21 years Deleuze Monument

the DELEUZE monument
Thomas Hirschhorn

“I want to work for what I call a non-exclusive audience, to bring them my love of art, my belief that it can transform every human being. That it is universal, that it can create the conditions for dialogue or confrontation, and also be a tool to affirm that we are equal.

Do not pretend to believe that I, the artist, can provide help to the inhabitants, but let them know that I am the one who needs help! “

Thomas Hirschhorn

In 1999, the artist Thomas Hirschhorn was invited by Jean de Loisy and Jean-Jacques Aillagon to create a work for the exhibition “Beauty” at the Palais des Papes in Avignon, notably with Bill Viola and Jeff Koons. In a city where 10,000 inhabitants live in the center and 90,000 inhabitants live on the outskirts, and are for the most part not concerned by the proposals of the city center, in particular the Palais des Papes or the Festival, Hirshhorn offers them to create a project on the outskirts, with the locals.

The site initially chosen, the Cité Louis Gros, was the subject of dispute by a few residents gathered in association, mainly citing the security and tranquility of the neighborhood. The artist argues, in a letter addressed to them, his desire not to abandon his project precisely in this city.

He will eventually have to sell and move the project to a neighboring city, Champfleury. This whole process of negotiation with politicians, associations, the work of conviction carried out with the inhabitants, can be part of the work which constitutes a space for “real” thought and debate, the work of Thomas Hirschhorn highlighting the work in friction with life, unlike laboratory work which only remains proposals or models. The difficulties encountered – and Thomas Hirschhorn is one of the rare artists to exploit chess constructively – perfectly illustrate the point of focus that an artist’s project can constitute in a community that is poorly integrated into society. In this case, the artist is not a priori called as a social actor, but it is his work in what it comprises of human relations and political charge that is positioned as the vector of a certain dialectic of thought.

The exhibition

21 years Deleuze Monument is an exhibition by Thomas Hirschhorn retracing the adventure of Monument Deleuze in 2000, from the numerous archives, letters, photos and videos that the artist kept and carefully documented in his Aubervilliers workshop, which will be used for the first time brought together in a retrospective exhibition. The latter will include different moments and meetings with the inhabitants and young people in their forties who participated in the project in 2000.

This exhibition aims at a moment of fraternal reunion between the actors of the project, but also and above all to fight against amnesia around this founding and fundamental work, where it was born and where its proposals are more necessary to see, listen and hear. than ever, after 20 years when in the end nothing has changed with regard to the discriminations and determinisms against which she wanted to fight.

It will be set up in Saint-Chamand, in a district undergoing social and urban change, in the premises of an associative pole, on the ground floor of a public housing bar opposite the new terminus of the Avignon tramway and the new outdoor nautical center.

The exhibition will open from June 6 to October 31, 2021.

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