Whether striking, clinical or offbeat, the artists' view of the ecological transition is one of the strong trends of Mondes Nouveaux. Focus on three projects.

Today, the ecological transition is on everyone’s lips. It is also present, it is less known, in the eyes of artists, who consider questions related to the environment from another angle, often sharper, always disruptive. « Among the trends of New Worlds, the great topics of society are present, starting with those related to ecology, most artists are sensitive to a kind of interdependence between artistic creation and the living », confirms Bernard Blistène, president of the selection committee of «Mondes Nouveaux», in the maintenance that he granted us in July on this device.

Striking, clinical or offbeat, it is this look at environmental perspectives that we wanted to highlight in this overview of «New Worlds» projects. With three artists, Sabine Mirlesse, Dorian Étienne and Anna Solal, whose work will be presented soon. The first reveals poetry at the top of the Puy de Dôme, the second alert with its «tapestries testimonies» on the dangers incurred by certain territories in Brittany, the third, finally, invites the baroque to the castle of Oiron with an organic and symbolic work.  

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: Sabine Mirlesse, a Land Art project at the top of the Puy de Dôme


« This is my biggest project '' said Sabine Mirlesse about Crystalline Thresholds, Doors of Frost, a title in English, a second in French. The young French-American photographer, who holds a master’s degree from the prestigious Parsons School of Design did not want to choose between his two languages of heart. We see a subtle echo of the intimate dimension of the installation of Land Art created for Mondes Nouveaux.

It all starts during the first lockdown. Sabine Mirlesse is at her grandmother’s, helping her to tidy things up, when she discovers a mysterious « black box containing silver film These contain pictures of " frost on airplane wings in mountain » who love the desire of the young photographer. “ Some were blurred, others very beautiful '' she recalls, without unravelling the mystery. Then she discovers a study carried out by her grandfather at the summit of Puy de Dôme during the winter 1936-1937 entitled Contribution to the study of icing. These photos were simply used to “ document his research ".


From there, everything follows one another. Once she finds the freedom to come and go, she hastens to go to Puy de Dôme. The weather station, which his grandfather’s work made him aware of, still exists. In this station, “ the clouds continue to be sucked into bottles "The peak is the first peak that the winds of the Atlantic Ocean reach," she said. "Finally, there is the remains of a Gallo-Roman temple, the temple of Mercury, and in particular a portico. « Everything starts to move in my head ',' said the volcano enthusiast, ' They fascinate me because they represent a geological threshold, the border between the visible and the invisible The idea came from a Land Art installation – the first of his career – consisting of passages. “ But how to realize such a project? » «New Worlds» gives him the opportunity.  

In this case, seven portals are installed according to the pattern of the Pleiades constellation and designed to stimulate ice and frost formations due to the micro climate, which grow and then melt with the arrival of spring. « The gates are made of recycled aluminum in reference to the wings of aircraft. Two forms are inspired by these same wings, a third refers to the Temple of Mercury. For the four beacons, I had in mind a mountain cairn, a dowser’s rod, the lost caduceus of Mercury…” says the young artist, “ grateful and moved "Mondes Nouveaux" offers him the opportunity to carry out such a project. The inauguration of the facility will take place on December 3.

And photography in all this? “ The project began with photos of my grandfather. Today, it takes the form of an ephemeral installation. Tomorrow he will live thanks to photography The young artist rejoices. “ It is because a documentation work was done that we know that some Land Art installations existed. I will spend the winter photographing these portals, this work will then be exhibited ".

Note: Crystalline Thresholds, Doors of Frost will be inaugurated on December 3, 2022

Brittany: Dorian Étienne, tapestries-testimonies on territories at risk

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After the Puy de Dôme, direction Brittany, where le young designer Dorian Étienne, a graduate of the Boulle school, uses satellite views to produce tapestries, which are large format testimonies presenting a state of the place at today’s date of risky territories This is the project. Countries'Ages. The choice of Brittany owes nothing to chance: Dorian Étienne is deeply attached to this region where he lived for twelve years. As for the places of reception, three in all (the abbey of Saint-Maurice in the Finistère, the abbey of Beauport in the Côtes d'Armor, finally, the school landscape of Kerplouz in the Morbihan) and the chosen landscapes, they owe everything to the help and expertise of the Conservatoire du littoral.

For the realization of these tapestries, the young designer, fervent defender of a humanistic and eco-responsible design, uses local resources. « From the dyeing plants of the local flora, we managed to have a wide palette of colors "," said the Minister, who called on dry cleaners for the occasion, who themselves partnered with the Mobilier national. Tapestries, colour charts… we are in fact in the heart of the prestigious establishment. Another specificity: participants are “ invited to try the technique of «tufting» and then intervene throughout the duration of the realization According to Dorian Étienne, the objective is “ they learn to [s]es sides » and « participate in the lighting of their territory ".


To date, the first of the three tapestries, that of Finistère, has been made. “ It brought together fifteen participants and required 800 working hours of which 450 tufting, 22 kg of wool were used ”, says Dorian Étienne, who has every reason to be satisfied: All generations were represented, participants felt comfortable and helpful. In addition, people who did not know each other met ". For the restitution phase, a travelling exhibition is already planned which, apart from the presentation of the tapestries, will highlight the participatory dimension of the project through a film, and local materials. In addition, ' a large-format view of the same site in fifty years will be projected » in order to raise awareness of the climate dimension. This project, ' that would never have existed without the accompaniment of New Worlds », Dorian Étienne, sees it « as a springboard ” Tapestries in other territories may well emerge in the coming years.  

Note: Pay'Ages is under construction

Nouvelle-Aquitaine: Anna Solal, an organic cabinet of curiosities at the Château d'Oiron

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At castle of Oiron in Deux-Sèvres, the young visual artist Anna Solal, whose works are made by assembling scrap objects of various origins, present, from 22 October to 29 January, Quivering. In this unique and enchanting place that houses the contemporary art collection. Curios & Mirabilia designed on the model of the cabinet of curiosities in reference to the art collection of Claude Gouffier, Grand Squire of Henri II, carte blanche is occasionally given to artists whose works cultivate what could easily be called « beautiful bizarre We remember the recent interventions of Mario d'Souza and Dario Ghibaudo, which, thanks to the National Monuments Centre, are now joined by Anna Solal.     


« This is the first time I have experienced this type of device » comments, delighted, the young woman, a graduate of the National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre in Belgium and resident this year of the Villa Medici. His works will be compared to that of Daniel Spoerri, Body in pieces, and the 16th-century painted gallery of the Trojan War and the adventures of Aeneas. “ an arena, anything but warrior, on the contrary very meditative ', but also ' glass bees, gas plates over which flowers grow, or a labyrinthine sunflower… Ernst Jünger, Sylvia Plath, Edmond Jabès… the references are numerous, of which the young woman speaks with passion, around this project on nature which also integrates drawings. Glass bees are an explicit tribute to Ernst Jünger’s eponymous novel. “ I wanted to recreate these bees, imagine them transparently '' explains the young artist.

If nature is reduced to its wild and vulnerable dimension, thenDisintegration is a motif found in each of the works, there is, at the same time, always something of the order of life in the encounter between matter, form, and color '' said Anna Solal. However, the young woman will not give a turnkey interpretation. ' The more polyphonic the work, the better! A text by writer Olivier Prada accompanies the project.

To note: the exhibition of the creation of Anna Solal, Quivering, will take place at the Château d'Oiron, from 22 October to 29 January