Since the late 17th century, the French expression nature morte (literally ‘dead nature’) has been used to refer to still life, the field of painting that approaches nature from a sensual per-spective and explicitly alludes to its fragility and ephemerality, and indirectly also to the vanity of human intervention on its composite elements.
Over time, the term has extended to include any arrangement of inanimate objects organised in a certain fashion with a symbolic intention, which is meant to induce a poetic emotion.
In our so-called “anthropocene” age, man’s unwarranted action is contributing to the impermanence of nature, or even its annihilation. With this sombre outlook, the term nature morte ta-kes on even greater relevance.
Yet nature has a formidable capacity for regeneration. Works
by numerous creative minds ques-tion, provoke or encourage mechanisms that nature uses to underpin its intensity, reproduction and durability. In reality, each state of matter is a snapshot in a long, slow, evolutionary process of transformation, aggregation, assimilation and decomposition... Nature is very much alive!
In this exhibition organised at the CID (centre for innovation and design), designers, architects and artists present intensive, practical or experimental research that questions the relationship between man and nature, calling in equal measure on ecology, science, our moral conscience and artistic creation.
Nature morte/Nature vivante reveals how much man’s ambiguous relationship with nature can be both perverse and inspiring.