October 7, 2019 - Fondation Bettencourt Schueller - L'esprit commence et finit au bout des doigts*
October 7, 2019

Fondation Bettencourt Schueller

François-Xavier Richard, 2019. ©Thierry Depagne

L'esprit commence et finit au bout des doigts*
20 years of commitment for the intelligence de la main®
October 16–November 10, 2019

Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris
France

www.fondationbs.org
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

L'esprit commence et finit au bout des doigts*
20 years of commitment for the intelligence de la main®
October 16–November 10, 2019

Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris
France

www.fondationbs.org
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Curator: Laurent Le Bon
Design: Isabelle Cornaro

For one month, as part of the season dedicated to the “Scène française” (French Scene), the Palais de Tokyo will host the various métiers d’art (artistic crafts) that have been rewarded and supported by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller for the last 20 years, without trying to hierarchize the works or the crafts displayed. The sentence that has been chosen as the title* of the exhibition is from L’Idée fixe ou Deux Hommes à la mer, 1932 (translated into English as Idée Fixe. A Dialogue by the Sea, New York, Bollingen Foundation, 1965), a novel by Paul Valéry. It sets up a dialogue with the lines by the author inscribed on the pediments of the Palais de Chaillot, a building located nearby and dating from the same period.

-You must admit that hands are a really extraordinary appliance.… In the morning, professional…
-And by appointment…
-And in the evening, functional! … It’s wonderful.
-They’re the all-purpose grippers!
-But what about the mind?
-It begins and ends in the fingertips
.*

The exhibition -curated by Laurent Le Bon in an installation by the visual artist Isabelle Cornaro- is organized within the space of the magnificent “Orbe New York” hall into four sequences which play on the variations of light intensity and on the dilation of space. It opens with a contextual introduction, designed as an astonishing cabinet of wonders and putting on display hundreds of pieces from the collections of the Beaux-Arts de Paris which celebrates the hands alone. These hands then become embodied, as the creative process is initiated. In the Workshop, visitors discover the faces, and the tools, machines and materials of the 281 French métiers d’art. The space then opens onto the city, and the creations are presented along a festive parade, bathed in natural light, and punctuated with the presence of vegetation, as in a happy vanitas still life. Finally, still images are set in motion and projected in a panorama representing various types of actions carried out to support the métiers d’art: restoring primacy to the senses, the panorama is also an invitation to imagine the future.

For the last 20 years, the Liliane Bettencourt Prize pour l’intelligence de la main® (for the intelligence of hands), established by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller, has highlighted the exceptional skills, creativity, and innovation of craftspeople involved in the French contemporary art scene. This exhibition is a reflection of the Fondation’s commitment to philanthropic endeavors.

Intelligence de la main® - Registered trademark

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