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50 exhibitions to discover in the city of Lille, the Lille European Metropolis and the Hauts-de-France Region and also in Belgium. 

Les Vivants (Living Worlds)  Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain 

Le Tripostal
14 May — 02 October 2022

The Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art has spent over 20 years developing a programme that explores the most urgent issues and challenges facing the environment. During this time, its collection has grown to include numerous artworks which encourage the spectator to re-examine their perspective on the beauty and vulnerability of the living world. Bringing together nearly 250 artworks, mainly from this collection, Les Vivants (Living Worlds) aims to transport our imagination beyond anthropocentric limits in order to reinvent, with empathy and humility, a new way of living on planet Earth with the plants and animals. 

 Countering Western traditions, Les Vivants (Living Worlds) invites us to reflect on what we see and hear to start viewing non-humans as our equals within a vast shared world, the living world. The exhibition calls upon a community of artists and scientists who are engaged in an aesthetic and existential quest, profoundly marked by the enigmatic beauty of the living world. These include American musician and bio-acoustician Bernie Krause, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, French visual artist Fabrice Hyber, as well as Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Pelechian, French botanist Francis Hallé, and American artist Tony Oursler. Their works are some of the most iconic pieces in the Fondation Cartier collection, thanks to several years of joint projects between these artists and the institution. The Living Worlds exhibition in Lille also offers the Fondation Cartier an opportunity to develop new collaborations with artists such as Bruno Novelli and Solange Pessoa from Brazil. 

Bruno Novelli, No caminho, 2021 – Acrylique sur toile, 188 x 184 cm. Collection Andrea et José Olympio Pereira. Photo : Samuel Esteves

Furthermore, at the very heart of the exhibition, there is an exceptional group of works by contemporary indigenous American artists which are being shown together for the first time in Europe. Their experience of an equal relationship between living things, humans and non-humans, is a time-honoured tradition which has much to teach us in these times of ecological crisis. These artists come from the Brazilian Amazon, such as Jaider Esbell (Makuxi people), Ehuana Yaira and Joseca (Yanomami), Bane, Isaka and Mana (Huni Kuin) as well as the Venezuelan Amazon, like Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe (Yanomami). The exhibition also brings together a selection of drawings by Nivaklé and Guaraní artists living in the Paraguayan Chaco, including Esteban and Angélica Klassen, Floriberta Fermín, Marcos Ortiz, Clemente Juliuz, Osvaldo Pitoe and Jorge Carema. 

Les Vivants (Living Worlds) is the latest in a series of exhibitions by the Fondation Cartier which question the position that Westerners have established for themselves at the top of a supposed pyramid of living creatures and cultures. These include: Yanomami, Spirit of the Forest (2003), Native Land, Stop Eject (2008), Show and Tell (2012), The Great Animal Orchestra (2016) and, more recently, Trees (2019) and Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle (2020). 

With : Bruce Albert (also exhibition curator), Fernando Allen, Evacio Álvarez, Herman Álvarez, Nancia Álvarez, Eurides Asque Gómez, Bane, Grga Basic, Jake Bryant, Jorge Carema, gredi casco, Jaider Esbell, Donaria Falcon Romera, Floriberta FermÍn, Gustavo Gimenes, Patricio Gimenez, Cai Guo-Qiang, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Francis Hallé, Fabrice Hyber, Iran, Isaka, Joseca, Clemente Juliuz, Kixti, Angélica Klassen, Esteban Klassen, Bernie Krause, François-Michel Le Tourneau, Mana, Bruno Novelli, Marcos Ortiz, Tony Oursler, Artavazd Pelechian, Solange Pessoa, Osvaldo Pitoe, Guillermina Rodas, Studio Diller & Scofidio (Elizabeth Diller, Benjamin Gilmartin, Charles Renfro, Ricardo Scofidio), United Visual Artists (Matthew Clark, Lee Sampson ), Txanu, Ehuana Yaira

About the Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art 

The Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art is a private cultural institution whose mission is to promote contemporary artistic creation through a programme of exhibitions, live shows and lectures. Established in 1984, it is based in Paris, in a building designed by architect Jean Nouvel as a space to inspire and promote freedom. At the meeting point between all different disciplines, from visual arts to live performance, as well as architecture, fashion and cinema, the Fondation Cartier encourages exchange between artists, scientists and philosophers, resulting in original and unexpected exhibitions. 

Compiled mainly of artworks presented or produced for its exhibitions, the collection features over 2,000 artworks by 500 artists representing over 50 different nationalities.  

