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Thomas Schmahl

Les montagnes amoureuses_2020_fil m (21'48_)_©Thomas Schmahl_1.jpeg

« Les montagnes amoureuses », 2020, 21 min 48

For this film, I was interested in the environment that cradled my childhood, the Mont Blanc massif and its surroundings. Thus, we turn around these mountains, whose gaze is influenced by our positioning. Down, we look up, up, we look down.


Thus the question of the point of view, so dear to the experience of the hiker, is treated in multiple ways, by various instruments of visions: on a real, microscopic scale, or more broadly with the use of Google Earth, which comes geographically reconstruct the landscapes and environments shown in the film.


Through this realization, I also pursued research that focuses on the displacement of the figure of the main character. Here, it is the mountains, animals and plants, the real protagonists of history. The human being only a substitute, a pretext to take an interest in what surrounds us. Providing a feeling to its large, inert figures is an attempt to make exist as subject what is most of the time a context. The environment that is in the frame of the image then tends to become “Le punctum” (cf. “La chambre claire”, Roland Barthes).


The romantic approach to the landscape is revealed little by little through a narration that is neither strict nor linear, but which lets itself be carried by the sonic atmosphere. So mountains have their own unique way of expressing themselves, and flowers reveal certain magical powers that allow them to withstand the harsh environments that make up the alpine slopes.


« Les montagnes amoureuses » (The amorous mountains) is a simple attempt to express the contrast between the beauty of these landscapes and the extraordinary acceleration of their decrepitude. TS


After participating in the two summer programs of the Saison Video devoted to young creation; PENDANT QUE LES CHAMPS BRULENT, (WHILE THE FIELDS BURN) in 2017: (Théodore Dumas, Thomas Schmahl (therefore), Camille Varenne, Savina Topurska, Charles Gallay, Maurane Arbouz, Robin Mognetti, Vincent Tanguy) and TWENTY SOMETHING in 2018: (Laurène Carbona, Juiette Gadenne, Thomas Schmahl (therefore), Nassimo Berthommé, Alexandre Erre, Benjamin Vertu, Eléonore Berubbé); Thomas Schmahl presented in prime time his series “The car”, 2000 in 4 episodes. An animated series in which the main character is a single car, invariant from episode to episode. The intrigue is played out around it.



Thomas Schmahl’s practice is built by assembly, hybridization, it is inherent in the assembly of carefully chosen elements. One medium activates another, and all his productions are developed around this issue. The status of the pieces is as fluid as the temporality in which it plunges us. From a sculpture one slides easily into the setting, a setting conducive to the shooting of a film or the development of a performance. It is a work of the container that implies content, a work of the envelope, of the decor that envelops everything. There are no barriers. The versatile pieces create a unique universe that does not belong to any classification, and in which dubious time and non-linear perception open up the field of possibilities.


Born in 1994, the artist was trained at ESAD Reims, he was awarded the Grand Prix de Mulhouse 019 for his installation / performance "La coupe de rien".

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