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Brussels / Belgium

'Ballistic poetry'

Launching a new season at La Verrière, Brussels

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.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - 'Ballistic poetry'
© © Isabelle Arthuis

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.

Presention of the exhibition 1/2

Presentation of the exhibition 2/2

Ballistic poetry 
“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 arithmetic 
Poetic cryptic

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” 

Guillaume Désanges

(Poem translated by Francesca Devalier)

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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