Conversation has often been associated with an identified space – whether the salon, the café, or the garden. With the advent of computer networks and new forms of remote communication, we are increasingly rethinking the idea of the conversation and inventing new places to have it in.
From that perspective, La Panacée is conceived of as a laboratory for conversation: a place to meet, to exchange and share ideas, and ultimately to create public space — space that plays host to a range of views, in the context of these contemporary cultural shifts.
The idea behind Electric Conversations is to create forms of conversation about art in a space devoted to it. It presents art from one point of view, drawing out other viewpoints, other voices, other questions. The aim is to put the artwork at the center of as rich a social interaction as possible.
“Art is an excuse to have a dialogue” (Douglas Gordon)
Seizing on that dialogue means capturing a dimension of everyday life at its most relative, fleeting, fluid, and evanescent.
The exhibit invites us to discover a mosaic of sights and sounds, interlacing motifs and successive layers of interaction between conversation and media, art and conversation, and conversation and place, giving us a chance to experiment with digital-age dialogue in all its forms.
The fulcrum of the art shifts toward creating environments orchestrated for individual or collective interaction, for public conversation. Process-based, it evolves over time, changes appearance, or even migrates to other media. Performative, it asks for different modes of participation and non-participation.
The work, which ultimately takes on the form of the social relations it produces, creates and then coopts a whole environment. The exhibit becomes progressive, unfolding like a composition in time. With this inaugural show, La Panacée hopes to breathe life into a new “spirit of conversation”, giving it form and substance in a hyper-connected society. “By electricity, we everywhere resume person-to-person relations as if on the smallest village scale”, Marshall McLuhan once dared to hope. This show represents a return to that human scale in our technological environments.
The “Electric Conversations” exhibit is dedicated to Sherrie Rabinowitz, who passed away in Spring 2013.
Franck Bauchard, Director of La Panacée