Contre-Temps at Ambronay Abbey

Contre-Temps at Ambronay Abbey

COAL presents the exhibition Contre-Temps at the Centre Culturel de Rencontre in Ambronay. In the heart of the thousand-year-old stones of Ambronay Abbey, the exhibition invites you to experience a condensed version of Time. Through this place of history, a sensitive path between historicity and temporalities of the living is offered. The exhibition is part of the Resonance of the 16th Biennial of Contemporary Art in Lyon: Manifesto of fragility.

Image credits: Charlotte Denamur, Elle attrape un bout de ciel au CCR Ambronay © COAL

In this place, which has witnessed a thousand years of history, where the baroque melody and the gothic stones vibrate in unison, the visitor is invited to have a double experience of a condensed time. That of the place, from the outset, and that of the exhibition, which offers itself to him as a sensitive and immersive journey to the heart of the temporalities of life.

Paced by the artists’ voices, Contre Temps takes the visitor on a journey from time immemorial to future projections, from the roar of the glaciers to the rustle of the forests, to take the pulse of the living, which is composed, decomposed and recomposed, a setting of life and hope between the antediluvian and the post-apocalyptic. Because, at the time of the Anthropocene era, where the balance of power with nature has been reversed, where the fear that it will destroy us has given way to the fear of destroying it, where geological time is alongside the climatic emergency, it is the relationship with time that must be questioned and redefined.

Climate disruption and biodiversity loss are complex objects that often escape the time scales of our individual experience, so that they are sometimes imperceptible. Faced with the infra-thinness and impermanence of the world that all the new knowledge induces, Contre Temps gives keys to understanding these changes and encourages us to “take time”, to tune into the cycles of life but also to “be in time”, before the irreversible and the end of time. An invitation to take the measure of these scales of magnitude and to invent the pulse of these new rhythms, to operate a counter-time, not against Time but “all against”, in order to cultivate this feeling of respect towards the nature which surrounds us and constitutes us.

Curator: COAL – Lauranne Germond assisted by Jessica Leclercq
Text: Lauranne Germond and Joan Pronnier
Technical direction: 7ème sens
Production : Centre Culturel de Rencontre d’Ambronay

Counter Time
July 02 – November 6, 2022
Public opening on July 01, 2022
Inaugural weekend and workshops with the artists on July 02 and 03, 2022

With the artists Thierry Boutonnier, Charlotte Denamur, Louis Guillaume, Angelika Markul, and Stéfane Perraud in collaboration with Gaspard Guilbert.

Activities and workshops related to the exhibition

Inaugural weekend with the artists
On July 2 and 3, take part in a colorful inaugural weekend of tours, workshops and meetings.

Visits to the exhibition Contre-Temps in the presence of the artists
Saturday, July 2, 11am and 2:30pm

Workshop “The functioning of mountain glaciers and climate change”, with Lucas Davaze, glaciologist
Saturday, July 2 at 3pm, from 6 years old

Conference “The melting of the glaciers, from the Alps to the rest of the world” by Lucas Davaze, glaciologist and Angelika Markul
Saturday, July 2, at 4:30 pm

Painting workshop with Charlotte Denamur
Sunday, July 3, at 2:30 p.m. (adults) and 4:30 p.m. (families – 3 years and older)

Plant manipulation workshop with Louis Guillaume
Sunday, July 3, at 2:30 p.m. (adults) and 4:30 p.m. (families – 6 years and older)

Recycled instruments and objects
Sound tour and instrument-making workshop using recycled objects.
July 9, 10 and August 6, 7, at 2:30 p.m. (adults) and 4:30 p.m. (families, ages 6 and up)

Drawing and squash with Thierry Boutonnier
In connection with the installation of Thierry Boutonnier, workshop of observation, drawing around the baroque music, the gothic architecture and the plant.
July 23, 24, at 2:30 p.m. (adults) and 4:30 p.m. (families, ages 6 and up)

Plantes en Folie with Emmanuelle Bouffé
Invitation by Emmanuelle Bouffé to discover the natural environment of Ambronay Abbey. On August 20, organization of a snack around medicinal plants. On August 21, creation of vegetable inks.
August 20, 21, at 2:30 p.m. (adults) and 4:30 p.m. (families, ages 6 and up)


Visits to the exhibition and access

Wednesday to Sunday, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Guided tours of the exhibition
From Friday to Sunday, at 2:30 p.m.: family visit, duration 1 hour and at 4:30 p.m.: adult visit, duration 1 hour 30 minutes

CCR of Ambronay
Place de l’Abbaye
01500 Ambronay

Take a look at

COALITION exhibition – associated programming
COALITION, 15 years of art and ecology

  • About us
    About us

    COAL mobilizes artists and cultural actors on societal and environmental issues and accompanies the emergence of a new culture of ecology through its actions such as the COAL Prize, curating exhibitions, advising institutions and communities, European cooperation, and the animation of conferences, workshops and the first dedicated website


    COAL has been awarding the COAL Prize Art and Environment every year since 2010 and the COAL Student Prize - Culture & Diversity since 2020.

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    Major projects linked to the major events in political ecology, in connection with natural or urban environments.

  • Artistic direction
    Artistic direction

    About fifty exhibitions throughout France, cultural actions, works in the public space, and project support to contribute to the emergence of a new culture of ecology.


    Cooperation programs on a European and international scale, support for institutions in their ecological transition through tailor-made accompaniment and training, promotion of arts and ecology issues through publications and numerous conferences and workshops.