Les conjugueuls #1
It’s all about the panache


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Les conjugueuls
Cycle of exhibitions and residencies
Curator: Valentina Ulisse

“It’s all about the panache”
Installation by Héloïse Farago at the Salon d’art of Marolles-en-Hurepoix

The cycle of artistic exhibitions and residencies entitled “Les conjugueuls” unfolds like a story with disjointed timelines, somewhere between science fiction, fantasy and magic realism. Here, the past is recounted differently. Bringing in fiction where reality is found lacking, the present opens up to infinite parallel universes and the future is made of resurgences and new beginnings.

For the first chapter of this tale, the artist Héloïse Farago invites visitors on a journey into a fantastic world with her film Love Story. Like a Disney film, it begins with a book that opens. It too has a castle and an enchanted forest, but, in this new love story, there is no prince charming to be found. It tells the story of an unusual quest: the fight against the “patriarchy”, a social system founded on the distinction between masculine and feminine in order to justify the domination of men and the oppression of women and minorities. Here, an alternative kingdom is explored, one where you can live happily ever after as yourself. There, the artist appears in the guise of the storyteller TroubaDURE and the characters we meet in her epic are played by people close to her.       

For this gentle, humorous film, Héloïse Farago drew inspiration from Monique Wittig’s 1985 Voyage sans fin (endless journey), a lesbian and feminist retelling of Miguel de Cervantès’ famous novel Don Quixote [1605-1615]. In Wittig’s story, the knight-errant Quixote fights patriarch-windmills and sets off with Panza, her loyal horsewoman in search of her girlfriend and a better world. “It’s all about the panache”, Wittig wrote in reference to the proud and comic nature of her female paladins. We also find this joyful and militant style in the characters Héloïse Farago portrays in her video. The costumes are inspired by children’s stories and drag shows alike. In order to dethrone the codes imposed by our society and elude categories related to gender, the artist makes use of the “camp” aesthetic—an anti-serious and theatrical style characterised by exaggeration and a mischievous sense of humour.

The characters from the film can also be found in her drawings and paintings, which adorn paper lace for cakes, ceramics, decorative plastic balls and hearts. Pirates, ladies and knights rub shoulders with chimeras, magical creatures and childhood icons like the rebellious Pippi Longstocking. The stories of these heroines— whether drawn from real life or books and works of art—can be read on the walls of this installation, which the artist covers with Bavarian fabric, like a kitchen tablecloth or wallpaper. This domestic environment receives and cradles her half-real, half-invented “wacky utopia”: a new tale for all generations.


After studying art history at the university La Sapienza in Rome and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Valentina Ulisse completed a professional Master’s 2 degree in “Contemporary art and its exhibition” at Sorbonne Université and co-founded the curatorial collective espace projectif. Alongside her studies, she trained in the exhibition profession through internships at the Centre Pompidou, CAC Brétigny and Council, among others. Today, Valentina Ulisse continues her work through her various activities within the organisation of art projects, writing and cultural mediation. She assists gallery owner Aline Vidal with whom she organises “De(s)rives”, a curatorial project that experiments with exhibition formats outside of traditional artistic contexts. Valentina Ulisse is interested in art economies, in alternative systems of production and dissemination and in co-creative artistic practices related to pedagogy and popular knowledge. 

Héloïse Farago (born 1997) lives and works between Paris and Normandy. A 2023 graduate of the Villa Arson in Nice, she uses different mediums (drawing, performance, video, ceramic, etc.) to break down the hierarchisation of practices and portray the too-often forgotten stories of Mediaeval women. Her work was exhibited at L’Annexe in Paris and IVECO NU in Noisy-le-Sec in 2022 and at La Tôlerie in Clermont-Ferrand in 2023.