organised by Yves Chaudouët
14 and 15 janvier 2015
The Diapason, University of Rennes 1
Bringing together artists and researchers in the humanities and the natural sciences, these study days address the arts and sciences. Their title, L’Art racine (Art at the Root), is a tribute to Barnett Newman, who wrote, “There has never been a classic style in history… Those who believe that classicism is possible are the same who feel that art is the flower of society rather than its root”*.
Yves Chaudouët shares with Newman the political stance that sets art not on the decorative or distractive margin of society, but at the very heart of social process. This is why he wanted to explore this version of utopia in terms of man’s relationships with nature.
Is art at the root of society a real possibility? When certain «owners» of water regard free access to this essential resource as “an extremist position”, we have every right to wonder if the making of art is no less channelled by politico-economic systems. What about the sources – and teaching, knowledge and creativity too?
Is situating art at the root a utopian affirmation in conflict with a certain form of reality in which art has the role and status of entertainment, pure commodity and expensive soporific? Whenever art is channelled, and in whatever way, are we not confronted with a takeover of the freedom of meaning for the benefit of a culture and entertainment industry, and to the detriment of more vital issues?
The first part of the study days is about the links between biodiversity and “beaudiversité”, the second questions the art and research as active fallows.
* Barnett Newman, Selected Writings and Interviews (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992) p. 168.