“To be ignorant of the past is to forever be a child.”
The feeling that we have reached the end of a system and are on the cusp of a new world is gaining ground in global consciences. In this context, Cicero’s famous maxim acquires a collective dimension. Humanity’s ability to “grow” — meaning to look forward and intelligently build a better future — implies a “preparatory” phase of introspection: who are we? Where do we come from? Is there a unifying thread of humanity that transcends eras and frontiers and that could secure the cement for the next odyssey?… In this quest for a “common ground”, humans re-examine the world’s genesis (from the Greek Γένεσις, “birth”, “beginning”, “source”). A re-grounding in the great fundamentals, between fascination for the distant cosmos, mathematic universality and unearthing great mythological narratives... The focal point being heightened awareness of being a part of the same “grand design of things”.
1. BEFORE THE RUINS: Fascinated by the origins, a subject he often represents in his collages, the artist Cyprien Gaillard chose to call his first exhibition at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 2011-2012: Ur. It is the name of the Mesopotamian town from which Abraham set forth. It is also a German prefix meaning: that which is in the beginning, the oldest, the ancestor of everything, the time “before the ruins”.
2. A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE: Presented at the Fondation Cartier in 2012 in Paris, Beatriz Milhazes’ collage O Paraiso, translates natural phenomena (solar radiation, bird flight, wave movement, etc.) into mathematical formulas. Her work reveals the ubiquitous and universal essence of mathematics, down to its most prosaic manifestations.
3. FUSION-AGE : Taking place in an indefinite period somewhere between the Middle Ages and Antiquity, the epic TV series Game of Thrones, 2011, HBO, embraces many influences (Rome, Camelot, Byzantium, Babylonia, Carthage, pre-Columbian civilizations, vikings, etc.) and their corresponding myths and legends.
RECONNECTING WITH PRIMORDIAL NATURE
By shifting to an astronomical scale (vs. a historical scale) and by (re)discovering ancestral myths and beliefs, modern humans strive to fulfill a need for primitive emotions that bind them to their roots, as well as a powerful desire to reconnect with the primordial dimension of Nature. A profound fascination for the elementary emerges: the fundamental and the pristine, pure matter … The forgotten original treasures untouched by humans and that are steeped in a reassuring eternity. What was, is and will always be...
SEEKING REASSURANCE IN THE LOGIC AND BEAUTY OF MATHEMATICS
Prevailing feelings of uncertainty, drifting and disorder are being countered by an acute desire for organization, rationality, structure… In response to this necessity, mathematics and its explicit universal language (symbols, numbers), as well as its structural virtues (geometry, algebra…) and immutable character exerts a power that is not only reassuring and soothing, but also infinitely poetic…
UNEARTHING ANCESTRAL FUNDAMENTALS
The power and breadth of the ecological and financial crises impel consumers to concentrate exclusively on the essentials. The race for always “more” has lost its appeal and the obligation to find a sustainable and economical alternative has become crucial. What if the solution was to readapt ancestral fundamentals? In fact, re-immersion into the distant past, before modern comforts, is a way to rediscover the ingeniousness of certain tools, materials or techniques and the simple and efficient processes that have demonstrated their utility throughout time. To examine and update them is, paradoxically, one of the most promising directions for the future.
1. Black toothbrush by Morihata : Embedded in the nylon bristles, carbon Binchotan powder helps eliminate dental plaque and the cause of bad breath. It also inhibits the proliferation of bacteria on the brush.
2. Klamath by Solsemilla : Klamath micro-algae are one of the oldest life forms found on Earth. This super-food is said to promote cerebral balance and cellular regeneration.
3. Warm break by Anaïs Allard : Evocative of a central open fire, the bioethanol- powered heating table is designed for collective outdoor spaces or private use.
4. Paysage culinaire by Sébastien Cluzel : A new take on cooking spaces, the cooking containers fit into a rocky cavity, reminiscent of primitive open fires.
5. Herborist : Highly innovative beauty care products based on ancestral Chinese herbal medicine. Each formula is associated with a ritual massage for added efficiency.