Ateliers internationaux
For Whom Is It Too Late Today ?
Between Stamp and Mars

from November 6, 2009
to January 31, 2010
Frac, Carquefou

Ha Za Vu Zu

At The Frac des pays de la loire

Exhibitioner curator: Vasif Kortun

A pioneer in this field, the Frac des Pays de la Loire first set up the International Ateliers (residency programme) in 1984, at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou, France. Through this initiative, rare in France, the Frac des Pays de la Loire has developed a venture of artistic support, which is also a highly original way of enriching its collections. A platform for research, exchange and production, these Ateliers make up a laboratory that is both active and reactive. In return, the guest artists channel this time of energy to offer viewers a work that will then go on to be exhibited, designed as a dynamic encounter.
This year’s new edition of the International Ateliers brings together a working body of artists for the first time, selected—for the fourth time in the Ateliers’ history—by an independent exhibition commissioner, Vasif Kortun, director of Istanbul’s Platform Garanti, Contemporary Art Centre.

Ha Za Vu Zu is a group of five Turkish artists, living and working in Istanbul, who have been together since 2005.
The exhibition at the Frac in Carquefou forms part of their recent European tour. In 2009, the group performed at the opening of the 10th Lyon Biennial, and took part in “Urban Stories”, the 10th International Art Triennial at Vilnius, European capital of culture.
Their performance style is similar to intermedia art, as per Dick Higgins’s definition of a “borderline art” that calls just as easily upon painting, photography, video, music and karaoke.
Depending on the project, other artist can join the group’s “hard core”. Some themes are determined beforehand, but the contributions of the new arrivals are always incorporated into the production, as long as they enrich the project. In this respect, Ha Za Vu Zu does not focus merely on their initial project but also on activities that can energize the group.
In a sense, Ha Za Vu Zu is a “working body”, a process that makes flexible use of various media. It is neither an entirely horizontal nor vertical operational model, but one aiming at both physical and ideological harmony.
With its deliberate absence of hierarchy so as to give rise to highly unexpected world of sound and vision, Ha Za Vu Zu sees itself as a hub of abundant collaboration and exchange of ideas. The group’s work therefore lies somewhere between performance and agitprop*, humour and the organisation of offbeat evenings.
They are more like an “open work”, in the sense implied by Umberto Eco: “there is no single model, but a chameleon art that is adaptable and modifiable.”
An exhibition in the Jean-François Taddei gallery and a publication are the fruit of this two-month long residency in the Frac’s ateliers at Carquefou.
The programme of the 23rd Ateliers is scheduled as part of the Turkish Cultural Season in France.
* agitation coupled with propaganda. “Agitprop” corresponds to a highly politicized theatre that originated in the USSR in the early 1920s, designed to mobilize citizens in line with the dictates
of the Central Committee for agitation and propaganda, which was also active in the sectors of the press, scientific research and education.