Project 2019 / 2020

Explore forms of sensitivity to living

My artistic project revolves around several directions that I wish to develop during the next months (2019/2020):

  • Explore envrionmental and ecological issues through the language of the visual arts.
  • Knowledge of German landscapes and study them through the tradition of Germanic landscapes.

1.Neo-trained landscapes and primary forests:

My project aims to unfold, combining prospection and restitution of neoformed landscapes and primary landscapes in France and Germany. My project is therefore divided into two distinct phases during the course:

– the first by prospecting the inherited and neo-formed landscapes of the different German Länder, but also by traversing the primary forests and restoring their characteristics;

– the second phase, corresponds to the work of plastic research and restitution in workshop.

2.Waste related to the activities of human societies:

My graphic work is currently developing around the iconography of landscape and natural sites. By choosing to approach the landscape from the angle of waste related to the activities of human societies, I propose to treat the landscape and its representation as a consequence of our social system. The residues of extraction sites are an example. They arise in the hollow of landscapes and are the mark of the human. Called “haldes” in areas of Germanic influence, they are the stratigraphic traces of our human activity.

My approach stems from this desire to illustrate and document this reality, and to make this nature, our environment, more politicized. Each tree, branch, rock is this element of nature that resonates with our activity and acquires a symbolic dimension. It is also a question of marveling, by the formatting, the framing, the shadows, all these places. Whether they are places of struggle, or deserted places in the image of empty houses, abandoned, left in the way because of economic crises, urbanization or evolution of our lifestyles and work.

3. Crossing borders:

On the one hand, the project aims to cross borders in order to open perspectives on other modalities and to question our link, both national and European, on nature, landscape and environment. By physically crossing the borders, the project is thought of as a narrative of our impacts; as humans, about nature and how they are similar or different from our neighbors. These stories will take shape from expeditions in these territories.

4. Exploring forms of sensitivity to life:

It is also about questioning the geological footprint of the human in the future of the planet through drawing, painting, and graphic techniques. The project therefore aims to be embodied through artistic stories of transformation of the Earth and landscape. More specifically, the project aims to include in artistic practice, the impacts of humans on their natural environment. The project will be itinerant and will aim to collect visual fragments around the environment and landscapes in France and Germany. The landscapes crossed are by definition called to disappear. The accumulation of visual data around these landscapes will also have heritage value. The project will also aim at producing, illustrating and drawing portraits of natural fragments and landscapes that will have disappeared when the project returns.

Filigree this work of tracking in the field proposes to investigate our forms of sensitivity to the living world: what are we willing to pay attention in nature? What are we failing to see and what are we neglecting? What does it say about our relationship to the landscape? and our relationships in life? It will be necessary to understand the way in which our regime of ordinary attention to life has been built, in order to imagine ways of enriching it in a context of ecological crisis.

5. Geological research and inherited landscapes:

The ecological perspective upsets and renews the cultural references of our societies. The current listing of our short-term actions durably transforms our landscapes and our immediate natural environment. The project proposes taking into account the interdependence of man with nature. Our actions and those of our so-called “developed” countries are also part of history on a geological scale, with consequences that extend over hundreds of years (industrial and chemical waste, contamination of the biosphere), and thousands of years (rising sea levels, irreversible events …). Ecological consciousness’s responsibility towards future generations destabilizes our inscription in the present, today exacerbated by individualism, and necessitates inhabiting the world differently. The project involves being physically in the field to find fictional objects to give them body and thus create other imaginaries. What is a sustainable soil? How are the soils exploited? And how, by our actions, are the soils transformed? What landscapes do we model? And what time scale do we give ourselves? Humans have an average life of 80 years, and yet their actions are felt on longer time scales. The project aims to initiate a culture of nature through graphic narratives inspired by existing landscapes.

6. The approach:

This project tries to experiment and put into practice an artistic approach based on the transformation of territories and proposes to look at our environment and our common good that is nature.

The medium used, graphite and pencil on Bristol paper, allows a precision close to reality. The color of the pencil, the gray, is sober and neutral. Each image is built on the same range of tones and allows me to evoke the isolation, the urgent and sad nature of the situation. This choice of graphite pencil helps me emphasize the dramaturgy of these struggles and environments and exposes the fragility of these in the face of our decisions and our choices. The work in “series” and the repetition of the theme favor the constitution of “generic” images and integrate the complexity. The actual represented locations may be in France, Germany, United States. By this plastic work, they acquire a symbolic status and can thus complement each other; to split, to resemble each other. Here, although each image may have its own territorial reality, it becomes rather allegory.

This project through German landscapes will begin in Freiburg im Breisgau in a collective of artists (KunstScheune), and will continue in roaming.

7. The course:

The relationship with the living is privileged and directs my artistic practice. The landscapes produced and drawn are not only an ode to nature, but suppose the fragility of these in the face of our actions. They can finally also allow an awareness. The route crosses the inherited and contrasted landscapes of Germany, reflecting reality. Several territories and zones will be visited with a historical approach of the impact of the human on the territory and the landscape:

– Bure (Grand Est – France): Nuclear waste landfill project

– Altenberg (Saxony): Etain Mine (1620)

– Hartz: paleo-industrial landscape

– Schwatz / Brixlegg (Austria): Silver Mine (Austro-Hungarian Empire)

– Eizenherz (Austria): Iron Mine (step operation)

– Eizenach (Hesse and Thuringia): Salt Mine

– Schelma: Uranium Mine – Heringen: Coal Mine

– Hambacher Forst

– Gorleben: Coal Mine

– Asse

8. Vocabulary and restitution:

The crossed landscapes are doomed to disappear, the realized images will be thus memorial. This graphic and iconographic approach to landscape is a reflection of society’s concerns regarding new environmental issues. This work will lead to the publication of a book and will gather all the accumulated material.