The body in movement

“Man never resembles himself more than when he is in movement” - Gian Lorenzo Bernini


The body in movement

The University’s fourth art and science exhibition, “The body in movement” was held in April 2011 in the refined setting of the Cordeliers Refectory and the Galerie Saint Germain in the heart of Paris. Produced with the support of the L’Oréal Foundation, there was more than a hundred works mixing classical art, modern art and contemporary art.

In the tradition of the previous events, (World Motherhood, Three Artists Listening to the Body, and The Face in all its States), this exhibit falls into the scope of the themes dear to the University:  Man and His Body and The Ages of Life. In more than 800 square meters, the works exhibited presented an extremely rich and varied array of all the ways in which man has sought to express the movements of  his body.

A unique path, across ages and civilizations will lead the visitor to admire, first a movement stuck in the moment, from Egyptian, Greek and Chinese sculptures to Flemish Mannerists to the Realist painters. The visitor will then be witness to the progress of techniques leading artists and engineers to create puppets, automatons and robots.  He will also be moved by the breaking down of movement studied by Marey and Demenÿ in their chronophotographs, taken from the collection of  INSEP (French National Sports Institute) image bank. The visitor can finally admire the pictures taken by Georges Rancinan celebrating the bodies of high-level athletes.

By associating itself with this exhibition, initiated by the University, a university specializing in human sciences and health, the L’Oréal Foundation intends to contribute, in the continuity of the Research initiated with 100,000 years of Beauty, to a better understanding of the relationship of man to his body, of the role of appearance, a source of beauty, of self-esteem and of all social life.

Curator : Yvan Brohard



-> “Beauty, the body’s language” 

Tuesday 12 April at 6 pm.

Ideal proportions, a harmonious face, bright colors, luminous complexion, an adorned body… One first thinks that beauty has to be qualified. But that is much too simplistic. In reality beauty lives and is spread actively. To be satisfied with qualifying beauty would be to condemn it to evoke only iconic beauty or canons of beauty, to hide living beauty, human beauty. Ever moving, always active, human beauty projects itself and interacts, it captures the eye and sends it back, it constructs and corrupts itself. Lurking in all the verbs in which the human being is the subject, it goes from barely noticeable gestures to theatrical movement, from reflex to the well thought-out act. It falls under the daily banality as much as in the feats because  it wants to smile, seduce, walk, dance, express, say, cry, pose, speak, touch, caress, move, laugh, sleep, carry, sing, run…

Participants: Thierry Delcourt, psychoanalyst, Michela Marzano, philosopher and professor, and Georges Vigarello, Research director at EHESS

Moderator: Elisabeth Azoulay, Editor in chief of the book 100,000 years of Beauty, Gallimard, 2009


->"Limits, suffering and excess" 

 Tuesday 19 April at 6 pm

Our societies are confronted with multiple obstacles, at the high level of progress in which they have benefited for 10 generations. The spread of our mobility seems henceforth limited. This fact is flagrant in the athletic field. It could also be in the scientific, economic, even political fields. Indeed, with the magnitude of environmental changes which are multiplying, and the recent possibility of modeling them on a planetary scale, new questions are being brought up. They question us on the constraints, which, from now on, weigh on our species, and in particular, the consequences of changes of anthropic origin on human health and on the fringes of progress. Starting with the athletic field, this round table discussion will take up the notions of physiological, genomic and cultural reserve. It will also contribute to looking tenderly, and not without humor, at the sphere of influence and the extent of our capacities of interpretation of these possible realities.

Participants: Axel Kahn, President, Sébastien Flute, Olympic archery champion and Jean-François Toussaint, physiology professor, co-founder and director of IRMES (Biomedical Research and Sport’s Epidemiology Institute)