HEY! – 4 DEGREES ART, is a new art book inspired by the Earth Charter and developed by Anne & Julien and Zoé Forget and which brings together 102 artists from 20 countries. The book, published by Ankama/619 Editions, counts with the Preface and Afterword by French scientist Jean Claude Ameisen.
Alarmed with the scale of contemporary challenges and ecological degradation, Anne & Julien, founders and editors in chief of the art magazine Hey! Mordern Art & Pop Culture and Zoé Forget, in charge of photography service for the art magazine, decided to embark in this new project to spread the Earth Charter through their work in the field of art (painting, sculpture, drawing). In this context they have invited artists to reflect and answer some questions that emerges from the Earth Charter Text.
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Following is a text from the authors:
Exploring the language of arts
By: Anne & Julien and Zoé Forget
For thirty years, our energy has concentrated on the observation of the influence of pop countercultures and art that emerges in the margins of the world´s main currents; This process has led us to build HEY! Modern art & pop culture in 2010, an artistic project around three axes: an art magazine, exhibitions and performances (under the name of HEY! La Cie) – three ways of exploring pop culture in a non-conventional way in all its complexity. As individuals, this autonomous initiative has enabled us to affirm an artistic vision (the return of the figurative in the field of contemporary art) by serving the multiplicity of practices that nourish it; The outlook of works and artists presented in the magazine is often ignored by the academic radars of art criticism, placing it at a distance from a hegemonic, industrial and commercial culture built with the aim of entertaining. Switching from awareness to engagement by linking local action with global consequences: this is the militant perimeter we have agreed to work on – Today HEY! brings together a large network of artists in the world.
Currently, a lot of alarming information about environmental problems is available in the public sphere – of which we are part of. A year ago, we decided, as ordinary citizens, that it was no longer acceptable not to react to the situation in which humankind plunged the planet. But the question was how to position HEY! in the midst of the complex range of environmental issues, while our only weapon remains the art? This questioning mobilized our research and leads us to the discovery of The Earth Charter. The humanistic character of this document, its participatory perspectives and its accessibility have nurtured our decision: The Earth Charter has become the catalyst of our new project HEY! 4 DEGREES ART. This book is for us a fighting tool and a statement.
The collection of artists who contributed to this book work from territories irrigated with fundamentals, references, diverse filiations and crosscutting areas of influence from which a mapping of connivances is born. HEY! Constitutes in this forest a kind of “guide” suggesting a different approach, beyond the conventional classifications, a stylistic diversity dialogue. Included in the broad perspectives art & environment, the aesthetic space shared in this special issue is not defined by the grammar of eco art or environmental art. Commenting systematically on the imaginary as a safe haven, these artists all discourse in a figurative way, facing a contemporary art dominated by a work of installations and / or conceptual works. It is interesting to note a natural association with a political and social content and the artistic gestures stemming from the conceptual and performative heritage of the 1960s and / or the video art; A kind of “natural environment” in sum, where the denunciation / claim / reaction are in fact legitimized. In this context, figurative painting of the 21st century has not yet been observed as a visionary territory and / or a wake-up caller, but in the fiber of its creative energy the environmental concern is printed as a principle under-stretched or active.
We therefore agreed to ask to many artists eleven questions based on reflections on the Earth Charter text. They are neither “eco painters” nor “eco warriors” nor ecologists using art to coagulate their thinking. Together with us they gathered around a variation of points of view and approaches, all concerned and upset by the state of the world, deeply disturbed by the treatment to which our planet is subjected, they have seized a possibility to express themselves, through their favorite medium of expression, as artists and citizens of the Earth, at a time when it is more common to see an artist producing exclusively to supply a work to a dedicated market.
We plan to develop an exhibition which would be a logical continuation following this project.
A book directed by:
Anne & Julien: Over the years and in almost 30 years of activity, Anne & Julien’s work is recognized for its ability to unveil new talents and open fields of exploration hitherto unknown. Specialists in alternative arts and outsider pop, they work on two axes already specified in 1990 on the occasion of the opening of their art gallery L’Hydre de L’Art, Paris. In connection with the preoccupations and interests of the present time, they make reappear the forgotten worlds, choosing themes and works that tend to make visible an avant-garde; And decipher sharp subjects offering an alternative to the vision of a normative one-sided culture. Visionaries as to the influence of pop countercultures and alternative art, the Anne & Julien duo is the source of several major and now historical exhibitions in France (Miyazaki vs Moebius, Museum of the Monnaie of Paris – 2004/2005 // Tattooists, Tattoos, musée du quai Branly, Paris – 2014/2015). Meanwhile, they have set up three founding exhibitions of pop outsider and figurative pop art: HEY! Modern art and pop culture at the Halle St Pierre Museum, Paris (2011 – 2013 – 2015), the first of its kind in Europe and in the museum, named after the eponymous magazine created in March 2010). On paper as well as on rails, Anne & Julien have demonstrated their ability to open fields of exploration hitherto unknown, crossing borders which have subsequently demonstrated their virtuality.
Zoé Forget is a photographer, a graduate of ENS Louis Lumière (Paris) and a doctor in aesthetics, science and technology of the arts. The body, as a marginal subject, a political place and expression of anti-norms both visual and social, is at the heart of his photographic and theoretical works – his thesis, published in 2015 at L’Harmattan, dealt with the representation of non-standard bodies in contemporary photography. Focusing in studio work and directing, Zoé Forget produced eight photographs for the exhibition “Tattooists, tattooed” at the musée du quai Branly (Paris), presented in the last room – the photography cabinet. This series will also be presented at the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto) as part of the exhibition “Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art “from April 2016. Zoé Forget is photo editor in the editorial office HEY! Since the n ° 8 (September 2011), official photographer of HEY! The ICE, co-author of HEY! TATTOO with Anne & Julien and pilot projects at their side since 2014.
Preface and Postface by Jean-Claude Ameisen:
Doctor and researcher, professor of immunology at Paris Diderot University, his research concerns the origin of the phenomena of cellular self-destruction during the evolution of the living and the role of “programmed cell death” in the development of diseases . Engaged in ethical reflection, in November 2012, he was appointed Chairman of the National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE), he chaired the Ethics and Scientific Committee of the International Foundation for Applied Research (FIRAH) and the Inserm Ethics Committee. Involved in the development of relations between science, culture and society, he is director of the Center for Life Studies (Institut des Humanités de Paris – Paris Diderot University), a member of the Scientific Council of the International College of Philosophy and author of Many scientific works. Since 2010, he is the author of the program Sur les épaules by Darwin (France Inter). The subjects deal with the work of Charles Darwin and some of the most recent scientific works resonated with literature, philosophy, ethics, poetry, and art. The 2013 CB News Grand Prize awarded the Best Broadcasts Award to Darwin’s On the Shoulders.