Waiting for the Mo(nu)ment
The 10th Arrondissement Historical Society in Paris, so-called “Histoires & Vies du X° arrondissement”, is an association dedicated to the enhancement of the history of the neighborhood in the 10th arrondissement and the lives of its inhabitants. By studying, promoting and safeguarding, it watches over not only the existing physical heritage but also its immaterial historical record. It was with this in mind over several years that members of the 10th Arrondissement Historical Society in Paris undertook rehabilitating the memory and name of Marie Moinon, an unjustly forgotten figure of the Resistance movement from World War II, and won a long struggle so that the “rue Jean Moinon”, located next to the Hôpital Saint-Louis, be officially renamed “rue Jean et Marie Moinon”.
Subsequent to a meeting with the art critic Jérôme Poggi, acting in his capacity as recognized mediator by the Fondation de France on behalf of the “New Patrons”, the members of the 10th Arrondissement Historical Society implicated in the project officially constituted a group of patrons in order to entrust their wishes to a contemporary artist.
Société Réaliste responded to the commission by proposing a work that is both conceptual and sculptural.
By questioning a particular hierarchical principle regulating the scope of history and of collective memory, the artists hoped that two successive asteroids within the “Small Bodies Nomenclature” no matter how small they be, could carry the names of Jean and Marie Moinon, and thus become emblematic of those ordinary heroes, secondary actors in history and nevertheless just as equally “men” as those who lost their lives for the common good of humanity.
At the same time, upon the invitation of the 10th Arrondissement City Hall which will inaugurate in 2014 a new public garden square right next to the Jean and Marie Moinon street, Société Réaliste proposed installing on one of the lawns of the garden a sculpture composed of two stone blocks of granite.
Evoking by their form equally those small stones that the deported were required to smash, as well as the matriculation numbers that were tattooed on their bodies, both these sculptures will refer back on the contrary to those who question their meaning, not directly to the historical tragedy that condemned the Moinons, but to that which their sacrifice enabled achieving.
Société Réaliste is an art collective founded by Ferenc Grof (1972) and Jean-Baptiste Naudy (1982).
Their work consists in appropriating and distorting the tools of communication of power structures (maps, emblems, signs, architecturs). Société Réaliste creates symbolic and visual confrontations to critically examine such structures without resorting to easy denunciations.
They operate in subtle comparisons, extrapolations, and statistic interpretations, shedding light on historical evolutions and trends and producing tools for reading the contemporary world.