Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
in collaboration with the International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC)

Société Réaliste


International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC)
Grad Tivoli, Pod turnom 3
Ljubljana, Slovenia

September 27, 2010 at 6 PM



photo: Nada Žgank

There is a field of non-Euclidean geography which has never got its Nobel-prize winner. The major tools of this emerging science is tearing, gluing and stretching topographic elements in order to reach an idealized inertia of a piece of land corresponding to the mental projections of its inhabitants. The constant endeavor of the researchers of territorial ergonomics consists in re-designing hypsometric tints, shaded reliefs, longitudes, latitudes and contour lines in the direction to fit them with their intrinsic stature. Indeed, not only natural objects and forces but every topographical component has its will of completion, especially which were formed by human intention. The observation, identification, description and experimental investigation of regional divisions is the fundament of the art of territorial shaping.
In 2008, Société Réaliste started a survey about "ecomorphism", how the forms of the physical surroundings of humans strain their perception, how their attitude adapts to the specific architectural, urban and geopolitical condition. In elementary school one starts studying geography by the description of the boundaries of the Fatherland. Which are the surrounding countries, which are the natural frontiers, mountains, seasides and rivers, where these dotted lines drawn so elegantly through deserts, hills and forests run on the map. The form of one's native country is burned on the retina of every citizen: it is put on vehicles as stickers, used on banknotes, coat of arms and stamps, shown in museums or on television, used as bijou or even built as temples like the Bharat Mata Mandir in Varanasi, India. The fellows of territorial ergonomics consider this obsessive misuse of geographical data as the principal obstacle of cosmopolitan imagination. In order to protest again the dictatorial malpractice of topography and to dismantle the idolatry of miscellaneous histrorico-geographical shapes, Société Réaliste has created a cognitive see-through model under the title of Jacques Derrida’s book Cosmopolites de tous les pays encore un effort / Cosmopolitans of all countries, yet another effort. The model is the result of the superimposition of the topographic forms of the 192 member-states of the United Nations. All these sovereign states were put on the same scale using only two main information: their specific shape and the location of their capital city, with the intention to produce the synthetic form of potentially any state. The result is an eroded square, the average capital city lying almost in the geometrical center of it, the chaos of the frontier lines covering nearly its entire surface. Parallelly to the calculation of the shape of a "model state", Société Réaliste started to work on a textual corpus which incorporates all the national anthems of the aforementioned 192 UN member states. Using the English translation of every anthems, Société Réaliste established a global compilation of national(ist) vocabulary. All words are marked with the three letter ISO code of the corresponding country, for example SVN for Slovenia, FRA for France, HUN for Hungary, etc.
Cosmopolitans of all countries, yet another effort is a standard tombstone for any state. Presented vertically, one of its side is carved with the calculation method with the superimposition of all the national frontiers of the world and the emplacement of its 192 capital cities, while on the other side is carved a textual composition using the compiled adjectives of all 192 national anthems. The complete list of 1839 hymnic adjectives - which form line from the word ABLAZE from the Turkish anthem, to YOUTHFUL, from the Jordanian one - can be applied to any sovereignty of any time. This ephemeral monument stands in the confrontation between the majestic and ceremonious sculpture, the abstract figuration of the notion of state and the methodology of its construction. Cosmopolitans of all countries, yet another effort intends to evoke and to represent the necessary escape and excess from detention within historical forms of political domination and to remain in the same time the parody of a monument.

Société Réaliste is a Parisian cooperative created by Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy in 2004. It works with political design, experimental economy, territorial ergonomics and social engineering consulting. Polytechnic, it develops its production schemes through exhibitions, publications and conferences. Société Réaliste is represented by Galerie Martine Aboucaya (Paris) and Kisterem (Budapest). In 2010 they presented their work in the frame of several
collective exhibitions (Rennes Biennial, FR; Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, IT; Mûcsarnok/Kunsthalle, Budapest, HU; Walter and McBean Galleries, SFAI, San Francisco, USA) and they are preparing a series of solo exhibitions starting in September in Platform3, Munich, DE which will be continued in Ljubljana at the Skuc Gallery in November.

For more information: www.societerealiste.net



Concept: Société Réaliste
Executive producers: Janez Janša, Marcela Okretič
Public Relations: Mojca Zupanič
Realization: RPS d.o.o.

Produced by Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Partner: the International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC)

Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the City of Ljubljana and IFCN - Institut français Charles Nodier

Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana