Founded in 2009, It’s Our Playground is the Paris based artist duo made up of Camille Le Houezec (1986) and Jocelyn Villemont (1986). IOP has been developing a body of work on the porosity and circulation of art practices from a broad professional position (as artists, curators, and teachers), a variety of intervention formats and initiatives favoring working with other artists, and a combination of styles and techniques. Along with reappropriating images through online publishing and curating group projects, It's Our Playground’s recent activity has been shifting towards the production of composite visual works in immersive environments. They are represented by Galerie Valentin, Paris.

Solo exhibitions include 'Elle disait bonjour aux machines' at La Villa du Parc in Annemasse, 2019 ; 'Artificial Sensibility' at Bonington Gallery in Nottingham, 2017 ; 'Reconstructive Memory' at Galerie Valentin in Paris. Curated exhibitions include 'Deep Screen' at Parc Saint-LĂ©ger in Pougues-les-eaux, 2015 ; 'Show Room' at Glassbox in Paris, 2016. Group shows include 'Bande Ă  part' at Mrac in SĂ©rignan, 2018 ; 'Site Visit' at Kunstverein Freiburg, 2017, 'Ambiance d’Aujourd’hui' at Mains d’Ɠuvres in Saint-Ouen, 2016.
INSTAGRAM @itsourplayground


All images courtesy of It's Our Playground 2019

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La Galerie, Noisy-le-sec, France, 2022
With : Linus Bill + Adrien Horni, Ann Craven, Alex Frost, Sebastian Jefford, Bernard Jeufroy, Sister Corita Kent, Pentti Monkkonen, Travess Smalley, Sue Tompkins, Sarah Tritz

Curated by It's Our Playground with Marc Bembekoff (director at La Galerie)

The “Des champs de fraises pour l’éternitĂ©â€ project began in January 2020, just before the pandemic that has now affected the world for more than a year took hold. Originally planned for 2021 the exhibition will finally open in January 2022 and will thus take the current realities onboard. The postponement makes “Des champs de fraises pour l’éternitĂ©â€ out of step with its time, but the delay has meant the exhibition has been able to integrate the reverberations of this period, which many of us have lived, in both visual and conceptual terms, within parentheses.
On revisiting the project in January 2021, we realised that “Des champs de fraises pour l’éternitĂ©â€ would be part of the long line of “post-Covid” exhibitions, presenting at once a risk and an opportunity. The risk lay in falling into repeating such exhibitions, all founded on the same mechanics, of getting a second wind, of being able to breathe, of the calm after the storm. The opportunity rests in offering a particular perspective on artistic creation that, in the face of a reality forcefully driving our emotions, searches for vivacity and magic.

This exhibition offers respite from the economic, ecological, political and social crises we are experiencing. In this space, withdrawal takes the form of a mental escape, which, once effected, allows us to understand reality from new angles. Though increasing industrial progress marked the end of the nineteenth century both historically and structurally, elements of the period’s artistic currents are imbued with obscurantism and a pronounced esotericism (the Nabi movement, Symbolism, etc.).

The crises we initially discussed were structural rather than pandemic related, but these were already entrenched, infiltrating our society, economy, institutions, entertainment and schools, as well as all aspects of politics, ecological and economic. Towards the end of this epidemic, the makeshift tents are still in place, the critical situations remain critical, and prevailing precarity has profited from these many months to remodel its space in the depths of our societies.

The exhibition’s title is clearly a reference to the Beatles’ song, Strawberry Fields Forever, recorded in 1967. Starting from his childhood and the notion of nostalgia – Strawberry Field was a children’s home he played near as a child – John Lennon created an abstract, introspective song about each individual’s vision of the world. Translated into French, the title is somehow even more poetic, immersing us in a totally subjective, hallucinatory universe.

In recent times, the childhood yearning the song evokes has been shattered by domestic, sedentary and claustrophobic intervals where the only way to see the other and the world was via a screen. All this has profoundly changed our relationship to comfort, to technology, to education, and to our very perception of reality. During the weeks of confinement representations of nature gave us solace. In this sense, their effect on each of us was psychotropic.

