“become one” at Villa Datris

For its 2024 season, Villa Datris offers “to become one», a project which contrasts with the “ fascination with the immaterial» that offered « Movement and Light #2” last year.
In its intention text, Danièle Marcovicifounder and president of the Villa Datris Foundationremember ” A current subject, the body remains the concrete symbol of the moods of women and men around the world. By its title, the exhibition welcomes the representations of those who become one both through spirit and with matter.“. Then she asks a question that seems to be at the heart of her project: “ Modeled by its structure, its interior life, as much as by the way we look at it, how do we see the body today?“. She then announces the objective of this new proposal: “ More than a group exhibition, to become onetakes the pulse of human representation in what it offers at its most current, diverse and daring through the eyes of recognized and emerging artists»

to become one» brings together a selection of works by 65 artists, several of whom have made news in the region in recent years and some of whom are internationally recognized: Magdalena Abakanowicz Julien Allègre • Ghada Amer Élodie Antoine • Jean-Marie Appriou • Stephan Balkenhol Alexandra Bircken • Fernando Botero • Louise Bourgeois Nick Cave • César • Awena Cozannet • Elizabeth Creseveur Johan Creten • Sépànd Danesh • Chloé Delarue • Dewar & Gicquel Richard Di Rosa • Henri -François Dumont • Daniel Firman Sylvie Fleury • Meschac Gaba • Corado Gardone • Antony Gormley Thomas Houseago • Taro Izumi • Michael Johansson • Kun Kang Abdul Rahman Katanani • Wang Keping • Zsófia Keresztes Guillaume Leblon • Ana Mendieta • Annette Messager Terrence Musekiwa • Prune Nourry • Marc Nucera • Hans Op de Beeck Tony Oursler • Rallou Panagiotou • Štefan Papčo • Giuseppe Penone Laurent Perbos • Javier Pérez • Michelangelo Pistoletto Jaume Plensa • Marilou Poncin • Philippe Ramette • Recycle Group Antoine Renard • Rotraut • Elsa Sahal • Niki de Saint Phalle George Segal • Joel Shapiro • Kiki Smith • Gabriel Sobin Pascale Marthine Tayou • Gavin Turk • Xavier Veilhan Jeanne Vicérial • Gabrielle Wambaugh • Anne Wenzel Kehinde Wiley • Mâkhi Xenakis

Danièle Marcovici And Stéphane Baumet ensure the police station of “to become one“.
The announced route is divided into seven sequences, formulated as questions which develop on the three levels of the Villa Datris. This year the garden welcomes a Garden of Venus.

Chronicle to follow after the opening.
Read below the presentation of the exhibition itinerary taken from the press kit.

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to become one»: Exhibition tour

Who is looking at me?

The body is not only our property, it also reflects our society. In the past, the quest for an ideal body was predominant, but this vision was deconstructed over time, until it became a political tool in the 1960s.
After the digital revolution, two years of pandemic and movements such as #metoo, the body has re-emerged in the social sphere in new forms.
It is undoubtedly for this reason that it occupies a preponderant place in contemporary art.
Tony Oursler And Daniel Firman play on our gaze as spectators. Who is observing who?

Tony OurslerO0to, 2015. Polychromed aluminum, LCD screen, media player, sound Unique. 136.5 x 90.5 x 9.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Bernier/Eliades Gallery. Photo © Boris Kirpotin and Daniel FirmanJustine 2nd movement2020. Courtesy Ceysson & Bénétière – “ to become one » at Villa Datris

Is my body mine?

Women’s bodies have long been subjected to a heteronormative gaze, but thanks to the influence of female sculptors such as Niki de Saint Phalle And Louise Bourgeoisits representation evolved towards a more interior vision marked by psychoanalysis.
To free women’s voices, some artists focus on parts of the body exposed to the male gaze, as do Annette Messager, Elsa Sahal And Plum Nourry.
Other artists, like Sylvie Fleury, Ghada Amer Or Marilou Poncin denounce the emptiness or commodification of this body.

Niki de Saint PhalleMermaid, 1983. Painted polyester resin. 90 x 240 x 90 cm. Courstesy Collection Philippe Austruy, Commanderie de Peyrassol, Flassans-sur-Issole. Photo © C Goussard © 2024 Niki Charitable Art Foundation / Adagp, Paris – Plum NourryCircle of life, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and TEMPLON Paris-Brusses-New York. ©Prune Nourty ADAGP Paris-2024 – “ to become one » at Villa Datris

Annette MessagerMy wishes, 1989. Assemblage in 16 parts of black and white photographs, adhesive tape and string in an artist’s frame. 299.7 x 15 cm. © Annette Messager, ADAGP, Paris – 2024 – Elsa SahalVenus on the wall, 2023. 5 glazed ceramic elements. 290 x 80 x 32 cm. Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Papillon, The Pill. Photo © Kayhan Kaygusuz. © Elsa Sahal, ADAGP, Paris – 2024 – “ to become one » at Villa Datris

Does my body have limits?

Our body goes beyond its own anatomical corporeality. It is felt simultaneously from within and without, strengthening our connection with the world. The body is embodied, no matter what form it takes.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty had introduced the notion of “ clean body“, who is ” in the world like the heart in the organism: it continually keeps the visible spectacle alive, it animates it and nourishes it internally“.
Thus, the body can split, both into a physical body and into a chosen body living in a digital environment.

