By putting on the exhibition La Trahison des images (The Treatchery of images) on well known Magritte’s work, the Pompidou center and Didier Ottinger still managed to propose a different reading of it. However, as it is shown by the use of the title of the masterpiece, this new light never withdraws from the original work. This different reading is given by the philosophy. At the entry, the fresco made by Kosuth in tribute to Magritte explains that Magritte is more of a conceptual artist than of a surrealist artist. La Trahison des images may be define as a thesis-exhibition because it uses in the painting presentation a logical order rather than a chronological one.
This scenography is precisely the strong point of the exhibition. Next to the main hallway there are five rooms, each one developing a different conceptual aspect of Magritte’s work. A text and a painting, both classical, go along with the rooms in order to put everything in the philosophical and art traditions. This whole scenography gives the impression of going straight into someone’s mind and ideas. Actually, as you progress physically into the exhibition, you also progress into the thoughts at the same time.
The exhibition clearly refers to Platon and the myth of the cave. One of the room is entirely dedicated to it. Most of the paintings you can discover in this room are a literal depiction of the myth. There also are some references to Aristotle, Pline the elder and Cicero, mostly through the textual contents. Even if you may not think immediately of Hegel when seeing the exhibition, he clearly had a main influence on the design of it. The exhibition is really original precisely because it is based on an hegelian principle. Suprisingly, the first and the last painting of the exhibition are the same. If this painting calls out at first, in the end it becomes the overview of everything sawn in the exhibition. The progress in the exhibition is astonishing because it begins with a striking negativity but on the other hand it really offers a neat philosophical and aesthetic experience.
© Grégoire von Muckensturm
La Trahison des images is taking place at the Pompidou center from 21.09.16 to 23.01.17.
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Special thanks to Mrs. Dehon, Mr. Parayre and Mr. Ottinger for their invitation and reception.