Vagabond Flux

The unique nature of this commission arose out of the seminar Art Prod Lab, taken by a group of students on the Masters course CEAC ‘Visual Arts, Exhibition / Production strand’ at the University of Lille. The commission was funded by the 'Nouxeaux commanditaires' programme of the Fondation de France who, since 1969, has been supporting concrete and innovative projects that meet the needs of the problems posed by the rapid development of society. Active primarily in three areas, its aims are to support vulnerable people, the development of knowledge and the environment, and to promote the development of philanthropy.

The commission was specifically to create a mobile exhibition unit that would host a changing array of artworks, contextualised by discursive events. As part of their training these students seek new ways of thinking about, designing and presenting exhibitions. Our key objective for Vagabond Flux was that it should be both an artwork and a mobile physical structure that would enable the students to initiate collaborations with organisations and places beyond their University programme, both using and expanding the traditional circuits of contemporary art, while putting the students into contact with a broad range of publics.

Vagabond Flux consists of multiple white cardboard boxes based on the form of a cube. The box playfully refers to the ‘white cube’ identity of a conventional gallery yet with each new site that Vagabond Flux temporarily inhabits, the concept of the 'white cube' is turned on its head. The first presentation hosted Micromegas, the ongoing publishing project, edition and exhibition that we curate. A series of posters by 7 artists and a designer, and a commissioned text, respond to Voltaire’s 1752 story of the same name.

The students are actively engaged in brokering relationships with a wide variety of organisations and locations for Vagabond Flux, each far removed from the neutral space of a gallery. The structure’s physical form will be re-invented for each new venue, demonstrating an endless range of possible spatial arrangements. With each public outing it will support and present new artworks and events, and stimulate new encounters.

The Nouveaux commanditaires are:

Bruno Swist

Manon Lesage

Katya Shamova

Ana-Maria Vladutescu

Sébastien Deltombe

Marine Allibert

Emmanuelle Ducreu

Flavie Leleux

Laïla Soultana

Caroline Lamarque

Roxane Camus

Mihaela Cretu

A 2016 publication Vagabond Flux documents the commissioning and presentation of the mobile exhibition unit.

Funded by Fondation de France.

Supported by Université de Lille, art prod lab, artconnexion,

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee.

Galerie Commune, Université Lille, Tourcoing; MIC FEST, Université Sciences Po Lille, 2014; Bibliothèque Centrale, Université Lille, Villeneuve d’Ascq; Maison de la Culture de Tournai, Belgium; Musée des Beaux Arts (MUba) Tourcoing, 2015; Musée Louvre-Lens, Lens, Primary schools, Lille, Collège Saint Joseph, Neuville-en-Ferrain, 2016; Collège Saint Joseph, Neuville-en-Ferrain; artconnexion, Lille, France, 2017

A mobile exhibition unit commissioned by the 'Nouveaux commanditaires', Masters students; Lille University MA programme ‘Exhibition/Production of contemporary artworks’, Fondation de France