press release

For its third edition, the Normandy Impressionist Festival brings together many of the region's cultural establishments around the theme of the Portrait. The Frac Haute-Normandie is participating fully in this ambitious project, with a joint exhibition that explores the way in which contemporary artists reinvent the secular genre of the self-portrait, using new modes and codes of representation.

The exhibition, entitled Portrait of the Artist as an Alter, takes as its starting point a mysterious illness referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder, the first cases of which were documented in the United States in the 1980s. This mental illness, which has received a good deal of media attention and is highly contested/disputed, are thought to be the manifestation of the different facets of a fragmented ego, called "Alters."

The idea of a personality expressing itself by creating alter-egos recalls certain contemporary self-portraiture practices, 
different only in that the artists in question, far from suffering from the symptoms, consciously call on their "Alters." The idea that a personality can be expressed by creating alter egos also recalls certain contemporary self-portraiture practices, except in one aspect: the artists in question do not suffer from the symptoms, they consciously call upon their "Alters."

The portrait gallery compiled by the Frac, building on its collection as its base and supplemented by national and international loans, takes in current standpoints, and compares and contrasts them with older works. It covers painting, drawing, photography, video, publications, installations and performance art. In addition to genres traditionally linked to self-portraiture, and looks at more contemporary forms, including identity photos, e-fits and selfies. The exhibition also aims to show propositions by artists who have made the self-portrait part of a systematic search in their work, and more confidential offerings. In this case, it means stepping to one side and showing how artists committed to a different conceptual, abstract or social approach portray themselves.

A rich and varied programme of meetings and events is also being organised in conjunction with the exhibition.

With: Boris Achour, Jean-Michel Alberola, Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, William Anastasi, Jean Baudrillard, Philippe Bazin, Joachim Biehler, Olivier Blanckart, François Bouillon, Elina Brotherus, Emilie Brout & Maxime Marion, Maurizio Cattelan, Claude Closky, Philippe Cognée, Rineke Dijkstra, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Samuel Fosso, Ryan Gander, Kendel Geers, Jochen Gerz, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Rodney Graham, Fabrice Gygi, Paul Hage Boutros, Raymond Hains, Susi Krautgartner, Gabriel Kuri, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou, Matthieu Laurette, Isabelle Le Minh, Sarah Lucas, Sabine Meier, Duane Michals, Tracey Moffattt, Tom Molloy, Claude Monet, Jonathan Monk, Gianni Motti, Yasumasa Morimura, Youssef Nabil, Martin Parr, Laurent Pariente, Javier Pérez, Anne Pesce, Chloe Piene, Marc Quinn, Arnulf Rainer, Marc Riboud, Sophie Ristelhueber, Denis Roche, Thomas Ruff, Claude Rutault, Cindy Sherman, Stéphanie Solinas, Jana Sterbak, Claire Tabouret, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Agnès Varda, Xavier Veilhan, Mark Wallinger, Gillian Wearing, Levi van Veluw, Nancy Wilson-Pajic, Samuel Yal, Jayson Musson alias Aka Hennessy Youngman and Jérôme Zonder.