For a number of years, the Fondation Cartier has been developing an ambitious international programme, mainly through partnerships with major institutions, such as those established with Triennale Milano and the Power Station of Art in Shanghai. In 2022, the Fondation Cartier will therefore be present in Japan with the Cherry Blossoms exhibition by Damien Hirst, in the United States and in Australia with The Great Animal Orchestra installation by Bernie Krause and the film Nature, by Artavazd Pelechian, while it will also be exhibiting Aboriginal artist Sally Gabori in Paris and Milan. 

Le serpent cosmique

Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse, Lille
14 May — 02 October 2022

It all started with anthropologist Jeremy Narby’s iconic book, The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, written in 1995. Having studied civilisations in Asia, Latin America and Northern Europe, he reached an irrefutable conclusion. Men and women described as shamans all share a common feature: for thousands of years, they have depicted, in the form of two intertwined serpents, the double helix of DNA which scientists only discovered in 1953! 

Taking Jeremy Narby’s research as a starting point, French philosopher Edgar Morin observed, in his work On Aesthetics, that historic and contemporary artists create in a “post-shamanic” state, without even being aware of it, in connection with the living world. 

These two points of reference have inspired Le serpent cosmique (cosmic serpent) exhibition which offers a new reading of man’s artistic adventure within the world, in close contact with nature and the cosmic beyond, i.e. the invisible. 

Offering a prolific and multi-sensory exhibition, designed as a maze-like, organic, surprising and sometimes even hallucinatory journey, it travels with sensitivity through a diverse range of artistic movements and practices, from Arte Povera to interactive and experiential installations, from shamanic art to contemporary paintings by young artists. 

The cosmic serpent showcases the crucial role of the artist in our understanding and perception of the world and the creative act as a quasi-shamanic trance state. 

Curatorship: Fabrice Bousteau 

With : Alpha Wave Experience avec Dan GHENACIA, Pablo AMARINGO, Manuel AMEZTO, Art Orienté Objet, BACHELOT & CARON, Léa BARBAZANGES, Gilles BARBIER, Gregorio BARRIO, Véronique BÉLAND, Ghyslain BERTHOLON, Amélie BERTRAND, José BEZERRA, Roman CIESLEWICZ, Emo DE MEDEIROS, Daniel Martin DIAZ, Hervé DI ROSA, Leandro ERLICH, Jaider ESBELL, Alain FLEISCHER, Jean-François FOURTOU, Thomas GRÜNFELD, Philip HAAS, William HAWKINS, Benoit HUOT, Fabrice HYBER, Jackie KAYSER, Norbert H. KOX, Tetsumi KUDO, Hongbo LI, Edward LIPSKI, David LYNCH, Kate MccGWIRE, Giuseppe PENONE, PEYBAK, Lucie PICANDET, Paola PIVI, Salustiano PORTILLO, Joanna RAJKOWSKA, Jordane SAGET, Pierre SEINTURIER, Soundwalk Collective, Françoise VERGIER, Virginie YASSEF, ZEVS


Gare Saint Sauveur, Lille
14 may — 02 october 2022

In his latest book, Novacene, the famous English environmentalist, scientist and centenarian James Lovelock imagines a new era, the Novacene, which will follow on from our current geological era, the Anthropocene, marked by climate change and the environmental upheavals caused by human activity. 50 years after his “Gaia Hypothesis” which proposed that the Earth is a living being, Lovelock draws on his life’s work to share his optimism and foresees the advent of a positive relationship between humans and the environment, assisted by technology. 

This hopeful vision is the central theme of our exhibition. Taking its place at the heart of this future utopia, Novacene looks back at our current world plagued by environmental disasters as a bygone era.  

Making use of the imagination, commitment and foresight of contemporary artists, the exhibition explores the path that lies ahead of us to reach this new civilisational era. This impetus towards a lower-carbon world, where there is greater harmony between humans and non-humans, relies on profound changes in our societies, in our vision of the world and our relationship to living beings. It involves both technological innovations and a life-saving return to nature, but also raises new ethical dilemmas. 

This challenge seems somewhat utopian given that global warming forecasts (increase of up to 3.5°C by 2100 if we fail to act) are more pessimistic than ever. But isn’t the very purpose of art to make change possible or even speed up change? Through their work, artists enable us to resynchronise our relationship with time, by connecting human time to Earth time, to rethink our role as a species among other species and adopt a more shared approach to the world.  

Novacene offers a place of exploration, dreams and union for a viable future for our planet.  

