Through collections and exhibitions, museums are not absent, far from it, from public debate. On the occasion of the European Night of Museums, on Saturday 13 May, several of them are looking at our environmental concerns in a playful or offbeat way. The second part of our series: the Louis Senlecq Museum in L'Isle-Adam is interested in our landscapes.

Emprunt lointain- 018.jpg

Number of territorial museums, which will open their doors during the European Museum Night, Saturday, May 13, each has their treasures always interesting, at the crossroads of history, crafts, industry, fine arts… The one at Isle-Adam, Louis Senlecq Museum of Art and History (municipal museum that benefits from the appellation Musée de France), while taking an interest in the local memory of the princes of Conti and presenting a beautiful collection of ceramics from local factories, stands out for its collections of landscape painters from the banks of the Oise.

« It is this notion of landscape that interests us particularlyexplains Caroline Oliveira, the museum’s director, and that we highlight through two exhibitions a year, one generally rather historical, on artists present in the collections, for example, and the other turned towards contemporary artists, generally from our territory, the Vexin. But this time, we had the desire to go beyond the mediums of painting, drawing or prints, by appealing to the duo of artists Marie Ouazzani and Nicolas Carrier, which offer us a resolutely contemporary installation and spirit, and which integrate the problems of the ecological crisis we are experiencing, whose effects on landscapes cannot be ignored.”

Take the time to read today’s landscapes

The exhibition is entitled Distant borrowing. It is the threefold sampling (or borrowing) of plants, languages and landscape motifs (the garden, the globalized industrial port), taken from the world we live in, that have sprung up from the doors and windows of the museum, to be installed on two levels.

The visitor is first invited, on the first level, to take the time to drink an infusion. The choice: water lily, dandelion, nettle or ivy. The idea here is to let your drink cool down and, during this moment, to prepare the gaze, and even the taste buds, of visitors so warned, in terms of landscapes, that to see and drink, is all one (according to the old Latin tradition that brings knowledge and flavor closer). « And there are potted, ornamental plants, as they are found in the offices or at the reception banks, which are also watered of these same infusions by a drip systemexplains Marie Ouazzani. On the walls, large polaroids or digital photos scanned and enlarged give a first panorama of different significant spaces: gardens and parking, garden and suburban pavilion, ancient ruins and contemporary ruins, in the Paris region, Japan, Italy… So many objects standardized by globalization, that we also find with these plants so frequent in the interior decoration. We wanted, at the beginning, to give not only images but the panorama of a world in a state of climate crisis, potentially deserted, abandoned, where sometimes vegetation already takes precedence over architecture. »

Emprunt lointain- 054.jpg

Imagining the future and the resources of life

 ' The project, for one part, was born from our walks in the port of Brest, entrusted us with Nicolas Carrier. Our attention was stopped by the presence of many palm trees. It should be noted that Lisbon has a large number of yuccas, which are perhaps two hundred or three hundred years old. They are a natural testimony to globalization. So, for the second level of the exhibition, we produced four videos that we callextra-tropical, in four European ports. Each film tries to take the perspective of a plant that is characteristic of it: the palm trees of Brest, the yuccas of Lisbon, the prickly fig trees of Genoa, and… a rubber plant that we ourselves brought to Antwerp, which is the port by which it arrived in Europe, with the industrial destiny that we know. »

« In each of the videos, complete Mary, a text scrolls over the image, written in the language spoken on the spot (Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, French) that presents the plant, its history and the human history related to it, and formulates a hypothesis imagined for its future and that of humanity. » Imaginary help and let us wish it well imagined, even anticipated and visionary, which could prove valuable in the future!