With a selection of artworks from :
Anonyme XIXème / Hans BELLMER / CÉSAR / Jim DINE / Nan GOLDIN / Sheila HICKS / Fabrice HYBER / Marcel JEAN / José LÉVY / Juan MIRÓ / Francis PICABIA / Mimmo ROTELLA / Thomas RUFF / Georgia RUSSELL / Gérard SCHLOSSER / Chiharu SHIOTA / Tom WESSELMAN / Andy WARHOL / Sophie WETTNALL
"It only lasts a brief instant during which everything seems to be suspended, one of those recesses of time that open or close on a completely different life.”
Thomas H. Cook, Master of the Delta
A work of art is like a novel, it plays with time. It recomposes durations, stretches narrative for its own purposes, and of course suspends it too, to bring it to a culmination, to the instant suspended in time that the Greeks called the aiôn.
The progress of time is fixed in an insular, ideal present. The aiôn, plucked out of the sequential, seems like a piece of pure moment. This is what holds Velázquez’s paintbrush in the air and makes eternal his instant of informality in the midst of the royal family; it is also what paralyzes the moaï of Marcel Jean - work dedicated to Yves Tanguy- in an infinite fraction of seconds. The photograph by Nan Goldin freezes the moment and captures, for the image’s exposure time, the face of the model to reinstate it later in the long duration of contemplation, fixed and suspended in an immutable expression, hermetic to organic alteration, removed from the stealth of time. The instant suspended in time which stops César’s car as it overturns, simultaneously brief and interminable; traps a plant in full flower (Warhol and Hyber); interrupts a boxer’s punchv (Wettnall) and defers to its effect in space and time.
The aîon then combines with the Kairos, the fortunate instant when everything can change by the very fact of the suspension of chronos, or time. Transience, the multiplication of possibilities towards an unforeseeable changeover, against all logic and despite the foreseeable, this is the principle behind all the works in the exhibition. This moment suspended in time, which shows that blocking the mechanism of time, removing the interval, is at the very heart of all creation.
Mathias CHIVOT, historian of art