Art, nature and diversity under a single spotlight at the Cartier Foundation

Cartier Foundation presents Les Vivants exhibition, which brings the most diverse artists and questions the relationship between human beings and the living world

Animalia, 2022, Bruno Novelli.

The exposure Les Vivants, presented by the Cartier Foundation and inaugurated this month at a cultural event in Lille, France, is the continuation of a series of exhibitions presented by the Foundation that are part of a project that has been running for more than two decades and which aims to give voice to the narratives of peoples whose culture was crushed by eurocentrism and to highlight this rich artistic production produced by them, which was often ignored or underestimated.

The focus of the exhibition, in addition to promoting artists from cultures alien to Western Europe, is to put on the agenda the relationship of distance that human beings have been cultivating with nature and the planet, in addition to questioning the limits of anthropocentrism.

In free translation, the name of the exhibition refers to the “Living World”, that is, to everything that is alive on the planet without being, necessarily, the human being. The exhibition invites the visitor to see the planet as a single body, a single life, which needs to be in harmony to be healthy, as if all living parts of the planet needed each other to be and remain alive. 

Panel by Chinese artist Cai Quo Giang.

Bruno Novelli is an artist who paints what is best and most beautiful about Brazil: its unparalleled natural wealth. With vibrant colors, his canvases are filled with the tropical landscape, animals, rivers, lakes and the jungle. Solange Pessoa, in turn, brings his own unique language to Paris, the result of his imaginative reinterpretation of the world and its organic and rock origins. His pieces seem to portray what is most original and primitive in the world – evidently disregarding the pejorative meaning of the term.

Drawing by Ehuana Yaira (Yanomami).

The show brings together more than 250 works by an extensive community of artists and scientists engaged in aesthetic and existential issues deeply marked by the enigmatic beauty of the living world. Artists include musician and bioacoustic Bernie Krause, Chinese artist Cai Guo Qiang, Frenchman Fabrice Hyber, American filmmaker Artavazad Pelechian, French botanist Francis Hallé and American artist Tony Oursler. The latter's work is among the most enigmatic pieces that make up the Cartier Foundation and is the fruit of many years of joint work.

Also, at the center of the exhibition is a notable collection of works produced by indigenous peoples of the Americas exhibited together for the first time in Europe. His experiences on an equal relationship between human and non-human living beings come from an immemorial tradition from which we have much to learn. Many of the artists come from the Brazilian Amazon like Jaider Esbell (Makuxi), Ehuana Yaira and Joseca (Yanomami), Bane Isaka and Mana (Huni Kuin), as well as from the Venezuelan Amazon as Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe (Yanomami). The exhibition also brings together a selection of drawings by Nivaklé and Guarani artists who live in the Chaco Forest, such as Esteban and Angélica Klassen, Floriberta Fermín, Marcos Ortiz, Clemente Juliuz, Osvaldo Pitoe and Jorge Carema. 

Joseca and Ehuana Yaira, artists that recently appeared here, have already participated in this series of exhibitions on other occasions and will be, once again, representing their people and their origins in Europe. 


Les Vivants

Venue: Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art

Address: 261 Bd Raspail, 75014 Paris, France

Date: From May 14 to October 2, 2022

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 11:00 to 20:00 

Ticket: Free

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