press release

In Europe, in our "post-industrial" era, we are increasingly distanced from the production of the goods we consume. Our downing of tools seems linked to a change in our relationship with the material world, provoking a more passive attitude towards the things with which we surround ourselves. When they break we throw them away, unable to fix them and unable (or unwilling) to understand how they work. In recent years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in making, in notions of self-sufficiency and craftsmanship. While such notions may find particular resonance in these times of economic crisis, they are also part of a larger school of thinking that is reconsidering our relationship to work and production.

The exhibition Manufacture explores what "production" means for artists today, not only in relation to art history but also to the shifts in our globalized, consumer society. Descendants of conceptual art as much as of our industrial heritage, the artists in Manufacture do not hesitate to delve into craftsmanship, the recuperation of materials, bricolage, employing a vocabulary of forms, gestures and techniques while avoiding the fetishization of perfect technique. In fact, several share the practice of consciously "misusing" their chosen materials and techniques. Others explore the possibilities offered by the unknown, by failure, chance and accident. What inspires them all in their production processes—sometimes spontaneous, sometimes laborious—is the question of practice and how this practice entails a form of emancipation. In this back-and-forth between artisanal and industrial processes, between contemporary and traditional materials, between thought and form, the artists of the exhibition develop a shared approach based on experimentation and empiricism.

Curated by Sandra Patron & Zoë Gray

French venue: Parc Saint Léger, Centre d'art contemporain Avenue Conti - 58320 Pougues-les-Eaux, France +33 (0)3 86 90 96 60 Open Tuesday to Sunday 2pm–7pm

English venue: John Hansard Gallery University of Southampton Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK +44 (0)23 8059 2158 Open Tuesday to Friday 11am-5pm Saturday 11am–4pm

only in german

Manufacture II
Kuratoren: Sandra Patron & Zoe Gray

Künstler: Michael Beutler, Daniel Dewar & Gregory Gicquel, Ida Ekblad, Hedwig Houben, Emmanuelle Laine, Charles Mason

24.09.2011 - 05.11.2011 John Hansard Gallery, Southampton
2011 Centre d´art contemporain, Pougues-les-Eaux