Centre Pompidou exhibits works by the winner of the 21st Prix Fondation d'entreprise Pernord Ricard
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Centre Pompidou exhibits works by the winner of the 21st Prix Fondation d'entreprise Pernord Ricard
Marcos Ávila Forero, Zuratoque Sandals, Costal #2, Russo Cañas Family, 2013. Installation, Photograph on RC paper, handwoven sandals, yarn from jute sacks, 100 x 150 cm (photograph), shoes of variable dimensions © Aurélien Mole.

PARIS.- Every year since 2000, the Centre Pompidou has hosted the Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard – which became the Prix Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard on 1st July – to reward an emerging artist on the young French scene. The works of the winners have been gifted to the Musée National d’Art Moderne by the Foundation, thus enriching its collections in a unique manner.

A jury of collectors, professionals and artists awarded the 21st Prix Fondation d’entreprise Pernord Ricard 2019 to artist Marcos Ávila Forero for his installation ”Theory on the Flight of Wild Geese, Notes on Worker Movements“. The prize was presented on the occasion of the ”Le Fil d’alerte“ exhibition, designed by Claire Le Restif at the Ricard Foundation in 2019.

For this prize, the Centre Pompidou selected three of the artist’s works which are entering the collection of the Musée National d’Art Moderne and which are being presented in the ”Global(e) Resistance“ exhibition, from 29 July 2020 to 4 January 2021 by Christine Macel, Alicia Knock and Yung Ma, curators in the department of Contemporary and Prospective Creation.

Born in Paris in 1983, Marcos Ávila Forero is a Colombian artist who lives and works between Paris and Bogotá. He studied at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Rueil Malmaison and at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, graduating in 2010. Since then, his work has been presented at the Palais de Tokyo, on the occasion of the Discoveries of the Friends of the Palais de Tokyo prize (curator Daria Beauvais) in 2013, at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 (”Viva arte Viva“, curator Christine Macel), at the Mac Val in 2018 (”Persona Grata“, curator Ingrid Jurzak) and in the Kyoto Art Center in 2019 (”Repeated Trace“).

As a militant artist and vice president of the ”Citizenships for Peace“ organisation since 2019, Marcos Ávila Forero investigates the violence and injustice of social and political situations throughout the world. He spent several stays in Amazonia in 2011, on the Algerian-Moroccan frontier in 2012 and in Japan in 2019, but he has conducted most of his projects in Colombia – a country torn apart by civil war, dispossession of property and exiled populations. By actively settling in conflict zones, in shanty towns or in FARC guerrilla camps, he questions the way of supporting communities and their territorial organisations. In doing so, he sounds out the impact of the war on the populations and denounces the impossibility for residents of claiming their rights.

In the framework of the Prix Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard, the Musée national d’art moderne selected three works from the series ”Alpagatas de Suratoque“, now being presented in the ”Global(e) Resistance“ exhibition. To conduct this project, Marcos Ávila Forero went to the Suratoque shanty town in Colombia in 2012 and 2013, where thousands of peasants are confined, having been dispossessed of their land and displaced by the armed conflict ravaging the country. The artist asked several families to write their testimonies and claims on jute bags, with the experience of their past lives, the things they owned and lost. He then asked them to unweave the bags and transform the traces of their memories by recovering the threads and creating a pair of ”alpagatas“. These traditional peasant shoes are thus transformed into a tool of resilience, symbolising the wandering of the families and highlighting forced expulsions and displacements in Colombia.

Each pair of alpagatas is thus accompanied by the photograph of the jute bag before its transformation. Each group bears the name of the families who participated in this project and collaborated with the artist. The three selected works are thus entitled ”Alpagatas de Suratoque, Costal #2, Russo Cañas Family“ ”Alpagatas de Suratoque, Costal #3, Castellanos Family“ and ”Alpagatas de Suratoque, Costal #4, Asinta Rojas Family“ and pay homage to the expropriated peasants. They reveal the significance of the collaborative, committed and humanistic dimension of Marcos Ávila Forero’s work.

The three pieces in the ”Alpagatas de Suratoque“ entered the collection of the Musée national d’art moderne, after the works of Didier Marcel, Natacha Lesueur, Tatiana Trouvé, Boris Achour, Matthieu Laurette, Mircea Cantor, Loris Gréaud, Vincent Lamouroux, Christophe Berdaguer and Marie Péjus, Raphaël Zarka, Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille, Isabelle Cornaro and Benoît Maire, Adrien Missika, Katinka Bock, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Camille Blatrix, Florian Pugnaire and David Raffini, Clément Cogitore, Caroline Mesquita as well as Liv Schulman, winners respectively of the Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard between 1999 and 2018.

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