The publication traces the architectural program carried out by par Pierre Bal-Blanc at CAC Brétigny from 2003 to 2015, a series of site-specific projects with both creative and pedagogic purposes, favoring relations with the outside and the local residents.
Organized by curator Pierre Bal-Blanc, the experimental architectural program “Project Phalanstère” consisted of a series of site-specific artworks in the Parisian suburbs. Taking place from 2003 to 2014, these projects developed a creative space extended in time. Here, in contrast with the duration of the work schedule, in which one task follows another, the simultaneity of life's forces asserted its rhythm. Some works exceeded the conventional time and space of an exhibition: Lionel Estève's myope et amnésique (2005), for example, was conceived to be larger than any one viewer can see; through the displacement of existing objects, both Cyprien Gaillard and Lois Weinberger reflected upon permanence and the monument; Christodolous Panayiotou and Jens Hanning made subtle alterations to existing architecture, playing with the material presence and experience of light; and so on.
This book proposes to adopt a new syntax. It does not simply call for a renewal of the terminology used in the field of contemporary art programming. Its syntax has taken shape by progressively building on the complex materiality of artworks in a specific context—an art center located in the Parisian suburbs—and not by contriving itself with the help of words and discourses uttered from an abstract perspective. The political aims of “Project Phalanstère” appear in the ungrammatical formulas that the works articulate and in the active resistance that they manifest against a normative authority that, although it accepts the play of words, continues to enforce the disciplinary activity of arts administration. Over one hundred pages of images of the installed works opens the volume, followed by the individual artworks according to a score that denotes use, nature, and location, annotated to place each work within a larger cultural context. A comprehensive timeline of the exhibitions concludes the volume.