FLAX Project

Fabien Danesi

This summer, FLAX will be hosting Fabien Danesi, PhD, curator and program director of Le Pavillon, the research lab and residency program of the groundbreaking Paris-based cultural institution, Palais de Tokyo. Fabien will conduct research in LA’s diverse cultural communities in preparation for a series of events he will curate here in February 2018. Danesi, a respected curator and lecturer in art history, will deploy video, performance, and music-based programs as a focal point, to illuminate his ongoing research on “The Dialectic of the Stars.” This initial exploration will result in events that will feature French and American artists, who will come to perform and/or produce new artworks in our midst. Each event will be presented at a unique venue in Los Angeles and blend into our local partners’ programming, through a dialogue with Fabien Danesi, about Los Angeles’ art scene and local artists. The series will draw a constellation of venues, a “star path” to be followed by the public, which will be invited to drift all over the city, attending events.

The 2017 invitation is an opportunity to introduce the L.A. arts scene to the French curator and allow him to include L.A.-based artists in his projects in Paris. Additionally, a specific project will be developed with FLAX, bringing one or several of the L.A.-based artists to participate at an event at the Mona Bismarck American Center in Paris.

The Dialectic of the Stars
by Fabien Danesi

It’s not only in Hollywood that we can see some stars. In fact, our globalized culture is full of celestial bodies which enlighten the night. This natural metaphor could be understood as an image too romantic for our 21st century, an idealist representation not well-adapted to the biotechnological transformations of our environment. But it’s above all a way to explain that art works can be helpful for tracing some trajectories, as stars were used by sailors for finding their path on the seas. I can explain that “The Dialectic of the Stars” is an attempt to reconcile my researches on postmodernity and on Situationist International. We’re part of liquid societies, of complexes oceans of information. But contradictions have not disappeared. For all that, “The Dialectic of the Stars” is not a philosophical system which clamors for coherence and unity. It’s more an unscientific method for creating a new north-west passage like Thomas de Quincey attempted to do.

The “multinucleated geography” of Los Angeles seems perfectly suited to engage this movement. The city is contrasted and ambivalent, full of energy and strangely entropic. In this perspective, we will try to drift from one location to another, and assemble different references and proposals for changing Los Angeles in a large playground. I don’t know exactly where this treasure hunt will drive us but I hope this journey will permit all involved to feel the same pleasure than the surfers in the heart of the crashing waves.