From Her: Artists and Their Mother at Le Bal, Paris

From Her: Artists and Their Mother
Le Bal, Paris
12 October 2023–25 February 2024

Le Bal in Paris presents an exhibition dedicated to the views of 25 artists of their mother, extending from the 1960s to the present day. Going beyond the pure testimony of an inevitably singular intimate relationship, these works are constructed from formal and conceptual devices involving the body, the figure or the character of the mother in the creative process. Whether they seek to embody the reality of presence or the effects of absence, all have in common that they consider filiation as a way of rethinking archetypal relationships, between social criticism, personal journeys, conjuration or appeasement. The exhibition is curated by Julie Herault and Diane Dufour.

The one we think we know so well, does she not remain a mystery, an image that requires a conscious, voluntary act of clarification—Asareh Akashen, Gao Shan, Dirk Braeckman, Hervé Guibert? Do we inherit her history—the one we silenced or the one we passed down—Anri Sala, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Michele Zaza, Karen Knorr? When physical distance is necessary, how do we bridge the gap—Mona Hatoum, Chantal Akerman? In these one-on-one encounters, the mother’s voluntary participation in the formal set up of the artist often leads to humour and irreverence—Ragnar Kiartansson, Ilene Segalove, Anna and Bernhard Blume—, or the opportunity to examine, challenge and rethink the dictates of an oppressive, if not crippling, social and moral order—Michel Journiac, Christian Boltanski, Mark Raidpere. When the mother seems to disappear—Jochen Gerz, Paul Graham, Pier Paolo Pasolin—or is already gone, how is a new image constructed—Lebohang Kganye, Sophie Calle, Rebekka Deubner, Ishiuchi Miyako, Helene Delprat?

– Julie Herault