivals dedicated to the moving image and re-edited in a new version for its presentation in the spaces of Palazzo Re Rebaudengo.

Déodat’s research lies at the crossroads of cinema, fiction, ethnography, and critical theory, exploring the relationship between the processes of archiving and those related to forms of alienation. With a background in anthropology and performance studies, the artist interrogates the cartographies established by academic disciplines through the mobilisation of subterranean histories and the use of hauntological materials (after the philosopher Jacques Derrida’s concept of “hauntology”, later used by cultural critic Mark Fisher and then by sociologist Avery Gordon to describe a relationship of ghostly grip with the past). Landslides is conceived from Déodat’s positioning as a member of the Mauritian diaspora and from her doctorate in social anthropology at EHESS. Her thesis “Troubler le genre du sega tipik. Imaginary and poetic performativity of Mauritian creolity” focuses on the practice of séga, a Mauritian genre combining poetry, music and dance, which was born in fugitive communities and became a tourist tradition after decolonisation.

The séga is observed through the making of colonial archives and through devices of power such as race, gender and sexuality. The work is constructed as a poetic and cinematic essay, where the mythical territories of the séga are combined with the intimate places of the artist’s history. The very phrase ‘Haunting is about endings that are not over’ comes from Avery Gordon’s work, and refers to a scene that endlessly repeats itself in a sinister manner, here read between the cliché of the postcard-perfect island paradise and the plight of a séga that has been touristised and exoticised by the colonial gaze. At the centre of “Landslides” is the contemporary Mauritian dancer Jean-Renat Anamah, who exhumes the spectre of erased rituals to produce new collective genealogies. Déodat’s work connects colonial discourses of race and their appropriation in oral poetry practices, while engaging with the construction of Western epistemologies.

Parallel Visions

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the partnership between Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and ENSBA Lyon – École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, the two institutions present the group exhibition “Parallel Visions”. Since 2012, Fondazione and ENSBA have been collaborating in the context of the Lyon school’s Post-diplôme programme. The programme is a one-year professional residency course, located in the school and open to five artists per edition. Each year the curator in charge of the partnership for the Fondazione invites an artist to exhibit their research in the spaces of Turin or Guarene, thus supporting the artists’ first institutional presentation and accompanying them in the process of producing their work.

“Parallel Visions” presents the works produced in occasion of the project by the artists Riikka Kuoppala (2013 edition), Thomas Teurlai (2014 ed.), Daniel Frota (2016 ed.), Ghita Skali (2017 ed.) and Tarek Lakhrissi (2020 ed.), and which have been acquired in the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection. The title of the exhibition refers to the alternative imagery evoked by the works and their proposals to interrogate possible pasts and futurabilities of the world. Through various media such as sculpture, installation and video, the works develop parallel scenarios, drawing on various genres of science fiction–from eco-fiction to cyberpunk. These visions are terrains where to address contemporary economic, social and political urgencies: from the post-apocalyptic atmospheres of Thomas Teurlai, in which the programmed obsolescence of technologies meets the practices of extraction and capitalisation of precious materials; to Ghita Skali’s as grotesque as real universe of a Morocco undergoing a rush towards economic speculation by means of advanced telecommunications systems disguised as date palms; to Daniel Frota’s reflection on the exhaustion of modernism’s ideology and his hypothesis for an alternative course of history; to the posthuman environment of Tarek Lakhrissi where the observation of animals’ survival practices inspires potential self-defence strategies for discriminated social groups; finally, to the narrative system built by Riikka Kuoppala where the bombings in Helsinki during World War II remain suspended between the memory of those who lived through those events and those who only imagined them.

“Parallel Visions” and the partnership between Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and ENSBA Lyon – École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts is part of the Fondazione’s broader project to support, produce and promote emerging artistic practices.