Tony Regazzoni’s solo exhibition We finish off discos takes place in the context of the annual residency at the CACC for the 20212022 season. It is the first part of an ambitious project in collaboration with Aurélie Faure : the writing and directing of a videoopera in one of the biggest European nightclubs of the 1990s, L’Ultimo Impero (“the last empire”). Inspired by the popular novel The Phantom of the Opera, this long-term project brings together all of the elements—both theoretical and visual—that define the artist’s practice, rallying many disciplines around political and social issues. The title of On achève bien les discos is in reference to Sydney Pollack’s film and to the United States dance marathons organized during the Great Depression : a very lucrative activity for the organizers based on the voyeurism of some and the distress of others. Symbols of the industrialization of partying as well as the incanation of Western beliefs and rituals, are nightclubs not the latest Homosapien temples to find themselves on the verge of extinction and destruction ? Together, the duo roamed northern Italy, covering several thousand kilometers in order to investigate around twenty abandoned emblematic nightclubs, all bearing nonsensical architecture and decors. On achève bien les discos revisits the archives of these both urban and rural sites of celebrations, gatherings, and encounters, which are today on the verge of extinction. Beyond their symbolic charge and their social role, Tony Regazzoni is fond of these nightclubs for their postmodern aesthetics, which he is very attached to. Built in the 1980s, the exhibition space has all the features of a nightclub. The artist takes possession of the building and skillfully deploys a range of techniques borrowed from the logic of the spectacle. Through simulacra and trickery, he unabashedly creates a series of Lowfi optical illusions, toying with false pretenses. It must be said that the artist’s previous exhibitions were most likely the prelude to On achève bien les discos create an exhibition based on a work of literature or a cinematographic genre, to imagine a scenography according to the codes of the leisure industry, to invite the public and/ or other artists to activate the exhibition through music and dance performances, to utilize the false in order to represent the allegories of the 1980s and 1990s and push the boundaries of « good taste » are Tony Regazzoni’s patterns as informed by a kitsch universe.
Tony Regazzoni’s residency is supported by the DRAC Ile-de-France and the Région Ile-de-France.
The artist’s research on Italian discotheques is supported by the French Institute. The Eric Mouchet gallery also contributes to the realization of the exhibition.
The repetition of motifs and the reproduction of worthless objects based on the model of the upper classes are the social and historical markers of the bourgeoisie’s desire for upward mobility at the end of the 18th century, as well as those of the proletariat after WWII. The artist reappropriates these symbols, transforming them into gimmicks. In the same way, nightclubs develop and implement strategies to simulate atmospheres through low cost substitutes. Through its immersive scenography, On achève bien les discos offers a corpus of fixed and animated works in two or three dimensions. Created using old and new technologies, relics and pastiches, these works waver somewhere between archive and fantasy. On achève bien les discos retranscribes the history and memory of abandoned Italian nightclubs before plunging the public into the fluorescent and ghostly atmosphere of the famous, mythical dancefloor of L’Ultimo Impero. The exhibition is like an ecstatic journey punctuated by the music, the bodies, and the voices of those who populate the nightclub. On achève bien les discos outlines the first dramaturgical intentions of the duo, setting the scene for their future videoopera, which will be written with the help of a sustained and well thoughtout programmation. On achève bien les discos will be the setting and the theater for reflections, auditions, and rehearsals that are danced, sung, choreographed, written, and improvised. Over several weeks, DJs, singers, dancers, performers, philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists will be invited to participate in the exhibition, taking possession of the space with the public in the form of events that are open to everyone and will range from a colloquium to a dance marathon. These highlights will be the first rehearsals for the future making of the largescale videoopera The Phantom of the Impero. On achève bien les discos will be a living exhibition transformed into a laboratory of creation and collaboration for an inclusive and collective adventure blurring the boundaries between cinema and opera and white cube and dancefloor. »
Text by Aurélie Faure
BIOGRAPHY OF TONY REGAZZONI
Tony Regazzoni was born in the Jura Mountains in 1982. He graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Dijon (2005) and the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (2006). He draws links to his rural culture—which is both preserved and neglected—with the Queer milieu that welcomed him upon his arrival to Paris. The meeting between these two cultures has lead him to question the « poor » but « rich » aesthetics that are linked to the history of kitsch and its evolution as a political and social marker. His work revolves around the targeted archaeology of a civilization geared towards conquest, performance, opulent communication, progress, and leisure—of which he dresses a portrait. While today the image—whether recycled, photoshopped, filmed, or even falsely “interactive”—is predominant in his body of work, the immersive installation and the sculpture are both also important to him. His 2019 exhibition Je sors ce soir à Montpellier was a documentary, historical, and artistic study of different models of mainly European nightclubs. This exhibition was a followup to the project Boîte de nuit conducted at the Centre Pompidou (2017) and Mythologies du dancing in Saint Jean de Luz (2018). In 2018, he completed a threemonth residency in New Zealand to develop the premise of his Museum of Ancient New Technologies. His work has recently been presented at the CAC Brétigny (2017), the galerie de NoisyleSec (2019), the MUCEM (2019), and the Machete Gallery in Mexico (2016). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions such as at the FRAC pays de la Loire, FRAC Aquitaine (2014), CREDAC, and the Box (2010).
BIOGRAPHY OF AURELIE FAURE
Aurélie Faure She holds a degree in Fine Arts (2007) and in Law and Political Science (2009). This background characterizes her vision and deeply energizes her projects. Since 2010, she has been involved with the artists of her generation and is responsible for the design, production, and coordination of exhibitions in France and abroad, in collaboration with the French Institute. In 2014, with Léo Marin and Ivan Dapic, she launched the Born And Die publishing house dedicated to young creation. From 2014 to 2019, she was Gaël Charbau’s collaborator and directed projects with Emerige Mécénat, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Universcience, Inventeurs d’Aventures, and Nuit Blanche 2018. In 2019, she was appointed the artistic director of Focus France at Art Vilnius, with the support of the French Embassy. In 2020, at the invitation of the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles | Paris, she and Lola Meotti curated the exhibition SIGNAL at the Friche Belle de Mai. In 2021, she curated the 26th edition of Première at the Abbaye Saint André Centre d’Art Contemporain de Meymac, and is currently preparing her next curatorial project at the Galerie Ceysson Bénétière. In parallel, she conducts her own research and questions the notion of « Posture. ». Her work tends towards encounters, transmissions, and resistance, notably through two of her radio projects : Alcantara mon amour with Clément Douala, and ScalarStation with Romain Poirier.