Art media

The art exhibition targets converts to conviviality

Throughout the pandemic, artist and activist Adana Mam-Legros and her organization Generation C – of which she is president and co-founder – have actively uplifted people and called for the awakening of society by talking about the things that really matter. in the world of complementarity with compassion, awareness, empathy, the art of sharing, mental health, women’s empowerment and more.

Adana will leave Cambodia for Europe at the start of 2022, but she has a last exhibition before her departure entitled ConvivArt which highlights the philosophy of conviviality and “the art of living together better”.

The philosophy of conviviality has its roots in 19th century France, but in the modern context, the term and the ideas associated with it largely come from the book Tools for Conviviality by Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich from 1973. Today, convivialism is defended by thinkers like the French sociologist Alain Caille who published The Second Convivialist Manifesto: Towards a Post-Neoliberal World in 2020 and the Décroissance movement which tries to fight against the tendency to overconsumption of modern civilization.

“Today our world is sliding into a totally dystopian society. One of the solutions should be to cultivate “the Art of Better Living Together”. Our current crisis is an alarm going off for humanity telling us that it is time to wake up. We need to stop dreaming and start building a new ethical and responsible future, ”Adana told The Post.

“User-friendliness is a philosophy, a way of life, which is addressed to all human beings without any particular specification or orientation. This message is international and can be understood by all cultures and all people. The objective of this event is to encourage young people to be “friendly citizens”, both introspective and socially united, ”explains Adana.

ConvivArt is a mixed art exhibition and a collaboration between Adana and the Franco-Cambodian photographer Raphael Montha Pech as well as the architectural design company Future.

Contemporary dance / theater show during the opening of the ConvivArt exhibition. Photo provided

This event will also include a virtual exhibition that features 13 artists from different disciplines, including dancers, painters, poets and singers from nine different countries: Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia and the United States. United.

ConvivArt organized a conference in association with the exhibition with guest speakers including Venerable Kou Sopheap, Deputy National Director of Wildlife Alliance Vibol Neth and Director of ICS-SP Chhay Vivoldin.

The ConvivArt exhibition is presented at La Commune from December 11 to January 15, 2022. In order to spread the message of the exhibition globally, Future has built a virtual exhibition with a 3D gallery available online with 11 artists presenting their works.

Adana says she is always looking for ways to translate her activism into her art and speak out on certain social issues. With its Generation C organization, it aims to build a society with responsible and ethical citizens.

The ConvivArt exhibition is conceptually based on six values ​​of the convivialist movement: the principles of common naturalness, common humanity, common sociality, legitimate individuation, creative opposition and the imperative to control vanity or pride.

Adana presents six of her own works of art at ConvivArt, each of which describes one of these values ​​of conviviality philosophy to enable viewers to begin to understand and consider different aspects of conviviality.

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Musical performance at the opening of the ConvivArt exhibition. Photo provided

“One of my works, Human Rouge, illustrates the principle of common naturalness which implies that ‘humans do not live outside nature and are neither its masters nor its owners’. On the contrary, like all living beings, they are part of it and are interdependent with it. They have a responsibility to take care of it. If they do not respect it, it is their ethical and physical survival that is in danger, ”she said.

The title Human Rouge refers to the sixth known mass extinction event in Earth’s history, sometimes referred to as the Anthropocene extinction, which is currently unfolding according to some scientists and thinkers who point to the continued loss of biodiversity due to activities. human.

The Khmer portraits of Raphael Montha Pech in his series depicting Cambodia’s informal street vendors are his contribution to the exhibition. These photos illustrate the principle of common sociability which reminds us that the greatest wealth of humanity is the wealth of its relationships.

“The Riverside series is dedicated to all the informal street scammers. Shedding light on invisible lives was the main focus when we decided to honor and document the street vendors of Riverside. It was an incredible moment of conviviality, respect and sharing.

“I would like to thank Adana Mam Legros and Generation C for this opportunity and this invitation to exhibit this work and of course our photo subjects. This series wouldn’t have been the same without the help of incredible humanists like Greg Mo, Stéphane Hibon and Kimsean Sun who joined me at Riverside to help make it happen. We will be back in five years to continue our work, ”Raphael told the Post.

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Adana’s paintings in the exhibit (left) have a surreal quality and are based on principles of convivialist philosophy while Pech’s photos (right) are vivid portraits of the Khmer vendors of Riverside. Photo provided

Harry Mann – founder and director of Future – told The Post that he chose six architectural projects to display that each represent a value of user-friendliness.

“The simple principle to associate with so many projects is common naturalness, with a massive trend in the architecture of biophilia. However, the principles of common sociality and the control of pride were more complicated. We had to look at environments where our architecture was designed to create community interaction and the same individuality.

“This is particularly evident in office projects, where we try to design offices that engage and create a dialogue between users. In the case of pride control, we looked at how massive development projects have an obligation to always be sustainable and context-sensitive, ”says Harry.

During the preparation phase of this exhibition, Adana came up with the idea of ​​asking artists located abroad to host simultaneous art exhibitions in their own country with the exhibition here in Phnom Penh as the focal point.

After contacting the artists, she realized that it was too complicated a task for them to organize an exhibition in their country on a short notice, so she decided to do a virtual exhibition in order to facilitate the event. and bring international visibility.

“The challenges of organizing virtual exhibitions are also enormous. The first is to have a network of artists all over the world and I’m lucky to be connected to some of them. The second challenge is communication. I mainly choose themes that are difficult to explain, especially through painting. Future designed all of the virtual events, and it was a huge job to do it, ”says Adana.

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The opening of the exhibition was very busy despite many other exhibitions that took place around Phnom Penh. Adana says they have decided to reduce the number of visitors at a time, taking into account the Covid restrictions. About sixty people were present for the opening and had the opportunity to ask questions about conviviality and the art of living together.

In early 2022, Adana plans to live in Europe and travel to the United States to internationalize her art and the Generation C movement, while also hoping to bring more visibility to Cambodia.

“I plan to exhibit in major European cities, not only with the ambition of becoming a recognized Khmer artist but also to self-finance my movement with art sales. My next exhibitions will be in London and Paris, ”she says.

Its aim is to expand the Generation C movement in Europe and to collaborate with existing movements to organize an international think tank in Switzerland. With the help of his father, co-founder of Generation C, they hope to share their vision and expand their network in Europe.

The second short-term goal is to bring together experts from different fields and nationalities to draft an action plan related to the future of the planet and how people can initiate a paradigm shift towards an empathic civilization, explains Adana.

The ConvivArt exhibition runs until January 15 at The Commune located at # 15 St 347 in the Tuol Kork district. The ConvivArt virtual exhibition is online at: 3d.future-thoughts.com/aolt/