8 rue des Grandes Ecoles
artists & participants
October 12, 2019–January 19, 2020
From October 12, 2019 to January 19, 2020, artist Kimsooja will install her work at 13 sites around the city of Poitiers for the first edition of Traversées—a new international artistic and cultural event. The Traversées project is inextricably linked to the future of a major landmark at the heart of the city’s history and heritage, the Palais des ducs d’Aquitaine.
Taking the visitor from India to Morocco, via South Korea, Peru and Japan, Traversées / Kimsooja is an invitation to embark on a kaleidoscopic journey around the world through installation and performance. The artist transforms historic sites into sensorial experiences : different variations of To Breathe, featuring mirrors and glass windows wrapped in diffraction grating film, transform the space around them, like a skin that shelters our displaced bodies today.
As part of the event, Kimsooja has invited other artists such as Tadashi Kawamata, Thomas Ferrand, Subodh Gupta, Jung Marie, Stephen Vitiello or Rirkrit Tiravanija, to observe the city and to contribute their own perspectives. “This exhibition has a strong link to the history of my practice, as an artist in nomad since the 90’s, but it has also rooted from my childhood, often exposed to the border lines and danger in the north side of Korea living near the DMZ area. It was equally inspiring and wonderful to be able to invite other artists, whose works somehow resonate with my practice, revealing a broader context, truth, and aesthetics of the notion of Traversées”.
Traversées / Kimsooja observes the factors that drive the phenomena of travel, displacement and uprooting in an age when societies are increasingly sensitive to migratory patterns. For an artist in a state of perpetual motion like Kimsooja, Poitiers has become a place of refuge, somewhere to unpack a new form of bottari, the Korean bundles used to transport belongings, further conceptualized as a shipping container holding 20 years of her life in New York City. Traversées / Kimsooja also offers collective experiences, inviting visitors to mold clay balls at the heart of Kimsooja’s constellation-like Archive of Mind, to repair torn clothes in Lee Mingwei’s The Mending Project and to share an Indian meal prepared by Subodh Gupta.
Traversées / Kimsooja offers the participating artists a creative workshop in which travel is viewed as an experience of alterity and hospitality, echoing the “thoughts on borders and those living on the other side” that have led Kimsooja to “question the relationship between self and the Other.”
Emma Lavigne and Emmanuelle de Montgazon
Sammy Baloji, Democratic Republic of the Congo / Belgium / Myriam Boucher, Canada / Compagnie l’Homme Debout, France / Ensemble 0, France / Taylor Deupree, USA / Thomas Ferrand, France / Subodh Gupta, India / Jung Marie, South Korea / Lenio Kaklea, France / Greece / Tadashi Kawamata, Japan / France / Kimsooja, South Korea / USA / France / Lee Mingwei, Taiwan / France / Min Tanaka, Japan / Tomoko Sauvage, France / Japan / Achilleas Souras, United Kingdom / Greece / Stephen Vitiello, USA / Rirkrit Tiravanija, Germany / Thailand
Palais des ducs d’Aquitaine / TAP - Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers / Maison de l’Architecture / Chapelle Saint-Louis / Atelier Canopé - Chapelle des Augustins / Eglise Notre-Dame-la-Grande / Halles du Marché Notre-Dame / Rue de la Cathédrale / Place de la Cathédrale / Baptistère Saint-Jean / Musée Sainte-Croix / Eglise Sainte-Radegonde / Confort Moderne
Traversées / Kimsooja is initiated and organized by the City of Poitiers.