Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Toulouse, FRAC Midi-Pyrénées

Prix Mezzanine Sud

From 14 december 2017 to 4 march 2018
les Abattoirs
Nicolas Daubanes, "Toit de la prison Charles III, Nancy". Dessin mural à la poudre de fer aimantée, 2017

This prize, which distinguishes each year four artists through an exhibition and a production aid, aims to promote and support contemporary creation in the South-West of France, artistic scenes revolving around from Montpellier, Toulouse and Bordeaux.

The jury convened in early September and selected the following artists:

- Cindy Coutant

Cindy Coutant was born in 1984 in Vitry-sur-Seine. After graduating from the École Supérieure d’Arts des Pyrénées de Tarbes (DNSEP) and from the Conservatoire de Bordeaux in electroacoustics, she moved to Paris where she lives and works. She is currently also a student at the Fresnoy-Studio National des Arts Contemporains. In the form of installations, her artistic practice introduces a technological imaginary. While thought is increasingly being exercised alongside, according to, and through digital data, Cindy Coutant imagines the creation of  a new media language. This method of communication takes the form of computer algorithms, interfaces, screens, or digital networks.
Installing scenes verging on science fiction, Cindy Coutant builds stories based on technological tools. In a desire to avoid rendering these objects from everyday life invisible, the artist exhibits the screens and cables that trace original designs on the floor. Accepting or even affirming the artificiality of these systems, she gives rise to a new communication space situated in the real and digital world. She does not hesitate to recontextualise virtual images as well as retranscribing the digital event within reality. Her triptych Undershoot thus presents networks of dismembered screens on which images or video games unfold. For this series, she appropriates media events from the massive database that the internet represents. She presents the story of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, the figure of footballer Christiano Ronaldo, but also anonymous individuals whose image has been made public via YouTube videos. The contrast between the raw and cold language of these machines and their poetic recontextualisation within the space thus serves as the vehicle for the artist’s critical discourse.

- Nicolas Daubanes

Nicolas Daubanes was born in 1983. He lives and works in Perpignan. In 2010, he obtained the Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique from the École des Beaux-Arts de Perpignan.  Appropriating the techniques of installation, sculpture, and even drawing, he teases out questions of life, death, and fragility. Playing on material effects, he presents objects as though suspended in time, at the point of intersection between the past and the future. Illustrating moments of radical change, his artworks seem to reveal a vital impetus before the fall. The mural drawings, made from magnetic iron powder are a good example of this point of no return. Balancing on the wall, these images in black and white appear in a ghostly manner.  In his drawings, a portion of the material has already fallen to the floor, leaving an indelible trace behind.

The prison environment returns recurrently in Nicolas Daubanes’s work. The artist has confronted this world on numerous occasions, both as a visitor, an art teacher, and as an artist in residence. Moments shared with the inmates led him to devise numerous project that question the notions of freedom, resistance, and silence. Serious themes like that of prison or history thus contrast with the extreme fragility his works reveal. For one of his projects, he appropriated a principle of sabotage used during World War II by resistance fighters. He drilled holes in a wooden bridge, just above the surface of the water. These cavities were then filled with water and sealed. With the onset of winter, the water froze and broke the fibre of the wooden posts, causing the bridge to collapse. This theme of the collapsed bridge takes on a sculptural, even architectural character in Nicolas Daubanes’s work. By reproducing this sabotage technique, the artist illustrates his taste for all that remains hidden and operates in silence, from within.

