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Exhibition: Antoine d'Agata: Diagonale du vide

15.06.2019 - 20.09.2019
ESPACE DIAPHANES, Dresdener Str. 118, 10999 Berlin

The exhibition will be extended after the summer break: From 20 August to 20 September

The “Empty Diagonal” is a corridor that runs through France, from the Southwest to the Northeast. It is a sparsely settled, structurally poor area; the grey-brown underbelly of the centralized state that is dominated by its shining capital, Paris.


Internationally renowned photographer Antoine d’Agata and Tunisian-French philosopher Mehdi Belhaj Kacem travelled along the trajectory through abandoned towns and toxic industrial zones. In gloomy hotel rooms, and in front of bricked-up windows, they faced the desolate void, generating sober analysis.


Along the national roads, they encountered recurring outposts and scattered groups of Yellow Vests, as well as battalions of police guarding the president on his democracy tour. Their journey was tantamount to the analysis of a damaged psyche, of a country as real as it is ghostly, whose name is not only France, whose face now increasingly bears the monotone features of the West, emptied by neoliberalism.

ESPACE DIAPHANES will be exhibiting the photographs Antoine d’Agata generated on this trip in several configurations. Aditionally, the photos will be put into dialogue with Belhaj Kacem’s essay and travelogue in the form of a special publication for the exhibition.


EXHIBITION OPENING: 15 June, 7 p.m.: In the presence of Antoine d'Agata and Mehdi Belhaj Kacem.



“If there is an artist capable of making these vacuums speak, it is d’Agata. To show what is not visible, to make present what can not be represented. There is a visual 'spectralism' about Antoine. It is about recording the spasms of humanity that is committing suicide, which has access to all the information needed to know what it is doing, and yet does nothing to revert the trend. We documented this suicide during a week of shared driving, of stays in shady hotels, and of exploring a place between two worlds which has become unliveable: a world of a spectral representation of reality and a world that is excluded from this representation, that lives only in a ghost-like state.” Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, The Geometry of Emptiness: A Journey Through France’s ‘Diagonale du Vide’ (2019)


Espace DIAPHANES / Dresdener Str. 118 / 10999 Berlin
Opening hours: Tue–Fri 12 – 6 p.m.


Photos: © Antoine d’Agata | Magnum Photos