When Ygaël Attali was working on his PhD in philosophy, he also held a side gig working at a gallery in Paris. “I loved being in the gallery, but I didn’t appreciate the curation and so I decided to open my own,” says the intellectual. That’s how Galerie Philia, a contemporary art gallery with locations in Geneva, New York, and Singapore, began in 2015. In school, Attali studied the complexities of cultures. “When you have different cultures in the same space what happens conceptually?” he asks rhetorically. This philosophy “is what I am doing now with Galerie Philia,” he says, “selecting artists from all over the world with different techniques and putting together exhibitions that celebrate artistry as a medium to transcend societal, cultural, and geographical boundaries.”
Galerie Philia has a vast roster of talents, emerging and established—Willem van Hooff, Flora Temnouche, Rick Owens, Elisa Uberti, Isac Elam Kaid—each representing a measured eclecticism that embodies art in all its forms. And while Attali curates exhibitions at each of his permanent locations, it is the nomadic exhibition, Transhumances, that is garnering plenty of chatter. “Transhumances was born during COVID,” he says. After isolating for months in a remote village in the south of France, Attali was inspired to bring artists together in the spirit of collective creation. “The aim of Transhumances is gathering artists in one place to work locally, with local materials, for a local exhibition,” he says. “The issue with design and art is we are constantly taking a piece from one place to another to put it on show. The art world needs to be more sensitive to environmental issues. Transhumances is the answer to that.”
The first edition of Transhumances in 2020 in Le Sauvan was showcased at Château de Barjac, the second the following year at Palazzo Galli Tassi in Florence, and Transhumances III is scheduled for later this year in a yet-to-be disclosed city in Japan.