Saturday, November 16, 5pm

This Saturday, November 16, at 5pm, the artist and ourselves have decided to invite the historian Philippe Artières and the critic Jean-François Chevrier to consider the exhibition and to cross, in the form of a conversation, their perspectives on the work of Maxence Rifflet and the artistic, social, historical and philosophical questions that the work touches upon.

In light of their respective knowledge, we will visit the foundations of this project carried out over several years, in prison, then in the laboratory and in the workshop. It will be a question of architecture and of Michel Foucault’s Surveiller et punir, which has structured the modern thought of the prison and accompanied the artist’s reflection from the very beginning of the project and then in his physical experience of the place.
And since our object is artistic and more particularly photographic, it will also be a question of the experimental and collaborative operating mode implemented by Maxence Rifflet or what Jean-François Chevrier calls “institutional invention”.

Philippe Artières

Philippe Artières (born 1968) is a French historian, currently director of research at the CNRS within the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Issues at the EHESS (Paris). He was a resident at the Villa Medici, French Academy in Rome (2011-2012).

Philippe Artières’ dissertation, prepared under the direction of Michelle Perrot at the University of Paris 7, is devoted to the medicalization of ordinary writings in the nineteenth century, and mainly to the writings of criminals. He thus explored the collection of criminals’ autobiographies gathered by Doctor Lacassagne in Lyon at the end of the 19th century, and preserved today at the Lyon Municipal Library. Le Livre des vies coupables (The Book of Guilty Lives) gives us a chance to read these astonishing texts. He has been president of the Michel Foucault Center since 1995, a responsibility that led him to edit a volume of archives on the Groupe Information Prisons. In particular, he has devoted two books to the Nancy and Attica prison revolts in the United States (La révolte de la prison de Nancy, January 15, 1972; Attica, USA, 1971, published by Le Point du Jour in 2013 and 2017 respectively).

Jean-François Chevrier

Art historian, critic and curator, Jean-François Chevrier was a professor at the Beaux-arts de Paris from 1988 to 2019, where he led a seminar-forum for fifteen years that gave rise to the exhibition Des territoires in 2001. He considers photography in its relation to modern art (“between fine arts and media”) and has never dissociated art history from literature and poetry. His research focuses on art since the 1960s, public space and architecture. He accompanies the work of very diverse artists (painters, photographers, architects…).

Among his exhibitions and publications : Art i utopia / Restricted Action. L’art moderne selon Mallarmé (MACBA, Barcelona, 2004, and Musée des beaux-arts de Nantes, 2005; cat. Hazan), Formes biographiques (Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, 2013, and Carré d’art, Nîmes, 2015; cat. Hazan), Agir, contempler (Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, 2016; cat. Artlys); Jeff Wall (Hazan, 2013); De Bâle. Herzog & de Meuron (Birkhäuser, 2016); Bernard Réquichot. Zones sensibles (Flammarion, 2019). Éditions L’Arachnéen has published seven volumes of his writings, from La Trame et le hasard (2010) to Œuvre et activité. La question de l’art (2015).

Photograph by Maxence Rifflet, An Optical Machine, 2019. The “building A” of the Caen detention center, built in 1842 by Harou-Romain, July 2016

Free admission, upon reservation
at 02 35 89 36 96