This exhibition is supported by the Fluxus Art Projects.
Documentation by Aurélien Mole


Ce projet intitulĂ© « Des champs de fraises pour l’éternitĂ© » a vu le jour en janvier 2020, avant le dĂ©but de la pandĂ©mie qui touche depuis plus d’un an le monde entier. Initialement prĂ©vue pour 2021, l’exposition aura finalement lieu en janvier 2022 et ne pourra faire abstraction du contexte actuel. Ce report fait donc de « Des champs de fraises pour l’éternitĂ© » une exposition en retard sur son temps, un retard qui lui permet en revanche d’intĂ©grer visuellement et conceptuellement les consĂ©quences d’une pĂ©riode que beaucoup auront vĂ©cu entre parenthĂšses.

En se penchant de nouveau sur le projet en janvier 2021, nous avons pris conscience que cette exposition se retrouverait incluse dans une longue lignĂ©e des expositions « post-COVID » et qu’il s’agissait Ă  la fois d’un risque et d’une chance. Un risque de tomber dans une forme de rĂ©pĂ©tition d’expositions procĂ©dant de cette mĂȘme mĂ©canique du second souffle, de la respiration, du calme aprĂšs la tempĂȘte. Une chance, celle de proposer un regard particulier sur une crĂ©ation artistique en quĂȘte de vivacitĂ© et de magie face Ă  une rĂ©alitĂ© ayant agi comme un fort rĂ©vĂ©lateur Ă©motionnel.

Cette exposition propose un espace de repli face aux crises Ă©conomique, Ă©cologique, politique et sociale que nous traversons. Ici, ce retrait prend la forme d’une Ă©vasion mentale qui, une fois effectuĂ©e, permet d’apprĂ©hender le rĂ©el sous de nouveaux angles. Si la fin du XIXe siĂšcle est historiquement et structurellement marquĂ©e par le progrĂšs croissant des industries, une certaine partie des courants artistiques de cette Ă©poque est quant Ă  elle imprĂ©gnĂ©e d’un obscurantisme et d’un Ă©sotĂ©risme marquĂ©s (le mouvement nabi, le symbolisme, etc.).

Les crises dont il Ă©tait question initialement Ă©taient plus structurelles que pandĂ©miques mais Ă©taient dĂ©jĂ  bien installĂ©es, infiltrĂ©es partout dans la sociĂ©tĂ©, notre Ă©conomie, les institutions, le spectacle, les Ă©coles, les milieux politiques, Ă©cologiques et Ă©conomiques. Au sortir de cette Ă©pidĂ©mie, les abris de fortune n’ont pas disparu, les situations critiques ne le sont pas moins et la prĂ©caritĂ© ambiante a profitĂ© de ces nombreux mois pour rĂ©nover sa chambre au creux de nos sociĂ©tĂ©s.

Le titre de cette exposition fait bien Ă©videmment rĂ©fĂ©rence Ă  la chanson des Beatles, Strawberry Fields Forever, enregistrĂ©e en 1967. Parti du thĂšme de la nostalgie et de l’enfance – Strawberry Field Ă©tait un orphelinat aux environs duquel il jouait Ă©tant enfant – John Lennon en fait une chanson introspective et abstraite sur sa vision personnelle du monde. Traduit en français, le titre de cette chanson semble davantage gagner en poĂ©sie, nous renvoyant Ă  un univers totalement subjectif et hallucinĂ©.

La nostalgie de l’enfance dont il est question dans la chanson s’est retrouvĂ©e ces derniers temps chamboulĂ©e par des pĂ©riodes sĂ©dentaires, domestiques, claustrophobiques, oĂč l’autre et le monde n’étaient vus qu’à travers un Ă©cran. Ces situations ont profondĂ©ment modifiĂ© notre rapport au confort, Ă  la technologie, Ă  l’éducation, Ă  notre perception de la rĂ©alitĂ©. Les reprĂ©sentations de la nature nous ont rĂ©conforté·e·s durant ces semaines d’enfermement. En ce sens, elles ont eu un effet psychotrope sur chacun·e d’entre nous.

Cette exposition bénéficie du soutien de Fluxus Art Projects.
Documentation : Aurélien Mole