PAYSAGES EN EXIL by Nicolas Dorval-Bory & Raphaël Bétillon

Project description of PAYSAGES EN EXIL by Nicolas Dorval-Bory & Raphaël Bétillon:
PAYSAGES EN EXIL seeks to create, along the hospital of La Grave in Toulouse, an experimental journey in which the visitor is invited to explore an unlikely landscape, a condensation of climates, a mix of Natures from all over the world. The project finds its genesis in the description of “wandering plants phenomenon” made by Gilles Clément :


“Plants travel. Grass mostly. They silently move in the way of the winds. Nothing can stop the wind. By harvesting clouds, one would be surprised to get imponderable seeds mixed with loess, fertile dusts. In the sky yet unforeseeable landscapes are being designed. Chance organizes the details, uses every possible vehicle to distribute the species. Everything suits the transport, from ocean currents to shoe soles. Most of the trip belongs to animals. Nature charters birds, berry eaters, gardening ants, subversive and quiet sheeps, which fleece holds fields and fields of seeds. And also man. Restless animal, always in the move, free swapper of diversity.”

(from Gilles Clément, Eloge des vagabondes – www.gillesclement.com)

In an acclimatization space – a long agricultural greenhouse – are prepared medicinal plants’ seedlings coming from the five continents, as a reference to the wandering plants and to the curing function of the hospital. There the journey begins as the visitors enters an infinite bright tunnel and feels the climatic distortion. After “blindly” choosing one of the 2000 plants (a gift in a white paper bag), he continues its path and penetrates a thick cloud, a dense mist born from the spraying of the Garonne river through 1000 nozzles, on the bank and the Viguerie footbridge. Still carrying his seedling, he then experiences in this abstract, disconcerting humid environment the random trip of those invisible wandering landscapes through storms and clouds. At the end of this vaporous trail, exiting the Viguerie footbridge, the “traveler” is invited to plant the seedling that he has carried so far wherever he wants.

Other datas :
The event took place from july 1st to july 4th, on the left bank of the Garonne next to the hospital of La Grave.
The hospital recently closed, it will soon be transformed in a cultural center. To celebrate its mutation, Imaginez Maintenant decided to launch a call for projects, with the theme “lightness”.

The project PAYSAGES EN EXIL deals with ideas such as invisible landscapes, climatic distortion, sensorial experiences, alternative medicine, evolution of our environment…

The green house was 50m long, and the cloud about 100m long.

In four days, the event Imaginez Maintenant received about 17 000 visitors inside the hospital. Our project, located outside the hospital and on a quite busy walkway, received about 25 000 visitors, most of them not even aware of the art event, but just attracted from the other bank by the large cloud, on these heatwave days (temperature reached 34°C on the 1st of july)
The mist system has been developed with french company Dutrie, one the offices who carried out the Blur Building, by Diller+Scofidio in Yverdon Les Bains (2002).

More than 2000 seedlings were offered to the public. They had been selected and prepared with the Agricultural highschool of Auzeville.
The temperature diagram has been produced with Photoshop from a approximated thermal survey with 10 regular thermometers, at 3pm on the 1st of july).

Project name : PAYSAGES EN EXIL
Short description: An art installation on the banks of the Garonne, next to the Hospital of La Grave, as part of the national cultural event Imaginez Maintenant
City, country: Toulouse, France
Authors: Nicolas Dorval-Bory & Raphaël Bétillon
Team: Nicolas Dorval-Bory, Raphaël Bétillon, Paula Gonzalez Balcarce
Status of project: Built project, 1st to 4th of july 2010

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