The second exhibition of 2021 ¨DANSE SYLVESTRE¨, shows works by the artists Elise Tak, Jérémy Dussaussoy and Jouve-Jeanne Pierrotte. Jérémys and Jouve-Jeannes works were created specially for this occasion, some of them in Bourbonne and in exchange with local hunters. Elises works were chosen specially for the occasion and a big part of them were shown for the first time. Elise’s video-work, ¨Suicide notes¨ was created together with Patricia Lee Strotter who is a two-times Emmy Award winner who composes and writes for film, theatre and television.
About Elise Tak and her work: What is most striking about Elise Tak’s body of work is her boldness and fearlessness. She blends visual beauty with a boundless imagination, a socially conscious mindset, and a continuous striving for new technical developments and possibilities within the arts. Always looking for new challenges, since the early 1980s Elise Tak has evolved from a traditional draughtsman and painter into a full-fledged 3D artist, specializing in digital character creation. While at the same time remaining true to the basic premise of her work: the creation of a visually stunning, multifaceted imaginary world blending fiction with reality and focusing on the underlying themes of diversity and social justice.
In this way her work is (and always has been) highly political. Long before the hashtags #metoo and #BLM have been trending, she already used her art to address issues like the lack of diversity and the misrepresentation of women and people of color in film, theater, the visual arts and in society at large. To this end she created a cast of 11 (and the number is still growing) fictional actors, from a variety of (ethnic) backgrounds, both male and female. She features her ‚character actors‘ in movie stills, lobby cards and posters from fictional films, currently presented as glossy computer prints or digital projections. In her imaginary world the characters get opportunities which more often than not will be denied to them in the real world, where the battle against racism, sexism or ageism is still being fought.
Elise Tak was born in the Netherlands and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Since the early 1990s her work has been shown in leading galleries, museums and art institutes like Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Frans Hals Museum/De Hallen, Museum Helmond (The Netherlands); Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (USA); Musée de Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Contemporain Strasbourg, FRAC Poitou-Charentes, Le Consortium (France). Elise Tak also has several large- scale public art projects to her credit. Her animation short Suicide Notes (2006) was produced in collaboration with the two-time Emmy-award winning composer Patricia Lee Stotter. Tak was also was the projection designer for the play Flashback, which ran in a New York City theater in 2007. Her series of stills illustrating Gogol’s The Nose originally was made for the short film Here’s What I Like… Russian Literature. And Now I’ll Tell You Why (2011), directed by Abigail Zealy Bess and written and conceived by Amy Staats. Elise Tak is also active as a curator. Het latest exhibition A New York State of Mind (Stories from the Unusual Suspects) was presented at De Cacaofabriek in The Netherlands in 2018 and featured a selection of artists from New York.
Jérémy Dussaussoy and his work:
Jérémy Dussaussoy is a visual artist and graduated from the European School of Image of Angoulême. He mainly explores the medium of performative installations and installations, with an interest in thought patterns, contradictions and language.
For DANSE SYLVESTRE:
Why do trees have branches? Because in the course of their evolution, they have acquired it, of course, but what advantage does a larger, more extensive antler provide in practice? As a whole, a tree is a space shared between the void and the plant, the border of which is not clearly defined: we sometimes say that we are climbing „in“ a tree, but that does not mean that we are opening it. trunk to enter it, we simply access a roughly described volume, suggested by the multiplication of its increasingly thin limbs. The stake of the momentum of a tree is not the mass, nor really the volume, but the space. The more space it covers, the further and higher it expands, the more its foliage, which is just a two-dimensional exchange surface, can capture light. Trees have branches because it is the most efficient method of capturing electromagnetic radiation from the Sun which is a source of energy for plants.
