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diep/ festival de la côte d’albâtre — carto—graphies, 2012

Commissaires : Philippe Terrier Hermann, Alice Schÿler Mallet, Sarah Michel

A Festival of Contemporary Art
Association Cybèle has as its mission the development of art projects in the Dieppe region. It began its work in 2005 and 2007 by organizing the Biennial Le Temps d’une Marée (The Tide is High). Since 2010, it has organized the Diep Festival, which every summer hosts a exposition of diverse projects in diverse places, with a spirit of exploration, both artistically and in terms of the places where the works are placed. While Diep invites some artists to present new site-specific works, it also presents a selection of existing works, as a way to expose people to other horizons. Diep also hosts workshops open to the public, in particular to children. The festival seeks above all to support contemporary art, from production to distribution. The festival plans its exposition each year around a specific theme: after considering the Impressionists (2010) and Modernism (2011), 2012 is the year of Cartography. Cartography: a Local History In the 16th century, during the Renaissance, Dieppe is booming: the port has numerous trade relations with other continents and the shipowner Jehan Ango, governor of the city, has chartered several expeditions of discovery to the Americas. This important maritime activity is accompanied by the establishment in the city of a school of cartography, which will produce globes and portolans (nautical charts showing ports) of high value, during a time when much of the Earth was still unexplored. These fabulous maps, which accompanied the great explorations of the time, are valuable both as objects of science and as art, created as much from the imagination of the cartographers of the time as from their knowledge. The maps are sought both for the knowledge they conveyed and their artistic quality. With respect to lands that are not yet known, these maps are characterized by great freedom of imagination and interpretation: the Terras Incognitas and Limitless Oceans logically gave rise to the most exotic fantasies and most original hypotheses…

Cartography in Contemporary Art
If the old maps from Dieppe clearly show the development of geographical knowledge, they are also part of art history. Today, now that cartography has established itself as a science, with its specialized tools, vocabulary and its codes of representation; and now that almost all of the surface of the Earth has been accurately mapped, many artists use and abuse cartography as a way to give another perspective to our world. Representing both real and imaginary territories, these maps of artists are alternatives to our official maps which express a policy of territorial control. For the maps we use every day, which are supposedly objective, are often the expression or the result of strategies, whether military, economic or urban. They are always the product of a range of choices: scale, color, elements shown, framing… which are never harmless. What the artists demonstrate above all is that there are many other maps possible to represent the same space: so many that everyone can have his own. If there are no longer any unknown lands, we still can rediscover the spaces we know and find new ways to experience them and draw them.

Singular Maps
The works in the 2012 edition of the Diep festival have as their point in common their alternative representations of territory. They are subjective maps, expressing their unique perspectives on particular territories, which do not deviate from the story (or rather, stories) they have structured. They are maps which represent what is not on normal maps: other ways to experience the city, its crossroads and marginal areas; they offer doors to our imagination… These cartographic diversions invite all to rediscover our spaces and our world, to change our vision and our patterns, and then to make our own maps!

With: Sabine Réthoré, Arthur Eskenazi, Laurent Mareschal, Till Roeskens, Bouchra Khalili, Pauline Delwaulle, Clément Postec, Seb Coupy, David Renaud, Anne Durand, Astrid Verspieren