Sonia Boyce

1962, United Kingdom ; lives and works in London


In the 1980s, Sonia Boyce, who is associated with Black Women Artists, a feminist collective of Afro-Caribbean artists living in Great Britain, developed a practice focusing mainly on drawing and the self-portrait. Whether large works using wallpaper, or collages of faces and texts, her works broached issues linked with colonization and the representation of the black female body. At the turn of the 1990s, calling upon a wider variety of media like photography and video, she would deal with issues of improvisation and performance. She thus opened up her activities to collaborative projects, within which the very place of artistic education played a decisive part. S. Boyce has been an art school teacher since 1986, with a particular interest in educational methods, making use of the open process of the workshop to create work, like the project undertaken at the Villa Arson, in Nice, in 2016. Invited by the Ateliers de Rennes-Contemporary Art Biennale, the artist developed a new project with students at the École Européenne Supérieure d’Art in Brittany. During her first visit to the studios, S. Boyce was struck by a form of “Gothic sensibility” which comes through in their works. And the Gothic, she says, can “be read as strange and mysterious adventures that happen in unexpected places”. Using the lines of thinking that her students are developing in the context of their training, the artist gets them to choose from the Musée des beaux-arts collections a work which resonates in them, and improvise the Museum Night evening. Lucas Froeliger thus plays a melodious loop in front of Gilles Aillaud’s La Fosse, while Pauline Rouet and Chloé Barthod embark on a medium-inspired reading of several 17th century canvases… Throughout the evening, S. Boyce watches and films them. Edited in a 10-minute loop and shown simultaneously on five screens, the extracts making up Punk (2018) shatter the evening’s time-frame and disturb every form of linear re-creation, where performances talk with each other at the same time as they clash. This shaping of experience is organized with that of the students, who present the limited editions they have produced by the end of the evening, in the reception area of the Halle de la Courrouze.

Avec le soutien de / with the support of Fluxus Art Projects

Punk, 2018

Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes

The limited editions created by the students as part of their collaboration with Sonia Boyce are presented in La Halle de la Courrouze

Video installation (17’)

Courtesy of the artist.
Production Les Ateliers de Rennes – 2018.
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects and in partnership with l’École Européenne Supérieure d’Art de Bretagne – site de Rennes.