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Contemporary art

Studies on empathy

45 min visit

Fondation d'entreprise Pernot Ricard
3 Dec → 25 Jan 2020
From Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.

« An exhibition that tests your own empathy!  »

Empathy. The word is everywhere. It' s in every mouth, or almost every mouth. We use it for everything and for nothing. But what is real empathy? Empathy in itself is not synonymous with emotional contagion, compassion or altruism. It refers to the ability to feel the emotional state of others in order to react appropriately. It is a social competence rooted in the deep structures of our nervous system. For a long time, we believed that it was a voluntary and rational phenomenon, based on the logical inferences and beliefs that we had of individuals. However, over the past ten years, the affective sciences have developed a new approach. Researchers describe a pre-conscious sensorimotor mechanism that allows us to access the emotional states of others automatically. It's fascinating, isn't it? At a time when the secular division between body and mind is being challenged, the scientific attestation of a cognition that would be embodied ("embodied cognition") comes at the right time. In the aesthetic field, it forces us to fully reconsider the effectiveness of visual representations on us. When do artists think? How do they relate to this conscious and unconscious dimension? What forms does it take? The exhibition takes its title from a research project by the artist Eva Zornio in the form of an investigation. It brings together the works of a dozen artists from HEAD-Geneva. Each work leads the audience to question the capacity it would have to generate.


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