Forming a collection thus means generating and articulating sense, senses. The notion of 'ensemble' is particularly suited to this quest. However, today it consists less of the tracing of movements or thematic approaches than questions of individuality, of 'family' and state of mind. This is why acquisitions generally result from a close, longstanding relation with the artists with close focus on the evolution of their work.
Exhibiting a collection is not so much the accomplishment of archiving and selection in accumulation. It is above all the triggering of meetings and relations between the works, the measurement of their rightness and also the testing of what is possible and what is missing.
Collection(s) 08 marked the first stage in the acquisition policy within the new framework of new approach to art at the Institut d’art contemporain. It was the occasion for exploring the meeting of recent purchases with the Rhône-Alpes Collection, testing hypotheses for future acquisitions and thus assessing the pertinence of the ensemble that had been assembled.
Dan Graham's works appeared in Collection(s) 08 as a 'pivot/manifesto' on which the other artistic approaches were hinged.
The recent acquisition of Allen Ruppersberg's The Never Ending Book first strengthened the presence of this artist in the collection and also continued the conceptual trail—more focused on its incessant relations with life—as found in the work of Jimmie Durham, consolidated in the work Documenta 11 by Jef Geys and then subverted by François Curlet. In 2007, the acquisition of Anthony McCall's Doubling Back fitted into a perceptual and environmental dimension present in the work of Ann Veronica Janssens.
The works of Dan Graham and Rodney Graham, in which perception is also fundamental, draw on the conceptual investigations and experience of life mentioned above, with one focusing more on architecture and the other inhabited by numerous references.
Part of another generation, Melik Ohanian and Laurent Grasso create projections in which they play with different space-time frameworks, each in his own way. They thus explore the frontiers between reality and fiction, between visible space and invisible territories and between formal representations and mental visions.
Collection(s) 08 questioned the possible relations between conceptual postures, the practices of art related to life, and experiences of double physical and critical perception. The exhibition defined the bases of the work, thus marking out the lines of research used by the Institute.
With Collection(s) 08, the Institut d’art contemporain set up the principle of the biennial in situ presentation of its collection. This time step allows the renewal of its perspectives and regular visibility of its evolution.