Hubert Renard - Une rétrospective, 1971-1998 - Exhibitionmfc-michèle didier | Paris - Brussels - PARIS

Une rétrospective, 1971-1998
13 Jan - 18 Feb 2017
Inquiry about the exhibition

From Friday January 13, to Saturday February 18, 2017
Opening on January 12, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm in presence of the artist

mfc-michèle didier is pleased to present Une rétrospective, 1971-1998, a proposal by artist Hubert Renard, implemented using his Kit de montage (assembly kit).

This kit comprises a set of instructions for use and documentation allowing the completion of an exhibition which chronicles Hubert Renard’s work through the prism of three textual elements: a title, an informative text and exhibition labels.  

The piece - which was shown for the first time in 2016 and interpreted by Laurent Buffet as part of the exhibition Légende at the Frac Franche-Comté - reacts according to the space where it is shown and evolves depending on exhibition conditions. At each new staging of the piece, the same retrospective exhibition takes on a new shape. It is designed to highlight tools of implementation and communication put to use in an exhibition space, all the while telling the story of art works.

While we not only catch a glimpse of Hubert Renard’s work created between 1971 and 1988 through the sole medium of exhibition texts, we are also confronted with a potential or latent work which fills the gallery space.

The installation will be accompanied by a press-book specially edited for the exhibition, bringing together the totality of articles which have punctuated Hubert Renard’s artistic career.

What’s more, we are extremely pleased and honoured to present a new text written expressly by Alain Farfall for this press pack.

Alain Farfall

Hubert Renard is an artist of international renown and has participated in the Salon d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (QC) and the Biennale de Charleroi (BE). His work has been shown on more than forty occasions in both galleries and museum exhibitions in Lisbon, Los Angeles, Verona, Lyon, Geneva, Sao Paulo, Saint-Etienne, Paris, Bremen, Parma, Dijon, Chicago, Cologne, London, Antwerp, Limoges, Nantes, Barcelona, Marseilles, Quimper, Bergamo, Krefeld, Balmieux, Pully, Renens.

In historical terms, we can associate Hubert Renard with the conceptual art movement of the late 1970s which revolutionized the way art was created and thought about. Indeed, in his early work, Renard began by questioning the interactions between language, writing and images. Despite this approach, he does not limit his practice to the boundaries of one unique artistic medium, using painting, photography, sculpture, books and installations to shape his body of work. Exploration is his guiding principle.

Conceptual art, more than a simple formal or visual revolution in modern art, actually constitutes a fundamental rethinking of the role of both art and artists in a constantly changing cultural context. Within this definition of a new approach to art Hubert Renard’s ideas and works represent a considerable contribution. The exhibition entitled Une rétrospective, 1971-1998 thus harks back to the sources and context of its original creation. Hubert Renard belongs to a generation for whom the artist’s role cannot be boiled down to the production of pure and simple consumer objects designed for the market. In his eyes, the artist’s position is closer to that of a researcher. In any case, art is a cause for concern for Renard. One of his concerns being the ability to make proposals that oppose a certain harmonious vision of culture proffered by society; proposals which reveal the contradictions and obstacles of such a vision.

Context has a great influence on Hubert Renard’s work, as does a certain habit he has developed in order to integrate himself into an artistic scene, wherein he identifies with what one could call “role models”. Although his sources of inspiration often lie in the writings of Derrida, Baudrillard, Borges, Levenson and Goodman, discussing and observing the work of fellow artists (such as Charles Addenby, Vincent Pérouse or Didier Lambert) also strongly influence his work.

By combining elements, Hubert Renard questions fundamental notions in artistic practice such as authorial status, the originality of the artwork, the value of an artist’s signature or singular gesture. His works allow us to experience a spatial synesthesia over the duration of a lecture or a visit to the exhibition. Renard’s proposals constantly question the space which exists around artworks, the space for which art is made.

Forty years after his first interventions Hubert Renard’s work feels ever more contemporary and extremely relevant, especially if we are to consider what he was criticizing at the time and compare it with our current reality.

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