Definitely, the confinement imposed by the authorities to contain the current global covid-19 pandemic is seeing the triumph of digital with the increasing number of online projects all over the world. In Guadeloupe, the association Frère Independent presents, from 16 April to 31 May 2020, the collective art exhibition entitled “Le Temps du Confinement” (The Time of Confinement), which can only be seen on the internet. This is unprecedented in the archipelago.
Art lovers know Frère Independent because this association, created in 2005 and chaired by the artist Thierry Alet, has already launched several programs aimed at the development of contemporary art in Guadeloupe and Martinique, including the T&T Art Contemporary Gallery, the Pool Art Fair or the Art Ruche café-gallery. This time, Frère Independent returns with an innovative project : the virtual group exhibition entitled “Le Temps du Confinement” (The Time of Confinement) with the following artists: Thierry Alet, Samara Annou, Mario Benjamin, Bizo, Ernest Breleur, CeDo, Amour Chammartin, Alain Cassang, Alice Demoly, Marion Ginzburg, Cédrick-Isham, Kamun, Mister Co, Nicoletti, Guillaume Robillard, Jérôme Sainte-Luce and Margaux Sourisseau.
An easy online visit
Thus, from April 16 to May 31, art lovers will be able to enter this space from their armchairs with a computer, mobile phone or tablet by logging on to http://www.art-ruche.com/. As with a physical exhibition, on April 16 at 6:00 pm, this first digital exhibition had its opening, which means that the exhibition was put online.
“Visiting the online exhibition is very easy, it’s like in a real exhibition when you enter the room and see all the works. On this website it’s the same, you have all the selected works on the first page. In the real exhibition, you get closer to see the details, here you click on the photo and you discover the name of the work, the artist and the price. When you click a second time on the photo of the work, you have all the technical information”, explained Lyne Kaczmarek from the Frère Independent association.
17 artists selected by a jury
But before arriving at this virtual exhibition, which is an innovation in the field of art in Guadeloupe, there were several steps.
“We wanted to do this online exhibition a long time ago. The confinement arrived and we thought it was the right time because everyone is at home and it can open up thoughts. There was a great craze for the idea because about thirty artists from Guadeloupe, Martinique, Haiti, France and elsewhere applied to take part and the jury selected 17. I should point out that it was not an art contest but the works had to fit into the special time of confinement that we live. Just as when artists come to the Pool Art Fair to meet the visitors, during the online exhibition we also wanted them to meet an audience that is represented by this jury”, said Lyne Kaczmarek.
A new artistic experience
But the association specified in its press release : “(…) This digital exhibition project, “Le Temps du Confinement”, finally calls into question the need for physical presence for the assessment of the object. We are not trying to replace the in situ encounter but to create an experience full of meaning and emotion, similar to visiting an exhibition but unique at the same time. An experience that does not want to replace or copy but to exist as an addition to cultural life (…)”.
The six members of the jury, described as “a group of enlightened art lovers and professionals”, were : Sylvie Condé (political strategy consultant), Valérie Labayle (visual arts consultant), Salomon Nguetsop (collector), Sébastien Vildeuil (founder of the Alain Afflelou Grant for Art), Laurella Rinçon (director of MACTe) and Lyne Kaczmarek (cultural engineer).
A guestbook to sign
So, like a curator, this jury issued an opinion on the validity and quality of the works produced by the artists before (there are works from 2018, for example) or during the month of confinement. It should be recalled that the confinement in the French islands in the Caribbean began on March 17, at the same time as in France.
Note that during this exhibition, drawing joined music, singing and dance through two works created by the artist Amour Chammartin in order to pay tribute to Patrick Francfort, Martinican drummer of the Gibson Brothers, who died of covid-19 on April 4. With his two brothers Chris (vocals) and Alex (keyboards), they created in 1976 the disco group whose song “Cuba”, released in 1979, was an international hit…
At the end of the visit, as if it were a physical art exhibition, visitors can sign the guestbook of the digital exhibition “Le Temps du Confinement”. On April 17, the organization announced on its Facebook page its first online sale.