In the animal kingdom, on the other hand, light is often sight. Therefore, as the trees grew, their branches grew longer, they conquered more and more territory in our landscape. Some tree species spend most of their lives in this space, and it is certainly one of these species that we have inherited our hands, excellent for holding onto. Our body has been partly shaped by the branches of the trees, then we have in turn transformed, cut, sculpted into tools, weapons, living space for our exclusive use. We have become so used to disposing of them that it becomes easy to forget that before we got hold of them, they might have been the first, in fact, to get hold of us.
Just as trees are trees before being symbols, hunters are first and foremost people, with their stories, their dreams, their mourning. One cultivated life by raising birds that were half pigeons and half works of art, another was able to continue his life far from war where his brother was not so lucky. The last was a father, living in two cultures, two languages. A Naturmensch.
Jouve-Jeanne Pierrotte stays incognito, as her installations are included in the exhibition exclusively to link Elise and Jérémy, the hunters and Bourbonne.
The first artist in residency was Samson Kambalu. His work for this duo show together with Gabrielle du Mêntelet-Laumont ( incognito) is based on what he filmed in Bourbonne and region during his short residency some months before. The title of this exhibition is ¨Premier Vol¨-¨Early Flight¨
Dr Samson Kambalu is an Associate Professor of Fine Art and MFA Course Tutor at the Ruskin; he is a fellow at Magdalen College.
Samson Kambalu is an artist and writer working in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. His work is autobiographical and approaches art as an arena for critical thought and sovereign activities. Born in Malawi, Kambalu’s work fuses aspects of the Nyau gift-giving culture of the Chewa, the anti-reification theories of the Situationist movement and the protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent. He has developed a praxis around Cinema which includes site specific installations, lectures and intervention on social networking sites online. His PhD at Chelsea (UAL) looked at how the problematic on the gift and non-linear time animates various aspects of his work and its contexts.
Kambalu’s writing has included “The Museum and the Individual’, for the Tate, looking at aspects of the gift economy in Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art. His first book, an autobiographical novel of his childhood upbringing in Africa, The Jive Talker, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2008 and went on a performative reading tour around Europe. Kambalu has been featured in major exhibitions and projects worldwide, including the Dakar Biennale (2014, 2016), Tokyo International Art Festival (2009), and the Liverpool Biennial (2004, 2016). Kambalu has won research fellowships with Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution, and was included in All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015, curated by Okwui Enwezor. Samson Kambalu has been shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth Commission. His next solo exhibition will be at Modern Art Oxford:¨New Liberia¨
Exhibition views ¨Premier Vol¨ – ¨Early Flight¨
2020 Artists in Residency :
Ton Zwerver was the second resident of 2020. He brought a group of works from Holland, installed them in the first week of his stay and showed them to the vernissage guests along with a performance. During the remaining 4 weeks of residency he constantly moved around his works also creating completely new ones, often composed of ¨found¨ every day objects , collected from nearby ¨Brocantes¨. For the finissage partly new installations will be shown to the guests.
Ton Zwerver is an artist living and working in Amsterdam. He was born in 1951. He is married and the father of two daughters. From 1982 to 1987 he studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Akademie and from 1987 to 1989 he was artist in residence at the Rijks akademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Since 1989 he has been teaching sculpture at the Gerrit Rietveld Akademie. In sites that reveal stories of occupation and abandonment, he creates installations and produces photographs of them – achieving a remarkable quality of frozen narrative. The best display powerful, albeit obscure, symbolism that often incorporates striking sensuality. Zwerver’s works can be found in numerous public and private art collections in the Netherlands and abroad. His photographic art has been exhibited extensively around the world.
Varda Getzow was the first resident artist of the year. Because of covid 19 everything had and has to be rescheduled different times.
Her work for the Art Space is called “ Le Soleil Brillait, L’Acacia Fleurissait“ . Those words are pieces of a poem written by Haim Nahman Bialik, who is considerd the initiator of modern hebrew poetry. The poem was inspired by the 1903 Kishinev pogroms.
