"Witches!" Women's spells...
Vernissage open to the public on July 1 from 3 to 6 p.m.
- July 1 > August 31: 09:30 - 19:00 (Monday to Saturday)
2pm - 7pm (Sundays and public holidays)
- September 1st > 30th: 09h30 - 12h00 & 14h00 - 18h 00
14h00 - 18h00 (Sundays and public holidays) Closed Tuesdays (except July and August), Saturday mornings and Sunday mornings
The Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires, housed in the sumptuous Renaissance château. It tells the story of peasant life at the end of the 19th century. It also features some very fine decor from the Age of Enlightenment, as seen in the "Salon des papiers peints".
- EXHIBITION COMMISSIONERS: Caroline Dreux & Aurélie Dumain
- INSTITUTIONAL AND PRIVATE LENDERS: Eline Alkhaznawi, Bibliothèque d’étude et de conservation de Besançon, Bibliothèque municipale de Vesoul, Marc-Olivier Bitker Ranson, Anne Valérie Dupont, Claudie Floutier, Barbara Fougnon, Galerie Bugada Cargnel, Mucem, Musée des Augustins de Toulouse, Musée Baron Martin et Muséum de Gray, Musée Charles de Bruyères de Remiremont, Musée-château de Nemours, Musée des beaux-arts de Nancy, Musée des beaux-arts et d’archéologie de Besançon, Musée Félicien Rops de Namur, Musée Georges Garret de Vesoul, Musée Gustave Courbet d'Ornans, Musée Henri Boëz de Maubeuge, Musée du Jouet de Moirans-en-Montagne, Musée Jules Adler de Luxeuil-les-Bains, Musée du Louvre, Marc Paygnard, Jean-Pierre Sergent.
54 km from Dijon on the D960
20 km from Gray on the D67
36 km from Langres on the N74, then the D67
70 km from Besançon on the D67
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Ready for a new exhibition?
"The witches are back, but this time they're not hiding", warns one of them. On the contrary, they are happy to "expose" themselves in the full sense of the word in our Champlitte and Château-Lambert Museums of Popular Arts and Traditions, on the occasion of this new exhibition-inquiry by the Ethnopôle Reinventing Folk Museums. Assuming the risk of being subjected to our judgments and other prejudices (which may have been fatal to the thousands of people accused of witchcraft in the days of Europe's pyres), self-identified witches today take the time to explain their visions of the world, the body, nature and the collective...
With herbalists, bonesetters, magnetizers and mediums, healers, magicians and shamans... an exorcist priest, as well as artists, photographers, historians, historians, historians and artists.
an exorcist priest, as well as artists, photographers, historians, ethnologists and philosophers, both professional and amateur, children, ragpickers and feminists... located in Haute-Saône or Mexico (with whom we are twinned), we invite you to take part in a new collective investigation aimed at better understanding: What is a "witch"? What "spells" does our society have in store for them? Then and now? What counter-spells are these so-called witches trying to cast on our world today?
In order to approach this (sometimes surprising, often baffling) phenomenon of witches in a new way, the first question to ask ourselves, as viewers and investigators, doesn't seem to be "to believe" or "not to believe", "to be" or "not to be"... (We advise you to keep this nagging question in the back of your pocket. There's a good chance it will keep coming back to you throughout the journey we're about to embark on together...).
Instead, we invite you to begin by observing, listening and analyzing, in order to "welcome" and make room for other ways of seeing, thinking (dressing?) and populating the world. At the end of our journey through this strange and foreign world, we may be able to come to a new understanding...
