Press clippings, postcards, photo archives, and excerpts from pieces of fiction… For most of his projects, Sébastien Rémy has developed a kind of thinking and writing that makes it possible to move from one document to another, gradually weaving stories in which words inform the documents as much as the latter influence our perception of the former. In terms of this potential dialogue between documents and words, he has long been inspired by the figure of the carnival barker-lecturer. At the point where the history of film overlaps with the history of the barker’s glib spiel, Rémy is the individual who once “explained” films in movie theaters and cinemas in the early days of the medium.
Rémy’s current project, Dire encore nos histoires... (Tell Our Stories Again...), is built around a dialogue with the psychiatric hospital of Perray-Vaucluse and the Lycée Albert Einstein of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois.
Based on observing objects and documents found at the Hospital Center of Perray-Vaucluse, all of the workshops Rémy has been offering to the area’s high schoolers are designed encourage participants to imagine and lend form to a fictional history of the hospital’s inmates. Through such practices as writing, photography, and sound montage, the students experience together the decisive place subjectivity and fiction occupy when interpreting documents.
This implies immersing oneself in the project, taking the time to collect materials on site at the hospital, absorbing its legacy and architecture. Discovering, too, the documents related to how the center functioned. Through a multitude of objects, articles of clothing that were never retrieved, workbenches, correspondence of the patients, machines that are still in place, as if forgotten or frozen in time, observing the evidence of past activities. Which also suggests getting out and meeting with former and current employees in order to gather more personal recollections and anecdotes.
Dire encore nos histoires... was realized as part of an Art and Culture Education Project (PEAC) in 2017-2018 that resulted in a return to the Heritage House of Perray Vaucluse in June 2018 and currently in the framework of an Artistic and Cultural Project in Educational Territory (PACTE) for 2018-2019. The project is supported by Essonne’s Office of Departmental Services for National Education in relationship with the Lycée Albert Einstein (Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois) and the GHU Paris—Psychiatry and Neurosciences (Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois).
Whether it takes the form of installations, lectures, or writing, Rémy’s art practice embraces a number of forms, so many ways to imagine and introduce moments when knowledge is transmitted. His work springs from phases of research and gathering documents on specific subjects (the figure of the housebound recluse, changeable identities, the abandoning of art, etc.), and draws on both literature and the history of art and film. In his recent projects, mixing factual and fictional sources, Rémy creates installations that are used like material supports for telling stories. He has recently shown his work at CAC Brétigny (2017), La Galerie, Noisy-le-Sec (2016-2017), Ygrec (2017, 2014), Le Parc Saint Léger (2016, 2014), Le Pavillon Vendôme (2016), La Comédie, Caen (2016), La Maison des Arts, Malakoff (2015), Le Théâtre de l’Usine (2015), the Pompidou Center (2014), La Villa Arson (2014), La Halle des bouchers (2014), La Fondation d’entreprise Ricard (2013), La Villa du Parc (2013), La Maison Populaire (2013), and La Tôlerie (2013).
05.06—21.06.18, by appointment
Exhibition at the Maison du Patrimoine of Perray Vaucluse
Dire encore nos histoires... (Tell Our Stories Again...), is built around a dialogue with the psychiatric hospital of Perray-Vaucluse and the Lycée Albert Einstein of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois. Within the Maison du Patrimoine of Perray Vaucluse, Sébastien Rémy and the schoolers are featuring the results of the workshops they have been involved in, based on observing objects and documents found at the Hospital Center.