Les voix des fleuves Crossing the water
17th Lyon Biennial
21 September 2024 - 5 January 2025

Entitled Les voix des fleuves, Crossing the water, the 17th edition of the Lyon Biennale invites artists to interrogate and investigate the subject of the waxing and waning relationships of human beings with one another and with their environment.

For this project, we are drawing on the natural and human geography of the region, and on the spirit of the Biennale’s new venues: Les Grandes Locos and the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie. These and the other venues, among which macLYON has the longest-standing ties with the Biennale, are permeated by the question of relationships and of welcoming the other. These spaces embody history, diversity and the invention of communal ways of working. Their walls, which still bear the traces and experiences of the men and women who worked and lived there, conjure rituals of conviviality, ways of being and ways of making things together.

The artists will cause the distinctive voices of these places—their stories and their social characteristics—to resonate. These places of construction and repair, of care and hospitality, of attention to others, reveal as many destinies as they do forms of relationship—traditional, invented, and also hoped-for.

While otherness is sometimes a risk, we think it is a necessary risk, a chance for discovery.  It is, after all, the spice of life. Rivers convey these stories of exchanges and encounters, of rare commodities including salt, of conquests and discoveries, of dual histories where the relationship with the other can meander through twists and turns, from conflict and confrontation to convergence and confluence.  We have to hope that where we end up is in a space for debate and self-invention, among other people and with other people.