A nonetheless shot of Robert Wilson’s Star and Stone: a form of love…some say, image by AM/SWAN
  • by SWAN – Southern World Arts Information (normandy, france)
  • Inter Press Service

Photographs of explosions, falling particles, a cheetah fleeing within the darkness – all despatched a message that the world is in a precarious scenario on many fronts and that pressing restorative motion is required.

But, together with the tangible sense of angst, the present appeared to name for hope, with the intoning of Angelou’s well-known line: “However nonetheless, like mud, I’ll rise.”

The 25-minute projection, by Texas-born experimental theatre artist Robert Wilson, kinds a part of the huge Normandie Impressionniste competition, now in its 5th incarnation and this 12 months celebrating the 150th anniversary of impressionism, the artwork motion that scandalized critics when it emerged within the late 1800s.

Operating till Sept. 22, and with a head-spinning 150 occasions going down all through Normandy – the area most intently related to well-known impressionist artists akin to Claude Monet – the competition includes exhibitions, installations, theatre items, concert events, and different exhibits.

It options each famend and rising artists, from throughout France in addition to from international locations together with India, Japan, China, South Africa, the USA and Britain … all “in dialogue” with impressionism, and historical past, in response to competition director Philippe Platel.

“We want to present what’s taking place now, to replace the view of artwork, at the same time as Normandy stays central,” Platel mentioned in an interview.

The 1874 Paris exhibition that sparked the time period impressionism (from the Monet portray Impression, soleil levant) was met principally with disdain as standard painters and critics opposed the breaking of educational guidelines. However the motion, with its deal with a distinct manner of seeing and capturing gentle, would go on to have world affect.

Nonetheless, whereas the impressionists had been seen as radicals, their first exhibits featured only one lady artist, Berthe Morisot. Now, the competition has made it some extent to incorporate virtually as many modern girls artists (47 p.c) as males, mentioned Platel – though it’s clear that the “blockbuster” exhibitions centre on male painters.

The Wilson / Angelou present, titled Star and Stone: a form of love…some say” is introduced as one of many highlights of the competition, and Platel emphasises that Angelou (who died in 2014) was an “immense feminist poet”.

Her phrases are transmitted within the unique English and in French translation (learn by French actress Isabelle Huppert), alongside music by composer Philip Glass. (Wilson and Glass have beforehand collaborated, most notably for the opera Einstein on the Seaside.)

With its transferring, intense photos, Star and Stone evokes historic atrocities, together with slavery and two world wars. It remembers the injury inflicted on Normandy throughout World Warfare II, nevertheless it additionally displays present brutal conflicts. (Throughout the projection on Might 22, a lady strode previous, and, clearly angered by the visuals, or mistaking the present for an illustration, shouted out the phrase “anti-Semitic” a number of instances, to the obvious bafflement of spectators.)

Among the projected scenes, particularly in opposition to the full-moon backdrop on this explicit night time, conjured Monet’s iconic work of the Rouen Cathedral, works that themselves cling in an exhibition opening Might 25 in Le Havre.

The harbour city, which noticed complete neighbourhoods flattened in World Warfare II bombardments, has over the previous many years launched into a cultural and architectural renaissance, and it hosts a formidable museum of recent artwork (MuMa) which is showcasing 19th-century images in Normandy, as a part of the competition.

Photographier en Normandie: 1840-1890 juxtaposes pictures and impressionist work, giving an thought of the medium’s improvement and the considerations of artists on the time: the quickly altering landscapes attributable to the economic revolution, for example.

It pulls collectively a number of iconic work of landmarks and the ocean, whereas the images too seize marine scenes, day by day life, and environmental transformations introduced on by the constructing of railway strains throughout the 19th century. The present caters to each portray and images buffs, or anybody fascinated about early picture-taking processes and their world affect, not least on artists.

Again in Rouen, one other spotlight of the competition is an exhibition by 86-year-old English artist David Hockney, who has been dwelling and dealing in Normandy for the reason that Covid-19 pandemic. His present Normandism at Rouen’s Musée des Beaux-Arts affords a distinct form of impressionism, mixing pop artwork with the standard of sunshine so vital to his predecessors.

Right here, vibrant greens, yellows and blues pull spectators into the landscapes for which wet Normandy is legendary, and the exhibition additionally options putting portraits in addition to work that Hockney has created by way of iPads.

The latter file his particular person method and take viewers on a journey from the primary line traced to the colorful accomplished work.

Within the “dialogue” between modern artists and the impressionists, a fundamental theme is water – the ocean, ponds, rain – with echoes of local weather change. In a single standout present, Oliver Beer, a British painter and musician, reinterprets Monet’s well-known Water Lilies collection, reworking soundwaves into visible depiction on big azure canvases.

In one other, famend French artist Marc Desgrandchamps incorporates human kinds into his portrayal of water and landscapes, suggesting fragility in addition to the necessity for environmental safety.

Whereas these artists have consciously accepted the decision to make use of impressionism of their exhibits, the impressionists themselves drew from others, particularly from Japanese artists, whose work Monet collected. The competition highlights these worldwide hyperlinks with an exhibition set to start June 22 in Deauville: Mondes flottants: du japonisme à l’artwork contemporain / Floating Worlds: from “Japonism” to Modern Artwork.

In the meantime, Tokyo-born, France-based artist Reiji Hiramatsu will maintain a solo present, Symphonie des Nymphéas / Water Lilies Symphony in Giverny, the city the place Monet lived, painted and created his water gardens. The exhibition beginning July 12 will comprise 14 screens, impressed by sure Monet works… which themselves had been impressed by Japan.

Different worldwide artists embody Shanta Rao (Indian-French), with an exhibition titled Les yeux turbides / Turbid Eyes within the commune Grand Quevilly, the place she invitations viewers to see how objects change with gentle; and South African Bianca Bondi who makes use of mounds of salt to create luminous landscapes for a present in Le Havre.

With the emphasis on gentle and dialogue throughout the competition, the phrases of Maya Angelou virtually appear to kind a chorus, calling out from Rouen, to rebut oppression and exclusion: “Forsaking nights of terror and concern / I rise / right into a dawn that’s wondrously clear“. – 

© Inter Press Service (2024) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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