Contemporary art publications — Visual artists in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lucie CHAUMONT

created July 28 2015

Lucie Chaumont

Translated by Simon Pleasance, 2015

 

Lucie Chaumont, who graduated from the Advanced School of Fine Arts in Paris in 2001, produces sculpture, drawings, and installations, based on a logic involving an economy of means. Her work is permeated by the question of energy, deposits, mining operations and sustainable development. The phenomena of production, distribution and (over)consumption of material goods, the rarefaction and finiteness of natural resources, and the action of human beings on their environment, all lie at the heart of her visual preoccupations.
Her work has recently been shown in a solo show at the Galerie Eva Hober, Paris (2014), as well as in group shows at the Art Centre in Chamarande (2012), at the Espace Fondation EDF, Paris (2011), at the Museum of Fine Arts in Tourcoing, at the URDLA/Centre International Estampe et Livre, Villeurbanne (2014). In 2014 the Galerie Eva Hober published a monograph about her work: Vivre là, text by Cyrille Noirgean, interview with Lauranne Germond. Since 2014 she has been teaching volume and installation at the Advanced School of Fine Arts in Lyon.
In tandem with her individual praxis in the contemporary art arena, she is involved in other areas, in multi-disciplinary group productions, with a desire to decompartmentalize practices. So in 2009, together with Nadine Allibert, she created in Lyon the association La Perruque-Coopérative, where she has been developing group projects where the visual arts, performing arts, graphic arts, and popular education all meet.

 

 


Inteview with Lauranne Germond
In Vivre là, published by the Galerie Eva Hober, with the support of CNAP, Ministry of Culture and Communication, 2014
Courtesy Galerie Eva Hober, Paris
Translated by Caroline Burnett

This catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition
Vivre là, at Eva Hober Gallery from 13 February to 16 March 2014, which presents a collection of pieces on themes such as housing, urban expansion and its lifestyles and contrasted landscapes. The exhibition questions the viewer on the way in which we inhabit the world, a question that permeates your practice and that takes on many different forms throughout the particular contexts in which you live and work. The disorientation they provoke in you is often at the basis of your works. Is this the case in this new exhibition?


The title of the exhibition, Vivre là, is a set phrase that I found on a real estate developer's website. I belong to that half of the world population residing in the city. The saturated real estate market induced me to rent a studio in a rural zone. I cover the 40 kilometres between my home and my work place by car, thereby following the route of urban sprawl. I pass through shopping zones, roundabouts, villages, subdivisions... As I drive I observe the landscape and its transformations: I discover new sidewalk edges; a logistical platform or a data centre that seems to have erupted in the middle of a field; I follow a deviation set up to circumnavigate road works meant to “conceal the network”; I count the number of relay masts... I notice urban sprawling, the reduction of agricultural space, the spread of asphalt. The exhibition formed around the frequentation of such spaces, between urban and rural zones, for the most part the domain of automobiles, where standardization and normalizing are concretely manifested in the habitations and spatial planning.
More generally speaking, beyond the geographical framework, I relate my work to the historical, social and economic context of the environment in which it takes place. I try to remain in a state of porosity and receptivity with regard to the environment in which I find myself when I'm working. I try to experience my daily journeys as though I were travelling to the other side of the world and to maintain an acute sense observation in the midst of familiar contexts.


In Vivre là we find motifs that are recurrent in your work, such as with Parpaing but also in new pieces such as Giratoires that perfectly illustrate this acuity you display. Can you talk about these pieces?


In construction, the breeze block is a sort of common denominator, a standard contemporary object that I've worked with on several occasions. In this instance, I made a breeze block out of ceramic, by hand. I made it using grogged sandstone whose appearance is similar to that of cement. Following the relationship between the represented object and the technique employed, I

“destandardised” an industrial object. This breeze block is the “first stone”; it contains within itself the potential of a building to come while referencing the history of materials: ancient tiles were made out of terracotta.

In Giratoires, I set out to film the roundabouts that I pass through during my car journey between my home and my studio, according to a predefined protocol. In France today there are more than

30,000 roundabouts, making up about half of the roundabouts in the world. Using a digital camera attached at the front of the car, I use tracking shots to film the centre of the roundabout. I tend to prefer roundabouts that contain some landscaping at their centre. These planted spaces that aren't meant to be walked across are artificial landscapes created in the middle of intersections and without any relation to the vegetal population around them since foreign species are reintroduced there.

