Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac hosts Matali Crasset’s new exhibition Voyage en Uchronie (‘Voyage to Uchronia’) in their Pantin gallery. Her fifth exhibition with Galerie Thaddeus Ropac explores the habitat and rituals of an imaginary human society, who are represented by oversized furniture-like forms, empty in the middle.
One of these rituals involves moving into a black hill that is a place of memory. This magic mountain, a place of introspection, invites us to put our aspirations into perspective.
The artist explains:
I think of the exhibition as a space for introspection. I’m interested in presenting elements of a moving and developing line of thought by using formalizations far removed from my usual practice with the ‘exhibition’ object. I question my own practice as much as I question design in all its entrenchments, by thinking of it as an autonomous activity, detached from any basic premise. Thinking, and suggesting hypotheses, is what excites me in this context.
The exhibition also includes a film Voyage to Uchronia, salvatico è colui che si salva, edited by Royal Book Lodge, and borrowing its sub-title from Leonardo da Vinci. This a genre film describes the epic adventure to Uchronia or of this dream.
I think this entire idea is very interesting, but even more interesting to me is the history behind Uchronia, pulled from the release: In 1936, Régis Messac offered this definition of Uchronia in Primaires, the review he edited: “An unknown country, discovered by the philosopher Renouvier, located at a remove from time or outside time, to which, like old moons, events that might have happened but did not are relegated”. The word was invented by Charles Renouvier, who used it in the title of his 1876 novel Uchronie, l’utopie dans l’histoire, (‘Utopia in History’). Uchronia is a 19th century neologism constructed on the pattern of ‘Utopia’, which Thomas More coined in 1516 as the title of his famous book Utopia. Where the Greek elements ‘u-topia’ suggested ‘no-place’ (ou – topos), ‘u-chronia’ suggests ‘no-time’ (ou-chronos in Greek). Etymologically, therefore, the word designates non-existent time.
The exhibition is on display through July 20, 2013.
Photos by Philippe Servent.