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Corsica – Bonifacio

Dedicated to the field of video art and experimentation with new technologies, the Biennale de Bonifacio was born in 2022 on the initiative of a collective, De Renava, driven by the desire to “activate the island’s heritage” by instituting a dialogue between the works of international artists, the city’s emblematic sites and the surrounding nature, as well as neighbouring countries bathed by “the midland sea”. 

© Pipilotti Rist, à la belle étoile, Centre Pompidou x De Renava Felicia Sisco

In anticipation of next summer’s second edition, this new-style biennial (particularly in terms of exhibition formats) is offering a high-profile off. Called De Renava Off, it is the fruit of an exceptional collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, which is lending works by thirteen artists from the Mediterranean Basin.  Entitled La Notte, in reference to Michelangelo Antonioni’s cult film, the exhibition is presented as “a stroll through the Mediterranean nightlife […] offering a nebulous, diffracted, dreamlike and non-exhaustive vision of a certain Mediterranean imaginary. […] Here, the night is synonymous with freedom. […] a space where the boundaries between reality and dream are blurred, a meeting place between the sacred and the profane, a territory where bodies wander, melt away, fade away, sometimes leaving only the ghostly traces of their passage.”

© Luc Zangrie, Perséphone, Centre Pompidou x De Renava Felicia Sisco

Luc Zangrie takes us on a “journey to an obscure elsewhere”, following in the footsteps of Persephone, goddess of the underworld. In this dreamlike short film with surrealist overtones, released in 1951, the Belgian director develops the theme of doubling through the mythological character abducted by Hades, the master of the Underworld, and condemned by Zeus to remain six months of the year in the kingdom of the night before being able to cross the Styx to reappear in broad daylight. Mohamed Bourouissa’s Shadows is an interloping reinterpretation of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

© Pipilotti Rist, À la belle étoile, Centre Pompidou x De Renava Felicia Sisco

Another nocturnal apparition is Pipilotti Rist’s distorted images in an explosion of shapes and colours, whose video projection À la Belle étoile draws the viewer into a shifting environment, at turns microscopic and macroscopic, to the point of provoking, “a feeling of disorientation and weightlessness”.  A “Technicolor paradise” pop counterbalanced by Ange Leccia’s black Fumée: a sculptural video device encircles the viewer, engulfing him in a cloud of smoke that gradually fills the projection space. The same goes for Kader Attia’s monumental installation Ghost (2007), an army of ghosts sculpted from aluminium foil: what could be more unsettling than to be confronted by absent bodies in this vertiginous staging of emptiness?

Stéphanie Dulout

« La Notte »
Centre Pompidou X De Renava Off
Caserne Montlaur, Bonifacio
Jusqu’au 29 septembre 2023