“Once upon a time in the West”

Lou-Andréa Lassalle, Caylus Culture Club, Performance 2013

Alice Raymond, « La Grande Traversée », 2018

Lou-Andréa Lassalle, Caylus Culture Club, Performance 2013
Alice Raymond, « La Grande Traversée », 2018

#BORDEAUX For the inauguration of the MECA, a new cultural showcase for Bordeaux, Claire Jacquet, Director of the Frac, and her team invited a host of artists and curators to discuss the subject “Il était une dans l’ouest”. If this title recalls the famous western, its purpose is to tell a contemporary story of the artistic scene in western France. “Once upon a time in the West” tells a deliberately fragmentary composite story, with varied expressions, that is not just about a subject, but prefers to let singularities express themselves.

Le Frac presents a selection of 16 projects, each led by a curator with a total of more than a hundred artists including Martial Raysse, Charles Fréger and 200 works, half of which come from the collection, the other half from partner institutions (CAPC, Musée des Beaux Arts de Libourne, Frac Artothèque Limousin, Frac Poitou-Charente, Artothèque de Pessac, Fondation SAFFCA, Collection Pinault, galerie Eric Dupont).A willingness to reflect the vitality of the regional arts scene. All the disciplines of the visual arts are brought together in this dense exhibition, enriched by the presentation of some pieces from the design collection.

The exhibition reflects the local cultural heritage, for example by relying on regional festivals. For example, the exhibition is introduced by a monumental work by Martial Raysse, the carnival in Périgueux (1992), a reading of human existence between knowledge according to Nietzsche but also popular history. A work in which Martial Raysse sows a number of symbols and references to art history. The work Pastoral Care is a polyptych of nine panels by Charles Fréger that refers to a regional outdoor show whose origins date back to the Middle Ages. This is a series of photographs taken after a flash accident that gives a negative effect to the photographs. Taking advantage of this visual effect that reinforces the mystery, the artist proposes a series of silhouettes that reinterpret Guernica. Rachel Labastie, under the direction of Julie Laymond, presents ceramics made during a residency in an abandoned village in Navarre where it is played a performance that looks like shamanic rituals.

Further on, on a whole wall, a series of nudes by Alexandre Delay dialogue with works from the collection of the Musée de Beaux-Arts de Libourne. The nude, considered by the artist as a central figure in the history of painting, is treated here in a mixed practice that combines photography, painting and text, thus creating, according to the artist, not only a historical link with fine arts but also a link between “major art” and “minor art”. In this spirit of transversality, Anne Dressen has brought together some recent acquisitions of the Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine associated with two CAPC works. These works have in common that they evoke notions of ambivalence, hybridity, transvestitism, fluidity..

In this world in full movement and mutation, Irwin Marchal, gallery owner in Bordeaux, has selected a series that happily mixes plastic arts and design. The works of three collectives reflect hyperindividualism and hyperconnexion and revisit their codes to make them ritual and magical objects. The exhibition also leaves a beautiful place for photography. The central space of the exhibition presents a photographic collection from the collections of the three Frac de Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

The exhibition ends with a focus on contemporary art from Southern Africa. Open to the sea, Bordeaux’s history goes far beyond its borders. Bordeaux is closely linked to the history of colonization and the slave trade, between Europe, Africa and the Americas.

In keeping with this history, this section of the exhibition presents works from the SAFFCA Foundation’s collection, thanks in particular to its French branch AFSACSA (Association Française de Soutien à l’Art Contemporain du Sud de l’Afrique) located in Saint-Emilion in the heart of the capital of Bordeaux wines. Pierre Lombart, director of this foundation, presents part of his collection, including works by William Kentridge, Kendell Geers, Zanele Muholi and shows the great diversity and incredible dynamism of the southern African art scene.

For the opening of its new premises, the Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine is offering us a river exhibition that meets the one it runs alongside. This inaugurates a dense program and launches the new life of the FRAC NEW-AQUITAINE MÉCA under the best auspices.

29 June – 9 November 2019


Frac New Aquitaine Méca



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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