Emma Grosbois Ceux qui nous regardent 1

« Those Who Are Watching Us »

By Emma Grosbois

From 23 January, 2016
To 10 February, 2016

Since ancient times, protective deities have watched over every home, whether the souls of ancestors, benevolent spirits, etc.  We set up little altars for them, where collections of images, as faded as they are miscellaneous, adorn our domestic retables. Has Christianity, with its rigorous doctrine of intercession, ended these intimate forms of worship? In the Mediterranean, this is clearly not the case! Now, just as in the past, the worshipful and the worshipped are part of the family. Emma Grobois, a young French artist based in Italy, explores the burgeoning world of votive images in Palermo. It is a radical undertaking: in referencing those who cultivate the memory of saints and ancestors in this way (Padre Pio and il nonno side by side), all she shows of them is their little altars – a Mapplethorpian device- leaving the viewer to imagine those behind such assemblies. “Those who are watching us” are the intercessors who watch over their devout Sicilians but also watch us watching them, the people of Palermo being necessarily the blind spot here. The photographer leaves it to us to reconstruct all these fragments, all these traces,” the cartography of people ‘s lived experiences “. It is a great opportunity to reflect on the mystery of these images which “pass through time” (G. Didi-Huberman) and which speak of the vagaries of a faith that refuses to die out.


Institut français du Liban, Espace des Lettres
Damascus Street


From 23 January, 2016
To 10 February, 2016

10:00am - 7:00pm

Open on Saturdays from 10:00 am till 2:00 pm, closed on Sundays