Io Burgard and Yoan Sorin at Galerie Où

Artists: Io Burgard and Yoan Sorin

Exhibition title: DILVA (D’ici la vie ailleurs)

Curated by: Solenn Morel

Venue: Galerie Où, Marseille, France

Date: August 29 – September 20, 2020

Photography: Marc Antoine Serra / all images courtesy of the artists and Galerie Où, Marseille

Milan Kundera wrote La vie est ailleurs in 1973 , narrating the pathetic

existence of a young poet caught between his lyrical aspirations, which the title of the novel refers to, and his irrepressible desire to dominate events and others. The exhibitions D’ailleurs, la vie ici and D’ici la vie ailleurs ( Life here, from somewhere else and From here, life elsewhere) , on the other hand, hypothesise that here can be a possible elsewhere . That here can at least agree with the idea of the elsewhere , that they are not irreconcilable. Isn’t art, precisely, this ability to bring the elsewhere to the here and now, to breathe some life into reality? The change of scenery can begin right here, right now.

The exhibitions D’ailleurs, la vie ici and D’ici la vie ailleurs exist as two sides of the same coin. D’ailleurs, la vie ici takes place in Embrun, at the contemporary art centre Les Capucins, and D’ici la vie ailleurs in Marseilles, at gallery OÙ and at the neighbouring businesses and workshops with premises on the street. Embrun and Marseilles, one situated in a rural, mountainous zone, the other a vast city by the sea, are two places that have historically been home to visitors. This hospitality, more or less expected, animates this project that started by meeting the other, the one who comes from elsewhere but also the one who lives here.

In Marseille, the artists Io Burgard and Yoan Sorin have created an exhibition on the scale of a district, on the streets of rue Jean de Bernardy and rue d’Isoard. From our first exchanges, it seemed obvious that D’ici la vie ailleurs should be more than just a place dedicated to art. It should concern more directly the people who make life here – shopkeepers, craftspeople and members of cultural associations – by imagining works together with them, for each of their venues.

The works blend in with the decor of their hosts: pizza boxes delivered to the pizzeria le 21, glass and earthenware containers at Le bon pot, painted clothes at the 123 Fripe thrift store, tickets at the tailor’s Albert Retouche, tattoo designs at Petit Scarabée, lighters at Le Petit Pré grocery shop or a clock at R et R création… So many pieces destined to be moved, carried, exchanged, forgotten. D’ici la vie ailleurs intends to establish itself in the folds of reality, where sometimes the here and the elsewhere mix without ostentation, whether in a trouser pocket or at the back of a cupboard, in the glove compartment, or on a dining room table.

Under the guise of fiction – because we must not deprive ourselves of telling a story – Io Burgard and Yoan Sorin have created a travel agency in the heart of the journey, at the gallery OÙ: DILVA, the acronym for D’ici la vie ailleurs , specialising in travels close to home. A little further on, in the space of 12900m2, an annex welcomes the travellers wishing to take a break. The setting is conducive to daydreaming. Around a sober and elegant piece of furniture, made of plaster and bamboo, decorated rooms feature shimmering colours. A collection of souvenir items, towels, sunglasses and pens, at the disposal of the guests, complete the warm decor. During these few weeks of opening, Io Burgard and Yoan Sorin, by introducing new objects into the life of the travellers of the streets of rue Jean de Bernardy and rue d’Isoard, aspire to imperceptibly modify their trajectory, as if they were adding a second to the sum of all the hours needed for the earth to turn. It is this gap, as small as it is extraordinary, that the artists delve into inexhaustibly in order to lift the here from the weight of reality.

Thanks to all of our partners : OÙ lieu d’exposition pour l’art actuel, 58 rue Jean de Bernardy – Épicerie Le petit pré, 119 rue Jean de Bernardy – Albert Retouche, 54 rue Jean de Bernardy – R et R création, 17 rue d’Isoard – 123 Fripe, 19 rue d’Isoard – Pizzeria le 21, 21 rue d’Isoard – 12900m², 26 rue d’Isoard – Le bon pot, 26 rue d’Isoard – Petit Scarabée, 26 rue d’Isoard.