Also presented in the exhibition are recent drawings I made on different media: there are the pencil on paper drawings in the Lotissement (1) series, a diagram of a nuclear power plant presented on an LED screen in La poursuite du nucléaire (2) and an etching on a lithographic stone in the diptych Extraction/Fossile (3).

 

These last two drawings remind me of older works of yours, like Les catastrophes sont naturelles (4), one of your first series, completed in 2004-2005. In it you reproduced scientific diagrams representing methods of natural resource extraction and energy production. The question of popularising complex scientific phenomena and man's – often invisible – dominance over nature are given centre stage here...

 

Everything began with my self-portrait À la mine (5) that, over a height of 1.75 metres – almost my height – represents the surface installations of a coal mine set on top of the layers of geological strata supporting them. The title contains a play on words about the represented scientific object, the tool I used to execute the drawing – a graphite pencil (6) - and the extent of the work that lay before me at the time – that is, at the beginning of my artistic career: “to get one's hands dirty” in the mine.

The series entitled Les catastrophes sont naturelles comprises a sculpture and several drawings that all represent a cross section of the earth's substrata. I like the idea that rocks have recorded inside them the trace of a great length of time. The series attempts to understand the layers and the riches that sleep below the earth's surface and puts human beings' actions into the perspective of a gigantic time scale, with the underlying idea that whenever man puts his hand to nature, something escapes his control.

In images of scientific popularisation, a very complex phenomenon that operates on a very large scale is simplified to the extreme in order to make it comprehensible at a glance. This simplification gives these images a universal dimension and to my eyes presents great potential for subversion. My drawing work consists in part in bringing these two extremes into tension: I use a minuscule gesture – pencilling with a graphite lead 0.3 or 0.5 mm in diameter – in order to represent a planetary phenomenon.


This tension between the individual and planetary scales – very significant today – is at the heart of emblematic works like Empreinte Ecologique (7)...

This installation catalyses several important aspects of my work.
First of all, sculpture: the imprint technique that I used to realise the installation is a traditional sculptural technique consisting in filling a hollow plaster and so materialising the form.

Before the actual production of the piece, I began by collecting the empty packaging of my daily food consumption, recycling as it were for my artistic production. I incorporated the waste into my sculptural process, a recurring notion throughout my work.

I would take a plastic container, fill it with plaster, then unmold it: this places us within the question in sculpture of the content and the container as well as in an economy of the manipulations and means necessary to produce the piece. Furthermore, this installation reveals, in a way, a part of what I am through what I have consumed over a given period. A portrait of the artist as a consumer.

The title adds an extra dimension to the work. What importance do you attach to your generally quite eloquent titles?

The title Empreinte écologique unambiguously pushes the interpretation of the installation in a certain direction since this term – much in use at the moment – refers to a means of environmental evaluation that enables us to measure the pressure exerted by man on his surroundings and, among other things, our current need for more space to absorb our waste.

A projected piece takes shape when it has found a title that “works”. Titles are a very precious tool that help to orientate the way the artworks are read while leaving free reign for interpretation. I enjoy playing with the multiple meanings of words and I write my titles in French. I often resort to catchphrases coming from the media; they form a sort of linguistic signage that frames our relationship with the world and for this reason they deserve to be subverted. Titles allow me to literally characterize the image or object that I'm representing as it is while attributing a figurative double meaning that refers to societal issues.

You seem particularly interested in the formal and speculative potential of food packaging. This is a material you've been using since 1998 in the series entitled Cornets cubains (8)...

Yes, let's take the example of these cones made in Havanna where, accompanied by several classmates from the Beaux-arts and our professor Vincent Barré, we decided to go to organise an

exhibition with Cuban students... The political system having forbidden the island's inhabitants to leave the country and the embargo imposed by the United States having led to a situation of utter shortage of all consumer goods, the Cubans invented means of making objects that would cover the basic necessities of everyday life. In Cuba, these inventions born of scarcity have become a real way of life.

Walking down the street I found an empty cone, a piece of paper folded very simply. This type of container is used to wrap takeaway street food. In a country where food is scarce, I discovered that Cubans had reinvented in their way the concepts of snacking and takeaway. This object, simple and efficient through its shape, invented to compensate for lack, seemed to me particularly emblematic of Cuba's situation. While there I reproduced ten cones with local wrapping paper and then – like the “artists” of Montmartre – I cut out the silhouettes of Paris monuments from memory.

