Alberto Giacometti / Sophie Ristelhueber. Legacy
The exhibition “Legacy” places in dialogue previously unseen works as well as some new productions by Sophie Ristelhueber and a series of works by Alberto Giacometti. Internationally renowned for her photographic work on the question of memory and war, the artist presents here a reflection as important but less known to the public around traces of family memory inscribed in the places and objects of reminiscence.
In the oeuvre of the Swiss artist, Ristelhueber chose the enduring part played by the family constellation and the environment of his childhood by selecting a gallery of painted portraits and a series of heads in plaster of his family. Ristelhueber associates Giacometti's home village with her own family home, which was the theatre of her childhood and the subject of many photographic series.
The correspondence between individual experience and the human condition that underlies both artists’ work, is organised in a confrontation arranged between the photographic series Ristelhueber made at the hospital on the reconstructed bodies and Giacometti’s scarified sculptures.
Sophie Ristelhueber thus takes another look at one of the key topics of the modern artist, the ambivalence between life and death in art representation.
Curator: Hugo Daniel
Sophie Ristelhueber, born in 1949, lives and works in Paris. She is one of the first artists to have based her work on the material of a territory and its history, its memory and its scars. For the past thirty years, one of her main axes of work has been to approach the ruins and traces left by man in places devastated by war and natural or cultural upheaval.
As Jacques Rancière noted about her work in Le Spectateur émancipé: "She has photographed not the emblem of war but the wounds and scars it leaves on a territory. She makes visible, and sensitive, these real memories of the "facts" of history. While her preferred medium is photography, Ristelhueber uses it to create complex works, playing with its material and format, in the realization of exhibitions, installations, films and artist books.
Her work has been exhibited in numerous international institutions including the MoMA (New York, USA), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, USA), the Tate Modern (London, UK), the Rencontres photographiques d'Arles, and in Paris, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, the Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, the Jeu de Paume and the Musée Zadkine.
Giacometti’s portraits, be they painted or sculpted, are the translation of the model as an implacable otherness, which can never be grasped in its entirety. These portraits, devoid of all emotion and expression, are the receptacle of what the spectator brings to them. What was involved for the artist was capturing and rendering the vibration of the life of his models and not their psychology. Under Giacometti’s brush, his mother’s cook, Rita, became a sacerdotal character relieved of any sociological context.