To see this site properly, please update your browser. Thank you for your understanding.

facebook twitter

L’Au-delà (des noms et des choses) – Tamar Guimarães

March 22 – may 13, 2012
Maison d’art Bernard Anthonioz, France

«Because (in principle) things outlast us, they know more about us than we know about them: they carry the experiences they had with us inside them and are – in fact – the book of our history opened before us. »
W.G.Sebald, Unrecounted (2004)

The Afterlife (of names and things) – The title of Tamar Guimarães’ exhibition at Maison d’Art Bernard Anthonioz – speaks of the artist’s modus operandi. In her practice, Guimarães considers what happens to cultural and historical residues left floating in the air of time. But rather than attempting a recovery or a reconstruction of the past, what interest her is how artifacts and ideologies travel through time – how they change, corrode, become opaque, take on new meanings, are misunderstood, or perhaps understood again, anew.

Sebald speaks of how objects continue to live much longer than its owners. They are simultaneously a reservoir of the memory of the past, but also a part of story to be reenacted by the new proprietors.

Les dernier jours de Watteau, made in collaboration with the Danish artist Kasper Akhøj, was specially conceived for the Maison d’art Bernard Anthonioz and it will revolve around the house’s oral and written history. The house’s last private owners were the sisters Jeanne and Madeleine Smith. In the early 1900s Madeleine and her husband, the medievalist historian Pierre Champion, fabricated evidence to back an intense lobbying campaign to save the house and its gardens from a road construction. In order to assert the house’s value for historical heritage, they alleged that the painter Antoine Watteau had died there of tuberculosis in 1721. Watteau seemed to have indeed died in Nogent-sur-Marne but in a different house. Their campaign was successful and the road construction project abandoned in 1908.

Watteau is known for his fêtes galantes: scenes of bucolic and idyllic charm, suffused with an air of theatricality. However, Guimaraes and Akhøj are alluding to an understanding of Watteau which sees his work less as enchanting and more as having engaged with his contemporaries about matters of political, social, and cultural consequence.

Besides the new piece, the exhibition will present earlier works by Tamar Guimarães never shown before in France, such as Canoas and The Work of the Spirit (Parade) – both of which share methods and themes explored in the new work.

A catalogue will accompany the exhibition with texts by Dieter Roelstraete and Filipa Oliveira.

Practical Info
Maison d’art Bernard Anthonioz
16, rue Charles VII – 94130 Nogent-sur-Marne
Opening every day except Tuesdays and holidays: 12 am – 18
Free admission

This post is also available in: Spanish