Benoît Maire in ÉTINCELLES / SCINTILLE (group show): Annual exhibition of the residents of the French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici

Villa Medici, Rome, Italy 15 June - 7 August 2022
The exhibition Étincelles / Scintille brings together the work of sixteen artists, authors and researchers following a year of creative residency, experimentation and research at Villa Medici.

This annual artistic event lies at the crossroads of various practices, from the visual arts to musical composition, including literature, architecture, stage direction, art history and theory.

More than an exhibition in the classical sense of the term, it is more a restitution of 16 projects that testify to a singular moment in their journey: the residency as a laboratory for experimentation. What does the experience of the cohabitation of individualities and the meeting of such varied practices produce? From the walls of the studio to the exhibition halls, how do we give shape to an idea, a research? These questions accompany a journey of multiform proposals, served by a spatial layout that offers autonomy to each project while preserving its unity.

The title, Étincelles / Scintille in English meaning "sparks" suggests the idea of creation but also recalls both conflict ("cause sparks to fly") and understanding ("the spark has occurred").

This very visual term, linked to light and fire, capable of expressing the vitality of the fellows' projects, evokes speed due to the inevitable temporality of a year of residency that is coming to an end and the desire of the fellows to leave a trace by restoring research conducted during their stay in Rome. Étincelles / Scintille is presented as a journey of correspondences, sometimes obvious, sometimes more subtle, between projects that present recurring themes: accumulation, the reiteration of gestures and signs, political reflection in the artistic field, the representation of fragmented bodies, the relationship between natural and artificial landscape. These themes are found throughout the projects presented in Villa Medici's spaces according to a rhythm that seeks to underline potential dialogues and affinities between the various interventions.

Over the course of a summer, the exhibition rooms of Villa Medici are transformed into a space for reflection and experimentation that welcomes a wide variety of free proposals, whether expositive or performative, finished or unfinished. These interventions take us to the places - imaginary or physical, starting with Rome - that nourish the most current creation and extend beyond the framework of the exhibition.

Étincelles / Scintille includes a catalogue of projects by the fellows of the French Academy in Rome. The publication also includes a series of collective pages devoted to dialogues and exchanges between the fellows: these sections are presented as "intervals" within the catalogue, leaving room for incursions, in-depth studies and free associations on various themes that have marked the experience of the fellows at Villa Medici.