Stéphanie Solinas, Rencontres d’Arles 2016
THE METHOD OF LOCI
Is it possible to travel back in time? Stéphanie Solinas, an artist who enjoys enigmas and plays with protocols, has focused on austere material: the ‘Lustucru’ hall in Arles, a building with a complex past and an unknown future, a forlorn vessel open to the winds, abandoned on the city’s outskirts. How can its rich 110-year history and the density of the lives that populated it be captured? How can its identity, rediscovered in 2006, be accessed?
Solinas conducted research on the 4,500m2 metallic hall, built by the Eiffel company as the Grand Palais of the 1906 Colonial Exhibition in Marseille, later moved to serve as a rice storage shed. She sifted through archives, visited the site, followed the trail of clues from Marseille to Arles and tracked down people able to shed light on her research with their specific knowledge and singular experience.
Like the ‘method of loci’, a classical technique combining architecture and memorisation to help the work of memory, Solinas builds. Based on a recognised sociological tool using photography, she structured filmed encounter with her interviewees— a journalist, historian, botanist, archivist, photographer, former Lustucru employee, medium, politician, etc.—, building a timeline of collected or manufactured images, studying the links between projection and construction. Solinas explores memory like a palace where thoughts, images and recollections, some of which remain hidden or hard to fi nd, are stored.
At the cloître Saint-Trophime, she is presenting a video, 21 Months, Last Vestige (2016), as well as The Mind Palace (2016), an original monstration installation elaborated by the artist to recount, share and make visible the rich diversity of her unique investigations.
Through this building’s story from the 19th to 21st century, from individual to collective history, from colonisation to globalisation, Solinas asks us to take a look back as a way of thinking about today and shaping tomorrow.
Paula Aisemberg and Stéphanie Solinas
Stéphanie Solinas is the recipient of the new artist residency created this winter by the Rencontres d’Arles and the ENSP.
With support from FRAC Provence-Alpes- Côte d’Azur.
Thanks to Rémy Barbe, Noémie Cuissard, Isabelle Aillaud, Robert Brun, Pierre Daum, Françoise Denoyelle, Gérard Detaille, Cécile Gasc, Eléonore Marantz, Jean-Bernard Memet, Claire Merryl, Estelle Rouquette, Sam Stourdzé, Frank Tassy, Nicole Yavercovski, Detaille Collection, Marseille Municipal Archives, Marseille Chambre of Commerce Archives, Arles Municipal Archives, Arles library, Richard Trinh, Claude Trinh, Fabrice Trinh, Capitaine Louis Casserra, Leica.
Exhibition venue: Cloître Saint-Trophime.