14 rue de l'École de Pharmacie
SOL ! The Regional Biennale #2 Soleil Triste
This autumn, MO.CO. Montpellier Contemporain presents the second edition of its regional biennale. This project takes its roots from a desire to highlight local and regional artistic production and to attempt to characterize the singularity of this artistic landscape. If the first edition focused on “decentralization” and vernacular forms, dependent on specific sites, this second edition takes as its starting point a historical figure, a literary work and a little-known episode in Montpellier’s history.
In 1776, the Marquis de Sade has a short stay in Montpellier. This event may appear of little importance. Yet, it is believed that it was here that he met the young woman that would later become the inspiration for the heroine of his first novel, Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue. Written while Sade was imprisoned in the Bastille and published anonymously in 1791, the impact of this text on culture, philosophy and modes of thought remains uncontestable.
Soleil Triste (in English: Sad Sun) adopts an esthetic and ethical position close to that of Sade with drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations and videos by over twenty artists, some of which are shown for the first time or produced specifically for the exhibition. Following the example of Sade, the body and language, allies for the transgression of social, moral and institutional norms, sit at the core of the exhibited artists’ work. The body, whether monstrous, mutant or violated, desirable or repugnant, mixes with language, its double, which tries to give form to what is forbidden and formless.
The exhibition is supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.