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 MA'A* Cultural Innovation Editor | | N°38 MAY 2020 the new destination for discoverers defending the best of Art, Architecture and Design
in order to reinvent your contemporary lifestyle
Mutants and Liquified | 2012 | Bart Hess©
100ecs #FabienneRousseau 



As you know, confinement began in March. We’ve therefore gone a good while without going to the theater, the cinema, the library, museums, bookstores, or galleries. And yet, we collectively consume cultural products for several hours a day, without acknowledging the artists who created them. Art and culture are devoured abundantly, at the risk of getting a bitter aftertaste linked to the lack of contact with others. To avoid a cultural diet and decline, CULTURAMA N°38 virtually presents to you an exhibition, like a timeless cultural event, on the theme MYTHS & HYBRIDIZATIONS, while this unique situation challenges our lifestyles. Stay safe and take care.

Chronicle of a postponed exhibition due to the coronavirus
Perspectives intertwined
Reconciliation | Digital collage | 2014 | Thierry Lo-Shung-Line©

MYTHS & HYBRIDIZATIONS is a collective project coordinated by José Man Lius, invited by the contemporary space 100ecs. It is a scenographic layout that poetically represents the birth of new social and cultural practices. This collective exhibition explores the different facets of hybridization from an artistic, scientific, and social perspective, thanks to the collaboration with visual artists — Eizo Sakata, Jean Isnard, Thierry Lo Shung Line — and performance artists Lanah Shaï, Dana Mussa, Jean-Marie Lavallée and KONPYUTA (Simon Girard).

+info: Exhibition and performances postponed to November 5th, 2020 — November 28th, 2020.

the 100ecs
Fabienne Rousseau #FR
100 Art Talents Experience | 2019 | Sophie Lanoë©

Eric of MA'A*: Created in 2008, the 100ecs welcomes 1,500 artists each year. How would you describe this place to the audience who cannot get around at the moment?

Fabienne Rousseau: Previously, the 100ecs was a cultural and social establishment for professionals only. It’s now been five years since we have opened a part of the place to the public. We offer a multi-artistic monthly program combining the Plastic Arts and the Performing Arts, around a different theme each time. The themes addressed are anchored in societal questions about our everchanging world. We also regularly organize meetings and debates within universities.

Im-NATURE exhibition | 2019 | Sophie Lanoë©
Days on Culture and Ecology at the 100ecs

Eric: After a month of confinement, what can you tell us about the coming season?

Fabienne: In this next season which promises to be somewhat disturbed, we will deal with the Cruelty of the world "And live in a cruel world", the Difference "The one I do not know", Ecology, but also the Strange in Art and Design. We like to broaden our thoughts to various cultural subjects. This is what makes the place original.



Hybrid myths
José Man Lius #FR
Three mermaids | Color engraving | 1817 | Anonymous
Tilapia fish skin grafts to treat burn victims | 2017 | Brazil
Eric of MA'A*: Why did you choose the theme MYTHS & HYBRIDIZATIONS?

José Man Lius: I met the 100ecs team during the artist residency 100 Art Talents Experiences #01 in 2018 organized by Sophie Lanoë, exhibition curator. The idea of an exhibition came up as a free rein project, a particular approach which allows to freely draw on the place’s artistic resources to set up a themed universe. Here, the theme was the notion of hybrids, from a global transdisciplinary Art perspective.
Rot in paradise | 2018 | Hungry & Studio Prokopiou©

Many works of art hybridize forms, genres, species. They order and reorder categories as they please. They encourage us to escape from any pre-established logic in order to explore the potential meanings of a world in perpetual change. Hybridization appears as a particular classification of the work of art without denying the evolution of sciences and societies. I first suggest that we meet up and exchange views; artists then give their testimony, expose their conception and their use of hybridization for poetic, subversive, critical, and political purposes.

Giving birth to a new species | 2014 | Maja Smrekar©
First female sperm | 2017 | Charlotte Jarvis©

The exhibition questions the multiple facets of MYTHS & HYBRIDIZATIONS between Arts, History and Sciences, thus evoking the interactions between these disciplines. Myth heroes often take the shape of monstrous hybrid beings with divine powers, characterizing the great founding tales of ancient civilizations. In Homer's Odyssey, the Cyclops Polyphemus is a gigantic monster and Scylla is a dog with twelve legs and six heads, just to name a few. Yet, hybrids, chimeras, monsters, legendary and mythical creatures have populated our minds since the dawn of time on all continents.

