Miquel Barceló & le Musée Barbier-Mueller

12 October 2023 21 April 2024

This exhibition and the accompanying catalogue are the fruit of an idea sparked back in 2008, during a lunch attended by Miquel Barceló, his friends Monique and
Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller along with the museum’s then director, Laurence Mattet.

The theme that connects them – scarifications – is a compelling one, no doubt because of the indelible mark that it conveys. This is what guided Miquel Barceló’s selection of his own pieces and the Musée Barbier-Mueller’s choices from its collections. The artist works his pieces like flesh that he scratches, deforms, tears, pricks and discolours. The “skins” of a Senufo anthropomorphic statuette, a Baule mask, a face-pendant from the kingdom of Benin, among others, have undergone similar procedures. But the designs that run through them attest to an act willed by tradition, a passage, a transformation.

Such mark-making and transformative actions are all expressions of an artistic or ritual practice. Creative gestures, signs of ownership, traces that have prophylactic, therapeutic, aesthetic or even erotic properties: the convergence of a myriad of visual experiences.

With the support of :