From 31 March to 4 June 2023, Total Recall offers visitors of the Cité du design a plunge into the complex in-between period that separates the end of studies from the beginning of so-called professional life. In an original scenography, the exhibition brings together hundreds of objects from the singular universes of young artists and designers graduated from Esadse. The promise of a "total memory" which is also a composite vision of the future.
What happens in the time between the study experience and life after school? The exhibition Total Recall examines this dizzying gap, based on a selection of 38 diplomas from students who graduated from the École supérieure d'art et design de Saint-Étienne in June 2022, presented in a new exhibition format.
Until now, the work of the School's graduates has been showcased each year as part of an installation. After a first experience working with curators in 2022, on the occasion of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne, we have chosen to make this event a fully-fledged exhibition, supported by the Cité du design. Total Recall launches this new format with vigour, taking visitors into the heart of a sensitive experience between past, present and future.
Total Recall is the title of a 1990 science fiction film adapted from a short story by Philip K. Dick, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (translated in French as Souvenir à vendre). The fiction begins with a company that markets personal memories by implanting them in the memories of its customers. The title of the exhibition thus refers to the idea of a collective memory, a possible transaction of memories, or memories by empathy.
En revenant, via des productions matérielles, sur des diplômes passés - et par-là sur des séquences de vie et d’apprentissage personnelles et partagées au sein d’une école - cette exposition produit une désorientation temporelle.
By revisiting past diplomas via tangible productions - and thus looking at personal and shared sequences of life and learning within a school - this exhibition produces a temporal disorientation.
The very beginning of an artist's or designer's life is a time of acceleration, sometimes crisis, when one is confronted with their choices. Enthusiasm and anguish go hand in hand: it is a question of tracing one's own itinerary in multiple realities, while the world itself is experiencing rapid evolution towards states of ecological, societal and political crisis. We are facing unprecedented situations, yet the speed of circulation of the images and their recurrence amplify the feeling of déjà vu, translated as a poetic pattern in the exhibition.
Between flashbacks and future perspectives, Total Recall is the promise of a "total memory" that is also a composite vision of the future.
Curatorship and set design
In a space of 500 m2, the scenography is conceived as a succession of five parallel and interconnected worlds, linked in a single field of vision. Each space has its own properties and atmosphere (materials, coverings, lighting), embodying states or variations of the same work in different ways. The whole is designed with a majority of reused materials, guided by responsible management and eco-design logic . It implies an assumed "raw" aesthetic, which makes sense while at the same time disappearing for the benefit of a unique experience offered to the public.
In our daily lives, we all navigate from one reality to another, from one world to another, intimate, social, virtual. We want this exhibition to translate this reality of parallel worlds and intertwined times in a poetic and playful way. It is a question of highlighting these diploma works in a total landscape, made up of sequences, reminders, perspectives, in which the productions give reference points, even if they are temporary.
Julie Portier - La Salle de bains
Camille Le Houezec et Jocelyn Villemont - It's Our Playground
31.03 — 04.06.2023
Tuesday-Sunday 10h - 18h
Inauguration Thursday 30 March 2023 at 18h