Les Nouveaux commanditaires

Nya Uppdragsgivare
Nuovi Committenti
Nuevos Comanditarios
Taiteen Uudet Tukijat
De Nieuwe Opdrachtgevers
New Patrons
Die Neue Auftraggeber
Komanditario berriak

Les Reconfigurants
Patrick Bernier & Olive Martin

Patrons - Students in second and third grade of Bachelor’s Degree : Cyrielle Declarey, Clarence Grue, Priscille Binachon, Maha El Aoufir, Marion Lhioreau, Gwendoline Rousseau, Marion Feron, Guillaume Lefèvre, Karim Manaï et Benjamin Nghe ; members of the school’s direction board and education management team ; Catherine Loget, illustrator and school director ; Sophie Northam, graphic designer and teacher.
Mediator - Jacques Rivet et Marie-Laure Viale (Entre-deux); Éric Foucault (Eternal Network)
Supporters - Fondation de France, City of Nantes, Pays de Loire Region, CROUS, ECV
ECV (École de Communication Visuelle), Nantes, France, 2017

The commission

In 2010, a fresher initiation ritual for the new students of the ECV was filmed and posted on YouTube. The facts were denounced and the ragging prohibited by the school. The ban creates divergences of opinion, and this ritual is missed, as a welcoming event which created links between the students. Some of them wanted to carry on with this welcoming tradition, in a sane way and without being too moralising. They decided to call upon an artist, who could surprise them and bring a new gaze on this story.

The patrons wanted to create a symbolic high point which would be memorable for the new students. They imagined something ephemeral, which could be renewed each year in a different way, with different people, and with a kind of ceremony, as a handover. They got in touch with Entre-Deux, representative in Nantes for Eternal Network. The organisation proposed the artists Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin, whose original point of view and researches constitute a strong base to implement new practices. The artists wanted the new students to be able to express themselves and their true personality, for it to feed the school and its identity.

The work

Les Reconfigurants is a three-step ritual, with the Dénouement (outcome), the Assemblées de tramage (wefting meetings) and the Nuit des Reconfigurants (night of the « reconfigurators »). The title of the project refers to a change in the setups of a computer, where programs are added to the software to renew it. The Reconfigurants are the new programs coming to renew the system of the school.

The Trame (thread) was made using beads of three different colours during the Assemblées de tramage. It’s a record of the discussions between artists, students and mediators. The artists were inspired by Native American wampums, belts made of woven beads, offered during diplomatic meetings. In those circumstances, the patterns are codes representing the outcome of the talks. The Trame witnesses the interactions between the Reconfigurants during a year, and it’s untied at the beginning of a new one, at the arrival of new students.

Patrick Bernier et Olive Martin

Patrick Bernier was born in 1971 and Olive Martin in 1972. They both live and work in Nantes. They met in the Fine Arts School of Paris, and started making projects together at the end of the 90’s. Many different media are present in their work, as texts, photographs, installations, movies, performances… They explore fields usually saved for specialists, as when they made “X. c./ Préfet de … ; Plaidoirie pour une jurisprudence“ (2007), with two lawyers.

They also worked on geographical and virtual territories generated by new technologies, for their movie “La Nouvelle Kahnawake“ (2010). Identity and individuality are an important part of their reflexions, as in “Manmuswak“ (2005) and “Bienvenue chez nous“ (2006).