Agnès VARDA, in the spotlight from July 8 to November 20 » PACA’s economic and political newsletter

“Agnès Varda: Beaches, huts and shells”.

La Malmaison Art Center, Cannes: from July 8 to November 20, 2022

Villa Domergue, Cannes: from July 8 to September 18, 2022

This summer, the Town Hall of Cannes presents in two spaces of its Contemporary Art Center an exhibition devoted to the one who was in turn a filmmaker, photographer and visual artist: Agnès Varda. From July 8 to November 20, 2022 at the Center d’art la Malmaison and from July 8 to September 18 at the Villa Domergue, Rosalie Varda, artistic director and co-curator of the exhibition with Hanna Baudet, director of the Pôle d’Art Contemporain de Cannes, honors the world of Agnès Varda, in the very city that celebrated her for her abundant filmography, through a summer exhibition around the sea, the beach and cabins, recurring themes in his work as a filmmaker and visual artist.

Agnès Varda, installation Ping-pong, Tong et Camping (2005-2006), designed for the exhibition L’île et elle at the Fondation Cartier.

Back to the Croisette

“This exhibition brings me back to the Croisette in a different way, because I only know Cannes through its Festival. Let’s go back in time: Agnès came here for the first time in 1962 with her film Cléo de 5 à 7, in competition. In her autobiography, Varda par Agnès (1994), she says: “We all went to Cannes. Corinne Marchand looked like a fifties Hollywood starlet. Me, I had had a circus dress made for the big presentation evening with a transparent sequined cape, because we were going on stage at the time. Our success at Cannes, experienced with innocence and wonder, made the film known all over the world and I was invited everywhere. »

Then, in 1964, Jacques Demy won the Palme d’Or with his film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. He was a member of the grand jury in 1977; Agnès in 2005. Thirteen of Agnès’ films went to the official selection. She received the Palme d’honneur in 2015 and climbed the steps in 2018, accompanied by 81 other female directors. In this year 2022, for the 75th anniversary of the Festival, Thierry Frémaux has decided to pay tribute to Agnès by giving her name to the ephemeral hall of the Festival. Every year she will be there with us.

I discovered La Malmaison, on the Croisette facing the sea, is a dream location for a cheerful summer exhibition – “Agnès Varda – Beaches, cabins and shells”! The course of the exhibition shows that Agnès knew how to use different mediums to share emotions and arouse the desire of the spectators: photography, cinema and the creation of installations. All her life, she has created and used images to invent works. We can also discover his passion for the beach, the sea and the sand. A few flip-flops, the most modest of sandals, welcome us to the forecourt of this beautiful house, the misnamed Malmaison. It’s an introduction, a nod to the Frize de tongs installation – present in the exhibition – with which Agnès shows us a thousand and one ways to decorate her feet! In the same room, table tennis, flip flops and camping amuse us with their colored plastic elements. This joyful room succeeds the melancholy of the Depot of the Beach Hut, an installation that shows us sad news from the world. Further on, we discover the pretty short film Du Côté de la côte, as well as photographs of this commissioned shoot for the promotion of the French Riviera. Agnès shot this film during the summer of 1958. I was a few months old. The music is by Georges Delerue, who will become the famous composer of the soundtrack of the film Le Mépris directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

The city of Cannes is also the sumptuous Villa Domergue, on the heights. Property that makes you dream… Installing cabins in this beautiful residence amuses me! A cabin is “a small, roughly constructed dwelling,” according to the dictionary. “Cabane” is a bit of a magic word. There are a thousand kinds: those that children make in their bedrooms, those that parents make for their children, and then those that we make outside, in the woods, on the beach… Agnès loved them so much! Visitors-spectators will be able to discover at the Villa Domergue a montage of all the extracts from his films in which there are cabins. She loved them so much that she had one built for me in our family home. A small wooden cabin, painted a pretty blue-green which enchanted my childhood, then that of my three boys and now that of my grandson Maurice. Hanna Baudet and I wanted to install in the beautiful living room of the Villa Domergue a series of photographs of cabins taken by Agnès in 2005 and 2006 for the catalog of her exhibition “L’Île et Elle” at the Cartier Foundation for the contemporary art and, opposite, a new cabin: The Tent of Without Roof or Law. This installation, which we have just produced, is made up of 35 mm film strips. As a cabin, Mona, the character of the film Without roof or law, directed by Agnès in 1985, had a modest camping tent.

This is one of the Cinema Cabins designed by Agnès, because she loved cabins so much that she created a series of them with walls made up of strips of 35 mm film, a film support that had become obsolete with the arrival of digital technology. Cinemas now broadcast films in digital files, the famous DCPs.

The Cinema Booths:

– 2006: La Cabane de l’Echseur/Cinema, with his film Les Créatures (1966).

– 2012: My Shack of Cinema, the cabin of Lions Love (… and Lies) (1969).

–2018: The Talon of Happiness (1965 film).

And in 2022, we therefore had the hut from the film Without Roof or Law built, according to the plans and the model created by Agnès in 2017.

Agnès has also designed four models: The Chess/Cinema Hut, La Serre du Bonheur, La Tente de Sans Toit Ni Loi and the Bateau de La Pointe Courte (not yet produced in a large version). All are shown at the Villa Domergue. » Rosalie Varda, May 2022

“For me, the nostalgia for 35mm cinema has turned into a desire to recycle… I build huts with abandoned copies of my films. Abandoned because unusable in projection. Become huts, favorite houses of the imaginary world. » Agnes Varda, 2018

We wish to say thanks to the writer of this post for this incredible web content

Agnès VARDA, in the spotlight from July 8 to November 20 » PACA’s economic and political newsletter