Évènements des musées de Grasse



International Perfume Museum


28 October 2017 / 11h30

The International Musem of Perfumery devotes its winter exhibition to a visual artist:


There will be some 21 pieces and 3 installations on display from 27 October to 07 January, 2018.

Yves HAYAT, like any artist, like any philosopher, transcribes in his works a personal and unique understanding of the world.

The images he provides for our eyes, in this exhibition entitled, “Perfume, that Obscure Object of Desire,1” are not about where two worlds overlap, they respond to each other and are, in fact, the true and complex representation of one and the same humanity. The exhibition is, in any case, an initiation to the strange truth of life; a truth which no longer starts, to echo Edgar Morin’s observation, from a firm surface, but rather from a surface which is collapsing.

The work of Yves HAYAT on the euphemism of constant threat explores all human mysteries. His originality is in amalgamating artistic sublimation with the reign of violence: no celebration of cruelty but rather its vertiginous self-reflection, via a presentation of the exaltation of life, of the cynical gaze we have when we accept the unacceptable, to make us aware of what we are living. Life is triumphant in his works. The mannered image represents not only a juxtaposition of situations. It’s about rendering the tragic beauty of our world as it is and catching the human resentment which is always at work.

Although perfume seems to be an eternal scent above human dramas, the contingencies of our barbarity, the bottles “Places of the Revolution” show us to what point, over a short period, we are undergoing paradigm shifts. Far from tricking us, and far from beautifying the harshness, cynicism and coldness of the process of de-humanisation which can be observed in our society, Yves Hayat leaves us under no illusions with images inspired by the era of communication and the tendency to media overkill, he subtly, indeed intelligently, re-orients the image and it is on this level that the artist works, he gets rid of all the formatting, he plunges himself into other worlds and succeeds in bringing about the strange reality of the misery of existence, with a demonical sense all his own. He rehabilitates our world.

Even if our planet seems prey to every atrocity, it is also inhabited, spiritually and romantically, by desire. This grip of reality is not a necessary artifice of Yves Hayat’s work, it is its very substance. Each of the perfume bottles conceived by him contains our worlds and as a whole they make the exhibition an explosion of contrasts, gradations where unity is multi-faceted. This is a great voyage of odours, far from the “odour of sanctity,” during which one never stops viewing, feeling life and death, pleasure and pain, the masculine and the feminine, light and shadow and so on, not in terms of opposition, but as one and the same thing in all its complexity.

Furthermore, in our world which generates suffering and death, it is perfume bottles which enclose the exaltations of life as further defined by Nietzsche, dominated by the games of Eros and Thanatos. These perfumes contain angels and demons. By presenting a series of these perfume stills, an expression of creation, refinement, elegance and sensuality, Yves Hayat leads us also to wonder about the value and scope of the technique.

Understanding the meaning of the exhibition’s title: “Perfume, That Obscure Object of Desire,” requires a particular cast of mind to discern the idea according to which art can reveal to us declinations of that beauty which remains the generative power of all our life.

Yves HAYAT fulfils his function in establishing a dialogue with you, within you, allowing access to an interpretation of our stressful world, by expressing human nature despite the inhumanity of acts and highlighting the intensity of life, despite the presence of death in his works. Certainly, there is a philosophical sense in Yves Hayat’s works which denounces the lack of differentiation of conformity and mass culture imposing the diktat of cultural phenomena, styles and feelings. Via the strangeness of the play of overlay, confusion, coexistence of worlds, you can understand an artistic work which is based on an exchange between the real and the symbolic as a favoured mode of exploring otherness, of others and oneself.

Despite appearances, you will thus have understood that this is, in fact, an exhibition full of faith in existence, as the emphasis is not on the “marketed” abominations of our world but an ethics against the worries of our consciousness which, for too long, has become used to indulge itself in a kind of illusion of melancholy or solitude of narcissistic depression which often only amounts to a fear of freedom.

François Birembaux, 2017