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Lecture series: GREEN SOUL, The Anthropocene, cultures, imaginaries

Echoing the Foundation’s commitment to promoting artistic practices that are aware of the climate transition, art historian and curator Paul Ardenne has been invited to design a series of 8 lectures dedicated to creation in the Anthropocene era, which he will host once a month at the Foundation starting from this autumn 2023.

The aim of this series of talks is to define both the culture – or rather, cultures – and the imaginary of the Anthropocene, the environmentally devastating “age of man”.

The ecological age we’ve entered gives rise to a wide range of reactions, from despair to foresight, from exasperation to activism. There is no unity of reaction to this negative situation, but rather a diversity of responses and commitments: we oscillate between eco-anxiety and the aspiration to degrowth on the one hand, and the shaping of a new ecosophical model on the other. Whichever side is adopted, the time has come to inaugurate new relationships with the living, the organic, as well as between humans, based on equality, sharing, and solidarity.

The cultural and intellectual field resonate with this inflexion, which they have sometimes anticipated, echoing and accompanying it. It is this approach, renewing its foundations and methods, that will be discussed in these lectures. The Anthropocene is ushering in a mental revolution and in this new cultural and intellectual era, which promises new ways of thinking, is based on conceptual rearmament: we need to learn to think differently. The foundation of the “Green Soul”, a re-qualification, in a highly evolutionary way, of our relationship with the “world”. The “master and possessor of nature” (Descartes) is giving way to alternatives: the non-ecocidal companion, the commensal individual, the technician anxious to put an end to the productivity regime, the cultural creator enamored of environmental justice, practitioner of eco-art, eco-poetry, and producer of covenant discourse. The time has come to de-hierarchize, to pay attention, to care, to be generous and, if we are to give shape to this rethought reality; to “anthropocen’art” – a creation that has become specific to a truly unprecedented time and mentality, specific to the moment of climatic transition we are living through.

This series of lectures, conceived as a whole, aims to provide the fullest possible picture of the anthropocenic “spirit of the age”, the prodigal of the “Green Soul”.


1. Words that say it all. The “Anthropocene” and its new lexicon: 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 end of the world. Post-apocalypse, dystopia, ecological teleology. Tuesday 23 January, 2023, 6:30pm.

4. The recension of disaster. The environmental destruction of the world in images and words. 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.


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 (limited seats)
Duration: 1 hour (French speaking)
Location: Fondation Thalie, 15 rue Buchholtz 1050 Brussels