AROUND THE EXHIBITION (PROGRAM OF MEETINGS & CONFERENCES)
- PRESENTATION TEXT OF JPS EXHIBITED WORK
THE MAYAN GODDESS IXCHEL
"D'Aubigné remains obsessed by the appalling problem of man's cruelty to man. The crimes of the past are too often excused by blaming them on the mores of the time which, supposedly, would authorize them, even in the eyes of their victims." Les Tragiques, Sous bénéfice d'inventaire, Marguerite Yourcenar
The Goddess Ixchel, whose name comes from ix, which means lady, and chel, which means rainbow, is the Maya goddess, associated with Water and Death. We can see that by overturning her big pot, her womb in a way, she floods the arid, dry and infertile Earth with her waterspouts. She wears bones on her dress and snakes on her headdress, chthonic and mortuary elements. I added monarch butterflies which are symbols of Life, hope, transhumance and ephemerality; or even; they represent the souls of the dead which fly away from the Earth and circulate in Space; surrounding and protecting us all, humans, fragile and mortal as we are. We feel very strongly the power and the strength of Ixchel, at the same time destructive, deadly and by the same token, in fact and inversely, regenerative and creator of Life. She is an old, ugly, menopausal woman, giving rise in each of us to feelings of fear, horror, dread, amazement, death anxiety, destruction and infra-worlds; but who fascinates us all the same! It is the perfect portrait of the western witch par excellence, aesthetically and by definition. Except that the Maya and the pre-Columbians did not have the same artistic and moral value judgments. And their Devils, as their Gods were practically always aesthetically all ugly and frightening. Not like our famous ancient Gods, over-aesthetized and exulting, of an over-aged beauty with an immeasurable and unattainable purity, like the famous insipid Kouros or the caryatids of the Greek Parthenon (abode of the virgins), supporting gracefully but lifelessly and without desire, the infinite and insurmountable weight of a heavy, grandiloquent and impressive architecture: "Why the eyes of the statues are they always lifeless? "The Mexican Gods, alive and well, were perhaps even more frightening than our wise, simplistic, bloody and desperate Christs on the Cross, all of whom hoped for resurrections and redemptions. For the Aztecs and Mayans merged with Life and Death itself. They sacrificed themselves daily and also sacrificed their Gods sempiternally and put their hands in the Cambouis of Life, which is finally nothing else but: constructions-destructions and incessant and sempiternal leitmotivs, matras and litanies of : SEX-Life-Death, SEX-Life-Death, SEX-Life-Death, ad infinitum and also : CRONES-OS-SPERM-EJACULATIONS-BITES-VULVES etc... So, a western aesthetic, whatever it is, has no place here to describe Life, whatever its strength and relevance may be... This off-aestheticism, this off-frame therefore, is, in fact, exactly the same place-universe as the one in which our western miscreant and atheistic witches evolved, in their time. Although they possessed immemorial knowledge about plants, animals, bodies and planets, they were, then, always seen as pariahs... so hated, so despised, so ugly, so vulgar, so 'proletarian', so persecuted, so camp and so burned alive during much of our late Middle Ages. It is certain that this insane, unreasonable, totally arbitrary and irrational persecution was lavished by monotheistic religious morals fundamentally and intrinsically ideologized by men and for men, obviously. This hand put on the female body, regenerator and giver of Life, seemed to be established, in great part, to impose to the women: the non-mastery of their body and the total submission of this one: To the non-pleasure, to the non-enjoyment, to the non-desire, to the non-orgasm... Because all these essential notions to live and to be free, in its sexuality and out of reproduction were, of course, out of reach of the comprehension of the men of then and now besides, jealous of the innumerable, elusive and irrational female pleasures. And even the greatest philosophies and the greatest philosophers and other artists could not do anything about it; even Sade was stranded there! Total failure of the West, gone out of the Life, before having even entered it! Contrary to India and to all the societies called 'primitive', which succeeded in this complementarity Man-Woman, this intricate, inextricable and intelligent assembly of Sex and Spirituality.
It is true that a true feminine sexual orgasm is indescribable and is enough to frighten men in their greatness and their masculine superiority. Since it has the power of a spring, of a cataract, of an earthquake, of a revelation... And it destroys with its transparent emotional force, any idea of confinement. And it also annihilates, de facto, all Reason, all Morality, all Domination and even all Love. Orgasm is Anarchic by essence.
It is necessary to recall today, in this turbulent beginning of the twenty-first century, that still and we will never get out of it! Women, Afghan, Iranian and also from many other cultures in the World, are still persecuted, imprisoned, whipped, excised (ablation of the clitoris, the organ of pleasure!) and executed to death or even stoned, for having dared to show a strand, even a tiny one, of their hair... While quite paradoxically, simultaneously and ubiquitously, the West (a generic term) is inundating the web and social networks with pornographic images...
In which global world do we really live now? On which Planet ? With which moral illusions? With which immoral illusions? What sense to give to all this ? Who could tell us?
For my part, I prefer and by far, to enjoy the pictures of the Sabbaths of the medieval witches, during which they were going to jerk off sexually, in weightlessness in the air! All naked, innocent, joyful and eroticized... The vulva open and free with breasts swollen with desires to be satiated, howling at the full Moon... Collectively, always; as a WHOLE, a whole, a cohesion of forces, a sorority... Climaxing in a ferocious feminine Orgasm, bestial, animal, timeless, Oceanian, Boschian (Jerome Bosch), matrix and universal! Straddling, playing and enjoying with their long phallic brooms, shaggy cocks, well sexed and well hard... WOMAN, LIFE, FREEDOM !*
* Rallying cry of women's protest against the murderous and bloody political power in Iran in 2022 and 2023.
Jean-Pierre Sergent, Besançon April 13, 2023
- EXHIBITED ARTWORK
Goddess Maya Ixchel, Large Paper #69, silkscreened acrylic on Rives BFK paper, 300g, 1.30 x 1.20 cm, 2015