The physical world

Julie Béna, Rodolphe Delaunay, Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza, Anne Tallentire
26/02/2011 – 23/04/2011

Physical: relating to things perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind; tangible or concrete: the physical world.
(online Oxford Dictionaries)


In scientific terminology “physical” is applied to a world that can be apprehended through its material properties and visible phenomena. In cartography certain planispheres bear the mention “Map of the Physical World” or, more simply, “The Physical World”; this implies a geographical, geological or climatic interpretation to be distinguished from geopolitical, economic, demographic or other presentations.


Verging overtly on the tautological, the title “The Physical World” suggests a calling into question not only of the nature of that world, but also, by direct inference, the imagining of its opposite. Are there such things as non-physical worlds, and if so, how are they to be represented?


The exhibition takes this issue of physicality – and possible non-physicality – as its starting point: four artists have produced new works exploring the difference between concrete observation of the world and other types of representation, either more abstract or springing from the imagination. As rechanneled by the artists, compasses, globes, maps and satellite images morph into mental, fictional and mythical projections. Their works embody personal attempts by each artist at establishing their spatial bearings – terrestrial, maritime, celestial – through a fresh approach to the standard points of reference.


The presence in a number of works of air and wind in visual and sound form links the entire exhibition to the wind rose. It’s interesting to note here that La Galerie’s cruciform shape is somewhat out of line with the north/south axis: might the actual arranging of the exhibition have been guided – by default – by this reading of things? And even if the principle is not applied to the letter here, our spatial awareness remains modified by it, in both horizontal and vertical terms: the exhibition is extended into the basement as a reflection of the different levels of reality – void, ether, sky, earth, ocean depths, hell – operating in the works on show; and the outcome is a multi-dimensional world with a host of interlinking passages.


Marianne Lanavère


Translated by John Tittensor

around the exhibition

  • 19/03/2011

    Taxi tram: an artistic outing in Île-de-France
    Bus trip to the exhibition at La Galerie, and at Le Plateau/FRAC Île-de-France.

  • 09/04/2011

    From 2:30 to 7:30 pm
    East Trail #5: Bus trip to the visual arts organisations belonging to the Communauté d’Agglomération Est Ensemble: La Galerie, Les Salaisons (Romainville), and Les Instants Chavirés (Montreuil).


  • 16/04/2011

    From 6:00 to 8:30 pm
    (Almost) Closing Time: short films and performances’ programme proposed by the artists, in the presence of Julie Béna, Rodolphe Delaunay, Estefenía Peñafiel Loaiza.