Le Crédac

Dead Souls Whisper (1986–1993)

Derek Jarman

Curatorship: Claire Le Restif, in collaboration with Amanda Wilkinson and James Mackay

The artist, filmmaker, writer, musician and gay rights activist Derek Jarman (1942–1994) powerfully marked twentieth-century British culture. This exhibition, with some seventy works, highlights his practice as a painter and assemblagist. It focuses on the last part of his life, starting at the time of his HIV-positive diagnosis. This period coincides with the creation of his legendary garden Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent, whose cultivation was both a form of therapy and a metaphor for his own survival.

Language, conveying primal rage, is central to this show. It is expressed and assaults us in his Queer paintings series (1992), not hung but truly “installed” in the Crédac art space. Words are part of the paintings Spread the Plague, Tragedy, Aids Blood and Virus, where their quavering lines ruin the surface. This series is a process, as are the Super 8 films projected opposite the paintings. This show brings out Jarman’s interest in alchemy, assemblage and his collection of objects found washed up on the Dungeness beach.

The feature film Blue (1993) is shown in the Crédakino throughout the exhibition.


  • In English
    Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 2.05 pm
    Saturday and Sunday at 2.30 pm
  • In French
    Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 3.25pm and 4.45pm
    Saturday and Sunday at 3.50pm and 5.10pm

    Accompanying the exhibition is a showing of The Tempest (from 24th to 30th November) and Jubilee (from 1st to 7th December) at the Ivry cinema, Le Luxy, and a publication in a co-edition with the fanzine Pleased to meet you.

    From October to December, a series of talks also punctuates the exhibition:

  • Sunday, November 21 at 4pm
    Sebastiane or Saint Jarman, queer filmmaker and martyr
    Visit of the exhibition with Claire Le Restif, then stroll to the cinema of Ivry - the Luxy for a discussion with Didier Roth-Bettoni (journalist, author, historian of LGBTQI+ cinema). This meeting will be followed by a screening of the feature film Sebastiane at the Luxy.
    Book here

  • Sunday, November 28 at 3pm
    Dungeness’ seed bomb
    Workshop with Benoît Piéron (artist)
    Book here

  • Wednesday, December 1 and Thursday, December 2
    On the occasion of World AIDS Day, projection of Blue at the Bourse de Commerce - Pinault Collection
    More information to come

  • Sunday, December 12 at 4pm
    Visit of the exhibition with Claire Le Restif, followed by a stroll to the cinema in Ivry - le Luxy for a discussion with Yann Beauvais (filmmaker and film critic). This meeting will be followed by the screening of The Last of England at the Luxy.
    Book here


Video documentary of the exhibition Derek Jarman - Dead Souls Whisper (1986-1993), Directed by Thomas James


  • Room sheet — DEAD SOULS WHISPER (1986–1993), Derek Jarman
    3.44 MB / pdf

Events & meetings


Production : Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry — le Crédac
Coproduction : Festival d’Automne à Paris
In collaboration with the Keith Collins Will Trust, Amanda Wilkinson Gallery (London), Basilisk Communications (London), LUMA Foundation (Zurich), et Pleased to meet you (Paris) ; and with the support of La Fab. (Paris)

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