A new generation of artists committed to the environment is emerging in France.
Our editorial team proposes to explore four major trends within this young committed scene, from the 21 winners of the Planète Art Solidaire support awarded by Art of Change 21 (editor of this blog), sponsored by Maison Ruinart.

See also other trends:
The New Druids
The Scientific Auxiliaries

The Anthropologists of the Common Good

The current confrontation of two opposing temporalities, that of humans, linear, and that of Gaia, circular, poses unprecedented arbitrations in the history of humanity. In this unequal game, the “Western way of life” continues to progress despite planetary limits already having been reached: depletion of certain resources, global warming, decline in biodiversity… A new wave of young artists is seizing these two worlds and investing this suspended time, at the crossroads of the different scenarios humans are now facing  from the most pessimistic to the most optimistic. The artists resume the old “man-nature” debate to expose its obsolescence and advocate a broader sense of living together. By removing or playing with the boundary between these two universes, they explore a future that is both post-nature and post-human.

Lucie Douriaud focuses on landscapes affected by human activity, which she explores through the prism of biomorphic relationships between industry and the living world. Her series of sculptures S(oil), made from a mix of plaster and ground up recycled materials, depicts a Texan landscape of oil fields and desert, raising questions over the future of the world’s exploited surface. Offering a critical reflection on environmental issues and ways of rethinking the co-existence of man and nature, she is currently working on a rare earth project inspired by Guillaume Pitron’s work on the subject. 

Marie Ouazzani and Nicolas Carrier explore mutating urban landscapes and envisage the impact of the climate crisis on their living and non-living inhabitants. Their installations and videos invent new forms of resistance to urbanisation and rethink the way we inhabit our planet. Their latest project follows the journey of tropical plants brought to the ports of European cities. Each plant captures the role of the city in globalisation and helps us imagine how it might fight the climate crisis. 

A trained agronomist, Elvia Teotski focuses on the fringes of human activity and its imprint, looking in particular at fragile and vulnerable states through an ecological lens. Her work is built upon field research, which she measures, observes and analyses. Her projects include a film, planned to be shot in Mexico, on how Mesoamerican ruins have been “recolonised” by bees and other types of non-human presence. 

By recreating the “living” using synthetic materials, Jonathan Bréchignac questions the boundaries between the natural and artificial, as well as our contemporary relationship with the living world. His new installation, Svalbard Petri, is inspired by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. 

Anne-Charlotte Finel’s film project Les Effaroucheurs  (Scarecrows) captures on film the “scarecrows” of Orly airport, the people in charge of monitoring birds to avoid accidents during aircraft take-off and landing. Their goal isn’t to eradicate the animals, but to achieve coexistence.

Théo Massoulier is developing work that incorporates sculpture, installation and video to tackle questions on the anthropocene and concept of entropy. From cosmology, evolutionary science, archaeology and philosophy he derives mutant forms of societal decline, building meticulous heterogeneous assemblages from elements, plants and artefacts, or scrap from human techne. His series Anthropic Combinations of Entropic Elements includes more than 70 assemblages.       

Alice Audouin and Pauline Lisowski

June 2021

Photo credits :
Elvia Teotski, Hors sol, installation évolutive, gazon sur agar-gar, matériaux de récupération, dimensions variables, détail et vue de l’exposition « La lente infusion des pierres ou alors les dragons », 2018, ©Amandine Capion / Jonathan Bréchignac, Alien Rocks, sculptures – pierres, moulage de pierre en résine, peinture à effets, résine époxy – dimensions variables, 2020 / Anne-Charlotte Finel, Gerridae, musique de Voiski , HD, couleur, 4’11’’, 2020 / Théo Massoulier, Tiges Ultra Boost, installation, végétaux, fragments de déchets plastiques et électroniques, minéraux, eau, peinture, lumière, vidéo, dimensions variables, 2019, ©IAC – Blaise Adilon / Lucie Douriaud, rn 437, Km 154, moulage, plâtre, huile de moteur 200 x 100 x 44 cm, 2017 / Marie Ouazzani et Nicolas Carrier, Invasive Passengers, thermos en libre-service, infusions, textes, briques, plantes, œuvre produite par Catalyst Arts, 2019, courtesy of the artists


Find all the articles from Impact Art News n°31 – June 2021

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