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Inauguration Wednesday October 19 - 6:30 p.m.


Vivonne Media Library

99 Grand'Rue 86370 VIVONNE (Vienna)

Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


For several years, the Department of Vienne has been developing a public reading policy that is as proactive as it is eclectic. The promotion of areas of publishing that are a priori opposed to each other is assumed and reflected upon. Thus, artists' books are valued just as much as digital books and more generally digital resources, even though they are the polar opposite of a dematerialized and instantaneous edition typical of the times. First part of this promotion, an exhibition dedicated to the work of Bernard Alligand RETOUR D’ISLANDE at the Vivonne media library.


However, it must be said that this field of publishing, which has yet to be discovered for an entire audience, is as much a reflection of our times as that of the digital age. Wouldn't we tend to forget it? It undoubtedly expresses a need or even a reaction for the reader, that of recharging their batteries, of regaining their footing, sometimes drowned in the middle of a “flashing modernity”. This then involves works full of substance and reflection. The fruit of this material and this reflection gives birth to an aesthetic in the form of a book, which when read, has the power to suspend time. However, no sighs of the past. If their creation is rooted in ancient materials and techniques, artist books are nonetheless a beautiful facet of contemporary creation.


To express all this to library users in the Vienne department, the departmental library is setting up an annual cycle of exhibitions around book artists. The concept is simple: one exhibition per year in a media library in the departmental network to make this very particular field of publishing known to the general public, rural or not. There, aesthetics and emotion come to join or surprise the library user whoever they may be. It is an opportunity for an intimate and personal confrontation with the work of art, with the book object.


The first exhibition is devoted to the work of Bernard Alligand. We discover a rich selection of books that he created with the different writers who work or have worked with him. Among them, Michel Butor of course, Salah Stétié, Régine Detambel, Jean-Pierre Geay, Kenneth White… and many others.


It is also an opportunity for the public to discover the very beautiful FMA art editions and the quality of their work which serves both the artist and the writer and highlights the dialogue between them.


Artist books from the departmental collection will also be presented.


Serving as a precious showcase for the exhibition of these books and to better understand the broader artistic universe of Bernard Alligand, the works created from his travels to Iceland begun in 2014, when he was curator of exhibition in tribute to Michel Butor at the National Library of Iceland.


The exhibition, entitled RETURN FROM ICELAND, is an invitation to discover matter as a source of creation. Although astonishingly unified, the work of Bernard Alligand never ceases to renew itself. Neither figurative nor abstract, the search for a balance between form and texture is a constant. The works created from samples of Icelandic soil are further proof of this. Retranscribing an emotion, a feeling, an impression caused by a landscape on a canvas from the very material of this landscape, can partly summarize the purpose of Retour d'Islande.


We will have understood, whether it is his work or his artist's books, the choice to exhibit Bernard Alligand is not innocent to inaugurate this cycle of exhibitions in Vienna, as it meets the objectives of the department to raise awareness among the general public about this area of publishing.


The exhibition can be visited at the Vivonne media library from October 13 to December 13, 2022, from Tuesday to Saturday. During this period, several meetings are planned between Bernard Alligand and the general public in the form of workshops or meetings, to discover both his world and the broader world of the artist's book.

Françoise Maréchal-Alligand
+ 33 1 43 87 43 55
+ 33 6 09 40 34 93
To download
Press release
Visuals of the works
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