The result reflects the fantasy vision of France expressed by many Cubans that we met during the trip. At the same time, these objects invert the stereotypical exoticism, the “postcard” vision of this “dream” island in the Caribbean that we uphold here, on the other side of the Atlantic.

Later on you reproduced all sorts of food packaging for sandwiches, pizza, fast food, soda, etc. You then arranged these copies in display cases, as in the installations Carrefour (9) or La vie chère (10). What do these wrappers and installations express?

A large part of the objects I make often have a link to food. The essential act of eating is governed today to a large extent by the food processing industry and superstores. Packaging – and overpackaging – have become the strategic interfaces in the power relationship in which the industry holds the consumer. I am interested in the packaging emptied of its contents because it is this remainder of what was consumed that reveals the entire system.

I identify with archaeologists whose job it is often to go through the waste bins of History. Let's say that I engage in real time in a sort of archaeology of our contemporary lifestyle.

In everyday life, the purpose of display windows is to place before our eyes and highlight objects for sale. They are also a means of exhibiting rare objects in museums for example, by protecting them from touch. This double affiliation with the world of marketing and museography make this a very appropriate device with which to frame my objects.


The question of recycling is often introduced in your creative and technical choices. How attentive are you to the origins of your materials and resources?


The recycling economy was put in place after a study trip to Ghana and then Cuba, a country in which the material conditions are so poor that nothing can afford to be lost and where the organisational strategies are at complete odds with our own.

My operating method truly took form in London in 2000 during a stay at the Slade School of Fine Art where I found myself materially unable to obtain the traditional sculpture materials. As I walked through the city, I realized that it contained an astronomical quantity of rejected materials (carpeting, linoleum, wood, metal, etc.). I began sorting through the trash in order to bring pieces back to my studio with a view to transforming them. This is how I began using the materials of everyday life found in the street. From this constraint born of circumstance came about thirty raw and cobbled together objects that I presented in an installation entitled Matériaux divers, dimensions variables (11), an oft-used expression in contemporary art subtitling terminology. The subtitle replaced the title.

Later, I sometimes came to use the waste product of my own production. For example, I made an object using a cluster of staples rescued from a previous installation made out of wooden crates recovered at the end of a market. The “de-stapling” operation of almost 200 crates – entirely done by hand – was so difficult that I promised myself I would use the staples for another project. I therefore made the Cake d'agrafes (12).


Why do you impose such tedious and constraining work protocols on yourself?


There are all the external constraints that govern my existence and over which I have no control (economic constraints, time constraints, etc.) and which may paralyse me, preventing me from making or doing anything. Within my work process I have set up additional constraints for which I am entirely responsible. This gives me the feeling that I am in control of the situation.

I would relate the tedious and repetitive dimension of my work to the very definition of the word “work”, a term that refers to “the state of a person that suffers and is tormented” and “all human activities coordinated with the aim of producing something”. In my work, I try to bring together the private dimension and the universal quality of the labouring human condition.


You act like a falsifier by producing a handmade copy of mass-produced objects. Isn't there a certain contradiction in wanting to defy the logic of industrial production by mechanising one's practice?


To defy is to refuse to bow down, to obey. Defiance is also an obstacle that civilisation must overcome in its evolution.
For me, copying an ordinary object (or image) is akin to giving it importance. Exposing this copy to the eyes of the viewer is to play with perception and to ask the question of what exists in order to go beyond appearances. On a deeper level, this means questioning the notion of truth and belief in a society that is very comfortable cheating with reality when it suits its needs.

My drawing work asserted itself when I tried to manually imitate the precision of the printer, a machine whose function is to reproduce reality as closely as possible. By the movement of my hand, the copy takes on a part of me. The mechanisation of the gesture corresponds to an attempt to rationalise in order to keep all affect at a distance.

Creating by hand makes you spend time with the objects and images, and in the intimacy of making, allows you to understand them with your hands. The love of the well-executed gesture is not my concern; rather, by experiencing a repetitious gesture, I apply to an artisanal approach the production rationale of mechanical activity. In this way, I become conscious of what scaling back labour represents. And in working with my hands there is also the need to free myself from technological prostheses.


In this way you created a whole series of false objects: Économe (13), Faux papiers...


