Nuage au Musée

Exposition “NUAGE” au Musée Réattu à Marseille

The exhibition: Offering the visitor a different approach to modern and contemporary art, the exhibition draws on the natural world for its subject matter. It is concerned with the anthropological structure of the imagination, as seen through a theme of universal resonance, blending nature and culture, art and natural sciences.

The cloud: Subtle or grandiose, the cloud is a manifestation of the cycle of life. An inexhaustible natural spectacle, forever renewing itself and always differently, it is an eternal object of fascination.  It brings together all the attributes of wonder: its intangibility, its metamorphosis and its very weightlessness. The mere sight of invites the imagination to take flight, letting us defy gravity. A natural phenomenon made up of paradoxes, a combination of opposites and extremes (mass, transparency, opacity, vapour, shape-shifting, profusion), the cloud features in all cultures as the extraordinary made manifest. It is eternally linked with the infinite: it is the metaphysical object par excellence.  But in art, poetry, philosophy or nimbology, in reality as in dreams, the cloud is the also most human of heavenly bodies. An extraordinary contradiction in terms, it is both physical and immaterial – a fact echoed so well in the French language,with verbs such as nimber and cumuler, or even …. obnubiler.
The cloud is a messenger between sky and earth.

The origins of the project: While the initial idea came from Corregio’s cotton wool clouds in Parma Cathedralthe concept of the exhibition has been guided by a passage from the journal of Jean Arp, Jours effeuillés:

“Anyone who wants to bring down a cloud with arrows will use up his arrows in vain . Many sculptors resemble these strange hunters. Here’s what should be done:charm the cloud with a violin tune played on a drum or a drum tune played on a violin. It isn’t long before the cloud comes down, to bask in happiness on the ground, and at last, filled with kindness, it petrifies. That is how, in a flash, the sculptor achieves the most beautiful of sculptures. ”

It is far removed, then, from considerations of landscape and representation, but very close to the body; it is the intimate link between the umbilical to the cloud, around which the whole exhibition develops.

Download the press release of the exhibition Press_Release_Nuage_English

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