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David Claerbout in Welcome to the desert of reality

With this sentence pronounced at the beginning of the film Matrix, largely inspired by the thought of Jean Baudrillard — "The simulacrum is true" —, Morpheus invites Neo to become aware of the reality of a world of which he had until then only perceived the representation distorted, created from scratch by the Matrix.
Twenty years after the release of this film, at a time when the dissemination of information is about to implode under the pressure of digital data invading our daily lives in an uncontrolled way, the question of the real, of reality and of their representation , stands out as one of the major challenges of our contemporary lives.

The world now seems to appear only in the form of fierce information clashing through artificial, spectacular and exclusionary narratives, offering the crowds they hope to conquer with diverted, distorted, falsified visions of reality. Also, many artists from the beginning of the century put into perspective the tension between reality, its spectacular or distorted representation and its transposition into imaginary events.

By infiltrating the devices and stories at work in the world of mass imagery (cinema, press, contemporary myths), by designing works whose multiple meanings of reading invite us to a critical distance from the representation of reality as it is imposed on us or by focusing on reality in its rawest form, the works of the artists presented in this exhibition invite us with an undeniable poetry to doubt the nature of the images that we encounter, to deconstruct the binding representation mechanisms present.

How we think about the world—and, probably more importantly, how we tell about it—is of major importance. What happens but is not told ceases to exist. Whoever controls and weaves the narrative rules. *
Olga Tokarczuk, The tender narrator, 2020

*This sentence will serve as the title of one of the most stimulating essays of the beginning of the 21st century , written by the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, published in France in 2005.

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