In Resonance with the Lyon Biennale. GAC Art Center/ Thanks to a residency at the Marc Seguin for lnnovation Fondation, Annonay.
Christine Laquet creates works in various mediums that unfold on imaginary scales, the ramifications of which delve as much the depths of the soil as of the celestial sphere. The artist envisions possible futures, broadening our sensitivities by focusing on the dimensions of geo-, bio-, and exo- thus creating a link between us and the non-human. Inspired by the region of Ardèche, Christine Laquet focuses on contemporary changes: her research borrows from the particularities of this territory from the 19th century to the present day. Within Ardèche, the city of Annonay is the birthplace of many inventions -Marc Seguin was an important figure there- and for a long time it was a capital of paper manufacturing. The first installation, The Observatory Room, embodies this industrial memory while linking the artistic creation itself to environmental transformations. The exhibition offers spaces where scientific observations and aesthetic contemplations participate in metamorphoses where the viewer can become the mediator. While changing perspectives, the artist attempts to bring to light what we do not see -or no longer see- of our near and distant environment; to imagine new spaces where even a Conversation With Wild Grass is possible.
The Observatory Room
Installation composed of hundreds paintings of endangered plant species from Ardèche. The time scale of the exhibition is stretched to correlate with an estimated percentage of these plants that will disappear in the next 30 years (if we don’t make changes to slow/stop it). This is based on the forecasts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting many extinctions, and the resulting ratio is 2.5 paintings per day being destroyed over the course of the 56 days of the show. Produced on water-soluble paper and by various hands, the paintings are destroyed as the exhibition progresses allowing them to take on a new form (a dozen were “saved from the water”). Each week gave rise to handmade paper reconstituted from the residue (pigments and binders) of the dissolved paintings with cellulose added. As they disappear the architectural structure behind appears, the metamorphosis has taken place.
Conversation With Wild Grass
Plaster bust of Marc Seguin (on loan from Valérie Lefevre Seguin) – Armchair, glass pipettes, wild grass, LED flame loudspeaker (recitation of the 50 Latin and common names of endangered plant species from Ardèche with the voices of Frédérique Monod and Christine Laquet).
Installation, mixed media (paper-clay, fabrics, pine needles, crystal beads and American Oak heartwood, pedestals), film projected on a suspended mirror screen.
The artist pushes the limits of our perception thanks to the use of technology that increases the spectrum of human vision and gives us access to what is normally invisible. Revealing a hidden surreality otherwise unnoticed.
“A woodland variation with a limited palette of red and brown ochres, the last installation still speaks of disappearance. That of the old oak tree with its heart eaten by ants which crumbles at will. That of pine needles fallen to the ground in a carpet fragrant and fertilizing. That of water, crystalline drops placed there in homage to the Polytechnician-Christologist of Annonay, Auguste Bravais. That of the Earth’s crust made of clay and covered with pine needles evoking hairy skin. And it is with a film that Christine Laquet also speaks about appearance, by proposing a walk in the kingdom of the night, guided by a dog to meet domestic and wild fauna.” -Helene de Montgolfier
(film extract) 14 min, Christine Laquet, 2022.
Trinia Glauca / Triticale
2 acrylic paintings on Tarlatane – 2,40 x 1,30 m, 2022.
Photographs from the archives of the Seguin Family collection – Herbarium of the 19th century. Inkjet prints, variable dimensions, 2022.
Photograph from the archives of the Marc Seguin Foundation (Ramsden Electrostatic Machine), inkjet print on fluorescent paper, 84 x 120 cm, 2022.
Flyer of the show by Guillaume Gombert