J’♥ Avignon

The artists and the Collection Lambert

December 3, 2017 – May 20, 2018

J’ Avignon is a tribute to the papal city which forgets, in the shadow of its medieval buildings, that artists were born in this town where they stayed. Olivier Messiaen was born there in 1906 and was an organist at Saint-Didier Church, while we know that none other than Stéphane Mallarmé taught there for two years. 

Since the opening of the Collection Lambert almost twenty years ago, artists have followed in each other’s footsteps and paid tribute to the papal city: Cy Twombly and his famous “Temps retrouvée” Pure Consciousness (Avignon) by On Kawara created in Jean-Henri Fabre’s little primary school; Francesco Vezzoli’s reinterpretation of the famous photo of Agnès Varda with Jean Vilar and Maria Casarès; Claude Lévêque, Yan Pei-Ming, Miquel Barceló and Christian Marclay, who ironically brings some variety by reworking a disc cover of Mireille Mathieu and Joey Kötting which takes the famous nursery rhyme Sur le pont d’Avignon (On the bridge of Avignon) with a class of children.

In 1998, when Hôtel de Caumont was converted into a museum after some time as a humanities university, the schoolchildren’s blackboards escaped destruction. Lawrence Weiner, Bertrand Lavier and Niele Toroni revisited them with an artistic licence. For the exhibition J’♥ Avignon, new paintings of schoolchildren enrich this unusual collection, particularly with Djamel Tatah and Yan Pei-Ming.

Finally, the museum’s attic will be given a lease of life, recalling the cult exhibition from 2015 in the prison of Avignon, La disparition des Lucioles (The disappearance of Fire ies). A new piece by Christian Boltanski will bring to memory the dark moments of our history, with, in tandem, the much-requested projection of the video work where the documentarian and author Marceline Loriden-Ivens returns to prison after 70 years: she was consigned there with her father during the war – a father she would not see again as she was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was here that she became a bench-mate with Simone Weil. They remained friends until her death in July 2017. 

The artists :

Adel Abdessemed, Pierre-Marie Agin, Miquel Barceló, Christian Boltanski, Cartier Bresson, Auguste Chabaud, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Vincent Fosse, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, François Halard, Roni Horn, On Kawara, Idris Khan, Joey Kötting, Jannis Kounellis, Bertrand Lavier, Louise Lawler, Hamid Maghraoui, Christian Marclay, Pascal Martinez, Jonas Mekas, Vik Muniz, Yan Pei-Ming, Adam Pendleton, Man Ray, Andres Serrano, Kiki Smith, Niele Toroni, Cy Twombly, Francesco Vezzoli, Lawrence Weiner.