From here to eternity, the exhibition on view at Maison Particulière starting in October 2016 is the culmination of a journey that began with Origin(s) in April 2011.
Given its span (over six months), the fewer number of both works on display (30) and artists (19), From here to eternity is, all at the same time, a continuation, a first, and a last.
A continuation, because as in almost every case, a guest artist has been invited for this offering: Angelo Musco, who symbolizes the central theme of the exhibition.
A continuation, because literature takes a place of prominence to illuminate the works of art, thanks to literary guest Victor Ginsburgh, who was there for Origins(s), just as he is now for Eternity. This time, Dante’s Divine Comedy seemed an obvious choice to him for this event: Maison Particulière is built on three levels, just as the literary masterpiece and the passages illustrating From here to eternity hail from the triad of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.
A continuation as well, since for the past five years, works have been displayed in an actual home: alongside its books, its ambiance, and its scents that were thought of and specifically selected for each exhibit.
A first, because instead of asking collectors to choose works of art from their collections, the Maison Particulière founders and team personally selected which artists and which works to exhibit. They intentionally chose to present a pared down selection, in order to provide space and breathing room amidst the works of art, thus enhancing contemplation for the viewing public as well. And an end, because this will be Maison Particulière’s final offering.
From “Where do we come from?” to “Where are we going?” From beginning to end, from origins to eternity, such is the guiding theme and framework of the exhibition, From here to eternity.
Accordingly, Maison Particulière proposes a journey that courses through all three of its floors: starting from origins (From here), moving on through the world in-between (to), and ultimately passing into the final stage (eternity).
Life is a cycle: from the beginning of an existence to its end, and from its end to its beginning, the two come together again in infinity, with its never-ending uncertainty of the before and after.
In his works, guest artist Angelo Musco tirelessly explores the cycles of existence: birth—a recurrent theme in his work; origins (symbolized by roots, the aquatic world) and evolution (wings); the metamorphoses of the human being and nature (branches, trees); mystery; and abysses (again symbolized by water, and bottomless pits). Above all, he questions the human being, and uses nudity as a palette for his feelings.
Accompanying Angelo Musco on his journey are other works that encounter his, engaging in a dialogue and free falling weightlessly into an open space with no beginning or end.
Existence is ephemeral. It may be reduced to ashes, leaving only traces and memories of its passage, like the butterflies of Claudio Parmiggiani.
Existence is precarious. Like porcelain, it can break, if one is not careful. “Remember that we…,” said Rachel Kneebone. Life is a void, if but nothingness and anguish.
Existence is strange, frightening, inciting vertigo, as David Altmejd demonstrates in his work, Le Guide (2010): eternity beckons.
Existence is the intertwining of connections and relationships, sometimes due to chance, other times intentional, like the threads that are woven and (out)stretched, as in the work by Chiaru Shiota.
Existence is the search for stability within fragility, in which the whole may be destroyed in a moment or by a single element. Pièce Détachée (2010), the work by Michel François, bears witness to this basic human frailty.
Existence is the eternal beginning anew, symbolized by the work of Charles Sandison, in which the face of a newborn is continually formed and deformed only to reform itself again.
Existence is ultimately losing oneself in space and passing into the other worldly and the impalpable, entering into light. James Turell invites us on a journey through his installation that marks the end of the road for From here to eternity.
Maison Particulière wanted to ask the artists directly to evoke the concept of eternity. Their outlooks have been transcribed into Maison Particulière’s black books. Words, in no particular order, give evidence to their responses: vertigo, void, lightness, another dimension, caverns and mirrors, finite and infinite, abyss, abandonment, loss… Could it be that the ‘here and now’ truly is eternity?
But, in order to embark upon another eternity — eternal works that have spanned centuries to today — several pieces of Chinese antiquity are on display in this exhibition, which were selected and lent through the generosity of Ms. Gisèle Croës, another witness to the desire of Maison Particulière to do away with boundaries and offer a multifaceted view.
Because, as Jean-Baptiste Bernadet expressed, borrowing words from Marcel Proust, “Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world, our own, we see it multiplied and as many original artists as there are, so many worlds are at our disposal, differing more widely from each other than those which roll round the infinite and which, whether their name be Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us their unique rays many centuries after the hearth from which they emanate is extinguished.”*
The love of art is a prism through which Maison Particulière imparts its view of the world.
The love of art is a diversity of outlooks, styles, schools, eras, and trends.
The love of art is an encompassing embrace, a sweeping gaze, conveying “the acuteness of feelings, the power of dreams.”**
Of all the variations on the theme, such is the leitmotiv of Maison Particulière.
* Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time, Centaur Classics, Volume 7.
** Roger Caillois, Babel, orgueil, confusion et ruine de la littérature, 1948
Participating artists: David Altmejd (1974, Canada), Daniel Arsham (1980, USA), Marcel Berlanger (1965, Belgium), Jean-Baptiste Bernadet (1978, France), Johan Creten (1963, Belgium), Michel François (1956, Belgium), Adam Fuss (1961, UK), Antony Gormley (1950, UK), Rachel Kneebone (1973, UK), Xavier Mary (1982, Belgium), Angelo Musco (1973, Italy), Ivan Navarro (1972, Chile), Claudio Parmiggiani (1943, Italy), Jaume Plensa (1955, Spain), Fabrice Samyn (1981, Belgium), Charles Sandison (1969, UK), Chiaru Shiota (1972, Japan), James Turrel (1943, USA), DeWain Valentine (1936, USA)
Maison Particulière (press release)