Mudam Luxembourg Press Release
Commissioned to devise a unique project for Mudam’s Jardin des Sculptures, artists Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil (b. 1975, Luxembourg/b. 1964, Paris) have conceived this exhibition especially for this glass-
Rich in visual references to the avant-
At Mudam, the artists address this question of allegiance to technology in a new light. The exhibition, entitled Garden of Resistance, consists of three sculptures, including a new work. Together they create an artificial, automatised landscape intended to ‘unite the inert and the animate’. The work questions the capacity of our natural environment to develop strategies of resistance to the pressures brought to bear on it by industry. At the same time, the exhibition proposes a fantastical scenario; a hybridisation between nature and technology as opposed to the familiar nature/culture binary. Conceived as a garden of a different nature, its components are not plant-
Two sculptures, both entitled L’Immortelle [The Immortal], represent respectively an unclassified tree, whose bark is composed of aluminium, and a pumpkin displaying the same characteristics. The principal work, and the one which gives the exhibition its title, is also made of aluminium and includes several painted elements. Visually, it has the appearance of a felled tree, its cut trunk lying across the exhibition space. Yet, on the upper part, some coloured shoots survive, suggesting the resilience of nature. In forested areas, dead trees remain a source of life and hospitality. New habitats develop there, and fauna and flora are reborn. This cyclical notion of time contradicts our cultural habit to perceive time as linear, as a succession of events with a beginning and an end.
The notion of linear time is yet further endorsed by a world where technical inventions that punctuate the march of progress are stamped with obsolescence, and thus programmed for destruction. The sculpture Garden of Resistance also suggests life through the continuous rotation of a section of the tree. As if autonomous, this purposeless, mechanical movement can be read as an act of resistance against obsolescence.
The slight background rustling that can be heard in the installation is intended to confirm the transition from a natural, open space to a place of architecture where the sky, seen through the glass walls of the Jardin des Sculptures, is the connecting element. These enclosed forest sounds which bring different forms of life from the outdoors together in a single space, append the living to the artificial. Feipel and Bechameil make no statement here; they are simply opening up spaces for reflection – in the first place, upon technology. Can technology, by following a model based on that of nature and the law of evolution, enable a technical object, a robot or a machine, to move beyond its current stage as a closed object? Can this object become a thing capable of regeneration, of engendering new forms of life – something which at present remains the privilege of nature?
The artists also consider nature itself; kept at a respectable distance for centuries and so brutally mistreated in the early years of the twenty-
Curator: Clément Minighetti assisted by Clémentine Proby
Exhibition 05 February 2022 -
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