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Public programme of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The Matter of Matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux

First public event on 30 June to the Salle des Collections de l'Unité de Formation de Biologie, Université de Bordeaux. This and following photos: Latitudes.

On December 14 at 2pm, the mediation department of the CAPC will lead a guided visit to Ilana Halperin’s "The Rock Cycle" (2017) intervention at the Salle des Collections de l'Unité de Formation de Biologie, Université de Bordeaux. 

The event is the third visit (earlier ones took place on October 19 and November 16) programmed in the context of her participation in the exhibition ‘4.543 billion. The matter of matter’ on view at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de BordeauxThe next (and final one) will be taking place on January 4, three days before the exhibition closes on January 7, 2018. 

These events are free. Booking is recommended via Léo Correa [email protected] T. (+33) 05 56 00 81 60.

Ilana Halperin’s new project for the exhibition '4.543 billion' deals with geological intimacy and vivacity, and the uncanny fact that something as apparently inert and certain as the stone walls of the CAPC building were once marine life from a tropical ocean of the Oligocene epoch, around 32 million-years-ago. This Calcaire à Astéries (asteriated limestone) characteristic of Bordeaux takes its name from the countless tiny fossil organisms of the genus asterias (a type of sea star) that can be found in the stone alongside fossil mollusks and coral.

Halperin addresses stone, not as dead matter or a mere resource, but as a story-laden substance that both surpasses and partners in humans’ view of the world. 'The Rock Cycle' incorporates the reading of a letter and the hosting of a number of the artist’s geological sculptures within the displays of the zoology collection of the University of Bordeaux. These ‘curios’ originated as fragments of sea-weathered brick from the Isle of Bute in western Scotland, as well as waterjet-cut sandstone, that the artist left for three months in Fontaines Pétrifiantes in Saint-Nectaire. For generations, the mineral-rich waters that percolate through the rock at this site in central France have been used to create sculptures using the same process by which stalactites form, only one hundred times faster. Objects become rapidly encrusted with new layers of stone. 

[Excerpt from the exhibition guide]

Three other events have been programmed in the context of the exhibition.

Visit with Terence Gower (participating artist) and Prof. Bruno Cahuzac. Photo: CAPC musée/Département des publics.

8 November 2017, 5:30–7pm
Jam Session #1—Guided tour by Terence Gower (participating artist) and Prof. Bruno Cahuzac (UFR Sciences de la Terre et de la Mer, Université de Bordeaux Montaigne).

Guests during “The Return of the Earth: Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene” event. Photo: Latitudes.

15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm
The Return of the Earth: Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene”—Lecture by Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, a conversation between Xavier Ribas and Ângela Ferreira, debate convened by Latitudes. Free access. Simultaneous translation English-French.

During Jam Session #2 event. Photo: CAPC musée/Département des publics.

6 December 2017, 5:30–7pm
Jam Session #2—Guided tour by Isabelle Kanor (Head association "Le Labo de Lettres” dealing with cultural issues in the Antilles and colonization), and Charlotte Bouvier and Rémi Cazamajour (Inélia, company that supplied the solar panels feeding the video installation "Ancient Lights" (2015) by Nicholas Mangan). Sign up: Stéphane Mallet, [email protected]

Photo: Latitudes/RK.

The exhibition ‘4.543 billion’ is the contribution of the CAPC musée to the cultural season Paysages Bordeaux 2017. Between September 11–October 6, 2017, and within the exhibition framework, Latitudes led the month-long residency programme ‘Geologic Time’ at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Alberta, Canada.


  • 4.543 billion. The Matter of Matter” exhibition
  • Archive of social networks posts related to "4.543 billion"
  • Photo gallery of the exhibition 
  • CAPC website (French, English, Spanish) http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/4543-milliards
  • Cover Story—December 2017: "Tabet's Tapline trajectory" 4 December 2017
  • Alfred Roll's 1878 "The Old Quarryman" exchanged with Alfred Smith's "The Grave Docks" (1884) in the exhibition "4.543 billion" at the CAPC musée 3 November 2017
  • Cover Story—November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth" 1 November 2017 
  • 15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm: 'The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene' study day at the CAPC musée, Bordeaux 24 October 201
  • Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
  • Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
  • SAVE THE DATE: 29 June, 19h. Private view of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux 30 May 2017
  • Cover Story – May 2016: Material histories – spilling the beans at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux 10 May 2016.
  • Second research trip to Bordeaux 16 July 2016
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