A Pietà at the right end of the gallery – a quite unorthodox one at that -, a corpse floating in front of us, encircled by a small flock of hovering eggs. The whole captures the spectator’s attention and seems to lure her or him. But the fragile soaring eggs make us recede. We must be cautious not to smash them! Different sounds come out of them, flickering lights descend upon us a shroud. The sharp observer dares to venture closer, manages to discern the imperceptible. Only close inspection can reveal the letters and flowers delicately carved into the animal’s bones.
Art Orienté Objet, Andachtsraum, 2014
The exhibition presented at the gallery Les Filles du Calvaire was conceived by the artistic duo Art Orienté Objet, and takes inspiration in Aby Warburg’s essay Images from the Region of the Pueblo Indians of North America. Written in 1923, and first intended as a conference, the essay painstakingly describes rituals among different tribes such as the Hopi, the Orabi, the Moki, all located in the Southern United States. Warburg, fascinated by the autochthonous cosmology and their devotion to nature noticed that via a complex allegorical system, native Americans paid their respects to scarce elements in the region like water – thus creating a bond with the surrounding ecosystem in which natural elements were revered and cherished.
Art Orienté Objet, Andachtsraum, 2014
Andachtsraum calls to mind ritualistic practices seen by Warburg during his journey. As we think about Warburg’s descriptions, the scenography propels the spectator into a trance state. Aided by sound and light the viewer forgets the white cube structure and transcends to another dimension. Neon waves symbolize the communication between earthly and beyond. The shamanic experience and the catharsis engendered by the piece are not so far from each other for they both switch the state of mind of the spectator unbalancing him.
Art Orienté Objet, Les Tambours Apotropaïques ou La Machine à Conjurer la Fin du Monde, 1994 – 2018
Another work comparing ritualistic practices to art is Les Tambours Apotropaïques ou La Machine à Conjurer la Fin du Monde a series of embroidery hoops made by Marion Laval-Jeantet. The hoops were woven after emotionally charged episodes and were intended to communicate with two different dimensions. Furthermore, the artist also mentions that the tokens were given to ill people to help them recuperate, they were given back after the illness to the artist. Instead of embroidering a traditional motif, each hoop works as a mnemonic device and directly refers to contemporary issues such as the decreasing bee population provoked by pesticides, the Amazon deforestation or even North Korean fugitives fleeing the totalitarian regime. Embroidery, more than a mere medium, here embodies tradition and transmission not only among Hopis but in Western cultures also. La fin du XXI siècle, an installation with animals made of wool recalls the knitting tradition as well.
Art Orienté Objet, La fin du XXI siècle, 2017
Dragging stones behind them, the animals in this installation look accusingly behind them, to us. Evidently the stones are symbols of the weight we humans inflict upon every species in the ecosystem. In Andachtsraum, the carved sentences in the kangaroos bones read “Fire Rating Today” or “High, Very High, Severe”. The sentences allude to the threatening environment we constructed for ourselves without taking into account wildlife helping to the rapid decrease of animal population on earth. Moreover L’Albatros, a neon reproducing the form of a bird is made after the silhouette of a bird injured by a high tension wire. Even if technology is not completely condone in the exhibition, our way of life is.
Art Orienté Objet, La Pietà, 2011
The exhibition is not about celebrating nature but a desperate attempt to inform the viewer on the planet’s state. The pieces presented at the exhibition leave spectators with a sour taste in their mouths as they encounter death and not a single alternative to head to. Capitalism is to be blamed and so are concepts like progress and man’s greed. Is it too late to act and shift economics into another direction?
#art #galerielesfillesducalvaire #contemporaryart #artorienteobjet #nature #crafts #paris #animals #planet #globalisation #abywarburg #albatros #installation #photography #sculpture