From October 10, 2010 to January 16, 2011, FOLKLORE?, a group exhibition with Maria Thereza Alves, Alexandra Bircken, Jean-Luc Cramatte, Collectif DOP, Jean-Damien Fleury, Luca Francesconi, Charles Fréger, Susan Hiller, La Méthode Bernadette, Timo Nasseri, Amy O’Neill, Vanessa Safavi, Eléonore Saintagnan, Ana Strika, curated by Corinne Charpentier & Sophie Kaplan.
Folklore? is a journey that expands on In the Mirror: Folklore Projections, shown at the Fri Art art centre in Fribourg from 22 May to 22 August.
This is an exhibition that goes counter to reductionist approaches to the folklore issue and its frequent exploitation for touristic and identitarian ends. Protean, shifting, sometimes forgotten and sometimes very much alive, the "lore of the people" defies definition and classification. At the same time it represents, for the artists of today, a wellspring of references, forms and questionings.
While not attempting a definitive reading—and even less so an illustration—of what constitutes folklore, the exhibition examines from different angles the concerns, intimately linked to folk culture, whose echoes continue to be heard today: local roots and celebrations, the disappearance of singularities, the survival of customs, the ossifying of popular culture in cliché, the presence of mystical signs, relationships with the natural environment, the persistence of magic and myth, etc.
The forms of the works on display are in many cases direct borrowings from or interpretations of popular arts and traditions: vernacular architecture, costumes, songs, cut paper, totems, patchworks, and languages and abstract signs whose origins and decipherment have been lost with the passing of time.
In the CRAC Alsace corridors the visitor will find a deliberately low-key presentation of folklore exhibits from Alsace. This break with standard practice and the interconnections thus established blur the boundaries between present and past, vernacular and global, functional and symbolic.