Orléans: theft of a major FRAC work

Orléans: theft of a major FRAC work

On the night of June 18 to 19, 2022, feminist work Bikini Kill by Sammy Engramer was stolen from the courtyard of the Regional Contemporary Art Fund of the Center Val-de-Loire in Orléans. An act of vandalism that triggers consternation and anger.

By Sophie Deschamps

Rokhaya Diallo in front of the work Bikini Kill by Sammy Engramer stolen on the night of June 19 to 20, 2022 at the FRAC in Orléans. Photo Sophie Deschamps

Amazement Monday morning in Orléans for the FRAC agents when they discovered that the tarpaulin supporting the work of Sammy Engramer on which one can read Fuck Patriarchy was cut up and stolen from the courtyard of turbulence. It is not known at this time who is responsible for this crime. Surveillance cameras in the yard, however, show two young men cutting the tarp around 4 a.m.

This tarpaulin, property of the FRAC, has been on display, Place de la Romancière, since November 4, 2021 in Orléans. She was to join in a few weeks the contemporary art center of Tanneries in Amilly in the Loiret.

A deliberately provocative work

It is true that this work leaves no one indifferent, but as reported by Marine Bichon, communication officer at the FRAC: “ We have never had any negative comments on this work from our public, quite the contrary. »

This work also echoes the institution’s desire to be a laboratory of feminist democracy. As indicated by Abdelkader Damani, director of this Frac and Carole Canette, its president in a joint press release: ” This work tests our ability to change our perception of things long anchored in the collective subconscious, as well as our relationship to feminism and more broadly to society”.

Indeed, as Sammy Engramer explains in a video produced by the FRAC, this work pays homage to the Bikini Killan American punk band of the 90s and in particular to its singer and founder Kathleen Hanna ” very active in the feminist cause within the punk rock milieu.”

But Sammy Engramer goes further since the police Fraktur to calligraphy Fuck Patriarchy recalls the official documents of Nazi Germany. A typography, however, rejected by Adolf Hilter in 1941 on the pretext that it had been created by Jewish printing houses.

Destruction of another work in February in Amboise

In another press release, Delphine Benassy, ​​vice-president of the Center Val-de-Loire region in charge of culture and international cooperation, expresses her condemnation and dismay as well as her support for the FRAC team. But she also wants to link this theft to the destruction of thea creation Passage Abdelkader by Michel Audiard in February 2022 in Amboise: “ In the first case, the artist invites us to reflect on the ravages of patriarchy and what a feminist revolution would be like. Michel Audiard’s project in Amboise is part of a process of reconciliation of memories between Algeria and France. In both cases, these works allow us to question ourselves, to debate, to question our relationship to the world. »

The courtyard of the FRAC Center Val-de-Loire in Orléans seems very empty after the theft of the work “Bikini Kill” by Sammy Engramer on which one could read Fuck Patriarchy. Photo Gerard Poitou

Finally, this theft has the merit, even if the FRAC would have done without it, of putting this work back in the light. For Abdelkader Damani and Carole Canette “ without knowing it, these criminals have shown the essential role of artists in society. Bikini Kill is in this precise sense a work of reality and fulfills a political role in the city.

A work that will be reproduced and reinstalled as quickly as possible at the back of the FRAC courtyard (and surely better protected) but still clearly visible from the street. Finally Sammy Engramer will publish this Wednesday a video in reaction to this theft.

Read also : The Spring of the Novelist
and Vandalism of the monument to Abdelkader, the intolerable intolerance

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