Exhibition from the 25th of june 2016 to the 8th of january 2017 at the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art (MMACA), place Yves Klein, 06000 Nice, open all days from 10am to 6pm except mondays (and 25th of december and the 1rst of january), phone : 04.97.13.42.01, fee : 10 €.
The Ernest Pignon Ernest retrospective's at the Nice MMACA has been designed by the artist himself and follows the 1995 exhibition who have showcased the art work of the artist in the streets of Naples. The today's exhibition comes back to the atypical working process of an artist who is one of those who have introduced the street art in France. Ernest Pignon Ernest begins by selecting a place and tries to understand it. It means to capture what he can see (space, light, colors) and what he can't see (history, memories, symbolic charge). He introduces a component (generally a drawing body) inside this place for inciting or provoking reactions among the people who live in.
Generally Ernest Pignon Ernest uses the screen print. A printing process similar to stencilling that involves putting a film that blocks UV rays over a fabric screen covered in a photo emulsion allowing the ink t soak through in specific places. These drawings are drawn to scale in the streets. Ernest Pignon Ernest works always by night, armed with a drawing paper roll, a pot of glue, brushes and rollers. The images are at the mercy of the whims of passing time until they disappear. All that is left behind are sketches, rough preparatory and models drawings of the prints and on - site photographs.
The exhibition showcases in four rooms the political commitments of Ernest Pignon Ernest. Attracted by the problems of his time he begins by speaking about the racism and the immigrants tragedies. In 1974 he mobilizes himself against the apartheid in South Africa and belongs among the founders of the committee "Artists against the apartheid". He sticks on the walls of his home town some printed drawings who represent a black family behind a barbed wire. Ernest Pignon Ernest does that for protesting against the twinning between his home town and Capetown. In 2001 he goes to South Africa for realizing a documentary on the multicultural society but he has seen the importance of the AIDS epidemic. He has decided with the help of the people who live in the places affected by the epidemic to use the picture of the young Hector Pieterson killed by the police during the Soweto's riots (1976) for waking up the conscious. Ernest Pignon Ernest takes the same technical for denouncing the destiny of the immigrants who try to go to Europe or the loneliness of the prisoners in the jails.
Ernest Pignon Ernest attracts also himself by cities like Naples, Paris or Lyon (in France). In Naples he underlines the link that exist between several mythologies (Greek, Roman and Christian) who explain the origins of this city and that we can find in different paths among this city. Ernest Pignon Ernest creates between 1988 and 1995 a line connecting the several steps of the life to the founder myths and customs inspired by the famous painter the Caravage. He continues his study of the cities by shooting human being inside phone boxes. Ernest Pignon Ernest wants towards the phone boxes showing isolated and enclosed human being. The phone is one of the media for communicating in our modern society but the human being stays like a wanderer even if it uses his phone for calling.
At the end the exhibition offers a gallery of poets (Maïakovski, Rimbaud, Pasolini, Néruda, Artaud, Néruda, Desnos, Nerval, Genet, Darwich). Ernest Pignon Ernest improve much more sympathy for the poets than for the painters. For him poets are like laïc myths and pagan icons. Their portraits show us how they have improved the will, the dreams and the tensions of their time. Ernest Pignon Ernest gives an important place to the poets and the living poetry. It means poets who have imagined poetically our modern world. These poets have succeed to catch clearly and really the signs, the words, the dreams and the utopias.