In his long-term project The Restoration of the Daily Life, the French painter Franck Bragigand pursues a radical artistic-political practice. Each of his interventions is founded on the examination of the social reality of a specific place with the needs, problems and possibilities of the population and the existing architectonic conditions, to which he lends a new face through his installations. His works veer between furniture and painting, functionality and pictoriality. The basic principle of his working method does not involve the production of new artifacts but the use of existing resources.
The everyday objects that Bragigand subjects to an artistic “restoration” range from found items and all types of personal property to buildings, streets and public institutions. The furnishings and objects are—often in collaboration with local residents—adapted to a spatial and color concept that lends a new quality of life to the respective place and thing. The formal dealings with the objects, their beautification, repair and animation through painting simultaneously becomes a gesture of social interaction. Franck Bragigand’s working method visualizes the connections to historical works of art that formulate a new complete artistic shaping of the everyday as a social utopia, from the artists of the English Arts & Crafts movement in the 19th century, the synthesis of the arts in the Jugendstil artworks around 1900 and the endeavors of De Stijl and the Bauhaus to Le Corbusier’s serial “residential units” or the “colorful, multiform, blossoming city” of the Op artist Victor Vasarely.
As opposed to these historical models, Bragigand does not connect the dictate of a new language of form with his aesthetic-social vision. He instead accepts and accentuates the existing through his type of painting, making use of the discarded, the scrapped and the neglected. His artistic work is also characterized by a critical questioning of human production in an age of material abundance.
Bragigand has created an installation for two of the former children’s rooms on the top floor of Haus Lange that oscillates between mental space and reactivated reality. In the first room, the visitor stands in a studio situation where Bragigand’s current large-scale project Le Pays de Bitche in France, which encompasses social painting in 47 villages, is presented as an open workshop that invites reflection. The rear space has become a kind of new living room for Haus Lange. The furniture was assembled by the artist in collaboration with the Emmaus Krefeld e.V. charitable organization based on research carried out locally. It represents an offer for an alternative way of dealing with things in which the utopian potential of a new configuration of everyday life mixes with concrete realization.
Franck Bragigand (
*1971 in Bettwiller, Frankreich) hat an der Ecole des Beaux-Artes in Besançon und der Rijksakademie in Amsterdam studiert. Er hatte zahlreiche Einzel- und Gruppenausstellungen weltweit. Seit zwanzig Jahren führt Bragigand sein Projekt Restoration of Daily Life fort, indem er Architektur, Fundstücke und Massenprodukte, die er in den Straßen von Städten wie New York, Amsterdam oder Marrakech findet, durch Malerei transformiert und sie als Kunstwerke neu kontextualisiert. Der Künstler lebt und arbeitet in Amsterdam.