- Camille Lavaud

Camille Lavaud was born in 1981 in Bergerac. She now lives and works between Bordeaux, Brussels, and a small village in her native region of Dordogne where she occupies a sewing workshop. A graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, she develops an artistic practice oscillating between the creation of installations, videos, and the production of illustrated plates, books of images, and posters. Camille Lavaud specialises in drawing, which she sees as a site of freedom, energy, and imagination. While her illustrations are initially in black and white, she progressively adds colour, using felt-tip pens or ink. Lively and energetic, they establish an aesthetic in a flashy, expressionistic style. Considering drawing her playground, Camille Lavaud freely practices an ‘art of the line’ in her own unique style. Drawing on the tradition of movie posters, particularly period posters, she oscillates between static and animated images.
In her pictures brimming with surprising details and convoking popular culture, the artist does not impose any kind of hierarchy. Very often, these fantastic stories celebrate protagonists derived from pop culture. For Camille Lavaud, drawing is an art of memory, a great machine of souvenirs. She draws inspiration from art history, but also from underground culture. Graphic design, photography, cinema, or detective novels have inspired many of her themes, particularly when she pastiches whodunnit posters. The artist evokes the time when, as a child, she crisscrossed Dordogne in her grandfather’s mobile library, surrounded by detective novels. Playing with the evocative power of memories, she fills her worlds with gangsters, bandits, assassins, or prostitutes. Between reality and fiction, the burlesque and quirky scenes of Camille Lavaud present a layering of registers. Closely connected to the publishing world, she also publishes illustrations in magazines such as Feuilleton, Revue XXI, New York Times, Le Monde or Citizen K. In 2012, she published her first book, entitled Blocus Solus in tribute to Locus Solus, a science fiction book by Raymond Roussel.

- Nicolas Tubéry

Nicolas Tubéry was born in 1982 in Carcassonne. He studied at the École Supérieure d’Art et Céramique de Tarbes, then in 2009, he obtained his DNSEP at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Nicolas Tubéry’s work mainly takes the form of videos and installations and is influenced by the natural and social landscape of his native region. His films describe the rural and farming world in a sensitive manner. The film Maquignon is thus shot amid farm stalls. Imagining a scene at a horse fair, the artist invites cattle sellers to play their own roles. Prior to that, it was sheep shearing that inspired the installation and film presented in 2016 at the Salon de Montrouge and for C’est la vie (Occidental Temporary, Villejuif).

Appropriating inherently cinematic techniques such as slow-motion effects and the presence of a soundtrack, the artist offers a unique perspective of the actions that rhythm the daily life of residents of rural areas. In order to do so, he confronts and associates two conflicting modes of recording: documentary and fiction. Considering film as a form of testimony, Nicolas Tubéry does not hesitate to film in a direct manner, with a handheld camera and without technical support. These raw images, using natural lighting, present the events in real time and allow the artist’s spontaneous reframings to remain apparent. In other videos, he creates rigorous stagings, pushing the acting to the limits and does not hesitate to reconstitute certain sets.

In the exhibition space, he lends a sculptural dimension to his videos by extending them with installations. Often ephemeral, they evolve within the space and create a mise en abyme with the settings of his films. For the artist, the environment in which the spectator watches the film is just as important as the situation in which it takes place. In order to render the moving images dynamic, Nicolas Tubéry designs sound effects that traverse the space by resonating along metal bars. In Maquignon, these devices thus construct spaces of confidentiality and present different points of view. He thus invites spectators to look beyond the image and confronts them in their position of passivity. His images suggest more than they show, since what the artist presents onscreen is only a part of what must be seen.

Initialement organisé par le CIC Sud-Ouest, le CIC'Art était depuis 2009 un prix attribué à un artiste contemporain du grand sud-ouest.

A l’occasion de sa sixième année d’existence, le CIC'Art a évolué et a pris un nouvel engagement pour quatre années consécutives en s’unissant aux Abattoirs afin de créer ensemble le prix Mezzanine Sud. Dans la continuité du prix CIC'Art, l'objectif de Mezzanine Sud est de participer au rayonnement de la création artistique contemporaine.

Cette association originale de deux institutions initie une nouvelle dynamique par la promotion de jeunes artistes en devenir, âgés de moins de 35 ans, originaires ou travaillant dans les régions Nouvelle Aquitaine et Occitanie Pyrénées-Méditerranée.



The opening of this exhibition is supported by :