A I S T I T / When Our Eyes Touch

Hans Rosenström (Curator), Satu Herrala (Curator)

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formExhibitionArt in coproductionpeer-review


The title of the first exhibition When our eyes touch derives from Jacques Derrida’s question to Jean-Luc Nancy “When our eyes touch, is it day or is it night?” (1) Derrida wrote, “If two gazes come into contact, the one with the other, the question will always be whether they are stroking or striking each other – and where the difference would lie.” Touch is an entrance to the world of bodies where we expose ourselves to threats as well as open up to the blessings of bodily engagement; the hidden depths we cannot know otherwise. What happens when two gazes meet, not only to see the eye and what is visible but to look into the depth of the other? When our eyes touch, behind masked faces, a gaze may function as affective touch, as a gesture of kindness; a solace. Nancy replied after Derrida had already passed away, “Salut to the vision that did not cling to forms or ideas but that let itself be touched by forces.” (2)

Open in Paris and the neighbouring village of Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, the exhibition When our eyes touch unfolds around the vulnerability of the body and the vitalness of touch.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherSuomen kulttuuri- ja tiedeinstituutit
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeF2 Public partial realisation of a work of art
EventWhen Our Eyes Touch - Institut Finlandais, Paris, France
Duration: 19 May 20211 Aug 2021

Field of art

  • Contemporary art


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