Image: Patrick Neu
Iris (2007/08) 2007, 37,8x28,2 cm
Museum Exhibition

Patrick Neu Le Promontoire du songe

1 October 2022—15 January 2023
FRAC Auvergne

In Le Promontoire du songe, written in 1863, Victor Hugo recounts a striking visual experience. It is about the observation of the surface of the Moon through a telescope, the discovery of its reliefs and the volcano called the Promontory of the Dream. Very quickly, he establishes a comparison between the revelation of the lunar landscape and the way works of art are revealed to the eye. The text is remarkable in its way of pointing out the initial blindness which can be ours when, for the first time, we discover a work, incredulous and unable to measure its significance. Victor Hugo 'sees nothing', before a real 'journey' occurs, an 'irruption of the dawn in a universe covered with darkness' lived as a fulgurance.

In front of the Moon or in front of the works, the glance discovers. The term is rich in meaning because it indicates the notion of invention with regard to something that remained hidden, masked, even though we had it before our eyes. A work is discovered, is uncovered, subjected to the judgment of those who look at it. What is not covered any more is, literally, with discovered, in situation of fragility.

Often, as it was the case for Victor Hugo, we note our incapacity to see, either because the works are not discovered so easily, or because we do not adopt the good point of view, at the good moment. We have to go beyond the initial disappointment. We must admit our blindness and accept the time necessary to discern, perceive and make the journey to which the works invite us.

It is this experience of looking that the works of some thirty artists from the FRAC Auvergne collection wish to highlight. They reveal what appears, what escapes us, but also the particular relationships that are formed in their dialogues. So, like Victor Hugo, let us look. Let us look better.
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