Dark Dreaming, in the land of earthly stars

Apr 2016

Dark Dreaming, in the land of earthly stars


Rêve d’obscur (‘Dark dreaming’) opens the second season organised by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès at La Grande Place/musée du cristal Saint-Louis with a guest institution from the Lorraine region: in this case 49 Nord 6 Est-Frac Lorraine. Rêve d’obscur explores the hidden and impalpable: the distant, imaginary, mysterious realm of stars. 

Part hypothesis, part fantasy, Rêve d’obscur  encompasses projections of the imagination and unattainable realms. Invited by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès to curate a season of three shows at La Grande Place/musée du cristal Saint-Louis, 49 Nord 6 Est-Frac Lorraine (the Lorraine regional art fund) draws on its own collections to create a speculative exhibition devoted to the ‘imagination and fictive potential of unknown lands, the dark side of the moon, or distant planets’.

The top floor of La Grande Place/musée du cristal Saint-Louis presents graphic works, photographs and sculptures that resonate with geographic and scientific data, to poetic effect. Maps are rendered virtually opaque (Neal Beggs), the sun is held in the crook of an arm (Barbara and Michael Leisgen), a mantra is transcribed on the trunk of a tree (Charwei Tsai): each scenario presents an intangible ‘dream of darkness’ in counterpoint to the dazzling brilliance of the lead crystal blown in the Saint-Louis workshops.

Lorraine artist Benoît Billotte has created a new work specially for this latest season of exhibitions, which also includes a ‘human library’. Steered by two artists from the French department of Moselle, with the support of 49 Nord 6 Est-Frac Lorraine, this exploratory work records artisans from workshops across the region, including the cristallerie Saint-Louis, describing their lives and their relationship to the objects they make, including some branded as ‘unmentionable’. These oral narratives bring to life the interaction between La Grande Place and its surrounding region.

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