press release

Ruth Ewan. It Rains, It Rains
20.06.2019 - 22.09.2019

The first solo exhibition of the Scottish artist Ruth Ewan in France, borrows its title from the folk song "Il pleut, il pleut, bergère" written by the French revolutionary poet, actor and politician Fabre d’Églantine, who is said to have calmly recited the lyrics before his execution in 1794.

Ewan’s exhibition comprises the installation Back to the Fields, first shown in 2015 and entirely reconfigured for the CAPC’s iconic nave, as well as a series of objects connected to the French Republican calendar.

The Republican calendar was adopted by the Convention in 1793, in the aftermath of the French Revolution, to replace the Gregorian calendar. Embodying and translating the Republican ideals directly into the life of every citizen, it was in use for 12 years. It completed the dismantling of the Ancien Régime by reorganising time itself.

Consisting of the 360 objects representing the Republican year—including trees, plants, bones, minerals and tools—the installation Back to the Fields reactivates the rural calendar as a three-dimensional, life-size work. Expanding on this large-scale, living installation, Ewan has conceived a series of objects corresponding to the so-called "sans-culottides" (so named after the "sans-culottes"). These five holidays (six in leap years) were added to the last month of the Republican calendar so that it would match the 365 days of the solar year. Each celebrated a different quality: Virtue, Talent, Labour, Conviction, Honour, Revolution. To represent them, the artist has produced six new works that emphasise their cyclical nature while connecting them to wider political issues.

Curator: Alice Motard assisted by Alice Cavender and Émeline Vincent