"We Could be Heroes" by Raphaël Barontini Landmark Exhibition at the Pantheon in Paris from October 19, 2023, to February 11, 2024
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What to expect
"We Could be Heroes": A Captivating Exhibition at the Pantheon in Paris
The Centre des monuments nationaux offers an unforgettable artistic experience by showcasing the talent of Raphaël Barontini through the exhibition "We Could be Heroes." This exceptional exhibition takes place at the prestigious Pantheon in Paris, as part of the "one artist, one monument" program. It is scheduled from October 19, 2023, to February 11, 2024, allowing visitors to discover this fascinating creation over several months.
A Journey into History at the Heart of the Pantheon
Starting on October 19, 2023, the Pantheon transforms into a space of artistic exploration, intensely evoking the history and memory of the struggles against slavery. This monument, steeped in republican memory, pays tribute to illustrious figures who worked towards the abolition of slavery, such as Condorcet, Abbé Grégoire, Toussaint Louverture, Louis Delgrès, and Victor Schœlcher. Raphaël Barontini, in turn, portrays heroic figures, both well-known and obscure, who played a significant role in the abolition of slavery, thus forming his "imaginary pantheon."
The exhibition takes the form of a monumental installation, an impressive collection of flags, banners, and textile works. The artist accomplishes the feat of creating a historical and emotional mural, evoking both the transatlantic slave trade and the actors of the fight for freedom.
A Majestic Introduction
Upon the visitor's arrival, an honor guard consisting of large banners and flags unfolds on either side of the nave. These elements showcase stylized portraits of iconic historical figures in the struggle for emancipation and the abolition of slavery, such as Anchaing & Héva from La Réunion, Sanité Bélair from Haiti, Louis Delgrès from Martinique and Guadeloupe, Dutty Boukman from Haiti, and many others. This initial part of the installation immediately immerses the visitor in the exhibition's world, piquing their curiosity and interest in these captivating characters.
The Narrative Power of Textiles
At the heart of the Pantheon, in the north and south transepts, the central part of the installation finds its place in dialogue with the monument's grand historical paintings, which evoke key episodes in French history. Raphaël Barontini's textiles provide a narrative dimension, impressively recounting the dark period of the slave trade and slavery up to the powerful battles for its abolition.
Barontini's works, specially designed for the Pantheon, build upon his previous works but on an unprecedented scale. They reveal a subtle art of collage and montage, skillfully superimposing techniques and colors. The artist assembles fragments of landscapes, bodies, adornments, and motifs from various visual languages, originating from different eras, cultures, and geographies. The result is a striking visual experience where art meets history and society.
An Accessible Event for All
The "We Could be Heroes" exhibition is open to all audiences. It presents a unique opportunity to delve into history and contemplate the artistic, historical, and societal issues it raises. Additionally, it's worth noting that the admission fee is included in the monument's entrance fee, making it an attractive option for all visitors.
The rates are as follows:
- Adult: €11.50
- Free for individuals under 26
- Group reservations are mandatory
A Must-Attend Artistic Performance
A not-to-be-missed date is the performance at the Pantheon on Sunday, October 22, at 4:30 PM, in the presence of the artist Mike Ladd and the Mas Choukaj collective. This performance is also included in the monument's admission fee, offering a unique opportunity to experience art live and engage with the artists.
In conclusion, Raphaël Barontini's exhibition "We Could be Heroes" at the Pantheon in Paris is a rare opportunity to discover history and art in an innovative and captivating way. With its monumental textile works and powerful visual storytelling, this exhibition promises to leave a lasting impression on those who visit. Don't miss this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the artist's "imaginary pantheon" and explore the legacy of the struggles against slavery. The exhibition is open from 10 AM to 6:30 PM in October 2023 and from 10 AM to 6 PM from November 2023 to February 2024, so get ready for an unforgettable artistic experience at the Pantheon in Paris.
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