Les Réserves

© Joana Badia

La collective phèmes
Coller l’oreille aux colimaçons

Opening: friday 06.09.24, 4—10pm

Curator: La collective phèmes (Master pro “Contemporary art and its exhibition” Paris – Sorbonne University)


With works by Dove Allouche, Eleftherios Amilitos, Ilaria Andreotti, Dara Birnbaum, Jade Boudet, Tom Brabant, Sıla Candansayar, Josefa Caruz Clement, Isabelle Cornaro, Mimosa Echard, Anna Giner, Hélène Janicot, Gabriel Levie, Laura Liventaal, Nicole, Pierre Paulin, Liselor Perez, Fedor Pliskin, Betty Pomerleau, Apolline Regent, Margaret Salmon, Oscar Santillan, SUPERFLEX, Michael Van Den Abeele, Maya de Vulpillières (works from the Frac Île-de-France collection and by artists who have graduated from the Beaux-Arts de Paris and the École des Arts Décoratifs de Paris)

The fruit of a collaborative process, Coller l’oreille aux colimaçons is a multi-temporal exhibition. The different perspectives of the eleven curators on works from the Frac Île-de-France collection and those of artists who have just graduated from the Beaux-Arts and Arts Décoratifs schools in Paris, are nourished by the philosophical concept of “whirling origin “*, which envisages time no longer as linear, but as being in perpetual motion. Contrary to the idea of a single, fixed point of departure, the origin here is apprehended as a tumultuous flow, enabling a new conception of history in which past, present and future intermingle.

Stemming from different creative contexts, the works presented in the exhibition respond to each other by proposing common themes or forms. While Nicole reworks images she collects in her performances, Dara Birnbaum uses extracts from the American Wonder Woman series, reproducing them in a loop to exhaust their iconic dimension. Josefa Caruz Clement and Pierre Paulin explore the notion of imprint as a trace revealed in matter or on its surface. Laura Liventaal and Maya de Vulpillières take this same approach and extend it by addressing family memory, echoing the work of Isabelle Cornaro.

When we compare works from the Frac Île-de-France’s Réserves collection with those by young graduate artists, we sometimes observe, despite the generational gaps, a convergence in the subjects tackled. Inspired by the sprawling images conjured up by the notion of “whirling origin”, the scenography of the works presented in Coller l’oreille aux colimaçons is intended to be whirling. The works become fragments of a whole in motion, and the exhibition offers immersion in a space where time deconstructs and reconstructs itself, inviting us to re-examine our complex relationship with history, memory and future experiences.

* concept developed by philosopher and art historian Walter Benjamin (1892-1940)


La collective phèmes, founded in September 2023 by eleven student curators, is dedicated to promoting young artistic creation through exhibitions, events, publications and cultural manifestations. The name adopted for the collective, phèmes (from the Greek ϕάναι meaning “to speak”, “to report”), refers to the Greek and Roman divinity of the public voice. The goddess Pheme enables different voices to be heard through the circulation of speech and word of mouth. This is the approach the collective wishes to take with its first exhibition, Coller l’oreille aux colimaçons: to transmit the voices of all and bring the artists’ practices to the attention of a wide public.

La collective phèmes: Louise Adoue, Esin Ayber, Joana Badia, Loriane Bonnet, Rebecca Colardelle, Kate Gérard, Asta Keiller, Ilona Person, Julia Petit, Juliette Philippe and Zoé Touzanne.

This exhibition is part of a partnership project between Frac Île-de-France, École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and Sorbonne University.

The project is supported by the Crous (Contribution Vie Étudiante et de Campus), Sorbonne Université’s “student initiatives” CVEC commission and the City of Paris – Maison des initiatives étudiantes.