This exhibition is one of a series of invitations extended to contemporary artists by French National Museums of the 20th century in the Alpes-Maritimes. Viewed as resonating with Picasso’s masterpiece War and Peace, these exhibitions explore contemporary propositions on the theme of political consciousness.
“We are going through a time of deep anxiety where the latest wisdom and heritage should be taken as genuine treasures […].”
Myriam Mihindou exemplifies the figure of the artist as a “cultural passer”. Of Franco-Gabonese origin, she has always found herself in the position of an intermediary between cultures, moving from one side to the other with curiosity and empathy. Her artistic work arises from and thrives on this transcultural experience in terms both of human relations and working with matter. Through her various practices performances, photography, video and sculpture, she evokes such major social issues as women’s status, post-colonialism and the environmental crisis.
For this exhibition, Myriam Mihindou spent several weeks in residence. During her immersion in the Vallauris’ history and current dynamics, she was able to complete Transmissions, a work comprising several poles made with white grogged stoneware studded with coloured enamel. Through the creative process that fashioned them and their shapes, these sculptures refer to a network of meanings intertwined. Devised as powerful living objects, they imply branches whose colour reveals fertile sap. They materialise the necessary transmission of history, knowledge and know-how – those the artist herself found in Vallauris, as she confronted ceramic creation – to uncover a more equitable world, based on a foundation of memory innervating the creation of new principles of life.
Each one bears its own mythology on the pommel, support for meditation able to recount the past while triggering the imagination of reinvented collective history. This is an invitation to grasp and lean on one of
these rods of knowledge which, like a tutor for plants, enables us to stand up confidently in a world that asks for nothing more than to be explored.
Their appearance, both linear and sombre – possibly evoking the soldiers’ arms and violence in Picasso’s La Guerre et la Paix – suggests agitation, sinuosity, complexity and anxiety. Between violence and harmony, their feverish fluid stems are also metaphors for the book represented by Picasso in this monumental painting: object for transmission in the process of being written, read in favourable times (Peace) or destroyed by obscurantism in time of conflict (War).
Anne Dopffer, general curator of heritage and head of the Musées nationaux du XXe siècle des Alpes-Maritimes Johanne Lindskog, curator of heritage at the Musée National Marc Chagall
Myriam Mihindou, Transmissions, œuvre en cours de réalisation, atelier de Marc Alberghina à Vallauris, 2017-2018. Photo : DR
July and August, every day from 10am to 12:45pm and 2:15pm to 6:15pm.
September, October, November : every day except Tuesdays, from 10 am to 12:15pm and from 2pm to 5pm
Full rate €4, reduced rate €2, group rate €2 (groups of 10 or more), free for under-26s (EU)
and for all on the first Sunday of every month.
Single ticket for the Musée Magnelli, Musée de la Céramique.