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Paul Ardenne

The Destiny of Man


Famous writer and historian of art, Paul Ardenne is the Commissioner of the exhibition "The Destiny of Man" by Gérard Rancinan in Couvent des Cordeliers. He describes the style of the photographer who chose to bring back the theme of angel as a post-apocalyptic, and the Destiny, luminous as well as dark.

Religious mythologies always describe angels as divine creatures occupying the first circle of supernatural beings, their job to serve as messengers. The angel’s contact with humans has, above all, a media function.
The photographic series, The Destiny of Man, by Gérard Rancinan updates the theme of the angel in a singular manner by applying a process of humanization. Here, the angel’s primary vocation is not to guarantee that divine messages reach their target efficiently. Having become human, he resembles us and is active amongst us; it is on Earth that he makes war, eats, dances and dies. This is unprecedented. Until now, angels were thought of and represented as idealized beings equipped with divine qualities. Eternal, moving at will through space-time, free from human passions.
Why this upending of the traditional relationship between men and angels? The contract between humans and God has become obsolete; God is either dead or has absented Himself from human history. What is left for man to do? To take up the reins and transform himself into a God, to appropriate the parcel of divinity infused by the divine in the ethereal bodies of angels? To reclaim his metaphysical freedom and attend to his own business? The human angel presented in The Destiny of Man is certainly the result of an evolution brought about by modern man with his energetic plan to dominate nature. We must only hope that the destiny of the human-angel will not, in the final analysis, be that of the unfortunate Satan – a rapid descent to the depths of hell.

Paul Ardenne

Exhibition "The Destiny of Man" by Rancinan & Caroline Gaudriault in Convent des Cordeliers, 15 Rue de l’Ecole de Médicine, 75006 Paris, France, June 12-14 / 10am - 10pm

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