We have been co-directing Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers since 2013, seeking to assert and develop orientations informed at once by the founding principles of this exceptionally challenging venue and by our personal convictions: creating for artists the best possible conditions to foster experimentation and the emergence of new forms, which crucially entails giving artists time to develop their work; making Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers a collective space where art and poetry combine with a reflection on civic life, welcoming ‘practices’ rather than ‘disciplines’; connecting these practices to theory and ensuring that the forms produced approach or tie in with the knowledge produced; reconfiguring a space able to support the fragile formulation of new utopias and plural modes of existence.
Because we believe that it is by asserting a circumscribed space for art that we will be able to make it porous to its environment and develop a complex reflection, we constantly interrogate the nature and role of the art institution. We pursue yearly programmes connected to social and political problematics. Following our previous cycles exploring the commons, the relationship between art and work, and new forms of performative critique, this year we will be investigating going beyond the ultra-medicalised approach to society, and over the next three years, through reading groups and other regular public events, we will continue our efforts to establish a space able to bring together a diversity of communities with shared interests in pressing contemporary issues.
Finally, along with the artists we work with, we are committed to pursuing a reflection on our locality. In order to address and create new modes of collective action, we seek to investigate the local through a dialogue with key agents of the town and its surrounding area (and not only those involved with art) as well as with research collectives we have chosen to follow and support and through the networks we are developing both with individuals and institutions on an international level.
Alexandra Baudelot, Dora García and Mathilde Villeneuve