It was by chance that we happened to come across Marie Madec and her newly curated space “Sans Titre (2016).” It is not your typical white cube space and that is what stands out when noticing Madec and her foray into the art world, as a first time curator. The artists that she has featured are worth a mention; Romain Vicari, who continues the conversation later in the article, Will Benedict, Eliza Douglas, Côme Di Meglio & Eliott Paquet, Carlotta Kohl, Théo Mercier, Elliot Dubail; these are just to name a few. To sum up? An impressive space with impressive artists and a curator to watch out for.
Can you describe “Sans Titre (2016)” in a sentence?
Sans Titre (2016) is an exhibition taking place in a private place in the heart of Paris; its aim is to recreate the fantasised apartment of an art connoisseur with its pieces of art, but also its furniture, its rare books and magazines, its objects and even its clothes and food.
This is a huge step in the art world. Can you pinpoint anything that prompted this shift into curating your own show?
Art is all I’ve been interested in my whole life. I remember as a kid hating sports and any kind of collective activities. The only thing I agreed on doing on Wednesdays was going to the museum. I’ve been a collector myself for quite a while and studied art history for eight years (I started in high school) so it came pretty naturally.
You are using an apartment in centre of Paris for “Sans Titre (2016)”, and you’ve incorporated the whole space as a way of experiencing every object on view. Contemporary art with antique contemporary furniture. How did you conceive this idea?
I think people are a bit tired of the classical white cube experience. In an uber connected world people want it to be simple and accessible – the contrary of the typical gallery show that can be a bit intimidating. The concept of Sans Titre (2016) is to welcome the visitors as I would at home. I serve them drinks and finger food, explain to them all the paintings and works one by one, tell them to feel at home and do whatever they want. Some visitors even spend the afternoon with us, and just work or chitchat with us for hours. Also, reintegrating the art works in the domestic context is important in my opinion. It’s almost been an insult those past 50 years, since the conceptual age, to wonder; “will this work fit in my place, with my interior. But we’re not all lucky enough to own our private foundation or white cube!
Are you trying to change the face of art and how we view it?
This would be extremely pretentious, I’m just trying to promote a different and new experience and bring some fresh air in an art world that needs it. In the mean time I feel I’m absolutely not the only one and it’s a very interesting period to try new stuff.
Your relationship with each artist must be so important, especially in curating your first exhibition…
It’s a relationship of respect, trust but also faith. I need to believe in what they do and their vision. I also have strong relationships to the galleries I’m working with, such as Balice Hertling – to me the coolest gallery in Paris by far. I must thank them for trusting me so unconditionally and lending me the works of such superstars like Neil Beloufa which I’m super proud to exhibit in my space – he has a solo at the MoMA right now!
How did you meet Theo Mercier, and why did you choose to have his works as a part of Sans Titre (2016)?
I met Theo this past January – we had a mutual friend that introduced us. I’ve been a huge fan of Theo since his first show at the Montrouge Salon in 2011 and I’ve also collected his works when it was still affordable for a young collector like me. I told him about the project and he was eager to participate, as the concept of collecting is really important in his work and he, himself, is a compulsive collector.
Elliot Dubail. Can you explain why his work is so significant for Sans Titre (2016) and the contemporary art scene in general?
Elliot is a young Parisian painter that is extremely talented. He creates, himself, his own pigments and he paints like a renaissance master – I’m not sure that I know another contemporary artist working in such an artisanal way. His pieces have a huge visual impact on all the viewers and I always get tons of questions about him. He is a very young painter – he’s 26 – and he’s not yet represented by a gallery but I believe he’ll be a huge influence for the French art scene in a couple of years.
Where to after Sans Titre (2016)?
Hopefully Sans Titre (2016) #2 very soon! Why not in Istanbul? If you read this article and have a space to offer for a couple of weeks, I’ll do it straight away!
Moving on to Romain Vicari…
For Sans Titre (2016), can you explain the installation piece, Frigidaire?
The installation “Citron Téton” in the refrigerator is a series of little objects, made with transparent resin. The idea is to show this lemon form, in different colours. The objects are in the refrigerator to compliment the idea of Marie’s curated context that art can be anywhere.
“Anenome” is a wall painting. Sculpted with coloured wax. The light is installed to provide layers. The form is created as an instinctive move.
How did you meet Marie?
Marie is a friend of a friend of mine. She passed by my atelier one day, and invited me to participate in the exhibition.
We believe you pay particular attention to colour, concrete, debris, and architecture. How does this contribute to your aesthetic as an artist?
- Colour: I’m from Brazil, so I keep in mind the colours that are representative of my origins.
- Concrete: I began my artistic journey by painting walls in my city, Sao-Paulo, as concrete was one of my first mediums.
- Debris: I work on various abandoned places, to try plastic experimentations. I bring this ruin aesthetic to my work.
- Architecture: I’m an “installator” – I like to create and layer spaces upon spaces.
Photography: Tabitha Karp