top of page
Tourist! Exhibition view

Here I am, between realities and utopias,

Emily Bates, Didier Bay, Stanley Brouwn, Jacques Charlier, Arnaud Cohen, Simone Decker, Wim Delvoye, Jerry Frantz, Sanja Ivekovic, Anne Marie Jugnet, Filip Markiewicz, Jill Mercedes, Antoine Prum, Nedko Solakov, Bert Theis, Luca Vitone.

Exhibition curated by Enrico Lunghi


For the works of man cannot show a mere negation of beauty:

when they are not beautiful they are actively ugly,

and are thereby degrading to our manlike qualities;

and at last so degrading that we are not sensible of our degradation,

and are therefore preparing ourselves for the next step downward.

William MORRIS, The Arts and crafts of today, 1889

Ugliness is a program.

Annie LE BRUN, Ce qui n'a pas de prix (What is priceless), 2018

Our societies are saturated with manipulative images and tendentious discourse. This produces an opaque and impenetrable confusion by blurring the boundaries between lies and truth, with more and more people dedicating their lives to forming virtual connections by immersing themselves in a digital universe composed of intangible 0s and 1s. Only a real, physical and conscious presence allows us to assert, in some small way, an existence that is fulfilled, joyful and free from the servitudes they impose.

Human contact without the intermediary of a screen is diminishing visibly, and ways of living and thinking are progressively adapting to the logic dictated by computers, which subject the whole world to the dictates of clicks and boxes to be filled-in, obliterating the infinite nuances existing outside the computer system and leaving only the choice between 'for' and 'against'. The insidious but inescapable result is an extreme polarisation of positions in all areas, as well as a narrowing of the field of political possibilities and individual imaginary experiences.

William Morris, among other enlightened thinkers, had already perceived the mechanism and consequences of the new paradigms generated by productivity driven societies. Since then, globalised societies have continued to base their operations on machines programmed to standardise the behavior of the majority and maximize the immediate profits of a minority, while destroying natural beauty to feed their gargantuan energy needs. The urban environment is being dehumanised by its gigantism and by the hideous omnipresence of decerebrating advertising. Critical speech gets suffocated by media hammering, by the use of public force violating the democratic principles that are nonetheless constantly invoked, as well as by the bringing to heel of the legal system, now only dedicated to the protection of the powerful and their businesses. In this way the world becomes uglier and more impoverished, destroying individuals' abilities to resist, paralysing the emergence of alternative models and undermining the intermediate commonground that is so necessary for compromise on a limited planet. This leaves future generations with only one option; to engage in increasingly violent and total conflicts.

To ward off this very dark prospect, the proposed solutions only attest to a pathetic headlong rush, entrusting the future of humanity to the idiotic fantasies of artificial intelligence and the conquest of space, both harmful illusions born of a deadly and unrealistic hubris: is it not pure madness to believe that humankind, stupid enough to be responsible for a general decline in the diversity of living things on our planet, could generate machines capable of thinking on its behalf and save it ?

And isn't it absurd that it claims to be able to survive in a spacecraft or on an inert rock lost in the sidereal immensity of an icy universe after having transformed vast territories once teeming with life into deserts?

The exhibition Here I am, between realities and utopias,* presents works by artists to whom I feel close and who have nourished my imagination for years. Often fragile or intimate, these works always invite me to position myself fully in reality while offering me points of support to spread the wings of my imagination, sharpening my gaze and clarifying my thoughts. They help me defend my inner freedom and distance myself from the stupefying noise and visual pollution of a predatory world, whose artistic production has become, to a very large extent, a devious and cruel hobbyhorse.


Enrico Lunghi


* The comma at the end of the title is part of it, a way of signifying an unlimited process, a constant movement.

bottom of page