Wednesday 15 September 2021 ↦ 19h30
by Joanna Chevalier
"Regards Croisés" proposes a dialogue between two universes brought together at lʼoccasion of the exhibition La Valise dʼOrphée. That of Naji Asfar on the one hand, a former art dealer and collector of antiques who for thirty years assembled an extraordinary collection of tiny zoomorphic sculptures from the Mediterranean basin. That of the artist Damien Deroubaix on the other hand, who painted, engraved and sculpted a spectacular den to house and reveal this unique ensemble in the world.
In a filmed interview with Naji Asfar, conducted in Lebanon, the collector discusses his background, his collection and his fetishistic connection to his animal miniatures. Damien Deroubaix responds to these remarks by presenting how he has appropriated this singular collection. The opportunity to evoke the iconographic importance of the animal in his work. Through his paintings, woodcuts and sculptures, Damien Deroubaix accumulates signs and allegories, composing a symbolic corpus of astonishing power of evocation. Through his artistic interpretation of them, he propels a collection of objects from ancient times into a contemporary universe. He points out the timelessness of the symbols and signs of these often spiritually charged figurines. For La valise dʼOrphée is not only the staging of a beautiful collection of curiosity objects, it immerses the visitor in an underground world where mystery and magic never cease to operate.