Exhibitions2024Faire Corps

Faire Corps

18 May - 3 Nov 24


Foundation Villa Datris

"The body is in the world as the heart is in the organism: it keeps the visible spectacle continuously alive, animating and nourishing it from within.” Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

In 2024, FAIRE CORPS, the 14th exhibition of The Villa Datris Foundation, explores visions of the “body” through the works of 60 established and emerging artists, both French and international. In the Foundation’s human-scale spaces and in its gardens, visitors will explore various facets of this classic but relevant subject.

How do we see the body today? The body is shaped by its structure and inner life as much as by the way we look at it.

Since the 19th century, and in keeping with profound mutations in society, representations of the "classical" body and the "ideal" nude have been increasingly called into question. In this exhibition, we explore the body as an object of concern for racialized, feminist, and gendered representations.

FAIRE CORPS also critiques the transcendent physical body, a site central to capitalism, along with the body’s role in social injustice, immigration, bioethics, cybernetics, wars, and contagions, as well as the body as a militating ecological force.

These subjects, while tangible, become in the hands of the artists an ode to beauty and life. The body-its prostheses, costumes and second skins-enter into action, blurring traditional boundaries between sculpture and performance art. Some works are activated, others linked to film or video.

FAIRE CORPS focuses, above all, on the body as restorative, joyful and comforting, while addressing its aesthetic and conceptual shifts in contemporary art. In this way, classical sculpture is deployed for political ends. Notions of prosthesis become an excuse for phantasmagorical excess, or reveal a hybrid, cybernetic future. Costumes go beyond transvestitism to become second skins or select corporeal identities.

Finally, the body’s absence, whether dematerialized or invisible, is just as powerful as its representation.