The Banquet

At the heart of the nave of the Grand Palais, the Banquet, made up of 9 tables, exhibits 107 unique pieces of art by 63 crafters, designers and mixed media artists, all of them creators!

Let yourself be charmed by these artists who have mastered the art of enhancing matter.

Breaking the banks

by Antoine Leperlier

"During a period when the dematerialisation of knowledge, communication and memory, and the relocation of production are widespread phenomena both for the economy and art, the idea of a "banquet" reuniting around the same table those we generally refer to as "visual artists", "designers" or "craftworkers", who have all engaged in work with materials, could appear rather untimely. Yet could material and making in art be staging a comeback?

The exploitation of Duchamp's gesture in the 1960s, and his later assimilation by the academy, established a radical partition between making and conceptual creation in art. This process of theoretical and aesthetic discrimination, based on the production method of works of art, revisited a medieval hierarchy between "liberal" and "mechanical" arts, confining those "who make" to the world of craft, while reserving the domain of art for those "who don't make".

Thus an entire field of art and art history which discovers intellectual and imaginative fulfilment in an intimate engagement with material - from Henry Cros to Marinot, from Gauguin to Fontana, via the English Arts & Crafts movement and Jorn's Imaginistic Bauhaus - has been marginalised.

But the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of art, for several decades asserted within artistic institutions as a form of consensus, from schools to modern art museums, via art centres and artistic authorities, would appear to be on the verge of a breakdown.

Indeed, an increasing number of visual artists and designers are asserting the importance of making in art, paying particular attention to how materials are used.

By opening a shared space for all these artistic disciplines, by bringing all works associated with making and materials to the same table, without regard to specific or certified production methods, this "banquet" aims at abolishing hierarchy between art forms and genres, and at challenging the legitimacy of dogmatic discriminations that vainly oppose "making" and "not making", concept and material, and that seek to legislate as to what is "contemporary" and what is not.

Here, all a priori judgments, all forms of sectarianism with regard to production methods, whatever they may be, would be banished: the artist is free to engage with their material, to define their methodologies, or even to entrust the realisation of his or her work to third parties. Each and every one will defend their personal choices.

The context of practice is equally a question of art and craft, a dichotomy that could well be erased, leaving way for a broader conception, a dialectic of making and material in art, beyond the "well made" rejected by Duchamp with his "ready-made".

This exhibition will create an opportunity to gauge the degree of emancipation, in certain fields of art practice, from the technical domain to which they have for too long been relegated, and the extension of the scope of contemporary art practice. It will demonstrate that academic discrimination, more or less in keeping with historical methods and moments in history, no longer stand when the "border controls" that separate artistic domains and artistic practice are relaxed.

Furthermore, the layout of this table will only allow a single horizontal interpretation, with works devoid of wordy museography; the unmediated and admiring eye will not be subject to any prejudice arising from pre-established categories, and will judge for itself.

The presiding conceptual hegemony will undoubtedly have reached its limits, in the very instant when the emerging field presented here, integrating design, the visual arts and craftsmanship, will have acquired its own critical mass, no longer questioning whether making and materials are admissible ingredients of contemporary art.

In truth, this claim for the legitimacy of making in art is as decisive as was its, often prolific, negation throughout the 20th century. Times change, yet the sense of urgency remains strangely the same: to overcome any Academy whose aesthetic dogma, however founded on an ideology of fracture, will always remain fixated upon ideas that are already a century old."

Download images in high resolution:

Thank you to the 63 creators:

Agnès Debizet, Alain Mailland, Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye, Antoine Leperlier, Atelier Polyhedre, Barbara Nanning, Barthélémy Togo, Benoît Huot, Bina Baitel, Camille Virot, Chantal Saccomanno et Olivier Dayot, Christine Fabre, Christophe Côme, Christophe Desvallées, Christophe Nancey, Daniel de Montmollin, Diana Hobson, Etienne Leperlier, Ettore Sottsass, Eva Hild, Frédérique Petit, Gaetano Pesce, Gérald Vatrin, Gladys Liez, Grégoire Scalabre, Gustavo Perez, Gyorgi Gaspar, Harumi Nakashima, Ingrid Donat, Jean Girel, Jean-François Bourlard, Jean-François Fouilhoux, Johan Creten, Josepha Gasch-Muche, Julie Legrand, Kristin McKirdy, Laura de Santillana, Laurent Petit, Ludovic Avenel, Maarten Stuer, Maïté Tanguy, Marc Ricourt, Marisa et Alain Bégou, Martine Damas, Mathilde Bretillot et Thierry Breton, Mieke Groot, Paul Day, Philip Baldwin & Monica Guggisberg, Pierre Christel, Raymond Martinez, Richard Meitner, Robert Deblander, Roland Mellan, Sebastian Brajkovic, Simone Pheulpin, Sophie Lecomte, Steen Ipsen, Thierry Martenon, Vladimir Zbynovsky, Wayne Fischer, William Morris, Xavier Le Normand, Yoichi Ohira.

Thank you to the 38 lenders:

Agnès Debizet, Alain Mailland, Antoine de Galbert, Antoine Leperlier, Atelier Polyhedre, Ateliers d'Art de France, Carpenters Workshop Gallery - Paris et Londres, Chantal Saccomanno et Olivier Dayot, Christophe Côme, Christophe Desvallées, Christophe Nancey, Etienne Leperlier, Frédérique Petit, Galerie Arcanes - Paris, Galerie Christel - Limoges, Galerie Clara Scremini - Paris, Galerie Collection - Paris, Galerie NeC, nilsson et chiglien - Paris et Hong-Kong, Galerie de l'Ancienne Poste - Toucy, Galerie Silbereis - Paris, Gladys Liez, Glass Art Fund, Jean-François Bourlard, Jean-François Fouilhoux, Julie Legrand, Ludovic Avenel, Maison Parisienne, Maïté Tanguy, Marc Ricourt, NextLevel Galerie - Paris, Pierre Patrolin, Paul Day, Philip Baldwin et Monica Guggisberg, Roland Mellan, Sèvres - Cité de la céramique, Sophie Lecomte, Thierry Breton.