For this 5th edition, the Révélations Biennial reconnects with its keenly anticipated International exhibition Le Banquet, a true dialogue between cultures and the high point of the Biennial.
Designed as an exhibition of exceptional fine craft workshops from all four corners of the world, Le Banquet presents new signatures and fresh looks on craftsmanship from 10 countries and regions of the world with around a hundred bold pieces.
As a tribute to universality and diversity – some of the values promoted by Ateliers d’Art de France – curators from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania were invited by Révélations to present the boldest expressions of international contemporary creation.
South Korea, Luxembourg and for the first time, Catalonia, Cyprus, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, French Polynesia, Slovakia, and Zambia will unveil new pieces made by expert fine craft workers and beautiful promises. The diversity of the pieces presented here, made in the workshops of visual artists, designers, fine craft workers and creators, prove that they all come from the same family; a family committed to an intimate interaction with the material, passionately questioning this specific type of creation, halfway between contemporary art and fine crafts.
Supported by the Cyprus Handicraft Service under the curation of Dr Iosif Hadjikyriakos, Cyprus presents pieces from four creators inspired by the history and resources of various areas of the island. As a true bridge between traditional craftsmanship and the challenges of contemporary society, the Cypriot space highlights the four elements: earth, water, air and fire.
The United Arab Emirates, which represents the Gulf states in the Biennial for the very first time, share their contemporary history through very particular landscapes and resources: the coast, the desert, the oasis and the mountain are conjured up in this journey of shapes and materials combining sculptures, everyday objects and furniture pieces.
Finally, supported by Alliance Française, Zambia’s Le Banquet will give carte blanche to Claire Chan and Paula Sachar Phiri from the Start foundation / 37D gallery, in the capital Lusaka, whose editorial line is based on the fine craft workshops’ natural and social environment. The high point of the selection is the presentation of some of the greatest masks from southern Africa.
Through a selection of works by artists from Slovakia, Zuzana Pacáková questions the relationship between mankind and nature. Man as a creator that influences, manipulates, completes and portraits nature, trying to understand it, model it, enrich it, develop it or disrupt it. This approach allows her to draw a parallel with current environmental issues regarding mankind’s relationship with nature and sustainability.
The Korean selection offers a focus on lacquer, distorted and exalted by creators. It has been used for thousands of years in South Korea to preserve objects or give them a glossy aspect. The pieces presented in this edition combined materials that are not usually lacquered such as leather or metal.
Though the Luxembourg stand is a window on new technological perspectives, its selection for Le Banquet leans on very traditional craftsmanship, with a strong personal input from the artists, around the Nature / Counter-Nature dichotomy.
Alongside the creators appearing on the stand, Morocco unveils a few gems coming from the kingdom’s craftsmanship. Playing on fine craft practices with strong identities, the selection questions the porous border between fine crafts, decorative arts and contemporary art.
Nigeria’s curatorial process – which is about bringing art pieces and functional objects closer together – explores this strange duality in an African context. Leaning on a diversified group of creators coming from all four corners of Nigeria, the selected pieces explore a wide variety of traditional techniques and media, from ceramic and textile to bronze and wood.
Specialising in mother-of-pearl, wood and weaving, the four material artists selected for French Polynesia’s very first participation to Le Banquet present pieces that are typical of the Polynesian contemporary craft production, as well as a common piece which combines all of their craftsmanship. All four artists’ works highlight materials, but also symbols, with the ambition to represent the cultural diversity of French Polynesia, and its fragility as well.
Under the leadership of curators Mònica Ramon et Rubén Torres, Catalonia presents an overview of seven local creators’ exceptional fine craft workshops and their singular artistic approaches. Visions of Catalonia, promoted by the Consortium of Commerce, Crafts and Fashion (CCAM) in collaboration with the Catalonia Association of Art Galleries (GAC), spreads new expressions of contemporary fine craft through the use of various materials: marble, bronze, porcelain, paper, glass, or else a combination of leather and pine.