The first chapter of Hans-Ulrich Obrist Archive is dedicated to the late Édouard Glissant, Martinique-born philosopher, poet and public intellectual.
Glissant is an emblematic figure for both Obrist, for whom he was a mentor, and for the Luma project in Arles, for which the thinker has been an inspiration since its inception, as for many who are finally grasping the relevance of his thought. Drawing on periods of collaboration, friendship and mentorship between the philosopher and the curator, the presentation highlights a belief they had in common: conversation and reciprocal exchange with the other can be a means to produce new realities. For Glissant, a world in transformation is a ‘One-World’ that listens and learns from each of its unique voices.
The focus of this presentation is a collection of audio-visual material related to Glissant from Obrist’s Interview Archive, which was displayed for the first time on the occasion of the overall opening of Luma in Arles in 2021. More than six hours of video material from public and private interviews, screened on eight viewing stations, allow visitors to listen to Glissant engaging in dialogues, reading his poetry aloud, forming and shaping his thoughts and philosophy while speaking. In addition to the videos, various other archival materials such as books dedicated to Obrist by Glissant are presented to offer a unique overview of this inspiring relationship.
The presentation at Luma Westbau also features a series of posters by contemporary artists, who were either close to Glissant or who feel connected to his thinking. It is through their unique language that Glissant’s ideas find prolongation, reflecting their contemporaneity and urgency. The exhibition is co-curated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Arthur Fouray.