Monte Laster
 

Born in Fort Worth, Texas

Lives and works in La Courneuve, France and Santo,Texas

 

Interventions

2015 Dallas, Texas, USA

2014 Paris, France

2013« OBA III » Balade « Habitant et Habitation à travers

La Courneuve,le regarde créatif », Cité des 4000 France

CO-OP Houston University of Houston, Rothko Chapel Houston, Texas

«Art Identité etrenovation urbaine »

2012          "OBA II"               Palais de Tokyo & Louvre Museum         Paris

2012          "OBA II"               Shrine with Abiodun Oyewole                  Harlem, New York

2011          "OBA II"               MAD and Museum of African Arts            New York

2010          "OBA I"                Moulin Fayvon with Lacaton & Vassal      La Courneuve, France

2008          "Choeur Divisé"   Cité des 4000 with le collectif Stalker       La Courneuve, France

2008          "Lieu, non-lieu"   Cité des 4000 with Gilles Clément             La Courneuve, France

Expositions

2012          "1.618" (COAL)    Institut Français de la Mode et Design      Paris

2011          "Seven Degrees" Jean-Houdremont Cultural Center            La Courneuve, France

2009          "GPS"                   City of La Courneuve                               La Courneuve, France

2003          "Playday"             Parson's New School                                New York

2002          "Wonderland"      Jean-Houdremont Cultural Center            La Courneuve, France

Noteworthy Collaborations

2011          "The Rebirth of the Last Poets"with Abiodun Oyewole

2010          "Les hommes, les actes, les lieux" with Patrick Bouchain

2010          "OBA I" with Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal

2008          "Polylogues" with Melik Ohanian

2008          "Lieu, non-lieu" with le collectif Stalker

2007          "Destruction, Creation" with Gilles Clément

2007          Collaboration on a work with Stan Douglas in La Courneuve

 

Works associated with Association Face

FACE (French-American Creative Exchange) is a non-profit association. Founded in 2001 by American artist Monte Laster, it is based in Moulin Fayvon, a historical mill located in the middle of the infamous housing projects known as ‘La cite des 4000’ in the northern suburbs of Paris.  The following actions were created by Monte Laster and executed in collaboration with the Association FACE.

 

2010-2012     "OBA II"

A project conceived by Laster and produced under the direction of FACE and Quancard Contemporary Art. It consists of a series of documentary videos, photographs, poems, musical creations, artistic interventions and sculptures. Each piece reflects on themes of education, violence, imitation, belief systems, immigration and the concept of what a "masterpiece" is in today's context. The project links commonalities found between two cities, Harlem, New York and La Courneuve, France, each famous for its strong urban culture, social dynamics, bad-boy image and political influence. 

 

2009-2010     "OBA I"

In this project, Laster took a group of young rappers from their hometown of La Courneuve in France to Harlem, New York, a neighborhood known for its social complexity and musical heritage. The exchange between the French and Harlem rappers produced a number of exciting connections that eventually led all the way to the White House and the production of a series of films, photos and other materials as part of a large-scale exhibition representing the entire OBA project.

 

2006-2010     "Think-tanks"

Think-tanks were created and moderated by Laster to initiate a laboratory for thinking, refelection, and collaboration between various experts, specialists, and academics who met with local citizens of La Courneuve. The objective was to initiate a series of mutually beneficial exchanges.  Laster documented these exchanges through a variety of artistic mediums.

 

2010-2011     "Ça pète, ça pète pas"

A series of think-tanks, workshops, and interventions around the subject of a large government housing structure known as Balzac in "La cité des 4000".  One of the most controversal housing structures in France.  The desctruction of this building created an interesting background for a series of discussions, photographs, vidéos, and art pieces relating to its history.

 

2009               "Aqua" (dinner)

A culinary art event with chef Pascal Ducreau surrounding a debate over the importance of water. Documented through a series of photographs, film, and sound, this project included the participation of politicians, artists, architects, and members of Association FACE.

