Cycle of exhibitions and residencies
Curator: Valentina Ulisse
“The magical hour”
Galerie Francval d'Arpajon
With Rose-Mahé Cabel, Héloïse Farago (& TroubaDURE), Giorgia Garzilli, Clara Pacotte, Aliha Thalien and Pierre-Alexandre Savriacouty.
“The magical hour” takes place at dawn or dusk: an interval between two worlds where future things are born and things from the past come to die. It is an intermission, when the narrative is suspended and the real slides into dream.
When we enter the exhibition, we are greeted by a space suspended in time. Here, thresholds and windows are “portal-works” that Pierre-Alexandre Savriacouty opens to other dimensions. On the floor, his “anchor-works” travel through time, transporting past archives and discoveries from the present day. Their chandeliers and lights illuminate an obscure future. Equipped with fins and radio antennas, these hybrid forms seem to emerge from a dried-up seabed or be born from the mutation of a former residence.
For the artist Rose-Mahé Cabel, anything is possible in the “magical hour”: creatures that have found refuge in the depths emerge to share with us new stories. If we follow the chimneys that characterise this site, a weaving spider shares with us powerful thoughts: phrases to be discovered and disentangled are knotted into the arachnid beeswax baskets; essays and novels are woven into the fibres of its cocoon-chamber.
In this art gallery, which was once a house, you can find container-spaces where you can explore, read or listen to intimate or collective stories. For the writer Ursula K. Le Guin fiction is a “carrier bag”: “carrier bag/belly/box/house”, it contains things and people, everyday magic, endless metamorphoses.
Giorgia Garzilli’s canvases are receptacles of stories. The artist constructs them like rebus puzzles, associating images from films, memories and oddities from daily life. Her surreal worlds hide a thousand paradoxes. In the work Stramonio (quasi affatto), an ear takes on the scale of a landscape, and in Atlantide, fighter fish fly over a burning city. The Prince is a mystery: for the title of this painting, the artist borrowed the name of a famous Californian restaurant.
Aliha Thalien’s films also unfold in a dreamed-up reality. Voices of an enchanted community resonate through the exhibition space. Here, love comes in as many colours and shapes as the rainbow faces of the narrators. Further along, the artist has engraved metal plaques with restorative tales, composed using automatic writing or word collages. Here, both the mythical and lived experience, pop songs and activism rub shoulders.
The “conjugueuls” artists—capable of reconciling what has been with what never was—have left in their wake a plethora of submerged, blurred and enveloped texts. Some of the voices belong to trobairitz, female troubadours and smugglers of stories. Clara Pacotte followed one of them, the adventurer Maboule, through the streets of Arpajon. Her epic tale might seem extravagant, but it should be read quickly before it disappears: printed on receipts that can be taken home, the words risk being rubbed out by our fingers.
The minstrel TroubaDURE, Héloïse Farago’s alter ego, transforms dusty medieval ballads by performing them on rap instrumentals. In them, she celebrates women and new forms of “courtly” love. From painting to earthenware, the arts and their heroes are reinvented: ladies, knights and chimeras fighting against patriarchy appear proudly on a stained-glass window or on the tiled floor of this enchanted place.
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.
Rose-Mahé Cabel (born 1995) lives and works in Alsace, in the Vosges region, and in Paris. A 2020 graduate from the Haute École des arts du Rhin de Strasbourg, they use many different mediums, including glass, wax, make-up and costume, to produce works that are activated during performances. Through their drag queen alter ego, Rose de Bordel, the artist imagines restorative works of fiction depicting marginalised figures of mythology. Their work has been presented during the festival Inact in Strasbourg in 2021, at Artopie in Meisenthal by the LoRA network in 2022, at the Maison des arts de Malakoff and at the Magasins Généraux with the collective Æchillea in 2023.
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.
Giorgia Garzilli (born 1992) is an Italian artist who lives and works between Naples and Milan. After studying documentary film, she went on to graduate from the Haute école d'art et de design de Genève before attending the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles. Her paintings explore the frontier between everyday reality and the depths of the subconscious. Her work was presented at MACRO in Rome in 2021 and at the Triennale Milano in 2023.
Clara Pacotte (born 1992) is an artist, author and filmmaker who lives and works in the Paris region. Graduating from the École nationale supérieure d'arts de Paris-Cergy in 2017, she depicts real and imagined archives in her work. She regularly collaborates with other artists on research and publishing projects. With Charlotte Houette, she created EAAPES, a research group focused on feminism in science fiction. Supported by CNAP, Fondation des Artistes, Lafayette Anticipations and CAC Brétigny, this project has seen the production of several publications, films and workshops.
Aliha Thalien (born 1994) lives and works in Montreuil. Currently a student at Le Fresnoy, she graduated with a master's degree in cinema from the Sorbonne as well as from the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris. Her work in film, installation and sculpture focuses on trauma at an individual, family and community level. Her pieces take the form of fictional stories based on real archive material. In 2019, she directed her first short film Feu Soleil, which was selected for the film festivals Rencontres du Moyen-Métrage in Brive and La Cabina in Valence. Her work was also shown at the Villa Magdalena in Hambourg in 2022, and in a solo exhibition at Confort Mental in Paris in 2023.
Pierre-Alexandre Savriacouty (born 1993) is a French-Malagasy artist who lives and works in Paris. A graduate from the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Montpellier and the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris, he addresses historical and spiritual issues through sculpture and assemblage. His work has been shown at spaces such as FRAC Ile-de-France (Château de Rentilly) in 2020 and at the Biennale Internationale de Saint Paul de Vence in 2021. Winner of the SARR prize in 2021, he was artist-in-residence at the Villa Albertine in Chicago in 2022.
Saturday, january 20th 2024, 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Opening of the second chapter of the cycle of off-site exhibitions “Les conjugueuls” by curator Valentina Ulisse.
Open to all. Free entrance. Refreshments and snacks will be offered. Galerie Francval of Arpajon.
Saturdays January 27th 2024 and February 3rd, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Artistic workshop for all
After discovering the chimeras and hybrid creatures that inhabit the “Les conjugueuls #2” exhibition, and in particular the medieval-inspired works of Héloïse Farago, participants imagine their own legendary animal. They try their hand at painting on glass, to create a fabulous monster!
From 3 to 99 years old. Registration: firstname.lastname@example.org or +33 (0)7 85 01 10 31. Galerie Francval of Arpajon.