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Lyon – France

You had to be called Marcel Duchamp to dare to put the Air of Paris in a light bulb and offer it as a ready-made to his rich collector… More than a century later (it was in 1919), it is the Bullukian Foundation that invites us to “breathe” – A pleins poumons. 

Le souffle des objets
© Deborah Fischer

“As vital as it is elusive, the breath is a loop that crosses our body, impregnates it, and exits it in a perpetual impulse that links us to the world. It is a mirror that constantly betrays our state and our emotions: we can feel asphyxiated […] have our breath taken away […], and be extinguished at any moment in the whisper of a last sigh. It is this breath that speeds up or slows down to the rhythm of our actions, this exchange of flows that connects us to the outside world and gives shape to the immaterial […]” – the primary material of all Duchamp’s work concentrated in his flask… 

« Mirage », 2022-2023
© Nicolas Dhervillers

It is through the creation of twelve artists approaching the question of breath that Fanny Robin “invites us to a wandering among areas of shadows, a kind of vulnerable and invisible spaces” to wander.

More ecological but not less poetic than the bulb of Air of Duchamp, and more immaterial still, the iridescent bubble floating in weightlessness in the landscape of Miguel Arzabe. Ecological and poetic too, the practice of Julie Legrand hybridizing elements of recovery, vegetable, mineral, animal, or industrial materials, to blown glass forms to say the “complex relationships of strength and fragility.” It is also to the “almost nothing” that Déborah Fischer devotes her practice of including pieces of brick and other discarded objects collected in the street in glass pads seeming to enclose more than air, allowing us to perceive the Breath of the objects. 

X m3 d’air, marbre blanc
© JB Caron

As for Jean-Baptiste Caron, it is the imprint of air currents that he tries to take in wax and concrete while he surreptitiously takes our breath in the mirrors of an immersive installation…

With Nicolas Dhervillers, the breath becomes mist in his recomposed landscapes, mixing fragments of old photographs retouched and pastel: drowned in suspicious clouds, they lose us in an indefinite temporality, a world floating like a breath in suspense.

One of the most moving works, also currently on view at Bourse de Commerce,1 is Jonathas De Andrade’s film revealing a strange ritual of mortal embrace between a man and a fish practiced by fishermen in a coastal village in northeast Brazil. 

Julie Legrand – Ce qu’en disent les objets – Prise éléctrique et verre soufflé à la canne par Julie Legrand 2019
© Paul Louis


1 In the exhibition “Before the storm,” see Acumen #33