From January 21 to February 18, 2022, the exhibition ESPACES MUTANTS in the Atelier at Loo & Lou Gallery will present the work of the artists of the 2021-2022 promotion from the French Academy in Madrid, at the Casa de Velázquez. The exhibition reflects the collective spirit that unites these artists during their residency in Madrid, as well as the diversity of practices that coexist this year in the studios at the Casa de Velázquez: painting, engraving, sculpture, visual arts, photography, video, and film. The result of a close collaboration between the Casa de Velázquez and Loo & Lou Gallery, ESPACES MUTANTS also emphasizes the synergies that unite these two places, both as incubators of innovative practices and unwavering supporters of contemporary creation.
ESPACES MUTANTS is at once an immersive experience, an experimentation in curating and a moment of encounter with the public for the 13 participating artists: Najah ALBUKAI, Carmen AYALA MARÍN, Chloé BELLOC, Maxime BIOU, Lise GAUDAIRE, Mathilde LESTIBOUDOIS, Anna LÓPEZ LUNA, Eve MALHERBE, Alberto MARTÍN MENACHO, Adrien MENU, Pablo PÉREZ PALACIO, Arnaud ROCHARD, Mery SALES.
"Like the stars that can only be seen if you don't look directly at them, the artistic gestures here escape perception. They flee, struggle, twist, and unravel under our fingers even as the work comes to life. How, then, could one restore it? How could one give an account of this ephemeral breath, to pay homage to it and to give it sight? How, above all, would one be able to capture the fragility of its emergence—to freeze it, without breaking it?
With this mutant space, the artists in residence at Casa de Velázquez offer us an infiltration into the heart of this abstract idea. An exhibition which is like a challenge between constellation and flow of thought, that plunges us into the suspension of time within creation and its metamorphoses. Sketches, research documents, finished pieces, or works in progress, the pieces here take place in the collective installation where singularities intermingle with what is shared. By exhibiting together for the first time, the artists draw a portrait of their experience working as residents while they deliver their first forceful lines.
ESPACES MUTANTS is thus hybrid and plural in nature. The materials, forms and textures intermingle; the directions that lead to interpretation are multiplied; the perspectives are drawn and transformed as connections are established and installed. At the heart of this laboratory, conceived as an immersive experience, a lot depends on the spectator who can activate each of these fragments, read between their lines and to allow themselves to be touched by the crackling breath of these creations in residence."
Casa de Velázquez is an institution under the authority of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and is part of the network of five French schools abroad (EFE). It is unique in that it supports both contemporary creation and research in the humanities and social sciences. Casa de Velázquez also plays a major role in disseminating and promoting the work carried out in residence through a rich and varied program, supported by a vast network of international partners.
The ACADÉMIE DE FRANCE IN MADRID is a privileged space that welcomes every year in residence some thirty artists of diverse geographical and cultural origins. Every year, thirteen artists are selected to develop their creative projects in residence.