Johan Creten

Cet Élixir


Moly-Sabata, Sablons, France


Press release

An exhibition with works by Jean- Marie Appriou, H.l.ne Bertin, Jagna Ciuchta, Johan Creten, Anne Dangar, .tienne Mauroy, Pakui Hardware, Paloma Proudfoot, Henri Ughetto and Phoebe Unwin, curated by Jo.l Riff. Once upon a time, there was a magical herb: its root was black as night, its flower white as milk. In Homer’s Odyssey, Hermes gave it to Odysseus to protect him from Circe’s spells. The antidote restored humanity. A few centuries later, where the river Rhone makes a bend south of Lyon, the people grew tired of ceaseless sabbaths; they prayed so hard that their patron saint descended from the heavens in the guise of a young pilgrim, and sowed a herb that kept the witches at bay. The remedy restored serenity. The panacea’s beneficial powers persisted over the ages under the name Moly. Recent pharmacological research has assigned a species to this variety of garlic, celebrated in ancient myths and local legends: galanthus nivalis, the snowdrop, which announces the spring in the Residence grounds. Sitting at the crossroads of science and superstition, it takes much convoluted equipment to concoct… assorted implements with both technical and symbolic functions, as with any ritual. No object, no worship. Containers for the sacred. The new exhibition at Moly-Sabata is no witch-hunt, quite the contrary: it reawakens legends of the nectar its name evokes. ‘CET .LIXIR’ seeks to trigger enchantment, with works to activate the ceremonial. Fantastical flora, moods and receptacles invite us to a form of communion; the atmosphere of contemplation and hard work peculiar to the location creates a sense we are under the influence of a spell.


Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, all galeries are temporarily closed to the public, but remain accessible by appointment.