Those excerpts of a text by Esther Dischereit describe Vardas way to work well:
Getzow’s works seem to be sated, satiated with history; objects appear as identification or proof
of human “nature”; relicts which have become nature, landscapes branded by what has happened, that cannot be placed as belonging here or there without a doubt. Are they “landscapes” or “humanity?” How did it happen that these conditions are intertwined and dealt with archeologically? The work of the artist would then be to free the individual “layers.” http://www.getzow.com/review.pdf
Picture by Varda Getzow made in Höxter, Germany 2019:
2019 Artists in Residency presented in chronological order:
Sithabile Mlotshwa is a visual artist, curator, designer and producer.
Her project for Bourbonne-les-Bains:
Sithabile, who also participated in the first inaugural exhibition early this year, where she presented her project ¨The Primitive State of Ernest Noirot¨, will begin her two months artist in residency in Bourbonne, where she continues to connect the dots through researching the french part linking to her long term Dutch Golden Age Project. Sithabile is a visual Artist, Artistic Director Collector’s Weekend, Executive Director Thamgidi Foundation, Producer & Artistic Director IFAA Art Platform, President IFAA Global, Owner IFAA Contemporary Gallery, Owner 360Strategies, Independent Curator and Designer.
Many thanks to her for setting up the website and connecting dots!
Picture of her work by Sithabile Mlotshwa:
Orna Oren Izraeli is a visual artist, curator, producer and professor.
Her project for Bourbonne-les-Bains will be developed here according to circumstances and material to be found and local people willing to be part of the process, built up on her main theme, being a dialogue between four interrelated generations and the Israeli ambient; with the changes and transformation that the individual and the culture lived in go through; with the yearning for continuity; and with the forces of life and revival which coexist with fear of loss and annihilation:
Her project for Bourbonne-les-Bains:
Picture of Orna’s work by D. Belinga:
The Roots of Heaven
(„The Roots of Heaven“ is an ecological novel written by Roman Gary. The storyline follows the journey of Morel, who sets out to stop the hunting of elephant herds, and to protect them).
Northeast France, a tiny gem of a town that harbors under its ass, Pardon my French, bubbling underground baths rich with healing waters. The water flows from the corner of every street and path, probably underneath the houses too, and bring with it ancient memories related to the eternal transparent fluid, and myths, goddesses and ideas that have been here since forever and overwhelm the memory while you’re busy with everyday activities. Rivers, springs, streams, and brooks rush side by side, meeting and separating again and again beneath the azure sky, flying with the wind mid-August, rinsing thoughts and feelings until they become clear, purging like fragrant white laundry before Saturday. It’s quiet and cozy. Green leaves are budding everywhere, soft hills painted with a blend of cobalt blue and yellow are growing sprouts and ferns and tall tall trees that thouch the beyond. Something about growth and change and the right forces and the far and near days that come closer to each other down here. I came for one month and I am drawing little lonely people on old library cards in Hebrew and French, playing with the idea of a cross-cultural encounter. The miniature platform bears the names of writers and books and people who borrowed the books to read. The library book they took home was with them on the chair, on the table, on the armchair, in bed, wherever they read, wherever they lived, wherever they dreamed and fantasized about worlds and stories within the text. To this great little literary space, I add images, portraits that come from the stock on my cellphone. Images of people with constant presence in my life, images of new recent people as well as those who appeared before my eyes for just a moment, here and now in and around this small town. Further in the process, I gather the images into groups on large formats, in order to establish other literary pictorial spaces, attempting with all my might, regardless and despite everything, to connect roots to heaven.
Picture of Orna’s work by D. Belinga:
Charles François Duplain is a visual artist, curator, producer and professor.
His projects for Bourbonne in late summer/until end of 2019 and some following years ( when he initiates his associated project at Hotel La Mézelle B.l. B.) will, the first, be about two lieutenants from B. l. B. belonging to Napoleons‘ army. He found out about them when he was participating in the inaugural expo ¨Departure and Arrrival¨ in spring 2019. The second is finding its form actually.
