Welcome to the Desert of the Real

20 February – 4 September 2022

Salla Tykkä, Trilogie, 1999 

Donation Yvon Lambert à l’État français / Centre national des arts plastiques / Dépôt à la Collection Lambert, Avignon 

© Salla Tykkä 

David Claerbout, Rocking Chair, 2003 

Collection privée, Paris / Dépôt à la Collection Lambert, Avignon 

© Adagp, Paris, 2021 

Marcel Broodthaers, Carte politique du monde, 1973

Donation Yvon Lambert à l’État français / Centre national des arts plastiques / Dépôt à la Collection Lambert, Avignon

© The Estate of Marcel Broodthaers / Adagp, Paris 

Geers Kendell, Hex, 2007

 Collection Lambert, Avignon

© Adagp Paris, 2022

Douglas Gordon, Never, Never (White), 2000

Donation Yvon Lambert à l’État français / Centre national des arts plastiques / Dépôt à la Collection Lambert, Avignon

© Studio lost but found / Adagp Paris, 2022

Douglas Gordon, Never, Never (White), 2000

Donation Yvon Lambert à l’État français / Centre national des arts plastiques / Dépôt à la Collection Lambert, Avignon

© Studio lost but found / Adagp Paris, 2022

Hamid Maghraoui, Contrôle SAT, 2004

Collection FRAC Occitanie Montpellier 

© Coll. FRAC OM

Through this sentence uttered at the beginning of the film Matrix[1], heavily influenced by Jean Baudrillard’s thought – “The simulacrum is true” –, Morpheus invites Neo to become aware of the reality of a world he had only detected so far the faked representation, created from scratch by the Matrix.

Twenty years after this film was released, when dissemination of information is currently about to implode under pressure from digital data invading out of control our daily life, the question of real, reality and their representation stands out as one of the major issues of our contemporary lives.

The world seems to appear only in the form of fierce news fighting through artificial, spectacular, or excluding narratives, providing the crowds they intend to conquer with diverted, distorted, and faked views of reality. Many artists from the turn of the century have put into perspective the tension between real, its spectacular or distorted representation and its transposition into imaginary events.

By pervading the devices and the narratives at work in the world of mass images (cinema, press, contemporary myths), by creating works whose multiple interpretations invite us to a critical distancing facing the representation of reality as it has been imposed on us or by focusing on the real in its rawest form, the artists’ works displayed in this exhibition invite us with undeniable poetry to question the nature of images we come across, to deconstruct the restrictive representation mechanisms in presence.

How we think about the world and—perhaps even more importantly—how we narrate it have a massive significance, therefore. A thing that happens and is not told ceases to exist and perishes. He who has and weaves the story is in charge. (Olga Tokarczuk, The Tender Narrator, 2020).


[1] This sentence gave its title to one of the most inspiring essays of the early 21st century, written by philosopher Slavoj Žižek, published in France in 2005.

Curator : Stéphane Ibars

Artists :

Carlos Amorales, David Askevold, Joseph Beuys, Pierre Bismuth, Christian Boltanski, Slater Bradley, Marcel Broodthaers, David Claerbout, Angela Detanico et Rafael Lain, Claire Fontaine, Anna Gaskell, Kendell Geers, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Jenny Holzer, Jonathan Horowitz, Paul Johnston, Anselm Kiefer, Koo Jeong A, Delphine Kreuter, Barbara Kruger, David Lamelas, Richard Long, Hamid Maghraoui, Fiorenza Menini, Jonathan Monk, Mariko Mori, Owen Morrel, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Adam Pendleton, Anri Sala, Jérôme Taub, Gavin Turk, Salla Tykkä