Tubology, Working Title and Hyphen: The 3 T’s of the new FRAC season Grand Large Haut de France :


The question of work is at the heart of the exhibitions orchestrated by the Frac Grand Large – Hauts de France and the LAAC in Dunkerque. At the Frac, the exhibition”Working title” questions the place of the human within a company, and the work is watermarked in the exhibition”Tubology” where the tube is an object of design production, a channel for the circulation and distribution of energy or sound.

Tubology – our lives in tubes  – guest curators :  KVM – Ju Hyun Lee & Ludovic Burel

The tube is everywhere. Objects and forms of distribution, passage, transit, circulation, whether tunnel, digestive, water distribution as for a radiator, energy distributor, the tube is even a popular piece of music, therefore a sound, it also allows the distribution of water source of life and especially here presented in an improvised greenhouse that will grow peppers and tubers.

The exhibition voluntarily combines all materials: metal, mineral, vegetable, synthetic, light, sound, water, silver. A desire to show the interdependence of all things and to blur borders. The exhibition is divided into different spaces, one dedicated to design, another to works of art, an area for sound works and photography, and finally two areas are transformed into greenhouses and make the plant majestic.

The exhibition is intended to be horizontal and begins by presenting the tube through its own collection of furniture and design objects of which the Frac has a beautiful collection. The changes linked to cowoking, teleworking and nomadism call into question work behaviour and postures. To broaden the dialogue and highlight its different communication links, KVM wanted to put design works and works of art into dialogue.

The section devoted to works of art is more heterogeneous, both by the quality of the works presented and by the more convoluted links with the chosen theme. Too bad because there are remarkable things like Allan McCollum‘s Natural Copies from the Coal Mines of Central Utah, Matthew McCaslin‘s Cold Storage , Nicolas Deshayes Thames Water, Julio Le Parc… We would have liked to see a little more. Especially since large spaces are cannibalized by the installations dedicated to the plants of the exhibition and which do not bring much to the visitors and makes him lose the thread of the exhibition.

The listening room plays totally the horizontality proposed at the beginning of the course. An alignment of benches, listening beds, are installed in the shade of a wall of photographs. Pleasure of eyes and ears together in one and the same invitation to contemplation. As a necessity to slow down the movement in these times when speed prevails. Speed of information, movements, flows in general… In any case the wall of photographs is remarkable. He presents about twenty works with illustrious names such as Yto Barrada, Barbara Visser, Meredyth Sparks, Bruno Serralongue or Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The initial theme was tempting but the coherence of the exhibition escaped me a little. This does not call into question the quality of the acquisitions of the Frac Grand Large, precisely they would have deserved another proposal from the Commissioners. You can complete the visit of the acquisitions of the Frac with“Trait d’Union”, the selection made by the young people of the”Maison des Enfants de la Côte d’Opale” who propose us a choice and a relevant and interesting hanging.

The other proposal of the Frac Grand large“Titre de travail” is an exhibition by Robert Schlicht and Romana Schmalisch

This exhibition presents a film installation combined with staging and thus transforms the Frac into a place for professional intervention. What are the mechanisms and strategies that transform human beings who have their own will, interests and desires into human capital that works in the interest of a company or employer?

Robert Schlicht and Romana Schmalisch designed a device,”Labour Power Plan PPL”, a manpower factory, based on research carried out in training centres and at Pôle Emploi within vocational schools. This is a fictitious plant whose objective is to turn people into generic workers. The film presents a working meeting of managers engaged in a role-playing game of restructuring the company. Around the table the director, his assistant, the consultant who presents his analyses and conclusions of the institution’s performance and a little further on the generic workers who find themselves in competition with the others. It reveals a gap between reality and the subject. A dive shot of the manager with the workers below gives the impression of a puppeteer leading with invisible threads, the people at his service.

The visit of the exhibition continues with elements of the film in a kind of reconstruction of the company. In a showcase, objects are displayed which can be in turn production tools or objects produced. The crash has hidden among the objects in his collection.

All the company’s codes are present with questions related to the place of the human, volunteer staff, in competition and productivity tool. The question of the gesture, of the productivity within a company is necessary and proves how finally a certain form of Taylorization always exists. One thinks in particular of all these actors of distribution and logistics of online sales sites. A very interesting proposal from the Frac Grand Large on a still topical subject.

I invite you to continue your visit to Dunkirk at LAAC with the magnificent exhibition “Enchanté”, a proposal by Richard Schotte. A reflection on artistic creation, the work of the artist.
(seeourarticle on LAAC)

503 avenue des Bancs de Flandres 59140 Dunkerque


TUBOLOGY – Our lives in tubes
KVM – Ju Hyun Lee & Ludovic Burel
April 21 to December 30, 2018

an exhibition by Robert Schlicht & Romana Schmalisch
27 January – 26 August 2018

Until September 2, 2018

“Nice to meet you.”
From April 21 to August 26, 2018
Place of Contemporary Art and Action
Sculpture garden
302 avenue des Bordées
59140 Dunkerque



Patrice Huchet

Passionate since his childhood about all forms of artistic expression, he began his career in the world of tourism where he practiced travel photography. He then joined a photo agency where he held...

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