Marine Hugonnier

Common Consciousness

Jun 30 – Aug 13, 2011

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present the exhibition Common Consciousness, by French artist Marine Hugonnier. In her first solo show in Brazil, the artist is showing collages on vintage newspapers, lending continuity to her renowned series Art for Modern Architecture.

This series began with collages made with cutouts from the book Line, Form, Color (1951) by Ellsworth Kelly, applied on the front pages of vintage newspapers. The American artist defended the argument that art should be made for public spaces emphasizing the modernist utilitarian project of art at the service of modern architecture. In Art for Modern Architecture, Hugonnier prolongates Kelly’s ideas, introducing them to a new medium, the printed newspaper.

In 2009, Hugonnier began to use silkscreened paper using the colors of the Kodak chart: cyan, violet, magenta, red, black, yellow and green. These colors are the standard ones used in photomechanical reproduction. The artist thus formalizes a potential image, recalling the viewer’s memory or a collective consciousness.

The show at Fortes Vilaça presents collages made on Brazilian newspapers from different eras, beginning with the construction of Brasília in 1960. In setting up the show, Hugonnier chose to temporalize the space by changing the collages displayed on the walls: each week the artist will present a group of collages from a specific decade, from the 1960s until today, thus creating six different setups during the six weeks of the exhibition. The events featured were not chosen by the artist; rather, they are what the artist was able to find through Internet searches and adds she placed in newspapers, looking for people willing to sell old newspapers. By discovering what the Brazilians felt was relevant to keep, the artist also sought to reveal a collective consciousness.

Beyond the beauty of the printed page and the precise geometric compositions, the essence of these works lies in the anachronism established between the present time of the viewer and the collages and the past time of the documents. By covering the images on the newspapers and breaking their day-to-day narrative structure, Hugonnier investigates the reality of the spectator’s memory, whether it is a cultural ground or an imaginary landscape.

Other artworks in the Art for Modern Architecture series have previously been shown at important venues worldwide including the 52nd Venice Biennale, Italy; MOMA/New York, USA; Kunsthaus Graz, Austria; and MACBA, Barcelona, Spain. Hugonnier has recently presented solo shows at FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France; Malmö Konsthall, Sweden,  Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany; Musée D’Art Moderne et Contemporain MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland; S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy; and Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland.