Fondation d’entreprise Ricard

Life is a Bed of Roses (a novel)

27 May - 04 Jul 2015

27 May - 4 July 2015

Curated by Stéphanie Moisdon.

An experimental collaboration between the Fondation d'entreprise Ricard and the Visual Arts Master of ECAL / Ecole Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne.

A project devised by Stéphanie Moisdon, with the participation of the Master’s course students and teachers.

In the form of a Bildingsroman (“education novel”) about imagination, or about imagination of education, the exhibition is the venue for a theatre and a choir, a set, and appearances of forms, objects and characters. The evolving path of this “education novel” has been gradually formed, over a whole year, around an Alain Resnais film, and the unfurled memory of Comte Forbek’s castle, in the spirit of mediaeval times, the spirit of craftsmen of all times.

For several pens to write this light and modern tale of youth, it was important to rely on a few oblique strategies, and travel between experience and immaturity, talent and craft, between personal predispositions and collective ideal.

Workshops led by Valentin Carron, Sylvie Fleury, Tristan Garcia, Stéphane Kropf, Fabian Marti, in collaboration with Lucile Dupraz.

Scenography realized byDenis Savary with Ruben Valdez and credits by Lisa Stein.

With Philippe Azoury, Daniel Baumann, Nicolas Bourriaud, François Cusset, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Mélanie Matranga, Charles de Meaux, Jean-Claude Moisdon, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Arnaud Viviant.

Interview of Stéphanie Moisdon by Orianne Hidalgo-Laurier for ParisART.

Stéphanie’s School

For three days, the exhibition plays host to the sixth version of “Stéphanie’s School”, which takes place in a space modelled on the minimal functions of a classroom.

Its image has been devised by Pierre Joseph, who defines it as follows: “The space incorporates a series of twelve photographs of stained glass windows, a blue carpet, a conference table, audio-visual equipment, and a sufficient number of seats. The whole thing might immediately conjure up a classroom for catholic instruction, but this is not really the challenge here. The series of images, taken without any documentary brief or demanding framing, refers us more to tourist photographic volleys than to a scholarly reading of religious iconography. Despite this, as the outcome of chance and different parameters, including sunshine on Notre-Dame cathedral, where these photos were taken, on that particular day, with regard to lens/subject distance, focus and exposure, just one scene of stained glass windows has been chosen. It involves a frequent motif in Christian art, the tree of Jesse, in a version restored by Viollet-le-Duc. So in it it is possible to see and read a fragmented allusion to Jesus’s genealogy, and thus to history and transmission in the broad sense. The background for each of the characters in these stained glass windows is blue, as is the carpet which fills the space of the classroom, so, in spite of themselves, the arrangement includes the visitor and pupil in this “story”...

These serial images are thoroughly decorative, nonetheless, and in this way, and on this chord, they play with the rest of the show.”

The prototype of “Stéphanie’s School” is neither a fiction nor a parody, but the pilot for a school, a situation prompted to shift and be renewed, as has been the case, since its creation in 2006, with “La force de l’art”, the contemporary art triennial in Paris.

“Stéphanie’s School” is a space of for projecting, working on, transmitting and sharing knowledge. A small temporary school where issues of imagery, representation and language freely circulate. A place freed from rules and authority, and from classifications and disciplines, which functions without either programmes or handbooks.

Throughout the exhibition, “masters” and “mistresses” intervene at a busy pace. They are not trying to rule, they invent relationships and personal trajectories, and educational methods and tools. They teach a lesson in things, a lesson in words, for the duration of a classroom period.

With Philippe Azoury, Daniel Baumann, Nicolas Bourriaud, François Cusset, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Mélanie Matranga, Charles de Meaux, Jean-Claude Moisdon, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Arnaud Viviant.

Music : Jean-Yves Leloup; bell : Trisha Donnelly

Stéphanie’s School enjoys the support of the FABA, the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (

Tags: Valentin Carron, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Trisha Donnelly, Sylvie Fleury, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Joseph, Stéphane Kropf, Fabian Marti, Mélanie Matranga, Pablo Picasso