Cet élixir at Moly-Sabata

Artists: Jean-Marie Appriou, Hélène Bertin, Jagna Ciuchta, Johan Creten, Anne Dangar, Étienne Mauroy, Pakui Hardware, Paloma Proudfoot, Henri Ughetto, Phoebe Unwin

Exhibition title: Cet élixir

Curated by: Joël Riff

Venue: Moly-Sabata, Sablons, France

Date: September 21 – November 2, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Moly-Sabata

Once upon a time there was a magical plant. Its roots were as black as night. Its flowers were as white as milk. In the Odyssey, Hermes offers this bulb to Ulysses to counter Circeus’ spells. The antidote brings back to humanity. A few centuries later, in the south of Lyon where River Rhône marks a turn, the population annoyed by the fury of incessant sabbaths, pray so hard that their saint patron goes from the sky down, and under the figure of a young pilgrim, seeded a vegetal which pushs disturbers out. The remedy ensures tranquility. Over time, the beneficial powers of this panacea persists, and all sources agree to call it Moly. Recent pharmacological studies identify this kind of garlic celebrated by ancient mythology and by local beliefs, as the snowdrop, Galanthus Nivalis, which announces spring in the park of our artist-in-residence. At the crossroads of science and superstition, its concoction requires a lot of paraphernalia, this specific tableware as technical than symbolic. Because without object, no worship. It’s about containing the sacred. Far from chasing witches, on the opposite, the new exhibition at Moly- Sabata awakens the legends of the nectar with which its name resonates. The group show Cet élixir invites to enchantment, with artworks that activate its ceremony. Fantastic flora, humors and vessels commit us to communion in both climates of contemplation and of labour, peculiar to the place, as under the influence of a charm.

New site-specific productions by Hélène Bertin, Jagna Ciuchta, Étienne Mauroy, Pakui Hardware, and Paloma Proudfoot, all invited in residency during summer 2019

ADAGP, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Institut Polonais de Paris, Sans titre (2016), Peut être, De Baecque & Associés, Cavo Valérius and Commune de Sablons are partners of the show.

Moly-Sabata team thanks artists, their studios, galleries Jan Kaps (Cologne), Almine Rech (New York, Paris, Bruxelles) and Amanda Wilkinson (Londres), and Dominique Ughetto as well.

The Ministère de la culture et de la communication – DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the Région Auvergne-Rhône- Alpes, the Département de l’Isère and the Communauté de Communes Entre Bièvre et Rhône support Fondation Albert Gleizes fot its artist-in-residence program at Moly- Sabata.