20th Selestat Biennial of Contemporary Art. From historical sites to singular spaces, Selestat and its surroundings offer the ideal circumstances to propose an extended and wide-opened definition of the monument, recalling that there's some part of festive in the Memorial.
Curators Marc Bembekoff and Julien Fronsacq
Nicolas Boulard, Valentin Carron, Nicolas Cilins, Jean Claus, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Derat, Goldiechiari, Tom Holmes, Scott King, Genet Mayor, Adrien Missika, Tom Nicholson, Amy O’Neill, Alessandro Piangiamore, Renata Poljak, Tony Regazzoni, Andreas Slominski, Franz West, Raphaël Zarka
Entitled “Sletto & Corso”, the 20th edition of the Sélestat Biennial of Contemporary Art pays tribute to the Sletto mythical figure and the Corso Fleuri parade. These two significant aspects of the identity of the city of Sélestat allow to explore both the differences and similarities between mythology and folklore, the heritage and the event, the perennial and the transient.
From historical sites to singular spaces, Sélestat and its surroundings offer the ideal circumstances to propose an extended and wide-opened definition of the monument, recalling that there’s some part of festive in the Memorial. Our contemporary context shows some kind of an erosion of the monumental symbolic: its meaning - in the era of globalization and new technologies - may sometimes seem obsolete, but the monument remains not less a spatial and temporal marker summoning different degrees of reading and various moments in history. If, literally, the monument refers to a sculptural or architectural work - or even to a significant part of a landscape or a literary œuvre which became part of history - it is also everything that dedicates, manifests and perpetuates the memory of an event or a person, like the ‘Schlecht’ or ‘Sletto’ - a legendary giant who founded the city of Sélestat - and the ‘Corso fleuri’ - the Spring parade of floats covered with dahlia flowers weaving through the city once per year. The “Sletto & Corso” project questions beliefs generated by monuments, in a time when their meanings get dissolved, and illustrates how a monument develops itself through time and stratifications.
“Sletto & Corso" includes a few references to the monument (Tom Nicholson, Scott King, Raphaël Zarka), but also presents objects as various as a wall of plastic flowers (Sarah Derat) or a vineyard (Nicolas Boulard), amusement parks (Nicolas Cilins), a furniture storehouse (Jean Claus), as well as memory of the Bible stories (Amy O’Neill), update of the repressed in history (Goldiechiari) and issues of the principle of authenticity (Franz West, Andreas Slominski). From analysis of the complex processes of History (Renata Poljak) to the celebration of the moment (Alessandro Piangiamore), whether interested in the minor forms (Jeremy Deller, Tom Holmes, Genêt Mayor) or geological monuments (Adrien Missika), “Sletto & Corso” artists snatch shapes from their isolation to reveal their incredible value (Valentin Carron, Tony Regazzoni).
The biennial will unfold in different sites of the city of Sélestat: Caveau Sainte-Barbe, Saint-Georges and Saint-Quirin churches, medieval buildings, the Humanist Library, outdoor sites and the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle.
An opening parade will be held on September Saturday 21 starring the ‘Corso fleuri’ municipal floats. Weaving through the streets of Sélestat, this festive procession will celebrate the works presented during the Biennial.
This 20th edition of the Sélestat Biennial of Contemporary Art is also an opportunity to implement local and cross-border collaborations, including the Sammlung Grässlin in Germany, the haut-Koeningsbourg Castle and Frac Alsace.
Marc Bembekoff and Julien Fronsacq
Ville de Sélestat
Direction de la promotion culturelle et touristique
9 place d’Armes BP 40188 F-67604 Sélestat cedex
Free entrance everywhere
Humanist Library : full rate 4,2 €. Free entrance on showing the biennial’s magazin
Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg : full rate 8 €. Artworks are in a free area