in partnership with La Martinière Diderot and the program Création en cours / Ateliers Médicis
Why seek any “elsewhere” where to live when we are already inhabitants of here? Beyond a utopian form, it is indeed the poetic question of a story from the present, that of humanity and its hopes to go beyond the horizon, to the distant worlds still there to discover. Jean-Baptiste Grangier offers a reflection on our status as earthlings through a forgotten story: James W. Cadle and his "Flag of Earth".
On July 21, 1969, the "American" Man sets foot on the moon and plants his flag. At the same time, James W. Cadle, a farmer from Illinois, sees in this achievement the first milestone of a utopia of space conquest; he dreams of a future where this act would no longer be the affair of nations but that of a humanity united under the same aegis, the same flag. He invents the "Flag of Earth", his proposal for an official flag of the planet Earth. During his life, he would fight in vain for global recognition of his creation. He attained its unofficial recognition from the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) scientific community who chose his flag as an emblem until its final "official" raising on June 19, 2004, the date of Cadle's death.
To Build a World ... (still needing to preserve ours) brings together various recent productions of Jean-Baptiste Grangier that present the solar system and the conquest of space as a playground.
Shown in the space are works including The Pursuit of the Planets, made with children as part of his residency at The Ateliers Medicis, the film Its anthem is the wind in her trees and the wave of her seas, a filmed performance produced by La BF15 on June 5, 2018 (World Environment Day) at the Metz Pompidou Center, and a brand new variation of the famous flag.
The exhibition is like a given instant in which the works testify to this tension between utopian belief and the reality of an ecological discourse. It echoes the motto that Cadle gave to his flag and his dream: "Its hymn is the wind in his trees and the waves of his seas.”