Curator: Clotilde Boitel, from September 14, 2018 to January 19, 2019
with : Isabel Bisson-Mauduit, Bianca Bondi, Karine Bonneval, Morgan Courtois, Marine Coutelas, Tristan Dassonville, Marc Fontenelle, Chloé Silbano.
« Going green », a formula that the Petit Robert translates as « taking a rest in the countryside » implies a voluntary, personal, autonomous act, leading to a form of retreat in nature. Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about speed, pollution, climate problems, migration, which are essential issues for our society to deal with. Who has not thought of withdrawing and moving away from the world and its troubles?
Nature, often mistreated by our times, has always proved to be a subject of observation, study and reflection for artists and authors, whether they are writers, composers, painters, draftsmen, photographers or sculptors. Currently, artists are questioning the capacities, strengths and weaknesses of nature and examining the relationship that man has with the plant world.
« Going green », the title of the exhibition of the Maison des arts et loisirs de Laon, brings together the work of artists who develop ways of thinking and expressing themselves that are far removed from purely graphic, pictorial, photographic or sculptural representation and yet do not seek to intervene on or in the landscape either: Land art is not, in this context, their concern. The fields of reflection of the artists presented extend over broad and complex concepts.
The plant, the landscape are apprehended as a source of reflection, object of study or experimentation, nature is no longer simply depicted, but directly used as the material of the work or as the subject of an act, certainly artistic, but also political.
The artists’ commitment can also be directed towards ecological issues, biodiversity or scientific experiments, as in the case of Karine Bonneval, who is interested in the relationships we build and maintain with living nature. She is particularly attentive to the imperceptible noises of nature: the breathing of trees, the slight sound movement created by the deep moving earthworms. She is also passionate about the genetic connections between animals, humans and plants. The work presented in Laon, « Palmatomania », consists of a collection of immaculately white carnivorous plants, each standing under a transparent globe. These plants are made of palm oil wax, a material derived from trees, which, when over-exploited to excess, have given way to large desertified territories. These mini greenhouses rest on soil covered with corn seeds, like intensive agriculture that raises the issue of GMOs. Karine Bonneval expresses her convictions with humour and poetry while tackling global political issues.