Ruinart has always placed art at the heart of its activity and has established a link that positions the most established Champagne house in a rare, unfailingly current and useful aspect that is unforgettable, in reverberation with the 100 years of edification that saw its birth. It continues its commitment to human expression, which began at the organization’s inception, when it strikingly turned to Czech craftsman Alphonse Mucha in 1896 to create his poster that created an uproar at the time.
In September 2021, Ruinart awarded its third prize to the young Congolese artist photographer Gosette Lubondo at the Paris Photo fair. This prize, awarded by this great champagne house with the support of the Picto Foundation, aims to help the young emerging visual scene and offer recognition to an artist.
As a result, the skilled Congolese artist Gosette Lubondo has been offered a residency in the spring and summer of 2021 in Reims, in the heart of the Ruinart House. The photographic series « Manu solerti », resulting from this creative residency was presented in an interesting way during the Paris Photo at the Grand Palais Ephémère and will be exhibited unprecedentedly for the first time in Abidjan, from June 14 to July 14, 2022 at the Villa Lepic.
The creation of Gosette Lubondo is about a reflection between memory, heritage and time. The assemblage of works delivered during her residency was brought into the world of her showdown with this frame where the most common method of making champagne wines is engraved. She was struck by the signs of history and time: the engraving of reworked picks on the walls of the chalk pits, but also the endurance of hereditary know-how in the making.
The young photographer saw and drew attention to the fact that, despite the modernization of techniques, the interaction remained essentially equivalent to what it was three centuries before. That it involved the human hand, experts and genealogical movements in some phases of product development. The title of his photographic series « Manu solerti », or « with an expert hand », deciphers the capacity of the people who work in the production of champagne.
In keeping with her creative construction, Gosette Lubondo has from time to time mingled with the experts’ ceremonies alongside them. A method to approach her own experience with this universe that was previously obscure to her.
By awarding this prize to the photographer Gosette Lubondo, Ruinart imposes itself to dream a patronage that plans to distinguish and help emerging talents who share its values.
The same prize was awarded in 2018 to the Austrian Simon Lehner, who used archival images, overlays, varied and high-contrast images, to consolidate the hand of man with nature, the past with the present.
Elsa Leydier, a French photographer living in Rio de Janeiro for the second prize Maison Ruinart in 2019. She who mixes traditional images with methods of capturing light, for example rayograms and raised the issue of environmental change that alters the characteristic link between man and nature.
The « Manu solerti » exhibition is an opportunity for Ruinart to consider, for the first time, the disclosure of the wine-making process through the prism of photography in Africa. Ruinart offers more than a specific encounter by proposing a visit that also allows you to find the enchanting setting of the Villa Lepic, a true source of extravagance, calm and voluptuousness, installed in the heart of an impressive lush tropical garden. In this space, you can find the creations of the Ethiopian artist Aïda Muluneh, the contemporary Ivorian François-Xavier Gbré, as well as the works of the Bassamese artist Jean-Servais Somien, to name a few.
Gosette Lubondo is a photographic artist who lives and works in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since adolescence, she has been immersed in photography and proposes through stagings her research that resurrects memory and uncovers a more global pilgrim and postcolonial political history. By scrutinizing these spaces, Gosette Lubondo questions the place of memory and recognition in the development of current Congolese society.
She participated in her most memorable exhibition coordinated by the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in association with KinArtStudio, in Kinshasa in 2014. In 2017, she was a laureate of the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac artist residencies.
Her work has been remarkably shown at the Kampala Biennial, the Lubumbashi Biennial, the Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles, the National Museum of Lubumbashi and the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac and then in a large independent exhibition retracing all of her work in 2021 in Kinshasa.