Marion Balac

Marion Balac

Marion Balac uses unusual data, situations or objects as a base to produce fictions that reveal the landscapes and horizons of a globalised world.

Marion Balac is an artist and researcher at the ESACM Fine Arts School in France. Her work explores the impulses and interactions between feelings and technology, approaching them through a variety of media as a means to investigate the struggles and bonds between individual and mass behaviours. Observing how internet accompanies its users and their communication devices in a never ending search for distraction and validation, she probes online facilities and diverts them through strategies of reappropriation. A globalized online tourist, she travels dynamic playgrounds and encounters fictionalized personas and places, new landscapes that she can study and explore within and outside the screen. Gathering structures such as touristic sites, theme parks, internet forums, user-generated content websites interests her as they intend to duplicate traditional community interactions. Might the touristic spot be a crazy copy of itself ; might the egos be fed by technological storytelling; might our communications be fictionalized: the gap between what is perceived online from people or places and their actual qualities becomes the starting point of her investigation and the core of her works, where behind a deadpan humour often rises melancholy.

Her work has been included in group exhibitions and screenings at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Paris Pantin) for Jeune Création, Fabra i Coats – Centre d’Art Contemporani (Barcelona), LOOP Barcelona, Annka Kultys Gallery (London), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), Enclave Projects (London), Paradise Works (Manchester), Bandits-Mages (Bourges), Espace des Blancs-Manteaux (Paris), l’Abbaye (Annecy-le-Vieux), Galerie Neuf (Nancy), Hectoliter Gallery (Brussels), Musée Saint-Raymond (Toulouse). She has had the opportunity to develop her work in residencies like Espositivo and Casa de Velázquez in Madrid, Salón Bellefour in Buenos Aires or Hangar in Barcelona.

Les enfants de Val d’Europe

HD Video / 28:26 min / 2017

‘Les enfants de Val d’Europe’ studies and depicts the youth of Val d’Europe, a new town located 35 kilometers from Paris. Built around Disneyland amusement park, the distinctive landscape of Val d’Europe area inhabit the dreams, hopes and disillusionment of each of its inhabitants.

In 1987 an agreement between the French State, local authorities, the RATP and the Walt Disney Company resulted in a 30-year public-private partnership. EuroDisney was granted priority rights to purchase land, and committed to developing residential neighborhoods, offices and economic activities, gradually imposing its imprint – both postmodernist and sanitized – on the area now called Val d’Europe. As an urban planner, a factory and a fatherly figure, the Disney firm shaped the area to make it fit its own values. Economically sustained by the park, the zone is embracing the implied social contract and the values carried by Disney universe, making sadness and poverty’s existence impossible in this environment. ‘Les enfants de Val d’Europe’ juxtaposes the landscapes of the Val d’Europe with the words of its inhabitants, asking itself how has Disney’s presence in the area affected the childhood and adolescence of these young people and how does one grow up and live in a place that appears to offer an unreal relationship to the world.