Kun KANG, Amoeba, 2020, resin, polyurethane, synthetic fur, needles, threads, beads, 94x31x21cm - Courtesy l_artiste and Galerie Vazieux © Kun Kang
Kun KANG, Amoeba, 2020, resin, polyurethane, synthetic fur, needles, threads, beads, 94x31x21cm – Courtesy l_artiste and Galerie Vazieux © Kun Kang – « to become one » at Villa Datris

Wouldn’t the habit make the monk?

Today, clothing has a vital importance in the construction of our identities and the representation of our relationship with the world.
Wearing a costume becomes an artistic, militant and political act, which raises our awareness of questions of identity, cultural difference and our post-colonial relationships.
According to Terrence Musekiwa: Understanding our heritage and passing on knowledge to the next generation is part of understanding soil.

Nick Cave - Drive-by, 2011Nick Cave - Drive-by, 2011
Nick Cave – Drive-by, 2011. © Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York – « to become one » at Villa Datris

How to represent the movement?

To reconcile movement and sculpture, some artists use freeze frames to give free rein to our imagination: transcribing the tension before or after the gesture, imagining infinite movement or fearing its terrible consequences; other artists, such asHenri-François Dumont And Taro Izumi, make fun of the failings of our society which both worships the body and favors automation over excess. They offer us impossible seats, one simulating the movement of a dancer’s legs, the other allowing us to strike the pose of an athlete caught in real life.

Thomas HouseagoFirst Steps2023. Villa Datris Thomas Foundation Collection ©Houseago, ADAGP Paris-2004 – “ to become one » at Villa Datris

How do I fit into my environment?

Since the invention of perspective, the body has been the standard meter in pictorial art. Contemporary artists revisit this notion or question our relationship to space, by making measurement a central element.
The disproportionate body fragments of Caesar and of Rallou Panagiotou thus seem to defy the world. However, is this approach not absurd, as we show Philippe Ramette in his Modern Sisyphus?
For ecological and well-being concerns, should we not instead seek to create symbiosis with nature, as proposed Giuseppe Penoneor even to erase us, as suggested Ana Mendieta Or Wang Keping ?

Philippe Ramette - In praise of surpassing (pushing the limits), 2022Philippe Ramette - In praise of surpassing (pushing the limits), 2022
Philippe RamettePraise for surpassing (pushing the limits), 2022. Courtesy of the artist & Xippas Paris. ©Phillippe Ramette, ADAGP, Paris – 2024 – “ to become one » at Villa Datris

Why depict the body?

Realistic representation is returning to the forefront of the artistic scene, notably thanks to the use of new techniques and new materials.
Artists such as George Segal , Hans Op de Beeck And Guillaume Leblon seek to desecrate academic sculpture.
Classic aesthetic codes are used to no longer celebrate ideal bodies, but anonymous bodies. By giving them a resting posture, the artists do not aim to give them life or magnify them, but rather to reconcile us with a relaxed and vulnerable body.

Hans Op de Beeck - Helene, 2023Hans Op de Beeck - Helene, 2023
Hans Op de BeeckHelene, 2023. MDF, polyester, coating. 90 x 142 x 110.5 cm. Edition 3 + 2AP. Courtesy the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA. © Hans Op de Beeck, ADAGP, Paris – 2024 – “ to become one » at Villa Datris

Kehinde WileyThe Virgin Martyr Cecilia, 2022 (detail). Courtesy of the artist and TEMPLON Paris-Brussels-New York – Anne WenzelUnder Construction (Resist/Petrol), 2023. Courtesy Anne Werger and Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève, Paris. ©Anne Wenzel ADAGP Paris-2024 – “ to become one » at Villa Datris

The Garden of Venus

The garden of the Villa Datris Foundation presents sculptures in harmony with the theme of the exhibition, surrounded by Provençal vegetation.
The monumental and unstructured sculpture of Richard DiRosa dominates the Venuses of Laurent Perbos which evoke sport and the gestures of athletes, as well as its creation 501 kg, in reference to the maximum weight ever lifted by a human being.
In the second part of the garden, a large bronze female silhouette of Johan Creten and the ceramic sculpture of Gabrielle Wambaugh are exposed. At the elevator level, three corten metal and stainless steel sculptures Julien Allegre and an original work byAwena Cozannet are visible.

Johan CretenCathedral, 1999-2000. Courtesy of the artist & Perrotin. ©Johan Creten, ADAGP, Paris – 2024 – Marc NuceraThe kiss, 2015-2016. Courtesy of the artist – « to become one » at Villa Datris

Contemporary representations of Venus by Gabriel Sobin , Fernando Botero And Laurent Perbos are scattered in the wooded areas. Michael Johansson invites visitors to interact with its large installation where the body is suggested by its absence, leaving only clothing elements visible. The sculptures of Rotraut and of Richard DiRosaadd color, vitality and humor to the garden.
At the bend of an alley, Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, interpreted by Jean-Marie Appriou , challenges visitors with its two opposing faces. Finally, a cypress trunk transformed into a loving couple kissing through Marc Nucera and the mountaineer of Stefan Papcoenjoying a well-deserved rest on a block of granite complete the works shown in this haven of greenery.

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