AGATHE SIMON
Antarctica

2014-15
Installations & Performances
Variable Dimensions

Views of the solo exhibition Antarctica and one of the performances
City Hall of Paris’ 10th arrondissement, France

© Agathe Simon
Photographed by: Agathe Simon, Olivier Pagny, Hadi Moussally

The Antarctica exhibition has been recently held in France, Sweden, Canada, Algeria, and Morocco.

An invitation in Antarctica

In March 2014, Agathe Simon was invited to Antarctica by the Argentine Ministry of Culture for a creative residency. She created the Antarctica exhibition. The exhibition was realized in collaboration with the Cité Internationale des Arts, the French Insitutes of Argentina and Sweden, le Swedish Arts Grants Committee and the Russian State Museum of Antarctica and the Arctic.

The Antarctica exhibition is the first part of Agathe Simon’s Polar Project. The project continues in 2016 with a creative residency in the Arctic aboard the sailing vessel Atka, and the Arctica exhibition.

A Tribute to an Imaginary Novelist

The Polar Project is a tribute to the famous French-Argentine novelist Gabriela Conti (1974-2010) – who never existed. A legendary figure of early 21st century literature, the first woman of Argentine nationality to reach the South Pole, Gabriela Conti was invented by Agathe Simon

The exhibition also evokes the impossible encounter of two sisters. Cecilia Conti, Gabriela’s sister, is actually one of the 500 stolen babies of the Argentine dictatorship. She was “found again” only after the novelist’s death, and dedicated herself to her sister’s memory.

The Antarctica exhibition in detail

The Antarctica exhibition consists of:

  • The Conti Archives: an installation of 120 objects, photographs and genuine documents, including a polar suit and a video shot in Central Africa in the 1990s.
  • A fictional documentary (HD, stereo, 52mn), directed in Antarctica by Cecilia Conti (imaginary character), Gabriela’s sister.
  • Performances paying tribute to Gabriela Conti: official speeches, homages of relatives and friends, lecture on her life and work.
  • Tribute videos shot in Stockholm and Paris with officials such as Laurent Clavel, Head of the French Institute of Sweden, or Rémi Féraud, Mayor of Paris’ 10th arrondissement.
  • A sound installation composed of sounds recorded in Antarctica.
  • The photograph of a collective performance on Concordia Base in Antarctica, remembering six years since Conti’s death at the South Pole.
  • A series of photographs Cecilia Conti shot in Antarctica.

Special Thanks: Djamel Mékarnia, Andrea Juan, Victor Boyarsky, Jean-Yves Langlais.

Agathe Simon is a Paris-based artist, born in 1977. After a decade of art projects throughout the world, she starts a partenrship with the art company The Group in Paris in 2017. She is also conducting artistic creation workshops at the Sorbonne University.

Agathe Simon is currently preparing projects in partnership with ‘Les Voûtes’ (a Parisian alternative art venue), the “C.N.R.S.” (the largest governmental research organisation in France), the Paris Cergy National Graduate School of Arts, the University of Cergy-Pontoise, and the Museum of Non-conformist Art (Saint Petersburg, Russia). These projects will include performances, films, and exhibitions.