CHFD is interested in historical characters, fictitious and imaginary. For the first EAC Les Thermes expo he found Ltcol of the 1st Empire, Charles-Nicolas Mercier and Joseph Armand, half pay like the first and resident in Bourbonne at the fall of the Empire. The arrangement proposed by CHFD was a performance linking the author to the natives of the place. Other characters were also summoned for a strange ceremony where spirits of the great men were gathered in the room. The death of some brings others back to life around birth and death dates. The remains of the dinner were there to testify to the manifestation of their presence, just like the hat, the umbrella and the coat of the author. CHFD also wrote an invitation to the event at the last known addresses of both LCol, Mercier and Armand. If the post does not find them or their descents, the letters will be returned to the sender, CHFD, and will be placed on the fireplace in the exporoom.
Picture of Ch.-F. Duplain’s work at right and Philippe Queloz work at left by D.Belinga:
Together with Philippe Queloz he also created the in situ work at Hotel La Mézelle B.l.B. LUBI#17:
Ètang de la Mézelle LUBI#17, 2019 (CHFD and PHQU)
Picture by Ch.-F. Duplain:
25 LUBI’s inflatables, equidistance 10m, total distance, 250m. LUBI: Familiar designation of the so-called „Lübeck“ traffic cone. Explanation: The itinerant project LUBI-503025 continues its development with a 17th stage at the contemporary art space of Les Thermes de Bourbonne-les-Bains, a spa resort in the Grand-Est region located on the borders of Champagne and Burgundy, a few steps from the Vosges. This new stage marks the inauguration of this place of creation and experimentation. Daniela Belinga Agossa, artist and founder of this new space invited Charles François Duplain and Philippe Queloz to design a specific project for the venue. The project Lubi -503025 continues its vocation of marker, revealing a place, an event. For the occasion, the two artists CHFD & PHQ intervene with a seaside and playful proposal: Les Lubis inflatable created specifically for the occasion bearing the coat of arms of Bourbonnes-les-bains. The pieces were designed according to the principle of the buoy, weighted, they are like beacons. They mark a path. The procedure is to put 25 pieces consecutively. The alignment defines a trajectory that changes with the wind.
Picture by D. Belinga:
Ans Verdijk is a visual artist, initiator, curator, producer and professor.
Picture of a part of Ans Verdijk’s installation by D.Belinga:
Her project for Bourbonne-les-Bains:
B. l. B. is known for its natural thermal bath. The warm thermal water rises up from a crack in the rocks about 2000 meters deep under ground. This crack in the earth is like a big wound of the earth. It is a very old wound: already in antiquity people made use of the medicinal water to heal their own illnesses. But also today the town bears the mark of many scars in the form of cracks, holes, peeling paint, twisted metal or missing elements. These are all marks that time has ingrained in them. The artist wants to heal the wounds of Bourbonne-les-Bains with artistic interventions. She interferes with the scars that time inflicted on the city, and puts a new layer of time on top of it, that covers or transforms the original elements. She walks around, searching for artefacts that can be transformed to a new form.
Picture of her work in the studio by Ans Verdijk:
Rona Shahar is a visual artist and adventuress.
Picture of Rona’s work by herself:
In her project for Bourbonne-les-Bains she traces the story of old houses, houses that need renovation or are crumbling totally, are left to the mercy of rain, wind and sun. As supports she uses local material, found in the near surroundings. With her drawings the memory will not fade entirely. Things change, for now it seems like a sad thing, people are leaving, but it is part of nature. There will be plant seeds in the ruins, interference through art creates a magical moment enabling the lifeless to become alive again. Tell the story of a place – however this story reveals itself.
Picture of her work by Rona Shahar:
Pierre Bongiovanni is a visual artist, initiator, curator and producer.
