The pleasure of text



L* plaisir du texte

The Museum of Fine Arts Le Locle (MBAL), is thrilled to present the collective exhibition Le plaisir du texte (The pleasure of text), an exploration of the relationship between images and words in art. Taking its title from Roland Barthes’ 1973 book of the same name, the show goes on an intimate and visceral journey of our engagement with the written word.

From the depiction of the pleasure of reading, through a dialogue between masterpieces from the MBAL collection and selected contemporary artists, the exhibition invites a gradual verbal invasion of the image. Slowly, the poem liberates itself and becomes an object in the visual and concrete poetry room; the algorithm becomes the author; urban spaces and advertising slogans turn into pop universes; punctuation marks emerge as sculptures; and the manuscript of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein comes to life as a photograph. Each room of the museum is animated by textual, visual and typographical games – even the façade of the building is taken over. Children are welcome to play and think in a special space dedicated to them.

In mischievous rebellion against the continuous flow of images which currently inundates our lives, this show reaffirms the power of words and invites the public to explore their imaginative nature.

Federica Chiocchetti, director of the MBAL


Alex Balgiu for the concrete poetry section


Collection MBAL

Suzanne Bernard

Mirella Bentivoglio

Melissa Catanese

Lenora de Barros

Philippe Decrauzat

Carla Demierre

Chloe Dewe Mathews

Nelis Franken

Les Girardets

Sara Knelman  

Ketty La Rocca

Elizabeth Lebon

Olivier Lebrun

Lutz & Guggisberg

Françoise Mairey

Luca Massaro

Jo Spence

Triin Tamm & Rollo Press

Gisela Torres

Nora Turato

Anne Turyn

Vieceli & Cremers