 

2009              "GPS"

An interactive exposition presenting the works and actions of Association FACE through a period of two years.  These projects consisted of: Future Histories, Destruction/Creation, Aqua, Le monde des bête, Rêver, Polylogues, Choeur divisé, Le cycle, Karnivorus, Traces & urbaniste toi-même. During this exhibition there were round table discussion refecting on the effects of these actions on the city of La Courneuve.

 

2009               "Le Printemps des Poètes"

An event organized on March 13, 2009 at the Moulin Fayvon in La Courneuve as a collaboration with Iranien poet, Kazem Shahryari.  A dinner was provided by women from the chinese community living within the Cité des 4000. This intervention permited the inhabitants of the cité to interact with foreign artists and to speak in various languages concerning art and poetry.

 

2009               "Rap 93 and WW"

The creation of "WW" was a concept by Shelter in collaboration with architect Olivier Boucheron.  WW was designed as a center for writing, destined to one day be built in the center of the cité.  This project was realized in the framework of a proposed projected called "Design it", organized under the direction of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.  The project was also accompanied by a series of video clips and blogs created by the young rappers of La Courneuve.

 

2008               "Choeur Divisé"

A concert on September 21, 2008 in front of a large government housing structure in the Cité des 4000 known as Verlaine.  It was preformed in the central pavilion located in front of the building.  Three months of collaborative work took place between three groups of rappers (LC Crew, Tlent Lyrical, The Mjestik) and a baroque vocal choir from Paris known as Cori Spezzati.  This work explored the repertoir of Vénitien music.

 

2008               "Polylogues"

Organized in collaboration with artist Melik Ohanian, Les Polylogues were a series of debates between participents from various aspects of the art community reflecting on issues of urban development with city planners from Ile-de-France, the area surrounding the city of Paris and all of its suburbs.  These debates took place every Saturday afternoon during the month of October, 2008 at the Moulin Fayvon.

 

2008               "Eaux Fortes"

A project realized with the students of Robespierre elementry in La Courneuve.  It surrounded the subject of water and issues relating to its importance, its history, and its future.  Original works of art were produced through sculpture using water recuperated from rain.  The students created their pieces with the help of Monte Laster.

 

2008               "Traces"

A project initiated with the help of the local american football team named "Flash" and small children from the neighborhood of the Cité des 4000.  The project outlined the path of this river as it once flowed through the city.`

 

2008               "Rêver"

A culinary art event with chef Pascal Ducreau surrounding a debat the importance of dreams and how the use of the Moulin Fayvon could be used as a conduit to accomplish change. Documented through a series of photographs, film, and sound, this project included the participation of politicians, artists, architects, landscape architects, philosophers, and members of Association FACE.  A collection of ideas was written on a large paper napkin to conserve the ideas evoked during the event.

 

2008               "Mr. Boste"

A series of films were created surrounding one of La Courneuve's most interesting elderly inhabitants, Mr. Boste. A war hero from world war II, this project captured his history in is own words as a film documentry of his life.  A series of family photos following the liberation of La Courneuve by American Troops were digitally archived during this projects creation.

 

2008               "Karnivorus"

An artistic laboratory was created by Monte Laster, constructed out of carnivorus plants with the help of elementry students from Robespierre elementry.  Alan Kern, a specialist in european carnivorus plants intervined with the students and educated them on the curious plants as they grew their own carnivorus plants.

 

2008               "Come in-entrez"

A virtual artistic creation that permitted visiters to enter the Cité des 4000 through interactive multimedia devices.  The piece was accompanied by commentaries discussing its unique physical characteristics.

 

2007               "Destruction, Creation"

This intervention was realised by Monte Laster in June, 2007 in collaboration with the inhabitants of La Courneuve and landscaper Gilles Clément, Architect Jérôme Jacquemin and Actress Laurence Vielle.  A series of performances, debates, and actions took place surrounding the ideas of creation and destruction, following the removal of twin social housing blocks known as Ravel and Presov.

 

2002               "Zirkus"

The first collaborative work between Monte Laster and FACE, a collaboration with artist Vivian Vanberk and the children from Association AR Jeux.  The objective was to create a model of the cirque d'Alexandre Calder on a very small budget.  The children helped to create the various personages, clothing, the tent, animals, and other pieces of the model.  A children's story was written to accompany the model as part of an imaginary story created from the event.

