New exhibition: “Water and Diamond”
For its new exhibition, the Societe General Art Collection invited curator Lauranne Germond: as a part of this Carte Blanche, she elaborated a new display highlighting what unites human beings with nature. In more than sixty artworks, all the ramifications and complexities of this bond are explored. Introduction.
Carte Blanche to Lauranne Germond
To showcase the riches of its Collection, Societe Generale asks curators to give it their own twist and preoccupations: this time, this task was given to Lauranne Germond, the co-founder and directorof the COAL association. Throughout her career, she explored the intersectionsbetween ecology and visual arts, and, with COAL, actively takes part in thereflections on environmental and societal questions and works for the emergenceof a new culture based on ecology and life. As such, it is natural for hercuration to highlight the way artists take on environmental topics as well astheir own environment: the more than sixty works from, for the most part, theCollection, along with a couple of loans, sketch just as many world views.
A plentiful selection
“Artists relay sensitivity to the environment, landscapes, and the richness of life,” explains Lauranne Germond: the selection, featuring a wealth of eras, cultures, and shapes, matches the diversity and richness of nature. From ancestral Indonesian sculptures to very recent photograms taken by Alžběta Wolfová, from Vik Muniz and Wilhelm Mundt’s recycling to the delicate, contemplatives photographs of Nils Udo and Thibaut Cuisset, and from Pascal Maitre’s musings to Otobong Nkanga’s reflections, thec hosen works draw an infinity of unique ways of weaving one’s relationship to the environment, to be awed by its beauty, and realize its vulnerability: to belong to the world we all share.
The diamond-water paradox
The thread running throughout the exhibition is economist Adam Smith’s diamond-water paradox, written in the 18thcentury: despite its crucial utility and very high use-value, water doesn’t have any exchange value, whereas costly diamonds’ is very high, even though they are useless. “What is the wind’s caress disseminating seed through the plains worth? How much is a sunset or the brightness of a birds’ chorus at the break of day? What can rival the glorious wealth of forests and a drainagebasin’s remarkable mechanics? Nature’s resources have a value, and theirdestruction has a cost, but does nature have a price?” asks Lauranne Germond.At a time when resources management’s stakes have never been higher, with “Waterand Diamond”, more than ever, art multiplies connections and lines ofinquiry.
To see the exhibition > From the 28thof June 2023 to the 31st of March 2024 in the Societe Generale towers, 17 cours Valmy, 92800 Puteaux, from Monday to Friday and from 10:00 to18:00.
> Book your guided tour online