« Creation is the only definitive criticisme. »
- Maurice Lemaître
CO-OP is a social interface that questions and undertakes experiments centered around the theme of cooperation. Based on the model of cooperative agriculture and participatory, contextual experiments in contemporary art, this project was born from the experience acquired during "Banlieue is Beautiful." Banlieue is Beautiful was a social sculpture made by the artist Monte Laster, that was on exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo in May 2014 and was co-produced by the Palais de Tokyo, Quancard Contemporary Art and the FACE association.
The CO-OP works to develop places and networks that break with the usual and habitual systems. This message was inspired by the piece, "Alternative zur Aufruf" (Call for an Alternative) by Joseph Beuys, which appeared Dec. 23, 1978 in the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau.
This founding text deals with subjects which, almost 40 years later, return to both the local and world stages as major current political issues. Such issues span from local issues like environment preservation to the national and international levels in terms of the return of East / West or Israeli / Palestinian tensions.
ART AND THE CREATION FOR ALL
We live in a period of massive and growing loss of faith in democracy. This is even to the point that despite making "Oxymorphone" general by the fashionable concept of a "Participatory democracy," the concensus remains rather skeptical.
We live in times full of contemporary art, run by visionaries such as Beuys, who we Authorize move us to question topics surrounding architecture, landscape, urbanism, social change, and more through the things that we find ordinary in order to provide a more dynamic visual and a constructive criticism.
CO-OP is in line with movements such as "social practice" (or as Beuys would say of "social sculpture") to reveal and establish a network of institutions, public services, associations and individuals that question: "how can art and the creation of it contribute to give a voice to the voiceless?"
To accomplish the tasks of CO-OP, FACE and Monte Laster offer a series of workshops to work on 3 creative methods of citizen participation
CO-OP is a call to the spirit of "cooperation" in the midst of "competition" in order to use typically anti-constuctive elements or people in positions of power as a means to use their strengths to lead a personal policy that may otherwise harm the collective consensus.
FACE hosts urban walks within developing cities to bring attention to the past, the current area, and how things will change in the future.
FACE uses online mapping projects with architect Nicolas Fonty to describe the use of public spaces of the city, including parks.
FACE connects ordinary citizens with professional journalists in order to teach the citizens how to express their views and have their voices be heard.
ART AS A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
« Futures histoires des plaines des vertus »
« Future Stories from the Plain of Vertues »
Based in the Moulin Fayvon in La Courneuve, CO-OP6 is the first project location in a series of multiple places that will be created during the 3 years of the CO-OP project. These places, whether they be permenant or temporary, will ask this same question of voice. The other locations are still to be determined but will include both places in the suburbs and in the city center.
CO-OP6 is a temporal and spatial investigation of scientific research, art and sociology at the Moulin Fayvon and how these things work in the context of the future "Six Roads" station on the Grand Paris Express that will be built in front of the mill.
Thus far, FACE has worked with both children in La Courneuve and residents of Paris, using the three creative processes described above.
Urban Walks: Separate urban walks were given to the group of children and a group of guests from Paris. These groups walked around the project area called "Balzac" in an effort to recognize the current state of the area (as well as have the children discuss things that were familiar to them in this area) and become aware of how it will be affected with the future "Grand Paris Express."
Mapping: The children participated in mapping workshops led by architect Nicolas Fonty.
Citizen Journalism: Workshops were given with journalists Mehdi Meklat and Badroudine Said Abdallah on the profession of journalism. Children learned how to do an interview on the changing neighborhood and how to express their own views of the city.
CO-OP 6 serves as an interface between residents, the area they live in, and the different government structures and institutions that determined the major lines of the future Grand Paris Express network and its train stations.
CO-OP6 attempts to forge this liason through a formula developed by Monte Laster. This project is the unlikely but important link between structures such as "Le Potager du Roy" at Versailles, the eco-museum of La Courneuve, L ‘Association Troupeaux d’interet Collectif, the poetic party and other associations such as schools and local public services.
To achieve these exchanges, Monte Laster and FACE propose to do up to 4 modules that pose these questions and observe a diverse group of residents and users of the future station.
According to studies carried out by the OPHLM, Plaine Commune and the town of La Courneuve, the city of La Courneuve, in particular the current quarter of "4000 Nord", is located on a former marshland whose relationship to water was gradually erased as the level of the water table was lowered by industrial pumping. Since the de-industrialization, the level of the water table has risen sharply and this has had an impact buildings today.
CO-OP6 implements the sharing of knowledge and the development of devices that examine the harmful effects on the land surrounding the Moulin Fayvon and the possible re-establishment of a wetland around the mill. The objective of this work is to explore the potential return of an ecosystem and discuss the implications of that on both flora and wildlife.
ALTERNATIVE GREEN SPACES
CO-OP6 offers a co-operative reflection on the usual ways of managing green spaces with partners chosen among both local organizations and national / international projects.
At a local level, FACE has had the experience of working with partners such as Clinamen, le Partie Poétique, Zone Sensible, and more. At the collective level, FACE has been working for many years with the city of La Courneuve, Plaine Commune, le Conseil Générale de la Seine Saint Denis, the Ile de France and numerous other state structures and public services. FACE and Monte Laster work with students from the youngest age to the BTS level.
CO-OP6 creates a network in a way that mixes democracy, institutional structures, public services, associations and individuals. The network allows these entities to reflect on how green spaces and public places can be "alternatively" integrated into a landscape dedicated to the future "Six Roads" Station on the Grand Paris Express.
HERDS OF COLLECTIVE INTEREST
This module is a reflection and long-term intervention through herds of collective interest, backyard phenomena, sports, games, gardens, the Grand Wedding of Ihab, sheds of urban observation, and the animal world.
While this module lacks specific goals, it offers a chance for reflection on nature and how it is integrated into city life and daily occurences.