"Faisons de l'inconnu un allié"

Fondation d'Entreprise Galeries Lafayette
Nov 8, 2016 2:25PM

To produce and to anticipate: these are the two driving missions found at the core of Lafayette Anticipation – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, a public interest art foundation located in the Marais district of Paris. Since 2013, Lafayette Anticipation has been working alongside artists, architects, performers, designers and thinkers, offering these creators the opportunities to produce new works, experiment, take risks and surround their projects with shared trust and collective intelligence. The Fondation firmly believes that the production of a work of art requires a particular commitment, as it is the expression of an original idea. It entails the conjunction of complementary forces working towards the completion of a project whose outcome is unknown in advance—even to the artist. It is for this reason that Lafayette Anticipation understands its pivotal role in anticipating the needs of the singular voices and bodies who are searching for new forms of expression to give meaning to the complex era in which we live. As such, the term anticipate channels the idea of a near, yet unidentified, future and evokes inventive modes of apprehending shifting horizons. In many ways, the artistic process in general—and the research, transformation and materialisation of the thought process it entails—is a journey into the unknown, which embraces uncertainty as a value. This conceptualization finds its culminating resonance in the Fondation’s recent event, Faisons de l’inconnu un allié*, which took place from October 11th to October 23rd, 2016.


In line with the institution’s interdisciplinary and social missions, Faisons de l’inconnu un allié brought together fourteen international creators who will occupy the previous Weber Métaux premises, in the Marais. This event was also the first project conceived by the Fondation’s inaugural curatorial collective, consisting of Charles Aubin, Anna Colin, Hicham Khalidi and François Quintin, who have commissioned pieces—sculptures, installations, films, performances—demonstrating a commitment to change. The invited artists are conspicuously linked by an interest in production processes, whether they perform manual work (Mimosa Echard, Simon Fujiwara, Lucy McKenzie, Valerie Snocbeck), use industrial or digital technologies (Camille Blatrix, Tyler Coburn, Ygnve Holen, Oliver Laric, Rayyane Tabet), or incorporate other forms of know-how into their creative process (Perks And Mini, Mary Ping, Studio Brynjar & Veronika, Cally Spooner, Anicka Yi). These approaches on the modalities of production do not however constitute the primary themes of the works. Instead, they serve to foster thoughts on subjects such as heritage, repair, community, utopia and alternative futures, generating their own network of participants—historians, master plasterers, industrial designers and even flutists.

Faisons de l’inconnu un allié also provided the opportunity to revisit the moments leading up to the exhibit (October 2013—October 2016) which allowed the Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette to define its institutional and curatorial projects. Indeed, this group presentation concluded the pre-opening programme begun by the Fondation in autumn 2013, while also heralding the autumn 2017 opening of its building located 9 rue du Plâtre and renovated by architect Rem Koolhaas’s agency, OMA. Furthermore, a book will be published in parallel to the exhibit, recounting the Fondation’s first years of existence and activity. This publication, composed of fundamental texts and production specifications, will gather written contributions by Howard Becker and Franck Leibovici, Anja Aranowsky Cronberg, Neil Cummings, Rem Koolhaas and Quinn Latimer, among others. The allied artists and thinkers of Faisons de l’inconnu un allié played a game of intellectual speculation, carving around a meaningful unknown—art—the precious and essentially humane connections that are severely lacking in today’s social and political landscapes.


Faisons de l’inconnu un allié was on display at the former Wéber Métaux store (16 rue Debelleyme 75004) in Paris, France from October 11th to October 23rd, 2016. 

Featured artists: Camille Blatrix, Tyler Coburn, Mimosa Echard, Simon Fujiwara, Yngve Holen, Oliver Laric, Lucy McKenzie, Perks And Mini (P.A.M.), Mary Ping, Studio Brynjar & Veronika, Valerie Snobeck, Cally Spooner, Rayyane Tabet and Anicka Yi.



*Joining Forces with the Unknown


Veranda sofa, 2016 / Side tables I & II, 2016 / Bridge Club Breche II, 2016 / V&A Paonazzo, 2016, Lucy McKenzie ©Isabelle Giovacchini

7,070,430K of Digital Spit, 2015 / The Last Diamond, 2015, Anicka Yi ©Isabelle Giovacchini

On False Tears and Outsourcing, 2016, Cally Spooner ©Isabelle Giovacchini

The Circle Flute, 2016, Studio Brynjar & Veronika ©Isabelle Giovacchini

Ergonomic Futures, 2016, Tyler Coburn ©Isabelle Giovacchini

Resemblance by Contact, 2016, Oliver Laric ©Isabelle Giovacchini

CAKE, 2016, Yngve Holen ©Isabelle Giovacchini

Go Soft, 2014, Valerie Snobeck ©Isabelle Giovacchini

Children of the Stones, 2016, Perks And Mini ©Isabelle Giovacchini

Genealogy, 2016, Rayyane Tabet ©Isabelle Giovacchini

New Pompidou, 2014, Simon Fujiwara ©Isabelle Giovacchini

I Still Dream of Orgonon, 2016 / A Conversation with Trash, 2016, Mimosa Echard ©Isabelle Giovacchini

Metamorphosis, 2016, Slow and Steady Wins the Race 

Fondation d'Entreprise Galeries Lafayette