What’s free to me? Same thing it is to you, you tell me. [Laughter]
(. . .) It’s just a feeling. It’s like how do you tell somebody how it’s like to be in love. (. . .) You cannot do it to save your life. You can describe things, but you can’t tell them, but you know it when it happens. (. . .) That’s what I mean by free. I’ve had a couple times on stage when I really felt free and that’s something else.
That’s really something else! [Laughter]
I’ll tell you what freedom is to me, no fear.
I mean really no fear.
If I could have that half of my life. No fear.
Lots of children have no fear.
That’s the closest way, that’s the only way,
I can describe it, that’s not all of it,
but it is something to really really feel.
[Jazz drumming begins softly]1
This is how the exhibition “La Position de L’Amour” begins. With voices, breathing, screams, and a tense tonality that comes from a place where pain and joy, past and future, come together. Like a birth, with violence and beauty.
This exhibition considers love not only as an emotion but as an act2, a stance, or a way of being; a choice to move towards a loving way of seeing, hearing, and experiencing the “other.” Love is approached as a critical, emancipatory practice, a space of possibilities that emerges from a constellation of elements: deep presence, engagement, recognition of interconnection, openness to the unknown. . .
The works gathered in the exhibition embrace and confront us with this position of love.
The eleven artists come from different horizons, and each of them, with their own language of forms, gestures, textures, sounds, or movements, creates connections between people, territories, and temporalities. Their works reveal art’s capacity to carve out new spaces to breathe and to find beauty in the very heart of the present moment, thus becoming a set of strategies for surviving the hostilities of the world.
This exhibition affirms the value of art and artistic practice as a vital tool for regeneration within the context of the current crisis of imagination that is being demonstrated while humanity continues to erupt in violence. As expressed by Arundhati Roy, an author whose words always flow from this position of love, what matters is: “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”3, 1999
Gabrielle Hill l’Hirondelle
Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings
at Magasin CNAC, Grenoble
until March 12, 2023