'video installation, 2022, 15’, stereo sound
The installation ‘les palissades’ falls within my visual research project 'The solace of open spaces', an audiovisual landscape study on our sensorial relations towards open spaces/viewing points and its societal function as a public space for contemplation.
During my residency at Cité internationale des Arts de Paris, I examined the views on La butte de Montmarte and Parc Butte Chaumont. The two highest points of Paris, both human made hills, won through gypsum mining a few centuries ago. I was curious to what this artificial elevated urban landscape would bring forth and if being physically on a more elevated point, would elevate your nervous system as well from the chaotic and dynamic crowd that is Paris. Relentlessly looking for the perfect spot that would uncover this, I got actually fascinated by this searching cycle that never seemed to halt, as there was a lot of natural obstruction in front of open views taking place. There is a certain negation to be found in the images of these obstructed landscapes that created the actual urge to see it, in that way underlining its actual presence.
In this installation you are looking at a potential, a promise of a comfort that is never quite reached. A soothing and meditative tranquility is nonetheless created in the cycle of patiently searching and never reaching.
On a more symbolic level, I imagined these obstructions as a growing force of nature in an attempt to build a defensive structure as the views on these hills are very well known, documented and perhaps even overused in touristic iconography. Over time, the trunks and branches of these trees decided to create a natural armour, a defensive wall, a palisade.
In sound we are immersed into a world of birds and nature, to enhance the meditative aspect of the installation and give you a sense of elevating from the sounds of the daily environment of the city. The idea of an obstructed view continues in the presentation of the work as a circle view, projected on a black MDF-plate that hangs across the room. An ephemeral appearance on an intrusive object intervening in the middle of the room.
Made during the artist residency of Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris, granted by the Belgian ministry of Culture and Arts.