Drakontia, Mandrakore and the escape plan

**Group show**
in Oeil de Lynx et tête de bois
Curated by Barbara Sirieix and Emilie Renard
All pictures ©Anatole Barde

"Occidental Temporary" is the contraction of the Occidental Hotel, set of one of Neil Beloufa's film, and a temporary adjacent exhibition space. Like its name, the space is an overlapping of two sets, that of a hotel and of a white cube. These two parts, equivalent in surface, otherwise opposites, are both receptacles of dramaturgical constructions and charged with great evocative powers.

The initial function of the hotel set is to be an optical illusion during a film shooting, the foreground in an image. Once separated from the fiction it was initially designed for, it becomes its partial archive, the material witness to a past use. By becoming an exhibition space, It shows a reversal and the possible transition to other functions, other fictions. On the other hand, the white walls determine a specific perception space, also conveying history and myths – transparency, neutrality of the white and the light, revelation and control, isolation and separation from the context of production. But here the white cube, in its transitional state in the context of the studio takes the appearance of a set, like a distorted reflection of the hotel walls.

From these two spaces where the concrete location of the fiction is undetermined, we have invited the artists to work on doubles. Jacques Rivette's film "Celine and Julie Go Boating" (1974) quickly became an inspiration to reread this dual space and relate it to our own work as a duo. Two spaces coexist in this film: a determined and cheerful "real" where Celine and Julie meet, and its alternative on screen, a closed house where a theater scene is played, caught in a perpetual gloomy loop where the two women have a role to play. The double is a recurring motive in Rivette's cinema; it does not only appear as a ground for illusion but also as a strategy of empowerment and critique against theatrical conventions, which Rivette places in a remote temporality, in discrepancy with the temporality cinema can grasps, through improvisation and editing, which is closer to what could be defined as the present. The film also inspired us as Rivette co-wrote it on a day by day basis with the performers - Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier - leaving a large part to improvisation. We want to work in this spirit of complicity and joyful improvisation, between us and with the artists, to share a playground during the installation where all the visible parameters of the exhibition will be adjustable. We have taken up this outmoded motto “Oeil de lynx et tête de bois” as a magic formula to protect us from closed spaces and repetitives gestures.

Drakontia fabric-170x30cm
fabric and plastic-150x30cm
Mandrakore fabric and plastic-150x30cm
Print on plexiglas- 32x21cm
This is not so occidental Print on plexiglas- 32x21cm
Print on plexiglas- 32x21cm
This is not so temporary Print on plexiglas- 32x21cm