Économe
, realised in 1998 was my very first copied object. It was an object made according to my method and in which I imitated the well known kitchen utensil. In the piece I played with switching the materials, with the slightly uncanny resemblance to the copied object, the relationship between the title and the object... it is a “programmatic” object as we'd say today. Then came the series Faux papiers, begun when I was living in the 18th arrondissement in Paris. Over the course of my daily walks in the neighbourhood, I found a losing ticket on the ground, not far from a shop selling National Lottery tickets. Every day, people went into this shop to try their luck in the hopes of a better life. This document was charged with their disappointment. This is why I chose to represent it. The series Faux papiers began in this Parisian context, through contact with these neighbours of mine for whom identity papers are a vital issue.

In the same vein, I began a series entitled Liste de courses (14).


There are also the tickets in Files d'attente (15)...


I left Paris several years ago. Moving house also means going on an “administrative journey”. When I arrived in Lyon, I began by spending lots of time in various administrative procedures. This was an advantageous vantage point from which to observe the management of the flow of users in the different administrations I visited. I kept my waiting tickets and copied them. These “release” drawings are an homage to wasted time.


You also pay tribute to those who periodically stray from the norm and, through small, ingenious gestures, come to terms with it. This is the point in Arrangements, a photographic inventory that you began in 2005...


This series reveals what I observe. It is a work of observation, a list of clues that aims to record, with the help of a digital camera that I have on me almost at all times, the traces that individuals – that I characterize as invisible – leave behind them in the public space, in their homes, at their workplace or places of leisure. The French term “arrangement” signifies the act of placing in a certain order and it also implies the notions of compromise and beautification. The idea is to in short, to manage. These often fragile and temporary arrangements carry the signs of a spontaneous, intuitive and unique expression that rises up from the undifferentiated mass of a normalised universe.


Archiving and inventory are often the basis and the common thread that weaves throughout your work, as one can see from your notebooks. You often react to an association of phrases and images, puns, catchphrases and user manuals taken from your environment...


Inventory and collecting are the invisible part of my work. I collect images from the press, instruction manuals, brochures or explanatory diagrams that I store in binders or in the form of digital archives.

I work in contact with current affairs, by listening to the radio from which I pluck themes, images and emblematic phrases expressing world issues. The themes I explore come from a number of fields: economics, ecology, energy-related geopolitics, geography, history, etc. I go further by researching in scientific popularisation books, in essays and on the web.

My notebooks allow me to give form to these image and language extractions, to put them in relation with one another and to reorganize them according to my own inner logic by placing them in opposition, complementarily or by analogy...


How do you perceive your role as an artist when dealing with the big questions that shape the news and which you seem to want to confront?


My work is driven by these questions. As an artist, the point is not for me to “play a certain character in the world”, but instead to fulfil a function: creating works that are in touch with the world I am a part of, and to share them. In my aesthetic system, the tenuous space between what I make and reality echo the small room for manoeuvre we have today in the face of the bulldozer effect of globalisation.


How do your family origins and the rural environment in which you grew up inform your work?


I was born in Algeria in the city of Médéa where my parents, after completing literary studies, lived and taught for five years before returning to the village where my father was born. That is where I grew up, in a village with a population of 180 in Burgundy, where my family has cultivated the vine since the 16th century.

My grandfather was what you would call a “pioneer” of organic farming. As early as the 1960s he decided to move towards unconventional vine cultivation methods at a time when the use of products from the chemical industry in agriculture was spreading and becoming the norm. In his wake my uncle, the youngest brother, took over the vineyard...

It's obvious that my artistic approach uses my grandfather's story as a reference as well as my parents' activism.
The carefree quality of my years at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris has given way to a reflective attitude towards modes of production and consumption, and towards the needs and resources of the society of which I am a part.


How do your civic involvement and your individual responsibility accommodate themselves with your artistic practice?


Creating works and showing them is a responsibility that one chooses, as an artist, to take on. This does not mean retreating from society but on the contrary, to take part and get involved; it rests on an individual decision that concerns the collective sphere.

To face the established order, I often need to act without the filter of art, through activism or militancy. There is a large amount of tension within me between individual responsibility on one hand, and the ironic distance and stepping back, or even retreat, that are part of my practice, and on the other hand, the direct confrontation and concrete collective action demanded by our project to shake up the rules imposed upon us.

The art world doesn't escape the questions pertaining to the law of the market, productivity or profitability. The formal and technical choices I make are linked to this fact. Indeed, the will to work at my pace, to the scale of my hand or the means at my disposal allow me to evade an economy of artwork production in which the logic of production cost reduction and the subcontracting system are a reality.

Is this a way for you to foil the system?


