This fourth season of paysage> paysages steps into the landscape disorientated. A disorientation that, for a long time, was the privilege of the traveller passing through unfamiliar country, then of the western tourist enjoying a change of scenery. A few vagabond figures like Victor Segalen or Nicolas Bouvier managed to become porous to the world, writing incandescent prose permeated by its endlessly diverging ways. However, in most travel literature, any sense of otherness is obscured or confused by the quest for the exotic.The postage stamp, postcard and travel agency brochure have been the icons of this exoticism. Far away places arrived here as fictions, served up as screensavers devoid of any lines of force that might disturb their tranquil surfaces.
And yet… every experience of the landscape begins, first and foremost, as a disorientation. Including our own immediate environment, in a time when our familiar surroundings constantly re-appear to us “disoriented”, vacant, adrift in planetary standardization. This disorientation is the dominant experience of the contemporary world; the mirror image of the change of scenery sought by the tourist, unmooring place from its foundations, from the habits and uses that have sculpted it over time. The “sites” demarcated by the tourist industry, the agricultural industry, as transport hubs and offshore platforms occupy countries like a foreign army, in an amnesia of belonging. They are places cloned, of which the model – both precursor and prototype – was the colonial plantation; identikit environments slowly eating up the world.
We live with the illusion of landscape as something stable, something that can replicated endlessly, without variation even as the rapid metamorphoses of our actual ecologies demand of us other modes of perception, of feeling, of thinking. It becomes essential to forge new connections with the poetic density of place and the living beings that populate them, with a living world whose becomings remain always open, polyphonic, punctuated with entangled trajectories, with no promise of stability and indifferent to our interests and projects.
For this fourth season, Ça Remue ! brings together vernacular, artistic and scientific knowledge practices that question our uses of the world and re-makes them with a smile. They are bird-singers, anthropologists, shepherds, performers, philosophers, physicists, ecologists or landscape architects… Two days during which they will lend their energies to bringing us down from our supposed God’s eye view in order to welcome the world as it is. The university campus in St Martin d’Hères will be transformed into layer cake of experimentations with the invisible, neglected, silent constituents of our world – roots and rhizomes, textures of soil, the qualities of the water table, the sonorous punctuations of birds… – in order to foster more careful uses of the world. Centred around the Maison de la création et de l’innovation, weaving together performances outdoors with debate indoors, these two days aim to multiply our modes of collective intelligence and alliances of knowledge-practices.
Marie-Pascale Dube (1st day / Maison de la création et de l’innovation)
This actor-performer has expressed herself with sounds since childhood, sounds that she cannot really describe or explain, sounds that escape from her throat while retaining the obstinate presence of other states and other places from her body. Breaths, groans, vibrations, gasps, nothing in her songs resembles a well-tempered voice in the West. Marie-Pascale Dubé would later come to understand that these sung forms have already existed within First Nation traditions of throat singing. She undertook an apprenticeship with an Inuk mentor, an experience that not only changed her vision of the history of her native country, Canada, but unsettled her own personal history, her relationship with nature and the cosmos. Her song continues to evolve in her, to surprise her, to go beyond her and to draw its own trajectory.
Douglas White (September, October / Siting of the work in progress)
This UK artist works for several weeks on the forest floor to unearth the root systems of trees. Through careful extraction of layers of humus, using the tools and methodology of an archaeologist, Douglas opens a window on the inextricable networks and fragile interactions from which the bonds between different trees, shrubs, bushes, mushrooms that make up this undergrowth are woven. The most recent scientific observations are joined here by the forester’s vernacular knowledge and the artist’s intuition: each forest rests on an underground world of infinite collaborations and signals between different species that escapes human observation and therefore remains neglected. Yet, woven together underground with thousands of miles of living fungal yarn, the trees feed and heal each other. This mycorrhizal under-carpet connects trees in gigantic intelligent communities which sometimes extend over hundreds of hectares.
Pierre & Rémi Janin (day 1 / Siting of the work in progress)
These brothers are architects, famers and landscape architects. The work of the farm – the movements of livestock and ploughing – are at the heart of landscape practice. They take into consideration, in the most powerful sense of the term, the surrounding environment, the poetic density of the place, the living beings that populate it to think about the specificities of territorial becomings.
Laurent Four (day 2 / Departing from the Maison de la création et de l’innovation)
This shepherd gives performances that are difficult to describe in words, somewhere between a happening and therapy, whose aim is to help us rethink and re-experience the place of domesticated animals in human societies. A subtle and silent diplomacy of body, gesture and look.
Bird singers (day 2 / Departing from the Maison de la création et de l’innovation)
These mimics invite us on a walk through the landscape, listening for the virtuosos hidden in the undergrowth – blackbird, song thrush, Eurasian nuthatch, black-headed warbler, swift pouillot, chickadee, red throat – and responding with uncanny likeness, provoking remarkable conversations improvised on the day with the different species present.
Alexandra Engelfriet (day 2 / Siting of the work in progress)
This Dutch artist struggles with telluric depths, the geological memory under our feet, working directly with the smells and the raw matter of the silts accumulated over the centuries, sculptural undertakings in which she disappears in a form of trance that leaves a trace in the material, bruised and sensual, abandoned without retouching or remorse.
Rachel Gomme (day 2 / Departing from the Maison de la création et de l’innovation)
This performer composes intimate exchanges with the world, inviting us to attend to the shared movement of our breath and the wind through branches, the silence of the trees and the stillness of the body, in order to widen our perception of the lived landscapes.
Jordi Galí et la compagnie Arrangement provisoire (day2 / forecourt of the Maison de la création et de l’innovation)
BABEL is a tower 12m high, a utopia assembled and animated by 25 performers live in front of an audience. From its construction to its dismantling, the tower echoes the group on the ground, translating the quality of the relations present. A collective work, powerful and fragile, intimate and monumental.
Artist / researcher conversations (day 2 / Maison de la création et de l’innovation/ from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Ça Remue ! continues paysage> paysages tradition of conversations between worlds. Each hour, and for one hour, invited artists, researchers, carriers of vernacular knowledge come together as a duo or a trio in conversation. This exchange is punctuated by questions from our accomplices from previous seasons – Alexandra Arenes, Maryvonne Arnaud, Daniel Bougnoux, Yves Citton, Caroline Duchatelet, Chloé Moglia, Nastassjia Martin, Mathias Poisson, Olivier de Sépibus, Henry Torgue, Martin Vanier….