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Lucia Bru at "Formes du Transfert", Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès

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Each year, since 2010, the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès has invited visual artists to create new work in the Hermès workshops, drawing on the exceptional skills of the house’s artisans. Through the Artists' Residencies programme, artists and craftspeople alike are encouraged, together, to take a step back from their respective practices and to shift their perspectives in order to create new work and expand the possibilities of contemporary art. “Formes du transfert”, a three-phase exhibition taking place in Korea, Japan and France, invites visitors to discover ten years of artistic production at the heart of a business rooted in exceptional artisan skills.

The thirty-four artists united in these “Formes du transfert” (“Forms of transference”), including Belgian artist Lucia Bru, have created work using singular materials: leather, silver, silk and crystal. Over the years since the programme began in 2010, each has carried out a residency in a Hermès workshop, whether a leatherworks, textile atelier, the Puiforcat silversmiths or the crystal-maker Saint-Louis. Beyond these exceptional materials, in some cases rarely used in contemporary art, the artists came into contact with a wide range of unique gestures and savoir-faire, thanks to the expertise and engagement of the craftspeople working alongside them. Each work produced by the artists therefore constitutes both an original creation and the result of a human adventure, a story of exchange and transmission akin to the psychoanalytical process of “transference”, according to the curator, Gaël Charbau. “Why would we spend so much time perfecting a form if it wasn’t that this action is indescribably linked to something buried deep within us?” he asks. Indeed, the works gathered in this exhibition all resonate, in different ways, with the mechanisms through which desires buried in the past resurface and are actualised.


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