Les conjugueuls #4
Lingua cosmica


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  • Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois


Les conjugueuls
Cycle of exhibitions and residencies
Curator: Valentina Ulisse

“Lingua cosmica”
Installation by Margot Pietri at the Les Lavandières library in Leuville-sur-Orge 
Performances by Rose-Mahé Cabel (& Rose de Bordel) and Hanna Kokolo

Open during library opening hours.

In this final chapter of the “les conjugueuls” cycle of off-site exhibitions, words from yesterday, today and tomorrow resonate with each other. Its title is borrowed from the mathematician Hans Freudenthal, who in 1960 developed the Lingua Cosmica (“cosmic language”). With the goal of representing and transmitting the “whole bulk of our knowledge” through universally understandable symbols, this language was meant to make communication with extraterrestrial lifeforms possible.

On the windows of Les Lavandières library in Leuville-sur-Orge, or slipped between the pages of books, appear drawings of recognisable forms. These pictograms constitute a new dictionary of “simple” and “composite” signs, figurative and abstract, born out of a vocabulary of emojis and gestures from popular culture (crossed fingers, thumbs up, horns). While these symbols might seem familiar to us, they come from an alternate reality imagined by the artist Margot Pietri. She tells of a society living in an indefinite time period: it could be Earth in the future, or the future of a similar planet. Its sun having disappeared, this world has been thrown into turmoil, forcing its inhabitants to reinvent language.

Temporalities seem to meet in this multimedia library with its futuristic architecture, located next to an old washhouse. Built for the work of washerwomen, the structure has always been a place for meeting, sharing and passing on stories. Responding to Margot Pietri’s cryptic narrative landscapes, messengers from a time yet to come will appear during performances, coming down from the sky or emerging from the waters. The prophetess ZokoHastra—the artist Hanna Kokolo’s fictional alter ego—will recount her journey from the future to our present. According to her predictions, the Earth “as we know it” is destined to disappear. Rose Mahé-Cabel, a raconteur of innovative myths, will unveil the magical creatures that will re-inhabit the world, breathing life into new ecosystems.

These messages from the future warn us about times to come and tell us about an upturned world to be rebuilt upon.


After studying art history at the university La Sapienza in Rome and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Valentina Ulisse completed a professional Master’s 2 degree in “Contemporary art and its exhibition” at Sorbonne Université and co-founded the curatorial collective espace projectif. Alongside her studies, she trained in the exhibition profession through internships at the Centre Pompidou, CAC Brétigny and Council, among others. Today, Valentina Ulisse continues her work through her various activities within the organisation of art projects, writing and cultural mediation. She assists gallery owner Aline Vidal with whom she organises “De(s)rives”, a curatorial project that experiments with exhibition formats outside of traditional artistic contexts. Valentina Ulisse is interested in art economies, in alternative systems of production and dissemination and in co-creative artistic practices related to pedagogy and popular knowledge. 

Rose-Mahé Cabel (born 1995) lives and works in Alsace, in the Vosges region, and in Paris. A 2020 graduate from the Haute École des arts du Rhin de Strasbourg, they use many different mediums, including glass, wax, make-up and costume, to produce works that are activated during performances. Through their drag queen alter ego, Rose de Bordel, the artist imagines restorative works of fiction depicting marginalised figures of mythology. Their work has been presented during the festival Inact in Strasbourg in 2021, at Artopie in Meisenthal by the LoRA network in 2022, at the Maison des arts de Malakoff and at the Magasins Généraux with the collective Æchillea in 2023. 

Hanna Kokolo (born 1997) lives and works in Paris. After studying applied arts, she graduated from the École nationale supérieure d’art de Bourges (ENSA) in 2021. Her multidisciplinary pieces explore the issue of intergenerational memory through characters she embodies and depicts in works of autofiction. Her work was exhibited at the 66th Salon de Montrouge in 2022 and in a solo exhibition at the Graineterie in Houilles in 2023.

Margot Pietri (born 1990) lives and works in Aubervilliers. Graduating from the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon in 2014, she develops work in science fiction story writing and sculpture. These pieces take the form of technological relics from a time that could be ours, somewhere between a past that hasn’t been assimilated and a future that is uncertain. Chosen for the Révélation Emerige grant in 2019, she has presented her work as part of group shows at the Thaddeus Ropac gallery in Pantin in 2017 and at Art-O-Rama in Marseille in 2021, as well as in solo exhibitions at the Institut d’Art Contemporain in Villeurbanne in 2020 and at La Serre in Saint-Etienne in 2023.


  • Saturday May 4th 2024, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

    “Welcoming the unknown: first contact and extraterrestrial hospitality”

    Artistic workshop conceived by Joséphien Topolanski for families

    Aliens arrive on Earth. Their landing spot: the square in front of Les Lavandières library in Leuville-sur-Orge. Using a mix of fabrics, drawings and collages, participants are invited to create the most extraordinary banner to welcome the aliens!

    From 3 to 99 years old. Registration: with the team of Les Lavandières library in Leuville-sur-Orge.

  • Saturday, April 27th 2024, 3:00-7:00 p.m.

    “Les conjugueuls”

    An afternoon of performances

    An afternoon of performances between Leuville-sur-Orge and Sainte-Geneviève-des-bois, as part of the third and fourth chapters of the cycle of exhibitions “Les conjugueuls” by curator Valentina Ulisse.

    Join us at 3pm at Les Lavandières library in Leuville-sur-Orge for performances by Rose-Mahé Cabel (& Rose de Bordel) and Hanna Kokolo, and then at 5pm at Espace Brel, Donjon in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois for a tour of the exhibition in the presence of the artists, accompanied by an aperitif.

    Free shuttle from Paris and between venues available: Pick up at 2:15p.m. at 104 avenue de France, 75013 Paris (the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand metro stop). Mandatory booking for the shuttle at reservation@cacbretigny.com.