A Collection Dragonfly exhibition
“They told me: you’re nothing but ashes and dust. They forgot to tell me it was in fact stardust.”
—Hubert Reeves, astrophysicist.
The exhibition, structured around the Dragonfly Collection brought to life by Garance Primat, explores celestial paths, meandering from the earth to the stars.
Borrowed from the title of Hubert Reeves’ most famous novel, the expression “stardust” was first suggested by Carl Sagan.
In his Cosmos series, the American astrobiologist declared: “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of stardust”.
The exhibition aspires to explore the invisible and vital connections between man, nature and the cosmos.
The mainly organic works are composed of natural elements: bronze tree branches with multiple ramifications by Giuseppe Penone; whitened branches for the secret of plant life by Anselm Kieffer; huge rocks forming two emblems of hap¬piness by Ugo Rondinone and of the terrestrial circle by Gao Weigang; wood and earth in the 84-small works by herman de vries; and burnt wood for David Nash's sculpture. These works bring to light an array of representations of nature: sky charts akin to ink writings on paper by Caroline Corbasson or collages by Rivane Neuenschwander; black and white pictures of horizons and seas by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Gerhard Richter, Vra Lutter, and Thomas Ruff.
They cover the different shades of the sky: ink on paper by Yayoi Kusama, from mezzotint to aquatint by Vija Celmins; pearls in a painting by Farhad Moshiri; blue and sand in a monochrome by Yves Klein; gouache by Sol LeWitt; grey and white in Lee Ufan’s indelible trace.
Created by twenty artists, the twenty-six works hover between the sky and the earth. Devoid of hanging rails, the white walls of La Laiterie welcome paintings, photographs and drawings while the central space welcomes sculptures in order to promote interactions between the works. Visitors may wander and their gaze roam freely, unhindered, with only shapes and colours to divide up the space and allow breathing and creative inspiration to resonate within the walls.
The gaze creates associations and defines the horizon. Some works are commanding, massive and telluric, while others are light, ethereal and poetic, like Gao Weigang’s hanging staircase, Up, an invitation to reach the unattainable.
The synergy that we hope occurs between the works, reminds us of our connection to the earth and the cosmos.
The works are completed by an installation entitled “Chambre des merveilles” (chamber of wonders) which contains the minerals from the collection. Thus the Altars series by Michael Heizer that includes twelve engravings reproducing the drawings of objects that adorned ancient dishes. They echo Kapwani Kiwanga’s three photographs, Subduction Studies: two rocks from the African and European continents are united through a play with folds and serve as a reminder that they formed a single continent a long way back.
A special room in La Laiterie houses a site-specific installation by Sheila Hicks, inspired by constellations and filaments. This work offers visitors the possibility to meditate in a closed space in which the creation propels them into the unique world of the artist and, more broadly speaking invites them to surrender to this journey in the cosmos.
A symbol of the cycle of life, the exhibition ends with a work that pays tribute to the sun without which no life would be possible; The Sun by Ugo Rondinone irradiates the earth of the Domaine des Etangs.
Exhibition Poussières d’étoiles (Stardust)
La Laiterie of Domaine des Etangs - From 24th May to 15th Decembre 2018
Under the creative guidance of Garance Primat
Curators: Hervé Mikaeloff et Ingrid Pux