2020 | interactive installation : China ink on paper, wood stick, sewing thread | 90 x 76 cm, 3 minutes
Investigation of the notion of reality and territory through drawing.
The public is invited to cut threads in order to get a piece of the work.
Every person is welcome to take home one of the drawings that make the work.
This work has been made during a duo residency with the author Élise Argouarc’h at the CLAC in Mont-Joli (QC). It was shown during the closing event of the touring exhibition “Us, Our Territories : What Truly Matters is Unlisted”. The installation is made of 21 identical square-shape drawings put together into a mobile with sewing thread, and hung to a wood stick. The drawing is a cartoon of a sitting wolf telling a laying drowsy wolf “I dreamed I was a sheep…”; the second one answers with a question mark.
The work completes a long journey. The project “Us, Our Territories…” started with the photos taken by the immigrant artist in the Alps in 2015. It then took shape through the creation of the natural-pigments watercolours marking out my settling back home. With the return to black and white, it finally reached its climax as I took an appeased look back on my personal experience as an immigrant in the French Alps. This last step mostly happened through the experience of deep connection with Élise Argouarc’h, herself being an immigrant of French extraction (from Brittany).
“Moments of Awakening” brings the question of the territory back to the Alps situation (where it all started from), where the return of the wolf in the mountains sparks off fierce debate among the population, especially the sheep breeders.
Beyond these down-to-earth matters, the image highlights the theme of human culture and nature : to be or not to be a sheep, but first of all to wake up in order to extract oneself out of the dream, out of the illusion. It also brings up a situation characterized by some constrained empathy, since the wolf who dreams he was a sheep is analogue to a hunter who dreamed he was a doe, a logger who dreamed he was a tree, a polluter who dreamed he was a river, etc. Ultimately, whoever accepts to put oneself in the place of another in an effort of understanding, welcoming and respect.
*cartoon based on an original idea by Cécile Barriera, shepherd in the French Alps
© 2021 Andrée Bélanger