28 Sep 2021 By May Ng

Diptyque Grand Tour – Voyages Immobiles Exhibition

Venturing to discover new places. Expanding your vision. Regarding the world with curiosity. Seeing far and seeing differently. These different ways of looking at the world have shaped diptyque since its creation. To mark its sixtieth anniversary, the maison is celebrating them with a number of original initiatives: limited editions, artist’s editions, a contemporary art exhibition and international pop-ups. A complete programme.

Voyages Immobiles – The Grand Tour explores the extraordinary polysemy of ‘travel’ in the age of international nomadism and the period following the world’s sudden descent into global immobility through to its apparent reopening. The pausing of the possibility of travel and the reappearance of land borders have failed to dampen the universal desire for discovery, a change of scene and the chance to escape, or our thirst to experience other cultures and realities. Travel today is no longer necessarily about constantly moving physically across the field of reality. Taking its cue from A Journey Around my Room, an autobiographical account of enforced confinement written in 1794 by Xavier de Maistre, who turned his predicament into an experience conducive to daydreaming and introspection, the exhibition explores different forms of mental and aesthetic roaming, both mythical and imaginary. Drawing on the new realities of our world and the utopias of the Sixties, the decade of diptyque’s birth, but also of the nomadic and libertarian Beat Generation in search of new spaces, Voyages Immobiles is a synaesthetic immersion in the boundless worlds of nine international artists – a free and open journey to the unknown without beginning or end.

From road trips to the virtual journeys of the present, from France – Italy – Greece – Japan – Lebanon, the exhibition connects five iconic diptyque destinations in one new dimension – the global world. It is an invitation to embark on multiple wanderings, connecting the worlds of Joël Andrianomearisoa, Andreas Angelidakis, Johan Creten, Gregor Hildebrandt, Chourouk Hriech, Rabih Kayrouz, Ange Leccia, Zoë Paul and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Each artist has forged a special relationship with movement and sometimes even nomadism. The exhibition also draws on the historic origins of travel, The Grand Tour, from which we derive the word “tourism”. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, it served as the ultimate stage in the arts and humanities education of young European aristocrats, writers, artists, art lovers and collectors in search of adventure and beauty. As access to tourism has widened, the way we travel has diversified enormously, giving it a rich complexity to which the emergence of digital technology and its ‘gift’ of ubiquity has added yet another layer. The 21st century marks the advent of travel as multiple, simultaneous and virtual, and experienced in several locations at once. By tearing down borders and building bridges between them, each work is like a stationary journey, a territory expanding through space and time, to explore virtually, physically or mentally – the point of departure to new horizons.

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