Skip to main content
News / Design / Events / “Total Recall”: What do young graduates in Saint-Etienne dream of?

“Total Recall”: What do young graduates in Saint-Etienne dream of?

Until June 4, the 2022 graduates of the Saint-Etienne School of Art and Design (ESADSE) are exhibiting their final year projects… An overview proposed by external curators, far from the classic presentations, which may confuse some, but which, by decontextualizing the graduation process of the pieces presented, inscribe them in a common “after”. “Total Recall”, in reference to the short story by Philippe K. Dick, thus offers the visitor a general snapshot embracing all the concerns of young artists and designers. Dick’s short story, offers the visitor a general snapshot embracing all the concerns of the young artists and designers.

Emma Faury-Graziani, Prisacca, 2022 - Textile, 180 x 80 cm
Simon Decottignies, Welding hood, 2022, Aluminium, 21 x 36 x 65 cm - Photo S.Binoux

Since 2022, the Saint-Etienne School of Art and Design has been challenging the spotlight on the work of the latest graduating classes: the curatorship is entrusted to outside personalities, who look at the projects from a different perspective than that of the teaching staff. Julie Portier and the collective It’s Our Playground have been given the mission to design the proposals of all the students who graduated in 2022.

In a dialogue with the students they chose pieces from their final project, or even elements created in the continuity. And they took the decision to disperse them throughout the exhibition, in a desire to bring out overall themes and to challenge the viewer.

At first glance, it is difficult to imagine that we are dealing with different projects that have been carried out with a particular protocol, a research brief and documented iterations. It is indeed necessary to rely on the programs and plans distributed at the entrance to often recompose the puzzles of the same project, or even consult the school’s website to those who want to go further in understanding the graduate’s approach.

Maëva Borg, The shape of the Other, DNSEP option design - media mention, 2022 © Sandrine Binoux
Mattéo Sanchez, All it takes is a spark for everything to begin, 2022- Wood, rope and stainless steel, dimensions variable
Simon Frajer, Wild Night, 2022

The title “Total Recall” was chosen in reference to the short story by Philippe K Dick, adapted for the cinema by Paul Verhoeven, who imagines the possibility of being implanted with false memories, trips or heroic deeds. It is this omnipresence of the relationship to time in the various degree projects that first struck the curators and explains this choice. And it is also another relation to time of the works, at the beginning finished for an examination, which is in play here, in a scenographic contrast also thought in the strata of a relation to time, since a setting in “frontage” at the entrance of the exhibition until the last part in the relative darkness.

Reminiscences of childhood to the research around the mourning, expressions around points of passage like doors or transitional objects, objects “bridges”, the restitution of urban experiences through the eyes of skaters, graffiti artists, or virtual restitutions; the reappropriation of relational tools such as mailboxes or the exposure of codified violence in the dialogues of immersed gamers… the subjects of interrogations and commitments are numerous. Even quite confusing: when some question a relationship to wild life, in a field study where we find an inspiration of B. Morizot, others recreate a ritual around the relationship to fire.

Each year, a jury awards a prize to two projects, in art and design. This year, with the support of AXA, the design prize was awarded to Kunhong Du, who was interested in creating comforting companions for the sick in a fine observation of the needs of the sick. A work that he intends to continue with the grant received. The Art Prize will be awarded with ArtPres on April 25.

Awarding of the prize to Kuhnong DuAxa Design Prize - © Hubert Genoilhac/PhotUpDesign