Sense and the Senses: An exhibition in honor of the International Colloquium in 20th- and 21st-Century French and Francophone Studies

Lilly Library
March 20th 2017 to April 20th 2017
(All day)
Cubist illustration featuring a book

The senses—those sources of rapture and anguish, of dream and nightmare, serenity and unease, discovery and perplexity—do not only connect us to the world and to each other.  They also ground and shape our efforts to understand ourselves and all that lies beyond as we strain for meaning.  Hosted this year by Indiana University, the International Colloquium in 20th and 21st-Century French and Francophone Studies—with its theme of “Sense and the Senses”—provides the context for this exhibition featuring works from the French-speaking world.  Each offers a glimpse of the myriad ways in which the work of the senses might culminate in literary and artistic expression.  Listening to the young Francis Poulenc’s musical settings for six poems from poet Apollinaire’s Bestiary (illustrated, in this edition, by Dufy’s woodcuts), we lurch along with the camel, frolic with the dolphin, and skitter backwards with the crayfish.  Our fingers itch to trace the nightclub façades of Montmartre tooled into the leather binding of Francis Carco’s novella.  Our palates are cooled and refreshed by the taste of Ponge’s diamantine glass of water, while across the Atlantic in the French Antilles, we are tantalized by the haunting, hypnotic aromas emanating from the play of language in Chamoiseau’s fictions.  Ultimately, we might understand Cubist artist Juan Gris’s rendering of the book evoked in a Reverdy poem as resuming and exemplifying the constant hubbub of activity that, finding its way into expression, distills sensory information into literary and artistic meaning.

Curators: Associate Professor Margaret Gray, Georgy Khabarovskiy, Joseph Kenshur.

Today's Hours

9:00am - 6:00pm All hours


  • Building Access Front entrance facing Showalter Fountain is fully accessible. Building Access

Contact Info

1200 E Seventh Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
812-855-3143 (Fax)
Joel Silver
Joel Silver - Director, Librarian
(812) 855-2452