Following the end of confinement and the reopening of “small museums”, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse has reinvented its programming, and has chosen to promote twelve artists familiar with the contemporary art center. In the current special health context, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse is delighted to present its Small Program, a cycle of exhibitions which offers a week of carte blanche to each artist selected. We had the chance to speak with Sandrine Wymann, the director of La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, about this unprecedented event.
Muuuz: Your project Small Program was born during the confinement period. What is the genesis of this project?
Sandrine Wymann: It's an improvised project because, like everyone, we experienced upheavals. At La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, we were forced to close in early March, earlier than the other institutions. We had just opened the exhibition Algotaylorism which addressed the issue of algorithmic Taylorism. The majority of the works were objects to be manipulated. It was therefore not possible to reopen the center with this event. In view of the various uncertainties relating to the reception of the public and to barrier gestures, we have thought of a hanging allowing both to make visible artists close to La Kunsthalle and to present works to visitors as soon as the museums reopen. With the Small Program, we decided to entrust the space to each of the invited artists. One of the challenges of this event is to strengthen ties and dialogue with the artists, who have been in residence or exhibited at La Kunsthalle.
What is the history of the title "Petit Program"?
The title is a nod to the expression "small museums" used by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on April 28, and to the many questions that this raised. The notion of program is also important because this event is not an exhibition in the classical sense of the term.
Why did you choose to reopen La Kunsthalle Mulhouse with such an event?
Reopening the place to the public means being able to once again be present in the cultural landscape. It is also to initiate a privileged dialogue with artists. The Small Program thus aims to be part of post-containment, a period mainly occupied by political and economic questions.
Le Small Program presents twelve artists familiar with the art center. How did you choose them?
The artists on display are visual artists who were particularly productive during the confinement, but also artists from the Grand Est region and foreign artists, with whom I wanted to collaborate. Certain themes of confinement - the domestic, the family, nature - were explored by these artists. The Small Program thus reveals several facets of this period.
Each artist is exposed for a week. Why did you choose to organize several consecutive personal exhibitions rather than a group exhibition?
An exhibition focuses on a theme. In this case, as part of the Small Program, there is no main theme. The idea is above all to show that artists have great creativity.
During confinement, you reflected on the conditions of perception of the works as well as on the importance of the aesthetic experience lived by visitors during an exhibition. How do you see the future? Would you like to offer new perspectives in the way of exhibiting artists?
I am not trying to question the modes of exposure. However, I would like to think about creating new formats for visitors. I would like to move towards a change of pace while rethinking the relationship with the public and the works, both in terms of content and format. For example, The Little Program is actually visible in the exhibition space, and virtually on the website and social networks.
After Small Program, what will be your next exhibition?
Our next exhibition called The Monument, the work and the seahorse will be held from September 17 to November 15, 2020, and will examine the industrial history of the XNUMXth century. We are currently thinking about future formats for visits and the opening.
To know more, visit et the Instagram account of La Kunsthalle Mulhouse.
Small Program, from June 1 to August 23, 2020, at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse (68100).
Open Thursday to Sunday, from 15 p.m. to 00 p.m.
Visuals: 1) Chourouk Hriech, Effeuillages - Robe 2, 2018, screenshot of video, HD video, color, sound, 14'15, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou
2) Pusha Petrov, Néma para na palucenska muma, 2020, color photography, 100 x 150 cm © Pusha Petrov
3) Anna Byskov, The Drift of the Fool, May 2020, screenshot of the video © Anna Byskov