For the opening of this season, the Centre des Arts turned its interest towards the infinitely small. Being organized in the framework of the International Year of Chemistry, Invisible & Insaisissable is an exhibition whose format is very peculiar and that focuses, through a collaboration among nine artists and 20 scientific researchers, on nanosciences.
Nanoscience is a highly multidisciplinary scientific research field: chemistry, biology, physics, medicine, materials science complement each other in a process of collective thinking that explores, understands and tries to control the nanoscale. Originating from the OpenLab Project, this exhibition can also be contextualized in the opening of nanoscience to society. It focuses in particular on the contribution of chemistry to nanoscience, an aspect which is often disregarded by non-specialists. The project aims to involve contemporary art in its varied forms: aid to expression, knowledge transfer and catalyst in the debate.
The fact of giving full access to the laboratories, which gives the name to the project, is one of the most important points synonym of communication and desire for transparency. This approach allows you to communicate effectively on a complex and controversial topic. From the perspective of artistic creation, this project offers a significant number of new opportunities for artists in the field of chemistry in relationship with nanoscience. Organized by a CNRS researcher (Niki Baccile) and an art critic (Margherita Balzerani), the OpenLab project, in collaboration and co-production with the Centre des Arts, has allowed artists and researchers to work together, exchange their respective experience and knowledge in order to produce real artworks but also to share research experiences developed and implemented together. Thus, since January 2011, the collaborations have been developed between artists and researchers to produce new artworks.
Throughout the meetings, artists and researchers found a way to understand each other, where the creativity of the artist meets that of the researcher, whose scientific knowledge helps to develop the original idea of artist. The artist has better understood the scientific knowledge and, sometimes, it has adapted its content to the shape of the work. The research laboratory has turned into a an atelier, where artistic creation has melt with its everyday activities. Sometimes the artists have collaborated with more than one laboratory at the same time and several researchers at once. The exhibition is the result of this double opportunity, for the artist to use new materials, otherwise inaccessible, and for the researcher, who can consider science through different aesthetic impulses. These works/experiences are an opportunity to consider nanoscience as a new creative playground and allowing, through the “Invisible et Insaisissable” exhibition, the exploration of various formal dimensions: smell, sound, fiction, visual and cognitive.