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Opening lecture GREEN SOUL, The Anthropocene, cultures, imaginaries – Paul Ardenne

Echoing the Foundation’s commitment to promoting artistic practices in the light of the ecological transition, art historian and curator Paul Ardenne is offering a series of 8 lectures on the theme of creation in the Anthropocene era.

The ecological age we’ve entered has given rise to a wide range of reactions: from despair to foresight, from exasperation to activism. There is no single reaction to this negative situation, but rather a diversity of commitments: we oscillate between eco-anxiety and the aspiration of a new ecosophical model. Whatever choice is adopted, the time has come to invent new links with the living world and between human beings, based on equality, sharing and solidarity.

The cultural and intellectual field is resonating with this inflection, which it has sometimes anticipated, echoing and accompanying it. It is this approach, renewing its foundations and its methods, that will be discussed in these lectures. Because the Anthropocene is ushering in a mental revolution.
This cultural and intellectual era, with its new ways of thinking, is based on a new conceptual dynamic: we need to learn and think differently. It’s the birth of the “green soul”, a new resonance in our relationship with the “world”. The “master and possessor of nature” (Descartes) is giving way to the non-ecocidal companion, the commensal individual, the technician anxious to put an end to the productivity regime, the cultural creator enamoured of environmental justice, the practitioner of eco-art, eco-poetry and the producer of alliances. This is a time for de-hierarchisation, care and generosity and, if we are to give shape to this rethought reality, to “anthropocen’art” – a creation that has become specific to a truly unprecedented era and mentality, specific to the climate overheating we are experiencing.

This series of lectures, conceived as a whole, aims to give a picture as complete as possible of the anthropocenic ‘spirit of the age’, the prodigal of the ‘Green Soul’.



1. Words that say it all. The “Anthropocene” and its new vocabulary: new reality and new languages. Tuesday 21 November, 2023, 6:30pm.

2. The beginnings of ecological thinking. When and how is green consciousness born? Tuesday 12 December, 2023, 6:30pm.

3. The imaginary of the end of the world. Post-apocalypse, dystopia, ecological teleology. Tuesday 23 January, 2023, 6:30pm.

4. From anthropocene disaster to prodigal creation. The environmental destruction of the world and its rich aesthetic translation. Tuesday 20 February, 2024, 6:30pm.

5. The Green Soul, a cultural commitment. The intellectual movement and the design of a new pro-Earth language. Tuesday 19 March, 2024, 6:30pm.

6. Anthropocene-art 1, visual arts. Painting, sculpture, installation, video between lament and degrowth. Tuesday 2 April, 2024, 6:30 pm.

7. Anthropocene-art 2, Ecopoetry, ecocinema, ecoBD, ecomusic, ecotheater, ecodance. Tuesday 28 May, 2024, 6:30pm.

8. Towards a Green Soul culture. A new mental, psychic and behavioral alliance. Conjuring anthropophobia and hatred of the destructive human. Tuesday 11 June, 2024, 6:30pm.


Each lecture lasts 1hour. 6:30pm – 7:30pm


Paul Ardenne has a degree in History and a doctorate in Arts and Art Sciences. He is a contributor to the journals Art press, Archistorm and INTER-Art actuel, and is the author of several books: Art, l’âge contemporain (1997), L’Art dans son moment politique (2000), L’Image Corps (2001), Un Art contextuel (2002), Art, le présent (2009), Un Art écologique. Création plasticienne et anthropocène (2018), L’Art en joie. Aesthetics of joyful humanity (2023). He is also a novelist and specialist in architecture (Terre Habitée, 2005; La Bonne ville, 2019; Le Boost et le frein – Comment l’humain bâtit au 21e siècle?, 2021…).

As a curator of contemporary art, Paul Ardenne has designed numerous exhibitions, the most recent of which are “Dendromorphies. Creating with trees” (Paris, 2016), “Courants verts. Creating for the environment” (Paris, 2019) and “L’anthropocène et après” (Saint-Denis de la Réunion, 2020). He has produced several programmes on France Culture devoted to art in the age of the Anthropocene (“L’art est l’environnement“, January 2023) and is a regular contributor to the series of programmes The World in Images, on the ARTE television channel.


Practical information

Monthly conference upon reservation
Duration: 1 hour followed by a discussion with the audience (French speaking)
Full Price: 12€ / Reduced Price: 5€ (students, under-26s, SMART members, jobseekers)
Pack of 5 conferences (on the dates of your choice): €45 (instead of €60)
Fondation Thalie, 15 rue Buchholtz 1050 Brussels


In partnership with ESA Saint-Luc Bruxelles School, Master in Social Innovation Design.