Berdaguer et Péjus

Courtesy the artist

As ART-O-RAMA’s sponsor since 2017, Mécènes du sud offers to present this year a solo show by Berdaguer & Péjus. For years the Christophe Berdaguer and Marie Péjus duo has interrogated utopias both architectural and social dating from the 20th century to reactivate or propose a critical rereading. Their polymorphic work sets out to shoe the unconscious and imaginary.

With Smith, Norman, Carlos, Mexico 68, they are interested in the resurgence in public space of a contestation which takes the form of an act of insurrectional revolt. On October 16th 1968 the Olympic test consisting of 200 meters reunited Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium. These two black athletes belonged to a community which is still devoted to social misery. While in their prime hour of glory, they decided to defend themselves against racism and segregation when faced with journalists all around the world wearing socks, fist raised, black glove, eye cast downwards challenging the American flag. Peter Norman, second on the podium is alone, solitary. They pay all the three their subversion quite dearly.

The Life edition comes to revive and reactivate collective memory of this gesture, both a physical and sociopolitical expression whose heritage we wear. As for the enigmatic sculpture that crosses through the space brings us back to the inevitable : modernity, whose black community was excluded. This geometrical partition, cold and frontal obstacle is the translation of their gesture in Laban’s choreographic notation. This system helps to determine the nature of a movement, its duration and the body part in action. Rudolph Laban is considered to be the father of modern dance, he who advocates freedom of body through movement.

The transcriptions fix an expression and seize upon the determination of these three men confronted with a sociopolitical and media based context. Though by archiving their contestation Berdaguer & Péjus offer us a chance to replay and by signalling all actuality, albeit 50 years later.

Berdaguer & Péjus live and work in Marseille and Paris.
They are the recipient of Mécènes du Sud grant in 2011.
The Mécènes du sud collective of Aix-Marseille assembles 48 businesses that promote and encourage ART-O-RAMA’s project.