The evolving and itinerant exhibition project La monnaie vivante,characterized by an unstable format and an open content, strives toestablish a dialogue between the manifold current and historicexaminations of the body in the fine arts as well as with notions of thebody within the domains of dance, music, and theater. Conceived in 2006in a Paris dance studio, the exhibition was presented in 2007 on thestage of STUK kunstencentrum in Leuven/Belgium as well as in 2008 inLondon, at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. In early 2010, a new versionwas created in cooperation with the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw forthe local Teatr Dramatyczny, a classic proscenium stage. For the 6thBerlin Biennale, a further variation of La monnaie vivante willbe performed at Hebbel am Ufer (HAU), a theater that offers a comparablestage setup.
La monnaie vivante is based on a practice of exhibition makingthat postulates that memory is not an archive. The project’s goal is todemonstrate this through performance as well as through both older andmore recent works by visual artists that explore the relationshipbetween the body and a reality shaped by economic systems. These areworks that cannot be reduced to material objects or to the documentationof an action. Instead, they are brought into the present through theirbodily presence in time and space. The artists, who refuse a linear viewof history, react to the ‘impure’ and unfinished character of thepresent by exploring objects, protocols, sceneries, scores, orregulations that recur in our daily routine. Thus the artists bring theviewers into the paradoxical situation of a social ‘inter-passivity,‘which influences our present. The exhibition’s concept investigates theworks’ active dimension’an approach that results in overcoming museumconstraints that ‘neutralize’ access to the artworks in order toguarantee their historical record. In addition, this is also a way tocircumvent market criteria. The latter attempts to prevent such artisticstrategies in favor of products that do conform to the market. Thesituation that the exhibition project creates is opposed to a normativereality that claims to be the only valid model. By multiplying thereservoir of parameters’conveyed through the objects, protocols,sceneries, and scores’the project points beyond the deconstruction ofreality and instead pleads for a construction of reality.
La monnaie vivante unsettles the division between audience andstage in the theater. The mode of appearance of the works dissolves thecodes of theater through a live experience. The staging becomes acollaborative work in real time between the curator, the artists, andthe participants, one that is determined by the rhythm with which theaudience moves through the space. The exhibition takes place in the’here and now,’ divorced from the chronological relationship with theworks and in distinguishing the successive stages of production, fromthe rehearsal to the live performance. The events either follow oneanother or take place simultaneously; their visibility and their readingdepend on the intensity of the relations between the participants. Thevisitors become actors in a process, and they decide its duration’anhour, an entire day, or perhaps returning the next day.
La monnaie vivante / The Living Currency / Die lebende Münze,after Pierre Klossowski, is staged by Pierre Bal-Blanc for the 6thBerlin Biennale and realized in cooperation with Hebbel am Ufer (HAU)and Centre d’art contemporain de Brétigny (CAC Brétigny).
Featuring performances and other works by Marie Cool Fabio Balducci,George Brecht, Robert Breer, Pier Paolo Calzolari, André du Colombier,Ceal Floyer, Simone Forti, Prinz Gholam, Jens Haaning, Sanja Ivekovic,Tadeusz Kantor, Jirí Kovanda, Teresa Margolles, Roman Ondák,Christodoulos Panayiotou, Gianni Pettena, Pratchaya Phinthong, SantiagoSierra, Annie Vigier & Franck Apertet (les gens d’Uterpan), FranzErhard Walther, Franz West, Artur Zmijewski;
as well as scores by Cornelius Cardew und Christian Wolff, conducted byJean-Jacques Palix.