«This exhibition seeks to evoke a fundamental philosophical problem touching on the relationship between the image and time (...) » Georges Didi-Huberman
It might be better to say between images (whose genres are infinitely varied) and the times (which are always plural and know how to coexist within every work of art). In the French language, we often express differences in temporality with ‘sensory’ words - for example, words evoking cold or warmth. That which is forgotten is as cold as death. The present burns (we speak, for example, of a ‘burning topic’), as does desire (we say, ’I burn with desire’). This exhibition would suggest that memory also burns - that it is not reducible to a collection of souvenirs coldly arranged side by side, but that it is, quite rightly, inseparable from the present and from desire (which propels us towards the future). The desire of the French revolutionaries of 1789 was not separable from the ancient Roman memory that comes with the simple word ‘Republic’. It’s the same thing in the history of art: we never invent anything by just making a clean break with the past. To invent - create a future, a new situation - it’s necessary to reconfigure memory, as when Marcel Duchamp abandoned oil painting (an invention of the Renaissance) in order to throw himself into the making of the famous The Large Glass, which used a very precise stainedglass technique (a practice of the Middle Ages). We create the new not simply by forgetting the past, but by rethinking its genealogy in a way that can escape the conformity - the glaciation - of a memory that is no longer ‘living’.