The product of an ambitious partnership between Mudam Luxembourg and the Musée des Arts et Métiers, the exhibition Eppur si muove (And yet it turns) focuses on the many links that exist between the fields of the visual arts and technology, as well as the decisive influence that the history of the sciences and technology has exercised on contemporary artists.
Filling all the Mudam Luxembourg’s exhibitions spaces, and in a spirit of dialogue, it brings together some seventy pieces dating from between the eighteenth century to the present day from the collections of the prestigious museum in Paris and more than 130 works by artists who, through the questions that they engage with, the experiences they offer, and the manner of production and collaboration they employ, embrace the themes that have run through the domains of technology and science for several centuries.
Opening with a representation of the emblematic pendulum built by Léon Foucault – “he first to physically demonstrate the spinning movement of the Earth”, in the words of artist Piotr Kowalski – the exhibition is structured in three sections: “Measuring the World”, “Matter Revealed”, and “Inventions Applied”, each occupying a floor of the museum in several theme-based rooms.
Questions tackled vary from celestial mechanics, descriptive geometry, the measurement of time and space, observation of the infinitely large and infinitely small, light, sound and electromagnetic waves, tools, energy, and cybernetics: each a facet of a world that man has always attempted to understand and mould.
By means of the dialogue that it stimulates, the exhibition Eppur si muove – Art et technique, un espace partagé also reassesses the dynamics common to both domains, which are often artificially distanced from one another. Freed of the conception of art being autonomous, the works bear out the importance to the creative process of technical and scientific research, collaboration, experimentation, and instrumentation.
In parallel and aside from their undeniable physical beauty, the technical objects from the Musée des Arts et Métiers embody the dimension of intuition and creativity that goes hand-in-hand with all scientific research. This unique exhibition thus draws the contours of a “shared space” between artists and engineers, artists and scientists – a place where unique yet complementary gazes on the contemporary world intersect.
The accompanying catalogue of the exhibition will bring together several essays written especially for the occasion and an international symposium chaired by Patricia Falguières, professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, organized with the support of the Fonds National de la Recherche and in collaboration with the Cnam Lorraine, Université de Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) (16 and 17 October 2015).
During the exhibition, Mudam hosts CoRobots, a project of the Interdisciplinary Center for ICT Securtity, Reliability and Trust (SnT) in collaboration with the City of Luxembourg