Les nouveaux sauvages
3 September – 21 October
About the exhibition
"I hate travel and explorers".
So begins Claude Lévy-Strauss's Tristes Tropiques, a work in which the famous ethnologist seeks to grasp a human reality and question the concept of civilisation, rather than fall into the exotic travelogue so fashionable in the 1950s. Without wishing to take the easy way out, perhaps ceramics has also reached this stage, where after being discarded for twenty years and treated as a minor craft, it is now back in the limelight, allowing itself to be as daring as it likes and seducing even the most fashionable visual artists. But while this inert material may at first seem one of the easiest to shape, it does require a little distance and a lot of perseverance before it can emerge, like the original crucible, as the stone of the work, a stage open to sculpture and all fields of creation.
Alongside too many artists who take advantage of this fashionable medium without even dipping their hands in the clay, and sometimes a little against the potters who are the guardians of the secret, a new generation of artists who use the experience of fire and the harshness of the studio to offer us some precious ersatz pieces, heralding a wild and timeless world, because resolutely imaginary. Among these explorers and travelers of today and tomorrow, Victor Levai, Rémy Pommeret and Anatole Tièche, all trained in the Beaux-Arts, see ceramics as a new force in Art, a Nature to be grasped as much as cleared, and above all transformed with humour, irony and fantasy. Yoann Estevenin, for his part, is developing a mixed practice between drawings and sculptures, navigating a disturbing and attractive universe exploring the dark and esoteric side of thought.
For these four boys of the earth, the determination is the same, to return to the essential and undoubtedly primary gesture of leaving a trace, a testimony to our humanity and a tribute to living things that we need to respect and share more than ever. Rather than activism, they have chosen a certain form of animism, believing in the spirits emanating from each stone, leaf, tree, animal... transporting us, each in their own way, to an enchanted, animated world, or should we say a reanimated world. It's not just a question of artifice, but perhaps also of inexpressibly awakening our minds, which for too long have been polluted and cluttered... just to make us let go and accept to plunge for a moment into the heart of the wild!
Commissaire de l’exposition