Entitled “Simples Gestes” (“Simple Gestures”), the first exhibition of this series dedicated to gestures was conceived by Jean de Loisy and Sandra Adam-Couralet, respectively the head curator and associate curator of the “Formes simples” (“Simple Shapes”) exhibition at the Centre Pompidou-Metz. Each work presented at Saint-Louis reveals the expressive potential of the body in action, through gestures that embody both the most ancient and the most current aspects of our humanity. From the wearing down of a pebble manipulated in the palm of a hand (Gabriel Orozco) to the mechanical gestures of everyday life (Natacha Nisic, Ali Kazma), from the virtuoso wielding of tools (Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Guillaume Leblon) to the movements of dancers (Eva Kot‘átková, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Émilie Pitoiset), these gestures define homo faber, whether they are the elementary movements that become music or sculpture (Melik Ohanian, Jean-Marie Appriou) or those with which we swipe between the screens that have invaded our lives (Julien Prévieux).
The second instalment in this series, “Cristallisations – La naissance d’un ordre caché” (“Crystallisations – the birth of a hidden order”) drew inspiration from the context of Saint-Louis’s production and demonstration site. The exhibition’s curators, Hélène Guenin and Alexandra Müller, were inspired by the homonymy that links the material worked at Saint-Louis, glass crystal, with the naturally occurring physical formation of crystal. Referencing the work of 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler as well as the geometric harmony essential to the working of glass crystal, they brought together works and scientific documents that deal with the emergence of coherent structure from the chaos of diffuse materials. Oscillating between chance and necessity, and evoking notions of repetition, sedimentation and crystallisation, each object echoed the “cosmopoetics” of the astronomer’s treatises.
The final exhibition in the series, also curated by Hélène Guenin, continued this immersive study of the universe of the art of crystal glass through a presentation of the work of Capucine Vandebrouck (b. France, 1985). Her personal exhibition, “Efflorescences”, consisted of a fruitful blending of material chemistry and poetic licence. The title was chosen for the multiplicity of connotations, and to reflect the involuntary poetry of her works, which emerge from the life of materials and the appearance of forms. Produced in resonance with the site, they together formed a landscape in a permanent state of metamorphosis.