© Ariane Michel 2015.
A contemporary art trail on the Brittany coast
Ariane Michel, associate artist for the Breaking the Waves season (2015–2016) is presenting the project The Rhetoric of Tides – Vol. 1: a group exhibition/film shoot at Esquibien, Cap Sizun, in Finistère.
A project by Ariane Michel, with: Virginie Barré, Julien Bismuth, Michel Blazy, Florence Doléac, Ellie Ga, Dominique Ghesquière, Jacques Julien, Martin Le Chevallier, Natalia Lopez, Dominique Mahut, Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet, Bruno Peinado, Steven Pennaneac’h, Abraham Poincheval, Hugues Reip, Pascal Rivet, Benjamin Rivière, Éric Thomas, Gurvan Tymen, Jean-luc Verna.
Twenty artists showed new works – sculptures and performances – along the coast between Lervily Point and the beach at Trez Goarem: art among the waves, rocks and local flora and fauna.
The works were situated along the shoreline between the equinoctial low tide mark and the first line of building plots. Thus they are literally exposed to the forces of nature: depending on the medium, form and location chosen by each artist, each work was subject to the site’s physical and symbolic influence. For the duration of the exhibition this part of the coast was enhanced by signs evocative of narratives, and traces of stories. The sun and wind and the ebb and flow of the tides gradually wore them away, setting up time warps as the works were gradually absorbed into their setting.
Specifically designed for this uniquely spectacular shoreline – it combines the features of an utterly untamed world with harmonious incorporation of the marks of human activity – The Rhetoric of Tides – Vol. 1 directly challenged the notion of a boundary between Nature and Nurture: are artists the same as other animals? Can making art be considered a "Natural" act? These were among the questions put to the stroller on the shore.
Ariane Michel, the project’s initiator and curator, is an artist and filmmaker, and lives in Esquibien. In an oeuvre whose constant concern is man’s place in nature, the central role of the animal, vegetal and mineral kingdoms radically upsets our perceptual scales and rankings. This exhibition was also the basis for a film in which people are "seen from the point of view of the landscape".
This first segment of The Rhetoric of Tides will be continued in the spring of 2016, with a solo exhibition by Ariane Michel at La Criée.
The Rhetoric of Tides – Vol. 1 was coproduced by Ariane Michel, the production company À Perte de Vue, and La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art, Rennes.
The Rhetoric of Tides – Vol. 1 enjoyed the support of the Brittany Region, the Brittany Region Contemporary Art Collection (FRAC), the National Centre for the Visual Arts (CNAP), the Fonds de Dotation agnès b., the Brittany Region Cultural Affairs Office (DRAC)/Ministry of Culture and Communication, and the Municipality of Esquibien.
The works by Martin Le Chavallier and Bruno Peinado were produced with the backing of L’Art et la Bannière in Audierne; the work by Virginie Barré with the backing of Scubaland in Brest; and the work by Benjamin Rivière with the support of Le Drezen in Treffiagat.
This exhibition could not have taken place without the assistance of the Conservatoire du Littoral in Saint Brieuc, the DDTM in Quimper, the Cap-Sizun Intermunicipal Grouping and the Municipality of Esquibien.