Cremaster 5 | 1997 | Matthew Barney©
The artists integrate the original stories and myths in their own way, both by transcending our relationship with reality and by questioning new possibilities: from Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso to Refigurations by Orlan, from the fantasies of Thomas Grünfeld to the cultural diversions of Yinka Shonibare, from my organic sculptures to Maja Smrekar’s interspecies fertilization.

Scientists use hybridization to correct, repair, transform, and Art questions the new paradigms that they induce in our societies in the more or less distant future.
Lack of human control | Video self-portrait | 2010 | José Man Lius©

Eric: How do you integrate hybridizations into your work?

José: The mixture of genres stimulates my artistic practice. In particular, the hybridization of materials related to the skin resizes  and questions the human body as a surface area between inside and outside. This practice comes to life through installations, videos, and performances where I solicit the active participation of the public.

BIO vs OGM | Installation | Hybridization between natural and artificial | 2013 | José Man Lius©
For example, my project BIO vs GMO offers biomorphic drawings/sculptures that explore the relationship between natural and artificial. This is a Bio Art hybridization experiment on apples, where cutting the skin along various lines has the effect of naturally sculpting the fruit. In fact, the preservatives radically disturb the rotting process. I use the apple, a forbidden fruit, symbolizing original sin, to question the evolution of the food we consume on a large scale. The scarification on the fruit’s skin modifies the aging process. But scarifying is not only a scientific act, it is also a fighting position; this refers to tribal tattoos of the Maori and the practices of scarification and social mutilation in Africa, of the Moose tribe in Ghana. Also, at the time of the triangular trade, mutilation made it possible to escape from slavery.

COLONIES | Sculpture & digital photography | 2020 | José Man Lius©

Eric: Tell us about your installation for this exhibition.

José: The COLONIES project is a repetition of shapes and images of skins and a series of ship shoes linked by chains. The whole piece is organized as a commemorative space, composed of digital photomontages from the Social Corset project and laser cutouts of leather for flags and lances. COLONIES refers to biology and of course to the history of colonization, when the skin of men and women was not always worth much.

The opposition between the shreds and the symbolism of the flags, which usually mark a piece of land or a war victory, invites the public to resist like these crowds of anonymous people, against all forms of slavery (sexual, economic, social, etc.). The body fragments, like the torn skins, testify to the uniqueness of the human species while confronting them with warlike attributes. The work, made up of secular sculptures, affirms, through everyday objects, the recurrence of a fight for freedom and democratic values. The Ship Shoes installation reveals an intimate journey that chains and uproots, a journey to an unknown destination, a land different from that of the origins.

Third skin studies | Laceration on leather | 2018 | José Man Lius©

The location is structured by the Social Corset photomontages, evocative of external influences which mark skins as well as minds, in a world where commercial brands have never been more present. What is marking if not an attempt to appropriate? The realization of this part of the project is based on the digital processing of photographs of naked skin with Cordoba leather patterns on it. It is the juxtaposition of markings that gives the body a social identity. In this artistic approach, the confluence of representations reveals a skin that is usually hidden: the social corset. Whether the skin is embossed, tattooed, stapled or scarred, the role it plays here is that of a mask or clothing. The neutrality of nudity and the illusion of intimacy no longer exist.

COLONIES | Sculpture & digital photography | 2020 | José Man Lius©

Eric: What do you think characterizes your perspective?

José: Exoticism, perhaps? Because, by definition, it comes from far. I am often asked where I come from and what the singularity of my origins brings to the artistic field or to avant-garde trends. To this I answer that, coming from the Caribbean with a history rooted in great History, hybridization is in my DNA! I come from a cross-culture, the fruit of multiple mixtures.

Social Corset | Digital photography & virtual scarification | 2017 | José Man Lius©

Eric: How did you choose the artists associated with this approach?

José: All roads lead to Rome and all artists cross paths in Paris, the multifaceted capital! It is a series of circumstances and artistic meetings, long-standing collaborations and exhibitions in festivals, biennials, artist residences which led me to invite Dana, Lanah, Thierry, Jean,
KONPYUTA, Jean-Marie, and Eizo to participate.

The Ship Shoes | Installation | 2020 | José Man Lius©

Eric: What emerges from the intersection of different artistic perspectives?

José: The mapping of a generational cultural diversity which corresponds to the awareness of the changes in the
21st century! A space for freedom! I hope that the audience will be able to find a scenographic coherence which highlights our writings, and a certain freshness.


Understanding myths and hybridizations

Poplar burl | 2019 | Wood and Altuglas | Jean Isnard©

Jean Isnard explores the innumerable alliances of materials with contradictory properties. When wood marries Altuglas, light, transparency, shadows and reflections merge with tensions, and veins. It is a work in motion that fuels desire and sensuality. By evoking skins, moults, landscapes, it finds a link between man and nature through industrial tools.
Selfie | 2019 | Digital print | Lanah Shaï©
Multimedia performer

In many civilizations, before the distinction between men and women, there was the figure of the androgyne, the intersex, or the hermaphrodite: a hybrid being with the characteristics of both genders. Although these beings always existed, their names became taboo and synonyms of anomaly. With gender studies and the claims of trans and non-binary people, hybrid identities have become political and challenge traditional patriarchal organization.


Your Interactive Music | Artificial intelligence | 2019 | Jean-Marie Lavallée & José Man Lius©

Interactive orchestra

YIO offers a sensory odyssey through an ocean of sound algorithms. The movements of each visitor are associated with one (or more) motion sensor(s), each representing an orchestra instrument, thus allowing to explore three dimensions and forming harmonious interactions between melodies.


We shall meet where the oceans touch the horizon | Digital collage | 2014 | Thierry Lo-Shung-Line©

Visual artist

Thierry Lo-Shung-Line is native of the island of Reunion, within the Mascarene archipelago. His roots are diverse and his conscience is made up of images from this plural culture. "I have a material and space which feeds my imagination," he states. His creations resonate with the works of Edouard Glissant, Patrick Chamoiseau, and other writers, poets, philosophers, visionaries, and dreamers of worlds.


DESS(E)INS | Seawater and Indian ink | 2018 | Eizo Sakata©

Visual artist

Eizo Sakata is an artist born in Toyohashi in Japan, living in Paris and who works in situ in many different contexts. His creation extends to various fields such as painting, land art, and performance. It’s his way of bringing up ecological issues and intervening in nature. Water, the main component of life, is often at the center of his recent works, which mixes seawater and Indian ink.


Musicians & videographers

Konpyuta (computer in Japanese) is a duet of French videographers founded in 2011. Centered around audiovisual performance, their approach to video is aesthetic. They grasp the flow of their synthesizer as much as that of the incessant web, to immerse you in their electrical abstractions.


YIM | Artificial intelligence | 2019 | Jean-Marie Lavallée & José Man Lius©


Composer, inventor, and developer of musical artificial intelligence, Jean-Marie Lavallée has created a way of approaching music that revolutionizes the way we use connected objects. Outstanding musician, he practices around fifty stringed instruments from all over the world: from sarangi to classical cello. Compositional concepts, inspired by jazz and Indian ancestral music, have been translated into computer algorithms. It is the heart of the YIM system.



Dancer and choreographer from Kazakhstan, Dana Mussa arrived in France in 2010. In 2018, she stood out on the mainstream TV program La France a un incredible talent with her performance Chance to Dance which was awarded at the Golden Buzzer.

Jean-Marie Lavallée and Dana Mussa offer, for the exhibition, a performance entitled HYBRID’AMARYLLIS (ГИБРИДТІ). This choreographic and musical improvisation traces the evolution of dance and music over time. Originally tribal, our societies have evolved with the mutations of these arts up to the hybridizations between man and machine. This idea is at the heart of HYBRID’AMARYLLIS.


Sumerian seal representing the Anunnaki | Polytheist Sumerian myth at the origin of monotheism | circa 3000 BC
Alba | Transfusion of proteins responsible for the fluorescence of jellyfish into the genome of a rabbit | 2000 | Eduardo Kac©
Shoichi Aoki's Fruits magazine cover | Fashion photos taken in Harajuku, Tokyo district, between 1995 and 1999 | Phaïdon©
South Africa | Carmen Solomons©


Both web-magazine and video-broadcaster, CULTURAMA accompanies you in the exploration of the 21st century Art and Design, with its exclusive interviews, reports, and mini-series. 

CULTURAMA HOMEMADE — a unique experience filmed in full lockdown and shared in the digital space.


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Writing team

Barbara Marshall | Grigoriy Manucharian | José Man Lius 
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