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Lyon, a French city of contemporary art

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Lyon, a French city of contemporary art

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The Biennale Contemporary Art show in Lyon, France, runs until the beginning of January. The city comes alive as a result of this cultural extravaganza, it offers a whole range of exhibitions, performances and interpretations of contemporary art.

All 77 artists participating have been selected by curator Gunnar B Kvaran. He told euronews: “It has taken around two years of globe trotting to find the artists. The theme of the Biennale is narration. That is why we have many artists here who all tell their own story. All very different, all very distinct from one another.”

Euronews arts correspondent Wolfgang Spindler attended the opening and concluded: “In the end art is always about storytelling, every artist has his own language, you just have to look and listen closely to understand the story.”

The work of Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade documents the production story of the ‘nego bom’ a popular sweet in Brazil. The work uses images and documents along with testimonies from factory workers. The artist explained his objective: “This work is based on a series of memories. I try to track back how social relations are based on what happened in the past. We can feel that our social relations are related to history, but we do not always take the time to study it.”

French-born, New York-based artist Antoine Catala’s work poses the the question of how digital media changes our physical relationship to image, when you type, for example, ‘tea cup’ in a search engine you find photos of a tea cup, you find programmes for 3D printer to produce a tea cup. Antoine continued:“So there is a material correlation, between image, object and word – and that is what the piece is about; it is about the flow, image,object and word.”

Ming Wong, who was born in Singapore and is based in Berlin, produced three different movies for the show in which he plays all the characters in a tribute to Japanese cinema. He said: “I was drawn to Kabuki. I had to learn Japanese and I had to work closely with a Japanese team and work to a Japanese system. I made a real effort, I worked really hard to explore contemporary Japanese identity.”

The show is well supported by the French state and the Minister of Culture Aurélie Filippetti was on hand to view the exhibition and gave her take on art and artists. “The artist suggests things, you are not obliged to agree or adhere to anything, an artist never imposes. The artist respects others. This is a positive message in an extremely materialistic world,” she said.

The event lasts until January 2014.

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