The exhibition ‘Emporte-moi/Sweep me off my feet’ brings together some two-score artists whose works give metaphorical expression to the movements and turbulence of being in love. Romantic and sentimental, it offers a meditation and map of the geography of the passions in some eighty works covering half a century of art-making.
Deliberately turning its back on the irony pervading so much current art, this exhibition focuses on the value of emotion in pieces that, through the play of harmonised gazes and movements, by the whiff of a perfume, the gentleness of a caress or the passion of a declaration, evoke love’s power to bewitch or destroy, to sweep us off our feet in ways both delicious and painful, always at the risk of losing ourselves.
Perhaps the true subject here is not so much love as that fundamental, deeply human appetite for the Other, for encounter: that need, search or quest for desire, ravishment, transport. Here, the Other represents a force that can throw us off balance and into the white waters of emotion. As mediums for thoughts, impulses, illusions and abandonments, the works assembled here express sorrow and solitude as much as they do hope and the overflowing feelings released by the encounter with a significant Other.
Thus, not only do the works in this exhibition bear witness to a deep emotion linked with love, but they also tend to stir emotions in the viewer. ‘Emporte-moi/Sweep me off my feet’ evokes the question of amorous passion as event and medium for the vertiginous sensation of possibility.
Nathalie de Blois and Frank Lamy, curators of the exhibition