It's a way to live with it. “Civilised” man has deployed colossal effort to normalise the environment in which he lives. With the help of my puny tools, I try to understand the workings of the System. I set up strategies and protocols that imitate certain of its aspects in order to question its faults. I oppose my manual work to the “invisible hand” of the system. The undertaking is absurd but it allows me to take a stand and remain standing.

1. “Subdivision”

2. “The Pursuit of Nuclear Power”
3. “Fossil/Extraction”

4. “Catastrophes Are Natural”

5. “At the Mine”

6. In French, the word mine means both “mine” and “pencil”.

7. “Ecological Imprint”

8. “Cuban cones”

9. Carrefour is the name of a large chain of supermarkets in France.

10. “The Rising Cost of Living”
11. “Mixed Media, Variable Dimensions”

12. “Staple Cake”

13. “Peeler”, “False documents”

14. “Shopping List”

15. “Queues”


 

Shards of the Real, by Cyrille Noirjean, 2013
In Vivre là, published by the Galerie Eva Hober, with the support of CNAP, Ministry of Culture and Communication, 2014
Courtesy Galerie Eva Hober, Paris
Translated by Caroline Burnett

 

Which doors allow us to enter into the world, to read it? How may we view our relationship to what we assume is One, to that in which we take part as an element and come up against in order to say something about it? Aristotle made imitation into an art form: To copy reality is both to read it and to write it.

The images – meaning drawings and sculptures here – that Lucie Chaumont displays before us introduce the redeeming distance: the dual stance of being in the world and keeping the world at gaze's length. The necessary standpoint from which this exchange with the world can reveal itself is in its singularity here: Living there is to read what surrounds me. Thus everyday life and the individual induce the world. This singularity is not subject to the unifying and all-encompassing Oneness of theory; on the contrary, a singularity founds universality.

 

Lucie Chaumont is not a philosopher but an artist, in the archaic sense of the word: the hand-tool reads, and she makes. Her thinking is a means of doing that proposes representations of the world: not presentations, intended violence or pornography leaping out at us from the screen. All her skill and art are marshalled for the purpose of imitation. What is represented in her images? Technique itself. It is the technique that is represented here, the reading hand...

 

Lucie Chaumont does not seek to leap out from the screen; rather, she reveals it by means of a tautology: showing – i.e. indicating through imagery – then repeating. But this process does not imply immobility, for in the moment of the said again, a shift takes place. “At the mine” is a large-scale drawing of a scientific diagram representing a cross section of a mine at the earth's surface, drawn with a graphite lead (1) pencil. The title, the motif and the instrument echo each other. This represented mine enables the extraction of the graphite which is used to make the drawing of the mine... Like a snake that misses biting its own tail: it is chasing a signifier – always the same one, mine – that purports to present itself; and always different since with each new round the tone changes. The signifier itself creates the link between the object – i.e. the image – and the instrument. The ordinary disc of everyday life quietly revolves, without a hitch, and the passage from one tone to the next happens naturally. These moments of salience and passage are put into play in Lucie Chaumont's drawing, thereby revealing the possibility of another meaning.

 

The viewer can already perceive that the point of reference is the Real; what must move are the eyes of the body and of the mind. And saying again translates into doing again: “Pizza, 1 personne” (2) – the cardboard copy of a pizza box – includes the instrument which prevents the packaging from falling onto the food... In the same way, the series of drawings entitled “Files d'attente” (3), cut to scale in the shapes of waiting room tickets, impairs the need to regulate traffic in a consumerist society and the senselessness of a handmade instrument that only mass production demands. The handmade aspect implies the notion of 'one by one', i.e. singularity, or a signature, as so many elements that fade away into the mass of the all-industrial and globalizing. These contact points between singularity and industry's need to rationalize and deal in mass, to annihilate the isolated foyers of personal initiative (Artaud) are what Lucie Chaumont captures here.

 

But the point is not to put forward a cosa mentale gesture – that would place us within the logic of assisted ready-made. Art is taken here in its archaic acceptance: the technique and know-how are the remit of the artist. Thus, the ultimate deviation of “Nuancier” (4) : drawn in pencil, the piece asserts itself as a manual canvas of a spectrum of greys... Outside of its original realm (the printer) and transposed to another technique, the object reveals its limits: a useless instrument. The term colour chart refers to its nature but the object is stripped of its work value. A new shift occurs when Lucie Chaumont decides to send it back into its world (the world of printing and reproduction) by realizing a silkscreen edition of it. The mechanical canvas of the screen blends with the manual canvas, the unique object thus becoming a manufactured product that forbids any recourse to utilitarianism. This foliated – once again, a reference to mineralogy which greatly occupies the artist – craftsmanship (handmade), industrialism, usage and meaning; each layer comes as a counterpoint to the preceding one without masking it. On the contrary, the foliation reveals the significant and coloured nuances of our grasp of reality: what colour does the colour chart take on with each change of tone?

