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Confinement: Politics of Space and Bodies

Geographie Athenes, 2017 - Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet (les gens d’Uterpan). Angelos Giotopoulos. Courtesy Documenta 14

The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) presents Confinement: Politics of Space and Bodies, a group exhibition exploring the physical and psychological effects of different kinds of confinement, whether the comfort of a cocoon-like space, or the restrictive nature of an enclosure. The exhibit present works by 19 global artists—including French artists Nicolas Daubanes, Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet (les gens d’Uterpan), Myriam Mihindou, Mathieu Pernot and Catherine Poncin —grappling with timely issues including incarceration and the effects of institutional confinement, and the types of bodies disproportionately affected by these structures.

Anchoring Confinement, which is organized by CAC Curator of Lens-Based Art Valentine Umansky, is the North American premiere of Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet (les gens d’Uterpan)’s site-specific performative installation, Géographie, during which three dancers are invited to sequester themselves into a custom-built enclosed space within the CAC for the duration of the exhibition. Visitors will not be able to see the choreographic performance but will respond to the sounds that they can hear echoing from within the enclosure as the performers move about. The piece, like the larger exhibition, explores issues of confinement, including voluntary and involuntary detention, workers’ rights, and self-reflection and doubts regarding what is real and what is imagined when you must rely on senses beyond sight.

Symposium February 29–March 1, 2020

In conjunction with the University of Cincinnati, the CAC is proposing a two-day symposium the last weekend of the exhibition devoted to this ambiguous notion of “confinement.” This event will allow an in-depth conversation between film scholars, faculty, students, exhibited artists and the general audience and aims to raise and possibly answer questions of established narratives: ownership over bodies and mapping out confinement through stories of resistance and surrender.The program consists of three panels, during which invited scholars and faculty will be conversing with artists including Samir Ramdani and Myriam Mihindou, from Confinement, along with guests and visitors. For the first time, the walls of Géographie, the cell installation at the center of the exhibition, which remained closed throughout its duration, will be open to the public, and film screenings will be organized inside of the artwork. Through this process of revelation, the CAC offers an inside-view of the room, which saw the confinement of three dancers

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Supported by Étant donnés Contemporary Art, a program of the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Foundation.