An exhibition of Museum of Fine Arts of Lille
Mythological legend, biblical fable, fantasy and historical reality, the Babel myth exerts a fascination because it belongs to a universal cultural heritage. Before being an allegory, Babel is a text, one which transports us to the biblical orient in the imaginary valley of Shinear. There, following their dispersion after the Flood, mankind decided to settle with the intention of building a city and a tower. At the very heart of Genesis, the story of the Tower thus belongs to the dawn of humanity. The whole power of the myth of Babel lies in this analogy with the history of mankind.
From the global village to the worldwide network, from the international crisis to climate change, Babel continues to stand as an illustration of chaos and the confusion of interests. Its iconography has been reinvented with the development of the arts and technologies. Following on from Renaissance painters, contemporary painters are not discouraged before the excesses of today’s world, and discard the models provided in art history so that the Babel metaphor may be transformed into artistic metamorphoses.
The myth of Babel gives meaning to the future. It evaluates the present in the light of its ancestral symbolism, which stands as a bulwark against irrationality. For this reason, it represents more than a tower and more than a city, more than the themes of the confusion of languages and the dispersion of peoples. For contemporary artists, Babel is the only parable, ethical now that it can no longer be theological, the flexibility of which can help us to design future worlds.
With the works of Jef AEROSOL, Ryuta AMAE, Gilles BARBIER, Denis BAJRAM, Hilary BERSETH, François BOUCQ, Marco BRAMBILLA, Charley CASE, Jérôme CONSIDERANT, Stéphane COUTURIER, Claude COURTECUISSE, Wim DELVOYE, Brian DETTMER, Éric DE VILLE, Maxime DUFOUR, Hendrick DUSSOLIER, Andy DIAZ HOPE & Laurel ROTH, Roland FISCHER, Jakob GAUTEL, Claude GÉNISSON, Robert GLIGOROV, Thibault HAZELZET, John ISAACS, Florian JOYE, Thomas KNEUBÜHLER, Xiang LIQING, Vik MUNIZ, Jean-François RAUZIER, Antoine ROEGIERS, Samuel ROUSSEAU, François SCHUITEN, Cédric TANGUY, Marjan TEEUWEN, Janine VON THÜNGEN, Wolfe VON LENKIEWICZ, Yang YONGLIANG, Du ZHENJUN.
Image : Du-Zhenjun,The-Wind©Du-Zhenjun-Galerie-RX-Paris