Thursday 1st December 2011 

11:00-13:00 / 15:00-17:00 

"From multidisciplinarity to art work 

Rémy Yadan - Catherine Strasser, guest of honour Jannis Kounellis 


As part of the Villa Medici research seminar, Remy Yadan, artist resident, invites Catherine Strasser, former resident of the Académie de France in Rome, art historian, essayist and art critic, professor at the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs. Through the meeting of the two speakers and in the light of their backgrounds, the main issues of multidisciplinarity emerge. Rémy Yadan invests different creative fields by soliciting theatre, visual arts, video, choreography, music and the fusion of these writings in a totality. Through these artistic preoccupations, the decompartmentalization and porosity of territories are posed in the development of his research. This seminar will also associate the writings and work of an art historian, Catherine Strasser, with these plastic and scenic experiences. How the confrontation of artistic disciplines leads to a reflection on the paradigmatic dimension of the work of art will be the main subject of the essayist, who wished to invite the artist Jannis Kounellis to close the session. 


During her classical training at the École du Louvre and the Sorbonne, Catherine Strasser became involved in the analysis of contemporary creation and published her articles in the magazines Flash art international, Artistes, L'Ane, Arte factum, Art-press... and participated in numerous exhibition catalogues and collective works. During her stay at the Villa Medici (1987-89), she studied the relationship between the Italian avant-garde of the 1960s and art history. She met its main protagonists, including Lucianno Fabro, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Pennone and especially Jannis Kounellis, who lives in Rome.


On her return to France, marked by the multidisciplinary experience of the Villa Medici, she directed part of her research towards the relationships maintained by the different artistic disciplines within the framework of modernity. She published Cirque. Pour un monde nouveau (Paris, 1991) and a first essay on the economy of artistic work, Le Temps de la production (Strasbourg, 1996). While writing several monographs (on artists ranging from Anselm Kiefer to Fabrice Hyber and Loris Gréaud), in 1997 she founded the journal Le travail de l'art, devoted to the writings of creators from all disciplines, which she directs. It includes seminal texts by visual artists, architects, composers, filmmakers, writers and choreographers, accompanied by all the material from their research: notes, sketches, scores, etc. Deepening her reflection on the concepts and practices of 'work' in the modern arts, in 2006 she published Du travail de l'art. Observation of works and analysis of the process that leads to them, a work that crosses a century and a half of production in the visual arts.

Her latest book, Le Rapport des forces - Kounellis à Chaumont-sur-Loire, is a synthesis of the research that led her from her Roman study to her theory of the work of art. Since the 1960s, when he established himself as a major figure of arte povera, Jannis Kounellis has developed a powerful and singular body of work, both sensitive and poetic, always in dialogue with the places and contexts that host it. Originally a painter, he has opened his practice to performance and installation. Internationally recognised, he is invited to exhibit his work and create site-specific installations throughout the world. He has agreed to come and close this seminar by evoking the exceptional creation he made for the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire. 

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