© Photo Frédéric Neema fnphoto.com

Practical information

Art Workshops with Elodie Vidal. Information and registration here.

The Art Workshops with Elodie Vidal give color to the Alliance Française de la Silicon Valley. From Saturday November 7, the art historian graduated from the École du Louvre in Paris, offers one-hour e-conferences to address new topics with young people aged 8 to 15. On the program: Greek masterpieces in their original colors (no, they didn’t like white), shoes with red soles, from Louis XIV to Christian Louboutin, or even a smile (why be so serious in portraits?).

Parents are also invited to attend these sessions. The objective: to arouse curiosity and develop a thoughtful look at the works and their historical-cultural contexts. ” I want the public to understand that there is nothing dusty or outdated in art from previous eras. Old art has been current and contemporary, it should not be forgotten! Today, for example, what we call a superstition was at the time knowledge … »Explains the art historian in all humility.

Knowledge transmission

This is the state of mind with which Elodie Vidal brings history up to date. It shows that we do not invent anything, or very little. That we constantly recreate and that the bestsellers evolve over time. To do this, she brings old works to our proximity and makes them familiar thanks to powerful associations. ” People remember anecdotes so I use them often. For example, I explain that a collection of period medicine is today equivalent to a Youtube channel. It works well !” says the expert.

This 37-year-old art historian, a specialist in iconography, initially intended to rehabilitate historic monuments. Then she became passionate about the study of patterns, concepts and symbols in works of art. She has made it the common thread of her career and today deciphers the beliefs, political systems and customs and traditions of societies. ” What I really like is to take banal patterns and retrace their social constructions through a work of observation and investigation. »She specifies.

The previous cycle of conferences organized by the Alliance Française de la Silicon Valley addressed, for example, bathing and washing, with a perspective going back more than 200 years. And among the other themes that Elodie Vidal explores, there is the apple, the madness, the strange or the scandal. Subjects that she has worked on during her travels and expatriations. ” I wanted to question my background and broaden the prism of heritage culture that I had. So I left France ” confides the historian.

France-US: a different vision of art

Guided by her curiosity, Elodie Vidal first settled in Copenhagen, where she spent seven years and appreciated the daring that is expressed in the circles of art and architecture. Then she continued with a year in Bangkok before following her husband to San Francisco in 2018. “ I didn’t know anything about American culture, it was the chance to discover his point of view on Europe »She explains.

But what the Frenchwoman quickly discovers is above all another vision of art. ” The relationship to space and time is different here »She assures before pointing out another major difference : that of the financing of Art. She specifies: “en France, the state subsidizes art and exhibits it on stage or in galleries. Here, no minister of culture or public funds! We are in the area of ​​profitability. And in museums, most of the time these are collections belonging to private funds … “.

According to the historian, fascinated by the management of art in the United States, it is a polarized sector: “ We place ourselves either in the field of entertainment, with the general public and declining demands, or in the very exclusive and confidential, not very accessible … “. In order to offer an alternative to this scheme and bring art to the public domain, Elodie Vidal then co-founded an artistic collective. And six months after her arrival, she launched Loud Spring with the idea of ​​working for social and environmental justice.

Committed on all fronts

The collective has already organized various events, round tables and performances around participatory projects such as the Nuit des Idées. ” With the collective, I want to show how art reveals the ways of thinking of our society and how the artist is a craftsman. »Explains the specialist. At the end of November, Loud Spring will organize in partnership with Saint Joseph’s Arts Society an event around this question: how do we bring social justice and the environment into the political debate?

Insatiable curious and agitator of ideas, Elodie Vidal also works at the French American Culture Society, notably for the Villa San Francisco, inaugurated in 2020. She promotes artist residencies there. Thus present on many fronts, it can defend its vision of art as a platform. ” Art can save the world and I would really like to help put it back in the heart of society ”She says. With a news that promises to be just as busy in 2021 as at the end of the year, the art historian is fulfilling her mission brilliantly.

Practical information

Art Workshops with Elodie Vidal. Information and registration here.

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