Duck”) was motivated by the desire to differentiate ourselves from a certain palpable heaviness in the names of other art organisations. The expression refers to an illustration published a century ago in a Bavarian satirical newspaper. The rabbit-duck subsequently became emblematic of the Kippfigur, in other words an image that can be turned upside-down, an optical illusion based on a figure’s bivalency. As the focus of attention moves from one of the drawing’s motifs to the other, the rabbit becomes a duck or vice versa, but it is impossible to see the two images simultaneously. The events organised by the Lapin- Canard association are themselves also reversible: viewed through the beak, it is a party; through the ears, it is a publisher. Or put differently: on the one hand it is a community, on the other a set of works.
“Lapin-Canard” is therefore an optical illusion (a “bistable” image). It is interesting to view distribution as a question of optics. Promoting a work means getting this work seen. It is about making something visible, enabling it to be discerned. Specifically, it means making an image stand out from its environment (and therefore making this environment disappear, at least momentarily, in favour of the image). Likewise, the vernissage or party are moments when the art community stops being an abstraction in order to take shape and become visible—and also enlarge, to include the music community, since every party is also a chance to invite DJs and musicians**. No less than the posters, it is this community that is exhibited, made tangible during the event. In short, what is exhibited is this idea that art is not only a set of works, but a common desire to share something. Of course the art community is a peculiar one, and particularly diverse. It would be easy to object that it is hardly a community. It brings together people who could very well cross paths without knowing each other, who move in different environments and circles. Artists, intermediaries (such as gallery owners, curators and advisors), art-lovers and collectors do not always speak the same language and can even have mutually opposed interests. But what unites all of these people is the desire to take part in something more than personal, a history, a movement that is greater than the individuals that constitute it. The art community is built over the course of exhibitions and events. It is not to be confused with the institutions that host these, nor with the symbols that represent it; it is a desire, the desire to share, to pool something. It is this desire to share that brings coherence to a project that, in the course of parties and editions, has ended up forming a large and perfectly heterogeneous set of images, which are diverted or invented, ordinary or extraordinary, beautiful or hideous, and which, after Paris, Poitiers, Toulouse, Yvetot, Geneva, Brussels, Berlin, Hamburg, and soon Bordeaux, Marseille and Brest, are destined to circulate outside France, now that Lapin-Canard is planning collaborations in Athens, Belfast, Naples, Porto and Prague***.
* The headquarters of the PCF (French Communist Party) is located at Place du Colonel Fabien, in a building designed by Oscar Niemeyer.
** Perez, Low Low, RUI HO, Polygraphic Hate Alliance, Vonverhille, Crystalmess, Vava Dudu, KL2A, Zaar, Emo_Goblin, DJ PAB, Spasiba Swastika, Wicca, Eva Peel, KLITCLIQUE, La Stampa, Thibaut de Ruyter, Dj Sémit, A S T R E, Chevallier (Resident), Province, Chacha, Eva Revox, Axel Strummer, Jean pierre & Bertrand, Gaillard & Claude, La Vouivre & Rue des Menuts, Emmanuelle Gibello, Jojo, Miyako, Dj Wet…
*** In collaboration with (in no particular order) Duuu Radio, Multiple Art Days, Friends With Books, Le Confort Moderne, Lieu-Commun, Galerie Duchamp, artgenève/salon d’art, Artists Print, Hopscotch Reading Room, Arts of the Working Class & Klosterfelde Edition, La Fabrique Pola, Jeanne Barret, La Passerelle centre d’art contemporain.