Curated by Janine Gaelle
17 July 2022 – 04 September 2022
For his epitaph, André Breton had chosen a quote extracted from his Introduction au discours sur le peu de réalité(1927): “I seek the gold of time”. Suppose the passage of time is, of public notoriety and commonplace, considered a primary inspiration for artists. In that case, gold can, indeed, help to express it and thus justify Breton’s funeral quest. As the warmth and splendour of the golden hour dawns, this performance of the light speaks to our innate and cultural adoration for gold in all its forms, as well as to our attraction for its heavenly colours. In some cultures, the pulpit of the gods is adorned with gold because of its inalterability that brings it closer to the idea of immortality.
Carrying the colour of the diurnal star of which it is the reflection on earth, gold was sought very early in the history of humanity, not for a practical purpose in the strict sense of the word, but for its beauty and spiritual, divine and royal symbolism. A relatively soft metal, it appears that gold cannot be used as a tool of force or a weapon. Due to its powerful symbolism and aesthetics, gold is a significant element (in every sense of the word, metallurgical in mind), nurturing the eternal debate between beauty and idea in art. It has the unique potential to sublimate its environment in many ways and thus becomes the preferred support for a new aesthetic and poetic, inviting us to rethink our approach to the sacred, the political, the aesthetic or the social. The golden hour positions the triumph of gold within everyone’s reach, translating the warmth of sunlight into a loving emotion, adoration of natural beauty and awakening of the senses. From classical painting (Ebru Duruman, Nkechi Ebubedike), textile (Abdoulaye Konaté, Mehdi El Largo), concrete sculpture (Joana Zimmerman), ceramics (Victor Fotso Nyie), or photography (Binta Diaw, Maya Inès Touam, Amina Zoubir), the works in the Golden Hour exhibition multiply mediums and create a broader constellation of identity, nationality, politics and personal aesthetics, transforming the mundane into dream and melancholy. Like social and economic processes that are constantly fluctuating, the versatility of gold, the golden hour and its various interpretations can reveal deeper histories and practices while bringing a dramatical and theatrical dimension to everyday life.