Lyrisse d'Emma Pavoni

Un Anglais à Marseille #10

Prof d’anglais et coursier à vélo à Marseille, Rory Launder livre son regard sur la ville tout en vous donnant une occasion de réviser votre anglais. Dans ce nouvel épisode, il déambule dans un Marseille semi confiné, jusqu’à la rue Sainte-Marie, à la rencontre des artistes des ateliers du PAC OFF Panthera, Fuite et Hyph, qui vous donnent rendez-vous ce week end pour une Fièvre collective.


Furtively entering traffic on rue d’Endoume, I’m surprised to see the bar tabac is open. People wearing navy and black – a uniformity of dress not seen in Marseille outside the 7/8eme – are sipping coffees sitting outside on the terrace. Ghastly thin-ribbed puffer-jackets (with that horrid little scooter emblem) and scarves to protect against a sudden almost Glaswegian inclemency in the weather that has descended on our fair city.

The terraces are packed on the two sides of la Corderie. The Brasserie de la Banque is also open and turning a fine trade. And then it stops. Rue Paradis is empty, all the cafés are closed on the Canebière. La Plaine is deserted. The bar of the same name also closed. I reflect on seeing an article stating something along the lines of ‘New lockdown rules in U.K. to hit poorest areas hardest’.

It’s nippy and spitting, and depressingly quiet. Here the Marseillais are in a self-imposed confinement. Streaking down rue Saint-Pierre, before tacking left, and left again into rue Sainte-Marie I feel a nostalgic excitement, a naïve anxiousness of visiting Juxtapoz for the first time.

There is life at Panthera. The girl with the cap pulled down tight from the rue d’Aubagne is squeakily washing down aluminium framed Plexiglas sheets with a friend. They’re not exhibiting for PAC Off, but are friends with Panthera and have come here to work. On explaining that I have come to visit without prior notification or invitation, Nicolas Perez interrupts his drawing to welcome me warmly. With expansive gestures Nicolas is happy to “profit from the added visibility that PAC (official) gives to the art scene in Marseille.” Panthera looks like a bomb’s hit it. Mountains of work and materials stacked higgledy-piggledy against the walls. Maybe it’s an organised chaos. They say they’ll be ready by Wednesday.

“PAC Off has grown by word of mouth since last year. We were eleven studios in 2019, this year there are over twenty participating, and we are even more ambitious. It’s not the same circuit, it’s not the same people. It’s self-financed and self-produced. We have a ‘cagnotte’ that helps us to fund our exhibition, but that’s the game, a lack of funding won’t hinder us.”

Hyph is in a very different state to Panthera. They are in exhibition mode, collaborating with Château de Servières. Carved in stone above the entrance we read ‘travaux publics & particuliers’ in block capitals. I met Delphine Mogarra who co-created with Charlotte Morabin the association Atelier Hyph “We’re three ex-garages: Hyph, Panthera, and Fuite. There was a huge amount of renovation to do here, I’m sure it was the same story at the beginning for Fuite and Panthera. But that bonds us together, that gives something.”


Cristallisation de l’oeil de Delphine Mogarra © Cécile Braneyre


Fuite smells of wet paint. A new wall has been installed, new lights. It’s open, it’s clean, they’re working. Emma Pavoni takes the baton “We want to unite the three studios with the theme of a fever. There will be collective exhibitions in all three studios. We’ll start here at Fuite on Saturday 10th October from 14.00 exhibiting works from all the artists involved, all blended together”.

“We will then move, en masse, by foot, to Panthera. We will stick up collages Friday night and Saturday morning to be viewed along the route. Projections and performances will follow at Panthera until 22.00. And on the Sunday at Hype we propose something calmer. Readings and discussion. Fievre (or Fever) obviously relates to our current reality. But we want to re-appropriate this fever. We want to surpass that negative connotation, and embrace it, mixing together to find something positive which can warm us.”


Rory Launder


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