 

“Parpaing” (5) presents itself in its solid utilitarian beauty. Obviously, we are not dealing here with a ready-made: the artist's and technician's skills come together to produce this ceramic piece (as was the case with “Nuancier”). The indication of solidity suffices, one need only to believe in it; if one were to test it the piece would splinter into pieces. What is presented here is the Breeze Block, number zero. This origin reveals of course the myth that Lucie Chaumont has been recounting in reverse. Her starting point: the industrial and manufactured object are the foundation for the fiction she is constructing, a fiction that results in the prototype or origin that should have enabled the multiplication. In a short piece, Antonin Artaud accused Boucicaut (founder of the department store Le Bon Marché) of unleashing “over the world a flood of ugliness and of poisoning the aesthetic health of the general public. [...] A piece of furniture is built to a useful end and may only abandon its very strict attribution to the extent that it offers an undeniable artistic and aesthetic quality. The simplest pine wardrobe [...] would be a thousand times more beautiful than the mass-produced pedestal by the Bon Marché”. Lucie Chaumont's response to mass production is an ironic nose-thumbing. The object, taken out of its strict attribution and thus losing all functional uses acquires beauty.

 

This is not the work of a falsifier but a copyist. The repetition of what is similar but refuses to be the same, the art of copying sustains itself on the (minimal?) tension of the metaphor: to do again without allowing the subjective trace of the artist/artisan to lose itself in industrialization. Shifts and gaps blend in with one another with great subtlety. Her series of plaster casts, “Empreinte écologique” (6), that could be viewed as copies of the innumerable objects that society produces in large amounts for a very short usage period before they are relegated to trash (plastic cups, fast food wrappers, etc.) accumulate what does not take up any space: traces. Only the image in volume of each object that was once filled with plaster is left, an image that cuts out for itself in reality the space occupied by the object itself, now absent. On the screen of reality, its reverse appears: the piece of waste is hidden away from sight; once taken out of its strict attribution, the image reveals its brilliance. A desire to emphasize contemporary society's refusal to face its waste products, its attempt at moving them off territory to the periphery, is evident. To make do with what is left over, in the way of natural processes, to leave remains, a pearl. “Extraction fossile” (7) is composed of two elements: a lithographic print and a drawing etched into a stone and then printed – historically, the invention of lithography paved the way for industrial printing. The motif (an extraction quarry) comes as the counterpoint to a pencil-drawn lithographic stone (not printed) that reveals what it could contain: the traces of vegetal waste – a fossil. The origin and the finality merge while the tool (the stone) indicates its own use: to bear the traces.

 

In this repeated interweaving of signifier, object, image and the threads of industrial production and consumerism, of craftsmanship and art, the appearance of the urban periphery cannot be seen as a coincidence. If Living there denotes the gap between the flat (in the city) and the studio (at the periphery), the phrase undergoes the very treatment that is the singularity of Lucie Chaumont's work. The journey is undertaken in reverse, from the city (where one lives) to the periphery (where one works). Once again, it is the trace that she chooses to show: the pencil tracing in the series entitled “Lotissement” (8), and the route followed from one point to another. On the screen, the lull – discounted – represented by the journey. This is not a journey that calls for reverie and the dilation of time and space, but rather what society wants to compress and shorten: travel time. Roundabouts formally repudiate the affirmation that the shortest route between two points is a straight line. To go around in order to go straight ahead has become the rule. This rule cannot be sacrificed to profitability; it is the bedrock of the solitary walker who dreams the world as he narrates it:

“My dreams are multiplied

by the stories to live and the sayings to hear.

I bring you the child of a bitumen night,

the wing is phosphorescent and the shadow, illuminated

by these reflections of truths.”

(Raymond Queneau)

 

 

1. In French, the words for 'mine' and 'lead' are identical: mine.

2. “Pizza For One”

3. “Queues”

4. “Colour Chart”

5. “Breeze Block”

6. “Ecological Imprint”

7. “Fossil Extraction”

8. “Subdivision”