Artistic Practice Department Associate Program ARP Director

“Suppose we compare contemporary artistic culture to a stretch of land. Everyone will agree that it has hardly any distinct boundaries and that the concept of a work of art can no longer be pinned down to a single domain that could be called its own. Yet it is in a tiny nook the size of a handkerchief, hardly big enough to turn around in, that the area of inscription of a pictorial act is defined. To choose the four old corners of a parallelogram, worn and frayed by the history of painting—i.e., to make pictures nowadays — is immediately to posit the principles of a special kind of artistic behavior: it is to restrict oneself voluntarily to an absurd dogma in the midst of an infinite array of technological and theoretical possibilities. It has to be brought home to students that the choice of painting should in no case constitute a withdrawal or turning in on oneself. In the course of group discussions or one-on-one meetings, we will try to find a way to ensure that this choice constitutes an active attitude. Painting cannot be an activity experienced as passive acceptance of a heritage of already established relevance. The course will requently be open to students who don’t paint, who use video, photography, installations, sound, sculpture, writing and other media. We will debate together the way these other young artists perceive the paintings done here, and the point of view from which they envisage and practice their art.”

Dominique Figarella lives in Montpellier and has been teaching at the École des Beaux-Arts since 2001. His paintings have been shown regularly in Austria, the US, Switzerland and Spain. In 2008 he showed individually at La Station, Nice, and LIFE (Lieu International des Formes Émergentes) in Saint-Nazaire, and took part in several collective exhibitions: Rot, Red, Rouge at the Kunstraseum, a residence gallery in Salzburg, and + de réalité at the Hangar à Bananes, Nantes. In 2009: solo shows at the Musée de Sérignan, the Carré Sainte Anne, and the Galerie Vasistas, Montpellier. In February 2010, solo show Le life, Saint-Nazaire. In 2010 in Paris, Montpellier, Frankfurt and Utrecht, he presented Soapéra, a work done in collaboration with Mathilde Monnier. In 2011 he is taking part in two collective exhibitions: Incidents maîtrisés at the Espace d’Art Concret, Mouans-Sartoux, and La peinture autrement at the Musée Chagall, Nice. A monographic catalogue of his work is being published by Life. Texts distributed by presses du réel.