Pantin, France — It is a story of fire that has brought together French contemporary artist Mégane Brauer with five young teenagers living in exile in the southern city of Marseille. The result is an immersive exhibition being played out in the splendid exhibition space of the Magasins Généraux in the suburb of Pantin on the eastern edge of Paris. The immersive show is populated by several dozen cypress trees that appear to be on fire and coal fragments representing ashes, often the final result of fire. The artist grew up in precariousness and lived for a short period in a center for illegal immigrants. One night people set fire to the cypress trees that surrounded the center which left its mark on the artist to be.
Fast forward to Marseille where she lives and works. She worked with exiled families squatting a building, setting up an artistic program for the teenagers. The dwelling caught on fire prompting the artist to re-unite with the families that, like herself had experienced fire. The artist would write about the undignified conditions that people in a precarious situation live in which would form the basis for the exhibition/experience United By Fire being played out today at the Magasins Généraux in a decor of seemingly blazing trees, ashes and diverse abandoned objects and which explores the situation also through sound with the five teenagers telling their stories. The exhibition aims to explore the living conditions of people in exile and takes a look into the question of author’s rights as well and asks if the young artists will be able to finish their works which by law belong to them.
Mégane Brauer works and lives in Marsellle and creates a body of work bringing together writing, installations, video, sculpture and performance to render visible the daily life and destinies of people in France who are marginalized. Les Magasins Généraux is a center for creation located in an industrial building of the 1930s on the banks of the Ourcq Canal. Exhibition Uni·e·s par le feu is running until May 8th.
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Categories: Gourmet Fair