Published on the occasion of the Jeu de Paume Festival, combining exhibition, live performance and cultural events, Fata Morgana offers a critical and poetic reflection on the modalities of the visible, which are often more unstable and ambiguous than would appear.
The title refers to the extraordinary optical phenomenon known as fata morgana, which is caused by a combination of mirages on the surface of the sea or ocean, in which the refraction of light in the atmosphere causes the misshapen reflections of boats, houses, entire cities and even coastlines to appear suspended above the horizon line. The experience of fata morgana, rare and fleeting, captivating and troubling, is used here as a metaphor for the relationship between image, material reality and perception, each appearance serving as a new opportunity to learn how to look. The quest for meaning initiated by the spectacle of the natural mirage recalls the one offered by the artwork, rooted in the here and now and yet always also situated elsewhere. More than a theme or a movement, this book offers a certain quality of attention to the sensory world, part astonishment and part decipherment It focuses on the featured works, which are accompanied by illuminating analytical commentaries.
In addition to being an exhibition catalog, it is also a collective artist’s book, the artists having been invited to propose an original contribution that resonates with the project’s central theme. The volume is enriched by a curatorial essay by Béatrice Gross, a poetic text by Katinka Bock and a literary text by Clara Schulmann based on interviews with the artists in the festival.
Edited by Béatrice Gross, with Katinka Bock.