Agenda de l'ENS de Lyon

Make It (Old) New: Revolution and Return in 21st Century Art. Chance, Surprise, Wonder

Description générale

This presentation brings together three contemporary conceptual artworks that carry their literary inspirations into the 21st century and also across mediums: a faïence sculpture by French conceptual artist Pierre Buraglio, Un petit pan de mur jaune (A little section of yellow wall) (2001-2002), which, as exhibited in Tours (Réunion des Musées Nationaux) in 2008, sparks a jolt of recognition in dialogue with its inspiration, Bergotte’s death scene in Proust’s À la Recherche du Temps Perdu / In Search of Lost Time (1913-27), and the surrounding Dutch masters; the anagrammatic novella Of One Woman or So (2014), an installation created by British artist Kabe Wilson by cutting the text of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 essay A Room of One’s Own into single words and reassembling them into a fictional narrative about the experience of a Cambridge University student of colour, Olivia N’Gowfri, as she struggles to get her bearings in her elite social world, the canonical texts she is reading for her English course, and the American Civil Rights movement texts she discovers through her job in the University Library; and American Kaela Walker’s stream-of-consciousness narrative “Dilly Dedalus in the Day to Day” (2015), an aesthetic simulation, in the mode of Ulysses’ Proteus episode, of Stephen Dedalus’s gifted, impoverished sister (Ulysses) as a 21st-century teenage philosophy major immersed in digital social media. The presentation will explore these works in light of Kant’s insight that works of imagination make us “feel our freedom.”


  • vanessa.guignery [at] ens-lyon.fr (Vanessa Guignery), professeur à l'ENS de Lyon
  • eric.dayre [at] ens-lyon.fr (Eric Dayre), professeur à l'ENS de Lyon

Mots clés