The Crac Occitanie in Sète presents two new exhibitions to discover, opening on 11 February 2023

The life and work of educator and writer Fernand Deligny (1913-1996) are inseparable from his “attempts” to allow the children and adolescents placed under his care—delinquents, psychotics, then young people with autism—to live according to their own “ways of being”, rather than according to the social rules of education. In 1967, he founded an informal care network for autistic children in the Cévennes. To designate this fragmented, precarious territory, where adult non-professionals (which he called “close presences”) lived 24 hours per day with children on camps or farms, he used the word “raft”. The raft was defined by places, a language, and practices that we will be careful not to call artistic, since for all of them, art remained something elusive on the horizon. This exhibition, entitled Fernand Deligny, légendes du radeau, is a chance to examine this horizon, to present the experimental forms involved in the “attempt” in the Cévennes: Deligny’s writing, the famous map of the children’s “wander lines”, as well as images (photography, film, painting) produced in the course of research.
Florian FouchéManifeste assisté11 February – 29 May 2023 
Action proche (verticalisation), 2017. Pigment print. 17.5 x 11.7cm.© Florian Fouché and courtesy of Parliament gallery, Paris. 
“We are all assisted and assistants at the same time.Everyone, whether powerful or powerless.” With these words, Florian Fouché situates his sculptural and performative experiments in a field of dynamic relations between people, things, and living environments. “Close actions” were first conducted during visits with his father, Philippe Fouché, at the medical institutions in which he has been living since 2015 (hospitals, a rehabilitation facility, a nursing home) following a stroke that paralysed him on one side. Through gestures, displacements and manipulations of objects found on site, he says he “intensified [his] relationship with spaces arranged for care, which had become places of a family life”. Thus he acted in Philippe’s vicinity, rather than with him, during waiting times when health professionals were caring for him. “Close actions” is derived from “close presences”, the expression by which Fernand Deligny designated the non-professionals who, in the middle of the Cévennes from 1968 to the 1990s, watched over autistic children entrusted to them, inventing a way of life with them outside of any institutional framework, on experimental camps dubbed “living areas”. The close actions take place under the influence of the spatial and conceptual notions underlying that “attempt” of Deligny. These notions are being presented at the same time in the CRAC’s other exhibition Fernand Deligny, légendes du radeau.

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