“Bracha L. Ettinger” at Radicants, Paris

Radicants inaugurates its exhibition space Radicants Paris, located at 18 rue Commines, with a solo exhibition of the Israeli artist Bracha L. Ettinger (Tel Aviv, 1948). Her work will be presented by the New York curator Noam Segal.

Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger is an artist, philosopher, and psychoanalyst, as well as a prominent feminist theorist and the creator of ‘matrixial theory’. Despite important international exhibitions (Castello di Rivoli, Turin – 2021; The Warehouse, Dallas – 2020; Biennale of Istanbul – 2015; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona – 2010), her work has not been exhibited in Paris since 1990. This exhibition intends to position Bracha L. Ettinger’s work where it belongs: at the forefront of contemporary painting.

Bracha L. Ettinger’s work draws on her family history. As members of the Jewish community in Poland, her family were victims of Nazi atrocities during the Second World War. In her work, Bracha subtly shifts the burden of memory towards the feminine and maternal, thereby emphasising the role of transgenerational transmission of traumas. She also revisits the history of art through mythological female figures of trauma such as Eurydice, Chronos, or Medusa. Bracha Ettinger starts with human bodies—mothers, women, and children—and transforms the obscure traces of a violent past into an abstract testimony, marked by spectres. In doing so, she calls into question the healing ability of art.

Using some twenty paintings and drawings as well as the artist’s notebooks written in three languages (French, English, and Hebrew), Noam Segal provides a reading of Bracha L. Ettinger’s artistic practice based to his own theories of matrix space and her notion of giving birth. The exhibition presents the series “Annunciation“, “Pietà“, and “Eurydice,” which were started in the mid-1980s and are still in progress.

In this debut exhibition at Radicants Paris, Nicolas Bourriaud has chosen to collaborate with Noam Segal to highlight the work of an artist he met in the 1980s:

“Bracha L. Ettinger has created a historical painting that does not conjure up images of the past. Let me explain- she paints neither the Holocaust nor the war, but the traumas they have generated. Her work depicts both the present effect of history and the process of erasing memory. As a result, her work is a traumatology: it is a general study of shock.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a curator book, which brings together texts by the American art historian Amelia Jones (1961, Durham), the French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard (1924- 98, Paris), the curator Noam Segal, and the artist, poet, and chef Precious Okoyomon (1993, London) in conversation with Bracha L. Ettinger.

At Radicants, Paris
until July 29, 2022

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