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Until 15 May 2011
Tous Cannibales
Paris, Maison Rouge
Claude Levi-Strauss, in an article in '93, maintains that "We are all cannibals", thus prodding the old anthropophagy taboo that is now a call to a superb display on the monster that lives dormant in all of us...
pattyA long red carpet entitled Marble Floor by Wim Delvoye welcomes the visitor whose attention is captured mostly by the sign bearing Levi-Strauss’ proclamation "We are all cannibals. The easiest way to identify the with one another is to eat one another."(La Repubblica, 1993), thus opening up a long discussion about the cruelty of anthropophagy. The commissioner of the exhibition, Jeanette Zwingenberger, invited thirty young artists, half of whom are women, to compare notes on this subject by putting their works in the classical perspective and establishing a stimulating dialogue between them on issues such as the broken body, the flesh, the body sacrificed, the fable and the sacred and the profane.

In the various sections different masks stand out, such as that of a red devil by Giovanni Battista Podesta, exponent of art brut, or what is Zhong Kui (China, Qing Dynasty, the nineteenth century), the demon slayer in the theater of exorcism called Nuo. In front of these is Adriana Varejao’s Heroes, in which a huge mass of human entrails breaks through a wall covered with white tiles, a symbol of the decimation of the indigenous people by colonialism. We find then works on self-cannibalism as Polyfocus by Gilles Barbier, in which the artist, in different sequences integrated into one big photo, is represented devouring himself.  Next is Dana ShultzSelf Eater # 3, portraying a possible and positive “autofagia” in a society in which we consume ourselves in order to reproduce. Delicate in the choice of colors but strong in its narrative is the painting by Oda Jaune, which has for its subject the body turned erotic meat-based meal.  This introduces the section entitled meat that would not be complete without the clothes made of meat by Jana Sterbak. In the section devoted to the body sacrificed Saverio Lucariello ironically portrays the futility through the depiction of himself in the middle of a classic still life.

gilles b

Interesting also is work of brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman Los desastres de la guerra,  in perfect harmony with a work of the same name by Francisco de Goya represented here. Here is the Virgin Suckling the Christ Child, as in the beautiful photos in the series INRI by Bettina Rheims in which the miracle of the virgin's milk is a symbol of the blood sacrifice of her son, it faces a lovely Madonna attributed to Jacopo Bassano. This section finds space for the psychoanalytic concept of incorporation in the oral stage,  the first step of identification of the human being, the baby sucking the milk which first establishes a dialogue with the world, but along with love ingests also horror and fears. While the video performance by Michel Journiac, Messe pour un corps (1969), brings to mind the ritual cannibalistic tribe who by eating their leader try to appropriate his power. 

Many works are still to be discovered including the video by Camille de Galbert, dissancrante or that of Patty Chang, but also the sculpture of Melissa Ichiuji.  In short, do not miss a show that lays the foundation for creating new dialogues between cultures and diverse epochs. The exhibition will continue in Berlin between May 28 and Sept. 18 at the space Me Collectors Room Berlin. 

livia de leoni
exhibit visited 11 February 2011

From 11 February to 15 May 2011
Tous Cannibales – collective
La Maison Rouge 
Address : 10, Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012, Parigi.
Entry : 7 euro, 5  euro.
Catalogue Available
info :  from Wednesday to Sunday - 11,00/19,00 – Thursday until 21,00.
01 40 01 08 81 
Reserved Reproduction