Le Consortium, Dijon

October 27, 2023 – March 31, 2024


David Douard

The THEY exhibition seeks to create a diffracted image of youth – a community without community, thriving in a dissolved, uncertain world where referents move freely, unburdened by hierarchies, and transcending generational and gender constraints.

The exhibition delves into the emergence of languages and forms, exploring how the foundations of a lexicon are established, and how a new way of making art, of being “contemporary” comes about. These contemporary perspectives presume acts of ownership, disappearance, ventriloquism, and the emergence of many social, interpersonal, political, and esthetic practices and experiments – always in action and opposing the inertia of walls.
THEY thus establishes human maps, a sort of moral fable home to all kinds of affects and relationships of identification and indifference – forms of disappearance, a spectral base which leads us, in a certain way, into these worlds where virtuality reigns.

It is a temporary refuge for “wild young people”: dissidents of systems and borders, creators of shapes, bodies, vehicles, and multiplicities, who want life, and not capital, to breed.

THEY, is not about us. It is the statement of a shortfall, a gap.

Given this external perspective, how can we express the condition and creativity of a virtualized collective body? How can we get around the deadlocks of traditional differences, innocence, and primary inventiveness? Can it be achieved by not doing sociology against a backdrop of existential and esthetic crisis? By freeing ourselves from a senile passion for whatever moves, lives, and rebels? How can we conceive of this transitional creature, unable to solidify in its unfinished forms, and instead very much ready to give in, so to speak, to its own unspecialized and powerful youth, turning away from any destiny and specific environment, and holding on to nothing else but its own immaturity and ignorance?

The THEY exhibition is the final chapter of the research project titled “The Raving Age. Histoires et figures de la jeunesse”, directed by Vincent Normand, Philippe Azoury and Shirin Yousefi. This project is an integral part of ECAL’s Master’s degree in Visual Arts.

Developed over a two-year period, the program is based on various cross-disciplinary activities including production, analysis and workshops, with many artists, thinkers, writers and students taking part in it.
The platform at www.theravingage.com archives a list of all exchanges and conferences in that context.
The exhibition mirrors a unique collaborative experience between a museum and an art school. Invited artists and students worked closely together during the various stages of the exhibition process, such as design and communication (Lorenzo Benzoni and Luca Frati), scenographic design with David Douard, a reality TV show directed by Sara Sadik, and even a performative piece by Gabriele Garavaglia.

Some of the exhibited pieces were created specifically for this particular occasion, such as those by Julien Ceccaldi, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Mélanie Matranga, Gabriele Garavaglia, Exotourisme (Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Perez) and Jill Mulleady.

Additional existing works were chosen for their specific resonance with the project. These include pieces by David Douard, Morag Keil, Caroline Poggi & Jonathan Vinel and David Wojnarowicz, a truly influential and dreaded figure of youth.

Text by Stéphanie Moisdon

Installation view, David Douard, THEY, Le Consortium, Dijon, 2023

Installation view, David Douard, THEY, Le Consortium, Dijon, 2023