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“Mon nom est Personne” (My name is nobody) by Alexandre Périgot

ARTWORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE CNAP / MUCEM / MUSÉE D'ARTS DE NANTES / MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS DE RENNES AND DU MUSÉE RODIN

Cneai, Les magasins généraux, Pantin
february 17 • april 22 2018

“Mon nom est Personne”, presents the research done by Alexandre Périgot on anonymity in art and its corollary: the principle of notoriety.

At the Cneai, the artist’s installation consists of a film that has been shot in exhibition spaces along with 800 anonymous, artworks, neither signed nor attributed, dating from the 16th century to the 21st century. This body of work includes painting, photography, drawing, music (scores), architecture and craftsmanship taken from five national collections; those of the Centres national des arts plastiques, the MUCEM, the musée d'Arts de Nantes, the musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes and the Musée Rodin in Paris.
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A MUSEUM OF UNKNOWNS
The idea of a collection that gathers together anonymous creators was born from an invitation from Voyage in Nantes, to Alexandre Périgot in 2017, to exhibit artworks in the musée des Arts of Nantes and from the discovery of 154 anonymous artworks. Observing that most museums possess a significant quantity of work by unknown artists in their collections, often being major works of art that conservators tend to hesitate to exhibit, Alexandre Périgot decided to put together an encyclopedia, an atlas, a museum of the unknown. And so these forms have become a stage for invitations to researchers, musicians and dancers, invited to interpret and perform these works, without knowing who authored them.
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EXHIBITION AT THE CNEAI: “MON NOM EST PERSONNE”  (“MY NAME IS NOBODY”)This exhibition at the Cneai challenges the status of these artwork-enigmas. The artist imposes a reflexive work on the spectator, reversing their condition to objectify their gaze. The artwork is exposed and authority is returned to the spectators; who oscillate between culture and ignorance, perception and intuition, now finding themselves sole judge of their artistic experience. The title of the exhibition is a reference to the now famous trick by Ulysses in one of the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey. Driven by curiosity, accompanied by his twelve companions he entered a cave that contained gigantic objects. Certain of his companions were captured by the cyclops who began to eat them two by two. To appease the beast Ulysses gave him wine, and in his drunken stupor the cyclops asked him his name. Ulysses replied, “My name is nobody”. Once the monster had fallen asleep, Ulysses and his companions drove a spike into its eye. The screams of cries of Polyphemus woke the other Cyclops, who asked him who was responsible for blinding him, with Polyphemus replying: “Nobody”.

The artworks that have been gathered together at the Cneai can be called “anonymous” for different reasons; the exhibition thus collects all of the allusions inherent to anonymity. Either they are unsigned, or signed in such a way as to be illegible, or they are part of an artist’s strategy to remain hidden. The complexity of the motivations that may lead to anonymity authorizes one to tell not just one story, but many. The artworks are placed on the ground and form a pathway through an exhibition, similar to someone selling posters in the subway, but also reminding one of those people who sold engravings in the 18th century that were called “étaleurs”, or “spreaders” in English.
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HABITER L’EXPOSITION PROGRAMME (INHABITING THE EXHIBITION)
The “Habiter l'exposition: Mon nom est Personne” (Inhabiting the exhibition: My name is Nobody) programme accompanies the work of Alexandre Périgot and brings artists and researchers together for a series of meetings, seminars and conferences in the large room of the Magasins généraux.

CURATOR: Sylvie Boulanger

Dernière mise à jour le 06 Jul 2018
Cneai, Les magasins généraux Pantin
France