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Our discovery of a new work of art is above all an emotional encounter. Poésie balistique (‘Ballistic poetry’) is a new season of exhibitions at La Verrière, revisiting this key aspect of our apprehension of contemporary art with a focus on the viewer’s unmediated experience and the nature of our direct, individual, sensitive response, beyond language.
Following the Gesture, and thought season at La Verrière, curator Guillaume Désanges has devised a new cycle of exhibitions devoted to our subjective response to contemporary art. Intuition is celebrated over explanation. A work’s initial impact – however conceptual its aims – should take precedence over its interpretation in words, says Désanges. Too often, the latter becomes confused with the essence of the work itself. The spontaneous encounter between viewer and work is examined in a context of ‘ballistic poetry’, the title given to this new series.
‘Ballistic poetry’ is expressed first as a poem: a manifesto for the series, in which Désanges rubs these two notions against each other to define, by default, our spontaneous relationship to the work of art. Poetry is an expression of ‘the ineffable […] or mysterious in art’. Hence the exhibition’s focus on creation that is seemingly devoid of content or message, beyond ‘that unexpected affect that touches the senses’ of anyone prepared to reach beyond the work’s explanation in language. This is the essence of ‘ballistic’ impact – a sensation often experienced in response to the most rigorously programmatic artistic practices.
In this context, Guillaume Désanges has gathered fifteen exceptional practitioners, including the little-known Cuban embroidery artist Hessie, French artists Jean-Luc Moulène, Dominique Petitgand and Guillaume Leblon and American artist Helen Mirra, together with work by poets such as Christophe Tarkos and Mark Insigel. The inaugural exhibition is a celebration of poetry, open to each visitor’s intuitive response, and to all possibilities as the season unfolds.
“Poetry by intuition
Ballistic by intention
Ballistic because it’s programmed
Poetic because it derails
Poetry in the distance
Ballistic in the impact
Poetic because it’s evasive
Ballistic because it’s gripping
Ballistic as trajectory
Poetry as territory
Poetry by evanescence
Ballistic by precision
Poetic like a tirade
Ballistic like a barrage
Poetic as it’s addressed to no one
Ballistic as it touches everyone
Poetic like a throw of the dice
Ballistic like a shot from a gun
Ballistic because it’s cutting
Poetic because it’s troubling
Poetic by chance
Ballistic by necessity
Poetic when the ineffable takes over the discourse
Ballistic when a straight line replaces the wandering narrative
Poetic in the language
Ballistic in the image”
(Poem translated by Francesca Devalier)
La Verrière / Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
50, boulevard de Waterloo – 1000 Brussels
Free admission Monday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Curator : Guillaume Désanges