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DEVENIR Radio Liberty, Prague; William engdahl author of the book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation and natalja Kalinina, researcher with the Knipovich

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Text of DEVENIR Radio Liberty, Prague; William engdahl author of the book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden...

  • DEVENIR GRAINE MAGAlI DANIAux & CéDRIC PIGot April 08 – September 2014 / VIRtuAl SPACE


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  • ❙ CURATOR Marta Ponsa Salvador

    ❙ TeChniCAL TeAM Of The PROjeCT Tristan nicoleau, développement, Paris

    Younes harbour, 3D, Agadir

    Gérard Vidal, translation & voice, Paris

    Philippe Boisnard, 3D, video, interaction sound & image, Angoulême

    Bruno Simon, 3D & web

    Gilles Mardirossian, sound production, Paris

    Caroline hancock, voice, Paris

    André fèvre, sound design, Paris

    ❙ PARTneRS With the support of the Ambassade Royale de norvège en france

    The jeu de Paume receives a subsidy from the ministry of Culture and Communication.

    it gratefully acknowledges support from neuflize Vie, its global partner.

    ❙ PReSS KiT OnLine Visuals, sounds and videos to be downloaded on the website

    Section: Professionals / iD: presskit / Password: photos

    ❙ COnTACTS Press relations: Annabelle Floriant

    +33 (0)1 47 03 13 22 / +33 (0)6 42 53 04 07 / [email protected]

    Communication: Anne Racine

    +33 (0)1 47 03 13 29 / [email protected]

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    The exhiBiTiOn

    The interactive platform of artists Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot in the Jeu de Paume’s virtual

    space will offer an unusual take on the issues surrounding energy and food management. From

    8 April to September 2014 (

    One of the sections of this online project is devoted to the Global Seed Vault, an underground

    bunker in the Svalbard archipelago, inside the Arctic circle, where seeds of all the plants that

    provide food for humans are kept. Another section enables users to log onto a live stream from

    Kirkenes, a small town in northern Norway, strategically located on the Barents Sea, where

    prospecting for gas and oil reserves takes place.

    The French artistic duo intend examining flora in terms of its active immobility, its flexibility

    and adaptability, and its relevance as a model for devising new economic and social schemas.

    In a globalised world where it is no longer possible to flee, the artists see plant stratagems as

    ultra-contemporary models, drawing on them for inspiration to create their “Devenir Graine”


    This work, with its diversity of content and media, takes as its starting point Kirkenes, a small town

    in northern norway, strategically located on the Barents Sea, and the islands of the Svalbard

    archipelago, situated inside the Arctic circle, which provide a metaphorical illustration of the relations

    between man and nature.

    By combining poetry, fiction, documentary, interviews and performance, “Devenir Graine” takes

    a surrealist journey through the contemporary Arctic while tackling the hottest geopolitical and

    geostrategic issues: global warming, urban development, cross-border collaboration between norway

    and Russia, opening up of the Schengen zone, managing fossil fuel and nuclear resources, as well as

    the development of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and the commercialisation of living things.

    This project imagines the Arctic as a gigantic back up, a huge protective reserve, for a biocentric

    humankind living in environments that are climate-controlled and designed to order. “The fridge world”

    – a promise of death and eternity.

    “The closest populated land to the north Pole is the Svalbard archipelago, situated inside the Arctic

    circle, more than a thousand kilometres to the north of the Scandinavian peninsula. for a long time,

    the place served as a base camp for whalers. Today it is inhabited by 3,000 polar bears and 2,600

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    humans, for the most part norwegians and Russians, mostly concentrated on Spitzberg island, and

    working in mining, tourism and scientific research. Svalbard University, which has around 500 students

    and teachers from twenty-five countries is located at Longyearbyen, formerly Longyear City, named

    after john Munroe Longyear, who founded the Arctic coal company. Longyearbyen is also the site of the

    Global Seed Vault, excavated out of a sandstone mountain and inaugurated in 2008*”.

    A section of this internet project will be devoted to this universal seed bank, with filmed interviews,

    photographs and maps of places, sound recordings, films and testimonies.

    The many specialists interviewed include: Cary fowler, former executive director of Global Crop

    Diversity Trust, which set up the seed bank; Roland Von Bothmer, professor of genetics at the Swedish

    University of Agricultural Science; eirik newth, astrophysicist; Kirill Korbrin, journalist for Radio europe/

    Radio Liberty, Prague; William engdahl author of the book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of

    Genetic Manipulation and natalja Kalinina, researcher with the Knipovich Polar Research institute of

    Marine fisheries and Oceanography (Pinro), Russia.

    3D simulations of the seed bank designed by the artists will allow you to explore the corridors of this

    space interactively. Through short stories, in which science fiction cohabits with accounts of scientific

    research in the Arctic, the artists give you the chance to imagine the atmosphere in this freezing

    underground bunker. This multiform body of work will be regularly enriched by other online artistic


    The botanist francis hallé, in an interview with the philosopher Raphaël Bessis, explains that “The plant,

    being fixed, must endure the vicissitudes of the environment where it is located. it cannot leave, and if

    it is not capable of flexibility it dies. One can thus understand how extraordinarily flexible, even labile

    and fluid, systems become established, and that applies to both the external form as well as behaviour

    and the genome. To an extent, a plant must be capable of changing itself, otherwise it will disappear

    because it is not adapted to its environment. An animal, if it does not like its conditions, has the option of

    moving until it finds satisfactory conditions. in this respect, it does not need to change itself very much.

    Animal flexibility in its external form is low, and the same applies to its genome. it has no reason to

    change itself internally. A single genome suits it.”

    * from the text by jean-noël Lafargue, published on the occasion of the exhibition of Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot at the

    Pavillon Vendôme, Clichy.

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    Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot, Devenir Graine. 3D simulation of the interior of the Global Seed Vault © Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot

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    Born in 1976 and 1966. live & work in Paris.

    Since they met, ten years ago, Magali and Cedric’s joint work bears the dual hallmark of experimentation

    and performance. Their pieces bring together various media and associate elements from opposite

    ranges, with a taste for connections between Sci-fi and documentary forms, high-tech engineering and

    fantasy tales, heavyweight materials and fleeting sensations. Starting with installations and plastic objects,

    their work soon included experimental actions and more immaterial artistic gestures. Videos, sound art,

    music, olfactive research, virtual works bordering the digital arts, have formed, this past 3 years, a cycle of

    works dealing with climate change, economic, politic and geo-strategic issues, urban development and

    food management.

    ❙ SOLO exhiBiTiOnS

    2013 – épiderme affaibli – palais Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef – médina de fès – Morocco

    2013 – Distance K – galerie de l’institut français – fès-ville-nouvelle – Morocco

    2010 – Lait frelaté – galerie eva hober – Paris

    2007 – Minus habens – galerie eva hober – Paris

    2007 – nécrophorus – galerie Chappe – Paris

    2005 – Lo Moth – 100 Tonson Gallery – Bangkok

    ❙ PeRfORMAnCeS & SOUnD CReATiOnS

    2013 – iRL Performances – 19 MiRACLeS – Paris – france

    2013 – Le Placard – 19 MiRACLeS – Sèvres – france

    2013 – 10 ans de MCD – 19 MiRACLeS – Gaîté lyrique – Paris – france

    2013 – BiOfeeDBACK – Atelier de création radiophonique, france Culture (93.5 fM)

    2013 – 19 Miracles + eau violette – Dar Batha – fès – Morocco

    2012 – nachtradiofestival Radio Art Space – Berlin – Germany

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    2012 – nachtradiofestival Radio Art Space – Postdam – Germany

    2012 – Champs magnétique