Curatorship: Alice Audouin and Jean-Max Colard  

With : Art Orienté Objet, Allora & Calzadilla (Jennifer Allora, Guillermo Calzadilla), Bigert & Bergström (Mats Bigert, Lars Bergström), Bianca Bondi, Julian Charrière, John Gerrard, Anna Komarova, Fabien Léaustic, Haroon Mirza, Marie-Luce Nadal, Otobong Nkanga, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Bo Zheng.

Le Jardin d’Éden

maisons Folie Wazemmes & Moulins, Lille
14 may — 02 october 2022

In The Garden of Eden, artists and designers showcase creations and installations, which question the narrative of the utopian idea and raise a number of fundamental questions faced by humanity. They also propose creative solutions and bring about change by developing inspiring and sensible ideas. Together, whether large or small-scale, practical or hypothetical, these visions will represent a laboratory of ambitious ideas that could, in their own way, contribute to making the world a better place. 
Discover The Garden of Eden via:  

  • Le parcours olfactif de Peter de Cupere dans l’Église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine.
  • Une exposition sensorielle d’artistes et designers belges, français et finlandais à la maison Folie Moulins.
  • Une carte blanche à l’artiste Joana Vasconcelos à la maison folie Wazemmes, présente également dans la Gare Lille Flandres. 
  • Et les Moss People géants de Kim Simonsson sur la rue Faidherbe. 

Curators : Siegrid Demyttenaere + Sofie Lachaert (lsd2)
With: Joana Vasconcelos (maison Folie Wazemmes), Mathieu Frossard, Cyril Lancelin, Kim Simonsson, Peter Van Den Ende, (maison Folie Moulins) et Peter de Cupere (maison Folie Moulins et Église Sainte Marie Madeleine)

Joana Vasconscelos – Valkyrie Martha

Le Jardin d’Éden

Église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, Lille
14 may— 02 october 2022

Peter de Cupere is an olfactory artist who works with perfumes and scents. He creates artworks that are designed to explore our sense of smell. As part of the Garden of Eden exhibition (→ page 23), he is presenting a series of olfactory works at the Church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine which prompts its audience to follow their noses. Fragrum Cardamomi, a monumental, 9-metre installation, represents a flowering bulb with long stems that stretch up towards the sky. Visitors are invited to approach the sculpture and scratch its surface to release a fragrance into the air. This olfactory journey continues at the Maison Folie Moulins, alongside works by Cyril Lancelin, Kim Simonsson and Peter Van den Ende. 

Rêves d’encre, Pauline Di Valentin

Espace Pignon, Lille
14 may — 17 june 2022

Pauline Di Valentin presents a series of ink drawings on paper at Espace Édouard Pignon as part of Utopia, creating a backdrop of imaginary places, architectures and vegetation. Inspired by film and photography, she composes her works as snapshots, leaving the scene in an unreal temporality, and giving the spectator freedom to imagine the story. 

Each of these villas and constructions, which shift from Italian to Californian to Japanese, seem to rise out of the same land, an unknown space, covered with dense jungle and populated with waterfalls, lakes and palm trees. Nature surrounds the houses with landscapes and plants from different climates side by side, making the locations even more undefinable, a sort of paradise almost untouched by humans. While the buildings sometimes recall the utopian architecture of the Brutalist movement, the ornamentations and mosaics of marble and terrazzo as well as the assemblies are rooted in a story that evokes peace, wonder and even amusement. The pale pink that colours the works acts as the central theme of these utopian tales, opening up for visitors a perspective on their own life stories. 

Metsä, Contes des forêts nordiques

Galerie Le Minorelle, Marcq-en-Barœul
14 maY — 03 july 2022

Kim Simonsson Mossgirl at the rapid nearby Fiskars, Finland

In this utopian world, the photographs of the Moss People by Finnish artist Kim Simonsson, one of the key figures participating in the Utopia event, and Jefunne Gimpel engage in a dialogue with the works of the Lille-based artist, Ingrid Bouttaz. 

The world created by Finnish artist Kim Simonsson is a comprehensive artwork that will be showcased in the region at the Utopia event. Large-scale versions of the Moss People will take over the Rambla (rue Faidherbe) in Lille, like a group of giants. 

Simonsson’s Moss People are also central to this exhibition at the Jardin Minorelle. Elaborate staging is used to incorporate the figures into different contexts. Jefunne Gimpel often photographs them in natural settings, where they blend into the landscape, or takes the opposite approach, depicting them in more industrial environments, removed from the imaginary world to which they belong. These little elvish creatures will find themselves amidst delicate ceramics by Ingrid Bouttaz, which encapsulate the physical connection between Man and Nature within the material.