Project Phalanstère or “Of museum orgy or mixed omnigamy in composite and harmonic order”

CAC Brétigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge / France

October 27, 2017 

Sternberg Press, CAC Brétigny and Work Method present upcoming publication of the treatise Project Phalanstère or “Of museum orgy or mixed omnigamy in composite and harmonic order”

Project Phalanstère at CAC Brétigny is an experimental architectural program based on the immanence of artistic production. Following extensive dialog with artists, the project consists of a series of site-specific artworks that exceed the duration of the temporary exhibition. Together, they favor the development—in harmonious succession—of a creative and experimental space offered to visitors and users alike.

Whether it extends in time, by dint of distinctive artistic directions that follow one after the other within the same site, or whether it ceases as a result of the site’s eventual reconversion, Project Phalanstère lives on in the vitality of the artworks and in the recollection of their effectiveness, which this monograph seeks to revivify.

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 visual continuum, preceding the chapter that distributes the artworks following a score, offers an alternative order to the institutional schedule in which Project Phalanstère took place. Here, in contrast with the duration of the work schedule, in which one task follows another, the simultaneity of life’s forces asserts its rhythm. This treatise proposes to activate the experience of the works in their environment, by way of an archeological study, which places each work in its larger cultural context. On site, the explanatory notes of the score allow the reader to mentally reconstruct certain works that no longer exist; or, alternatively, to entirely reconstruct Project Phalanstère at a distance.

The political aims of Project Phalanstère thus 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. 
Pierre Bal-Blanc

The publication includes projects by the following artists, designers, choreographers, architects, and musicians: Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL), Robert Breer, Daniel Buren, Maurizio Cattelan, Nicolas Chardon, Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, Lionel Estève, Esther Ferrer, Cyprien Gaillard, Jens Haaning, David Lamelas, François Laroche-Valière (Cie Studio Laroche-Valière), Mathieu Lehanneur, Teresa Margolles, Dominique Mathieu, Hans Walter Müller, Rainer Oldendorf, Roman Ondák, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Gianni Pettena, Pratchaya Phinthong, R&Sie(n) (François Roche, Stéphanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro), Matthieu Saladin, Santiago Sierra, Gabriel Sierra, Xavier Veilhan, VIER5, Annie Vigier & Franck Apertet (les gens d’Uterpan), Lois Weinberger

Book launches:

International launch event
Sunday, November 5, Artissima, Turin
4pm, Salotti di Edra (Oval Pavilion)
OVAL Lingotto Fiere
via Giacomo Mattè Trucco 70
10126 Turin, Italy

France launch event
Saturday, November 25, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
(in the framework of “Les 25 ans de d.c.a, le réseau national des centres d’art”): 
5–6:30pm, round table discussion with Pierre Bal-Blanc
7–9pm, book launch at the Palais de Tokyo bookshop
Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris, France

Sternberg Press
Karl-Marx-Allee 78, D-10243 Berlin, Germany
CAC Brétigny
Espace Jules Verne, rue Henri Douard, F-91220 Brétigny s/Orge, France 
Work Method
8, rue Perdonnet, F-75010 Paris, France

Sternberg Press (International) 
Karl-Marx-Allee 78, D-10243 Berlin, Allemagne  
T +49 30 5900958 21 / order [​at​]
les presses du réel (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland)
16 rue Quentin, F-21000 Dijon 
T +33 3 80 30 75 23 / info [​at​]

Editorial conception: Pierre Bal-Blanc in dialogue with VIER5 and Émile Ouroumov
Graphic design: VIER5 

Texts, artwork and activities archive
Performance directions; The Policy
Pierre Bal-Blanc
Score (artwork annotations)
Émile Ouroumov, the artists and the CAC Brétigny team (2003–14: Francis Bentolila, Tiphanie Dragaut-Lupescu, Julien Duc-Maugé, Delphine Goutes, Pierre Simon) 

Metrology: iconographic series realized by the photographers Émile Ouroumov and Steeve Beckouet, under the artistic direction of the choreographers Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet and the curator Pierre Bal-Blanc

Dean Inkster, Ben Lenthall

Book specifications
276 pages, 24,5 x 19,6 cm
1437 B&W illustrations
Bilingual (English and French)
ISBN 978-3-95679-319-6

Coline Davenne (Work Method): coline [​at​] / T+33699715431
Émile Ouroumov (project coordinator): ouroumov [​at​] / T +33661590145