TERRA INCOGNITA #1
The places explored by the three artists Pauline Buzaré, Alexandre Erre and Elsa Brès are either geographically remote and thus discovered, or else they benefit from a scientific approach which is echoed by each film. Isolation of a tiny realm in the midst of something gigantic, shift of sound and image with hints of colonialism, samples of materials subject to interpretation. In this way the physical presences and surveys are duplicated by sensory approaches.
Nydia Sounds, 2017, 12 mn
I filmed those pictures in a retired bay, only accessible by boat or by walk in New-Zealand. I have been there to help a man who built his own house in that incredible landscape. That place was amazing. Each day I woke up with the feeling to live in a painting.
Over there, I met Ella, a mysterious eel who is probably 80 years old now and she has been living in a small pool in the bush for many years. I met her every day and I could see her appearing few seconds after I arrived. That movie is about the exploration of that unique place and especially the meeting with Ella, the blue-eyed eel. A feminine character is wandering around the bay, she wants to access to that small island in front of her. PB
La découverte de l’inconnu, 2017, 9 min 31
This film mixes two elements: on the one hand, a 1938 video aimed at promoting nudist camps among Americans, and, on the other, a narrative stemming from an advertising programme designed to improve American tourism in Tahiti. The artist replaces the images of Tahitians described in the sound documents as “intact, unspoiled people” with those of a group of American nudists. The image/sound gap gives rise not only to something absurd, but, in the light of what we know about colonization and imperialism, a deep-seated malaise. How in fact can one not be embarrassed by the comments about the Tahitians’ paradisiac life, while following the clown-like strolls of a bunch of wealthy and carefree Westerners who, though nude, reproduce all the clichés of bourgeois leisure — riding, golf — pertaining to a capitalist world ?
Myriam Dao on La découverte de l’inconnu in her webzine Vernaculaire & Adventice. AE
STELLA 50.4N1.5E, 2016, 15 mn
Production : Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains
Opposite a sea of sand dunes, hands classify and arrange a mass of documents — maps, surveys, landscape scans, thermal photographs — thus sketching the multiple and invasive mapping of a moving landscape. This work of manipulation constructs and erects Stella, a depopulated seaside city, in an environment in which to understand the links between instability of the world’s matter and authority of geometry. The process of perception shifts, the buildings are exhausted, the landscape is an architecture. EB