Picture of Pierre’s work by D. Belinga:
In his project for EAC Les Thermes he concentrates on the relationship between artists / inhabitants / nature. He photographed some of the Bourbonne merchants, as a first action, to invite them to enter this new world of contemporary art. As a second action he asks them to return with old photos of their families to expose those also in the artspace, thus initiating the mixing of the two worlds. In photography / video he is particularly interested in portraits of the people he meets everyday. In his portraits he focuses only on making visible the mystery of beings without revealing it.
Picture of Pierre’s work by himself:
Yves Tauvel is a visual artist, initiator, curator, producer and professor
Picture of Yves displaced work by D. Belinga:
In his project for Bourbonne-les-Bains he showed art in public space, called: Parcours – Le Havre – Paris – Sion – Tokyo – Bourbonne-les-Bains, 2019. Material is plated metal. The artist works on the idea of the territory, the geographical space of a place that he visits and will lead him to reflect and make re-discover the viewer a city map through an object, a video , a sculpture. His intervention for the EAC consists of setting up five cut out Vauban Barriers on the Place des Bains in Bourbonne-les-Bains, revealing the re-drawn outline of the cities plan like Le Havre, Paris, Sion, Tokyo and Bourbonne-les-Bains. The viewer can discover through „the objects“ his city and wonder about the place where he evolves. There is a certain ambiguity in the artist’s work when the form can reveal an abstract „thing“ while revealing the idea of the territory, which weaves the link between the social and the place where it lives
Picture of Yves work by himself:
Philippe Queloz is a visual artist, curator and producer.
His projects for Bourbonne-les-Bains:
Together with Charles François Duplain he created the in situ work at Hotel La Mézelle B.l.B. LUBI#17, as described above.
Picture of the LUBIs by Philippe Queloz:
The starting point of his second work inside the EAC was the installation / performance of CHFD entitled Dinner & Invitations: An Oval Table on which the cover is set for 4 people. 4 napkins with rings, oyster shells, glasses and a bottle of vodka, suggest an event, a reception took place. The guests disappeared or were absent as evidenced by the hat and the umbrella suspended from the fireplace and the mantle on the back of one of the chairs. The private, intimate nature of the room that hosts the staging makes it possible to target the interventions in a precise way. The style of the building atmosphere of the room are all elements that contribute to fuel a plausible scenario. The circular shape of the subject of the big photograph (RDN # vinyl) corresponds to the oval shape of the table. A painting in a private space gives some indications on the personality of the owner of the place. The simplicity and austerity of the black disc, while resembling the oval shape of the table is consistent with the other elements that constitute CHFD’s room: hat, umbrella and coat. Faced with these elements, slightly set back in a cupboard, a monitor broadcasts a video that shows a luminous disc, held between thumb and index, oscillating, moving slightly on a repetitive sound background. Some guitar notes are looping just like the sequence.
The repetition, short, hypnotic, reinforces the notion of timelessness. A magnifying mirror seeks the reflection of the circular lamp that is nearby. The magnifying effect distorts at times the reflected image, to give the object the appearance of a luminous disc. The brilliance of light then assumes a mysterious, mystical or spiritual dimension. He intervenes in response to the black disk. In the context of a potential narrative, he intervenes as the mind. Like the „shining“ of the room, which necessarily influences CHFD’s central room.The situation of the monitor placed in the cabinet whose door is half open avoids firstly that the camera as an object produces contemporary technology, interferes in the staging, and on the other hand, its manifestation is subtle but very present (sound and light).The third element is a dichromated gum print made using the principle of the camera obscura. This is a direct exposure through a magnifying glass, a light emission on a receiving medium that records or captures this situation. In this case the workshop window projected or reproduced on a support that is the canvas previously emulsified. The interest lies in the lag between the present moment that emits the luminous flux (daylight) and the notion of timelessness fixed on the canvas. The duration of exposure in this case is a full day and each time the operation is repeated, one or more days are added, focuses on the canvas. The receiver takes care of information and keeps it. It becomes memory.
Picture of Philippes work by D. Belinga: