Sublime. The Tremors of the World at the Centre Pompidou Metz
This exhibition explores the ambivalent fascination that the elements exert on us.
This “sort of mixed passion of terror and surprise”, crystallised by the philosopher Edmund Burke in 1757 with one word: “Sublime”, expresses the combination of attraction and repulsion we feel when we face the fury of nature: our mixed feelings of astonishment, loneliness, all-power and fear when we are confronted with it.
Seas unleashed by storms, the awakening of volcanoes, immaculate white cliffs and dark valleys became the stereotypical features of Sublime in Romantic literature and painting in the 18th Century.
Through nearly 300 pieces, the exhibition questions the renewal of the notion of Sublime in a contemporary context, comparing it to the 18th Century, bringing together the works of a hundred artists worldwide, from Léonard de Vinci to Richard Misrach.
The exhibition reveals our persistent fascination with “nature too far”, in the words of Victor Hugo, and the continuous use of Sublime iconography.
Recent natural catastrophes (tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes), magnified by their effect on inhabited, industrial or urban sites, have sharpened our awareness of a delicate balance, man’s very relative control over his environment and impact of his activities on nature.
The exhibition begins with a geographical picture of terror and fear by displaying works, which draw on the ambiguity of contemplative or idealised landscapes with invisible scars.
A historical layout
The exhibition evokes our rekindled bond with nature, which appeared in the 60s/70s: re-enchantment, aspiration towards being one with the elements on one hand, awakening of an ecological awareness on the other, which is expressed just as much in the poetic world as it is in politics.
It especially focuses on the generation of Earth Art and Land Art artists which interacted directly with the landscape and the elements, making interventions or performances in situ.
Historical, scientific and cinematographic contrasts (reviews, archives, geographical and volcanologist documents) enhance the exhibition to sketch out a non-linear genealogy of the tremors of the world.
1, parvis des Droits-de-l’Homme
Admission fees and rates
Prices vary with number of exhibition rooms open on the day: 7€ / 10€ / 12€