Florence Lazar

12 Feb 2019 – 2 Jun 2019

Jeu de Paume

Île-de-France, France


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The exhibition that the Jeu de Paume is about to dedicate to him proposes a crossing of his work through a selection of documentary films and photographs produced between 2000 and today, in a perspective which mixes the chronology of the work and the different contexts, focusing particularly on those of the territories of the former Yugoslavia after the war and the environmental and post-colonial issues in the West Indies.

Transmission, enactment, and self-construction raise the issue of falsification and omission of historical and political facts.

One of the challenges of the exhibition is to make perceptible the minority position of the narratives exposed by the artist and their acuteness, both in the urgency of the crisis and in the eyes of history, especially in his videos and his films: a Serb peasant at the end of the war in The Peasants (2000); the denial and erasure of Bosnians' memory, as an extension of ethnic cleansing in the present enclave of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia with Kamen ([Les Pierres], 2014); more recently, the consequences of the use in Martinique and Guadeloupe of chlordecone, a pesticide banned everywhere else, and the monoculture of bananas; or the intellectual and militant journey through books that an old man revives by unpacking his library (Confession of a Young Activist, 2008). It's about, indeed, for Florence Lazar to transmit, to give a visibility, with a value of testimony, to what did not have (points of view, contexts, stories ...), to thus place in the center what had been held away, invisible or forgotten. Stretches between the series of photographs dedicated to Aimé Césaire and the one entitled Young activist (2008) which each chant historical temporality through the tools of emancipation and transmission that are journals.

The Women in Black Speech Group, a video presenting a kind of out-of-the-box view of the war in the former Yugoslavia, asserts this dissident voice, which is not very audible and feminist.

Throughout, the exhibition reaches quite similar problems in their resonance - but whose object differs - and ends with the project, for the moment in progress, on the use of Chlordecone in Martinican banana plantations and Guadeloupéennes who poses today the question of the prolongation of the instrumentalization of the bodies at work during the colonial period.

It is also a question of formally showing how the devices intended to make a speech emerge, often attached to the fixed shot from the photograph and from an earlier practice of the portrait in the work of the artist, are withdrawn and gradually leave room. to the journey, literally and figuratively, then to a chiseled montage. This journey is also in itself a form of transmission. It is an opportunity to get closer, to cross the threshold of the image to accompany these movements, to circulate among these heterogeneous narratives and try to unravel the skeins of history that has been played or played there, all near.

The exhibition and the work of Florence Lazar can also be understood as a recognition of what we see, an experience of attention and attention to discern. Nothing is given immediately.

No answer as such, but fragments to be assembled and links to be woven from facts and subjective narratives defying the authority of the dominant history.

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Exhibiting artists

Florence Lazar


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