auditorium, vitraux, musée Chagall, photo Gilles Ehrentrant, 2021
Conferences and symposiums

Conference by Philippe Descola

The Shapes of the Visible
Tuesday 28th February 2023, at 7pm
Musée national Marc Chagall

Philippe Descola, The Shapes of the Visible (in French)
a partnership with the villa Arson        

Images help, among other things, stimulating and organising memory, transmiting  information and expressing emotions. Beyond these universal functions, they also have the power to make visible what can be called ontologies, i.e. sets of qualities detected in beings and things. The four main ones play on the contrasts between the body and the states of consciousness: Totemism (in Australia, for example), which emphasises the material and moral continuity between humans and non-humans; Analogism (in China, ancient Mexico or the Renaissance), which postulates a network of essential discontinuities between the elements of the world to be structured by relations of correspondence; Animism (in Amazonia or Siberia), which assimilates non-humans to humans through their intentionality and differentiates them from them through their bodies; and Naturalism (in Europe from the 17th century onwards), which links us to non-humans through material continuities and distinguishes us from them through cultural aptitude. These ontologies are expressed in images of very diverse natures originating from all five continents, and an anthropological interpretation will be proposed.

After contributions to the ethnology of Amazonia, based in particular on surveys among the Achuar people, Philippe Descola (born in 1949) has devoted himself for several years to the comparative anthropology of relations between humans and non-humans and, more recently, to the anthropology of images. Professor emeritus at the Collège de France and director of studies at the EHESS, he is the author of The Domestic Nature (2019 [1986]), The Spears of Twilight (1993), Beyond Nature and Culture (2005), Diversity of Natures, Diversity of Cultures (2010), The Ecology of Others (2011), The Composition of Worlds (2014), An Ecology of Relationships (2019), The Shapes of the Visible (2021), Ethnographies of Future Worlds (with Sandro Pignocchi, 2022). Philippe Descola was awarded the CNRS Gold Medal in 2012 and is a member of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For more information, click here

This series of lectures is a co-production of UCArts - Cultural Department of the Côte d'Azur University and the 20th Century National Museums of the Alpes-Maritimes. The six lectures are organised in partnership with the Friends of the Marc Chagall National Museum Association.

The programme is developed by the museum in collaboration with Josiane Rieu, professor of 16th century French literature at the Côte d'Azur University and member of the Transdisciplinary Centre for the Epistemology of Literature and the Living Arts.

To discover our series of lectures for the 2022-23 season, click here

Photo : © B. Roscot-Pleutin, Les Seuil, 2022.

The museum is open every day except Tuesdays, January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

From November to April: from 10am to 5pm
From May to October: from 10am to 6pm

Free admission to the auditorium, depending on the number of seats available.

Adultes Etudiants
Philippe Descola, format affiche. Photo : (c) B. Roscot-Pleutin, Le Seuil, 2022
Chagall and me ! 50 years of the Marc Chagall national Museum
from 28 January 2023 to 8 January 2024