Text by Isabelle Pellegrini for the collective exhibition “Inanimate Objects” in Villa Henry, Nice.
Estefanía Radnic

We share with you the curatorial text “Inanimate Objects” written by Isabelle Pellegrini, curator and artistic director of Circa, an association founded in order to develop transdisciplinary artistic projects outside the usual field of exhibition. Circa‘s activities are carried out mainly in Villa Henry in Nice, an intimate and atypical place, which houses contemporary art exhibitions, artist micro residencies, multidisciplinary collaborations and meetings on contemporary art. Circa also carries out its projects “hors les murs” according to meetings and invitations.


“With the lamp we return to the house of the reverie of the evening in the residences of formerly, the residences lost but which are in our dreams, faithfully inhabited. Where reigned a lamp, reigns the memory. “

The Flame of a Candle by Gaston Bachelard

“Inanimate objects, do you have a soul attached to our soul and the strength to love? ”

Milly or the native land (II), Poetic and religious harmonies of Alphonse de Lamartine

“I have always had a fascination with the needle and its magic power. ”

Louise Bourgeois

Amazing prism on the world, objects are the mirror of the society that creates, uses or discards them. They reflect our present, our past, sometimes our future. They are our witnesses and our totems. From the intimate thing to the public thing, they mark our lives by accompanying them with their utility or their presence. But this presence is never trivial, even their superficiality is significant.

The works exhibited are recognizable by visitors as “objective” at first glance, directly and formally identical or very close to the object they invoke. The exhibition starts from the Lamartinian postulate that objects act on our minds without even being endowed with speech or gesture. Their stillness and silence even seem to be the key to their power.

À niveau, Delphine Mogarra, 2020 / Roulette Incomplète, Mountaincutters, 2018 / Boulier, Camille Franch-Guerra, 2020 © Circa – Isabelle Pellegrini, 2020

Inanimate Objects studies the relationship between artwork and object, the symbolism of the object and its transformation by the artist into artwork thanks to the only power of his conceptual approach. The exhibition draws a reflection on our relationship to the object today, from mass production to its intimate power, from its materiality to its memorial or even sacred character, from its accumulation to its essentiality and even to animism.  A path going from the common thing to the symbol.

Inanimate Objects opens the door to our archives, examines the shelves, the trunks, inspects the workshops and explores the attics in order to develop an objective taxonomy, a field of experimentation and research that goes from material to spiritual. The path takes turns scientific approach, poetic freedom or divinatory power without ever deviating from its road. The scenography is inspired by the meticulous organization of technical workshops or scientific laboratories, work plans and other research spaces where the objects are arranged in a precise order in order to be used, grabbed at the right time. The visitor then becomes the master of the place and can invent his own relation to the works on display.

Offrande (4), 2019 et Objet de rituel, 2020, Eve Pietruschi © Delphine Mogarra pour Circa, 2020

The works of the artists in the exhibition were each created with a specific destination but they come together in the quest for Truth. Initiatory scale, sedimentary strata of the same posture when faced with big questions. The Human, the World, the Society, the Cosmos are all essential and existential subjects which animate the most intimate as well as the most universal reflections. The objects, as prosaic as they may seem, are benchmarks in this research.

The symbolism of objects is our guide, because as Bergson defended in his Creative Evolution, Truth is more easily reached by intuition than by reasoning. Therefore, there would be no more complete understanding of human matter than that realized through intuition. This is why the exhibition takes the next step towards the symbol by designing and producing a specific Oracle of archetypal representations of objects. And it is these same representations that will be posted in the catalog, instead of real images of the artist’s works; opening other doors and creating other links.

Objets inanimés, Série de 33 dessins, Evan Bourgeau, 2020 © Circa – Isabelle Pellegrini, 2020

The works in the exhibition take us to an elsewhere that makes sense and summons all the hidden meanings of the art object. Ancient Greece called “Symbolon” an object broken into two complementary parts to signify that a reciprocal connection linked the two people owning each part. From this reciprocity, from this link between the works, came the symbolism of the exhibition. The link, the exchange and the transmission are at work here and the symbol objectively opens up the field of interpretation.

Isabelle Pellegrini, march 2020

« Inanimate Objects » collective exhibition from 14/03/2020 to… ? (depending on the end of the quarantine)

Artists: Sophie BletEvan BourgeauNicolas DaubanesCamille Franch-GuerraDelphine MogarraEve PietruschiStéphanie Raimondi with the complicity of  Alexandre Barré.

Circa, Nice


Discover the works in detail on @circaip 

Vue d’exposition avec l’artiste Eve Pietruschi et Isabelle Pellegrini, Villa Henry © Delphine Mogarra pour Circa, 2020
Poème « Milly ou la Terre natale (II) » d’Alphonse de Lamartine, in Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (1830) – dont est tiré le titre de l’exposition © Circa – Isabelle Pellegrini, 2020
À niveau, Delphine Mogarra, 2020 / Roulette Incomplète, Mountaincutters, 2018 / Boulier, Camille Franch-Guerra, 2020 © Circa – Isabelle Pellegrini, 2020
Vue d’exposition, Villa Henry © Circa – Isabelle Pellegrini, 2020
Objet Incomplet (les morceaux de paysages enrayaient l’appareil-corps), Mountaincutters, 2019, Villa Henri, Niza © Delphine Mogarra pour Circa, 2020
L’œil qui se regarde avec l’artiste, Delphine Mogarra, 2020 © Delphine Mogarra pour Circa, 2020
Dice Play, Stéphanie Raimondi, 2020 © Delphine Mogarra pour Circa, 2020
Lieux dits, Nicolas Daubanes, 2019 © Circa – Isabelle Pellegrini, 2020
Vue d’exposition avec l’artiste Camille Franch-Guerra, Villa Henry © Circa – Isabelle Pellegrini, 2020
Quartier des femmes mineures, Prison des Baumettes, Marseille, Nicolas Daubanes, 2017 © Delphine Mogarra pour Circa, 2020
Polar d’Alexandre Barré, pierre de soleil viking disposée quelque part dans l’exposition avec la complicité de Stéphanie Raimondi ©Circa – Isabelle Pellegrini, 2020
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