What was going to happen as we embarked on this new cycle with our great European partners? What did we really expect? New interactions? A certain continuity?
Our involvement in two previous residencies had literally pushed us to the limit, beyond what we imagined. We had to confront a new field, that of art, its interrogations, its sinuous mechanisms and sometimes accept that there are no pre-defined limits. Working in the field of music, I think that unconsciously we said to ourselves that it was not so complex to transpose our know-how on the accompaniment of artistic residences associated with the world of art, performance, visual arts. The way things work is similar, but the temporality and the expectations are not necessarily the same, and we had to juggle these learning experiences. These first two years at MagiC Carpets have taught us to let ourselves be carried away, to not visualize the final result, or at least not to think too much about this final form. A way to leave more flexibility to the artists’ creative process.
In the current music scene and within our Trempo structure, we program artists, because we already know their work, we have already seen the outcome of a live show they are going to present, or we accompany the musicians so that they can achieve a certain professional result, with a certain codification linked to our scene, to the music business, even if the surprises and emotions are present, of course. With MagiC Carpets, each residency has given rise to unexpected results, improbable inter-personal connections and the presentation of works and ideas about the factory of tomorrow. Despite the discomfort of having to shake up the way we work, we were more than curious about the idea of continuing this adventure for another three years, alongside the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Nantes, which has become a privileged partner of Trempo.
We decided to keep a certain continuity on this 2nd cycle, by reinforcing our links with the big schools of the district and the students. Our exchanges with the other European partners during our annual meetings and our experience with the first two residencies convinced us of the need to continue in this direction.
This year, the possibility of inviting local artists to work alongside the European artists opened new perspectives. Gwendal Briec & Chloé Malaise from Nantes were able to take care of Lucia Bricco, by integrating her into their daily life. She was able to participate in the Amap (association for the maintenance of peasant agriculture, which distributes baskets of vegetables) of Chloé, to discover the good plans of the two artists from Nantes… It was also a lever of emancipation for this artistic team. Chloé didn’t know Gwendal before this residency, although they gravitated in the same spheres, but each of them brought to the residency their expertise, their contacts, and all three benefited from them. It was also interesting for us to associate artists with singular practices, but without distancing them completely from one another: sound arts, comics, performance.
Everything was based on this magical meeting between Chloé, Gwendal and Lucia. The strength of the exhibition, of the works proposed, of the work carried out, stemmed from this alchemy. There is inevitably a part of chance, of fate in all that. It is also perhaps what I found a little less in the other projects that I lead at Trempo. Trying to cross genres, people and see where it will lead us, like a small laboratory.
From the moment where this connection, this common force was animated, there was no need to be afraid anymore, a certain fluidity operated at every angle of the project, in its symbolism, its stakes, its commitments.
Finally, there was no longer any reason to be afraid of the result or of any finality, no matter what form it took, we knew that it would be sincere, collective and made from the heart. It could only touch the public. And even then, it didn’t matter. As I have seen or at least felt in previous residencies, purpose is perhaps not the primary objective of these residencies. I have often repeated to the actors/actresses who have participated in the MagiC Carpets residencies that this finality and the work itself are perhaps less important than the process, the meeting between artists, “these artists”, the meeting around a territory, its history (past, present and or future) and, therefore, its inhabitants, users, communities. The work done again this year by the artists with the workers of the former shipyards and the students at the School of Fine Arts is a proof of this. I don’t like to write too much about these kinds of projects, it’s too difficult to summarize what happened during a month (or more) in a few words, but I can invite you to watch the video report, the documentary by Clara Baudry, who succeeded in making a film about the artists, out of a too institutional frame but full of sensitivity.
Curatorial text by Josselin Couteau