 

Prizes and Awards

 

2011               SNCF Foundation Award for the Prevention of Illiterecy

2010               JEP Award (Jeuness Education Populaire) for Education

2009               Espoir Banlieue Award from the Direction Regional of Cultural Affairs France (DRAC)

 

Press

 

22 March 2011. “Monte Laster ”, TV5 Monde

10 March 2011. “Finding angels on France’s problem estates”, Alison Hird, Radio France International English

04 February 2011. “US-La Courneuve: Monte Laster, un artiste hors du commun”, un documentaire de Johanna Bedeau et Rafik Zenine, France Culture radio

13 January 2011. “On prend rarement le temps de se poser...”, Yann Lalande, Regards magazine

15 September 2010. “FACE Association in La Courneuve”, Brendan Seibel, Vight Paris magazine

04 March 2010. “De Jeunes Rappeurs Français ambassadeurs des USA” , Laure Mandeville, Le Figaro

03 March 2010.  “Les Rappeurs de La Courneuve à la Maison-Blanche”,  Le Parisien

20 February 2010. “De la Courneuve à la Maison-Blanche”, Le Parisien

21 February 2010. “Les kids à New York et Washington”, Mehdi Meklat et Badroudine. Bondy Blog

11 February  2010.  “Ballade Urbaine”, Eric Bureau, Le Parisien

September 2009.  “Monte Laster Le Moulin Fayvon et La Courneuve”, Juliette Soulez, Archistrom

Winter 2009. “L’épingle sur la carte”, Valéie de Saint-Do,  Cassandre magazine

February 2008. “Les chemins de l’école urbaine”, Marie-Hélène Ferbours, Regards magazine

February 2008. “Retour vers le passé”, Virginie Lorentz, Regards magazine

July 2008. “Petit train s’en va dans les 4000”, Regards magazine

2 June 2007. “Il fait revivre les friches Ravel et Presov”, Eric Bureau, Seine-Saint-Denis

May 2006. “La Courneuve est à la fois un lieu de vie assez incroyable”, Marie-Hélène Ferbours. Regards magazine

22 March 2011. “Monte Laster ”, TV5 Monde.10 Mars 2011. “Finding angels on France’s problem estates”,Alison Hird, Radio France International English

04 February 2011. “US-La Courneuve: Monte Laster, un artiste hors du commun”, un documentaire de Johanna Bedeau et Rafik Zenine, France Culture radio

13 January 2011. “On prend rarement le temps de se poser...”, Yann Lalande, Regards magazine

15 Septembre 2010. “FACE Association in La Courneuve”m Brendan Seibel", Paris magazine

04 March 2010. “De Jeunes Rappeurs Français ambassadeurs des USA” , Laure Mandeville, Le Figaro

03 March 2010.  “Les Rappeurs de La Courneuve à la Maison-Blanche”,  Le Parisien

20 February 2010. “De la Courneuve à la Maison-Blanche”, Le Parisien

21 february 2010. “Les kids à New York et Washington”, Mehdi Meklat et Badroudine. Bondy Blog

11 February 2010.  “Ballade Urbaine”, Eric Bureau, Le Parisien.

September 2009 “Monte Laster Le Moulin Fayvon et La Courneuve”, Juliette Soulez, Archistrom.Hiver 2009. “L’épingle sur la carte”, Valéie de Saint-Do,  Cassandre magazine

February 2008. “Les chemins de l’école urbaine”, Marie-Hélène Ferbours, Regards magazine

February 2008. “Retour vers le passé”, Virginie Lorentz, Regards magazine

July 2008. “Petit train s’en va dans les 4000”, Regards magazine

2 June 2007. “Il fait revivre les friches Ravel et Presov”, Eric Bureau, Seine-Saint-Denis

May 2006. “La Courneuve est à la fois un lieu de vie assez incroyable”, Marie-Hélène Ferbours. Regards magazine.