La Vieille Loye(France)Saturday 25th June 2016 - Back to the trees


“Admitting that the roots of art plunge into a magical loam may lead to paths opening towards the distinction of flowers, their enchantments, their spells.” Maurice Genevoix, in Images for a Garden without Walls


“There can be only two possible realms for the human mind: the sacred and revolt.” Albert Camus in The Rebel


According to the dictionary Le Petit Robert, enchantment is “a powerful charm”. Something happens and the landscape, a vessel, is transformed, as by a curious philosophical operation. Thus the Chaux Forest (Franche-Comté, France) will – once again – awaken in us the emotions and curiosity of childhood, thanks to the aural and visual events that will populate it. Together we are in search of a source of song, or music, to attempt to embrace this virtual presence. As children, we take up the wooden sword against imaginary arms make of smoke.
When night falls, the forests revive our innermost dreams, the very ones that still haunt us. We only confide these dreams to true friends, to those in front of whom we undress without difficulty because we are certain of their benevolence, as during those blessed evenings where our social masks fall, the habitual clothes that burn our skin.
Let us be “possessed” of ourselves once again, the green force that pulses all around us. Let us find – in this collective – the authentic taste of our saps! These appear to be the essential aspirations of the four founding members of Back To The Trees: the Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans, Elektrophonie, the Association of Chaux Forest Villages, and the Besançon Institute of Fine Arts (ISBA).
Naturally, we compare the artist’s function to that of the shaman. How could we fail to think of the Lascaux Palaeolithic cave paintings, or other Magdalenian masterpieces of which we are unaware? Are these figurative prayers, votive offerings, or paintings? Our artists enchant in the manner of Merlin, of the Celtic fable, who knows how to reveal unsuspected worlds in the daily life of level-headed knights. The forest of Enkidu [from The Epic of Gilgamesh] still has much to teach our cities, as long as smugglers translate the dark, long forgotten song.
It is in the shade of majestic trees that the avant-garde of all hues, from Georges Gurdjieff to Georges Bataille, sought to revitalise this misplaced word in our historical ways. It is in the deep woodlands that witches danced, those free and learned women, who couldn’t stand the male-dominated tribunal of the Inquisition. We must not forget that enchantment was also a potion against all the Tomás de Torquemadas of the world.
Today’s historians of World War II often speak of an “enchanted episode” to describe the Maquis, rural guerrilla bands of French Resistance fighters. Despite the cold and the anguish, a classless and sexist-free community was created from scratch, where peasants and doctors, young and old, men and women were equal, whether they were victorious, or shot down their battle against the “Brown Beast” [the German occupation]. Therefore it is not without ulterior motives that our enchanters operate in this most favourable of shades. It is not so much to entertain us, but rather to give us strength. Let us count on ourselves, and on the power of a few spells…
But enchantment is also that “vivacious joy” of discovering unexpected gifts, to be “enraptured” by one’s experiences and one’s personal journey. To be delighted – not by satisfied expectations, that minor orgasm of the quotidian consumer – but by that most surprising of prospects. The collective consciousness is truly moved by this celebration of the unexpected.
Whether or not you are delighted to meet these dozens of works and authors, who invite you to hum “Let’s take a walk in a forest…” with the Big Bad Wolf, it unquestionably remains our highest ambition. All in all, we wish to see you enthusiastic rather than possessed, visited rather than a visitor, and imbued with the remarkable strength of this place where essences mingle, making our heads spin, and allowing them to settle squarely on our shoulders.
Installations and machines, words, sounds and visual effects, shy or boastful, comical or melancholy: the works presented in Back To The Trees each offer an opportunity to be enchanted, in all meanings of the word.
This 2016 edition invites you to the thicket of our sacred woods to experience and taste the power of our spiritual healers’ concoctions which are – rest assured – the best remedies for all our troubles.
Laurent Devèze



…intermediate horizons…Readings by Frédéric Dumond (France)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Alice in WonderlandSound and visual installation by La Méandre (France)
AcéphaleLecture by Laurent Devèze (France)
AnimaSound installation by Jacopo Baboni Schilingi (France)
Antigone in the Chaux ForestShow by Mai Ishiwata (France), Gaël Domenger (France), Julen Achiary (France), Pierre Vissler (France) and Beñat Achiary (France)
Beyond the TreesInstallation by Maison de l’Architecture de Franche-Comté (France)
Cabinet of CuriositiesExhibition by Pavillon des Sciences (France)
Chaux: A Forest In MotionFilm by Jean-Philippe Macchioni (France)
Coal Millstone #2Demo by Carbone 14 (France)
Concert by MicroMacroM/// (France)
Concert by sTeelh (France)
CosmovisionEncounter with Casilda Pinche Sanchez (Peru), Betzon Macahuachi Pacaya (Peru) and Pauline de Mars (France)
Crafty Forest #2Literature installation by ISBA (France)
Dead Nature Hidden LifePerformance by Anna Massoni (France) and Vincent Weber (France)
Deer WaterSound installation by Gilles Malatray (France)
Gathering of Tree SeedsMeeting with Rémi Caritey (France)
GoSculpture by Habdaphaï (France)
Go Love a TreePerformance by Jay Fox (France) in collaboration with Antonin Lagarde (France)
Go Love a TreePhotographs by Jay Fox (France) and Robin Perrey (France)
Hush!Installation by MarieCécile Casier (France)
I’ll have your Skin, CatherinePerformance by Romuald&PJ (France) and Nun GinTo (France)
KaramazovInstallation by Moumen Bouchala (France)
KulningConcert by Helle Thun (Denmark) and Margrethe Sørensen (Denmark)
Library by ISBA (France)
Like a SunLight installation by Thierry Boucton (France), Nicolas Waltefaugle (France) and Guillaume Mougenot (France)
Magic VoodooInstallation by ChapChap Ink (France)
Man-DeerSculptures by Benoit Huot (France)
Missing Words from the DanceShow by Amira-Géhanne Khalfallah (Algeria) and Henri Thomas (France)
Oak Tree Wish #2Ceremony by Alain Goy (France)
On/OffInstallation by Maureen Colomar (France)
Paintings by Casilda Pinche Sanchez (Peru)
Passage #2Land Art by the Jardins de la Saline royale team (France)
Performance by Joydeb Roaja (Bangladesh)
PhasmatodeaInstallation by Thierry Boucton (France)
Reflection #1Relational Art installation by Patricia Chatelain (France)
Sculptures by Betzon Macahuachi Pacaya (Peru) and Pauline de Mars (France)
Show by Thomas Charmetant (France)
SparksLight installation by Romuald Boissenin (France)
Tales of and by François Place (France)
The Beste” #2Installation by Vanly Tiene (Ivory Coast)
The Blowers of the Clearing #2Installation by ISBA (France)
The Ice FoundrySecret Print Shop by Laurent Tixador and Christophe Gaudard (France)
The Tree in the Mystery of Space and TimeLecture by Ernst Zürcher (Switzerland)
The WhaleSculpture by Corinne Forsans (France)
Thoughts of LovePerformance in collaboration with Christine Douxami (France), Guy Freixe (France) and Performing Arts students from Franche-Comté University (France)
Town Trees back to the WoodsPhotographs by Pierre Acobas (France)
TranssubstantiationInstallation by Adeline Leprêtre (France)
TreevellerSculptures by Manuel Angel Serrano (France)
TsunamiInstallation by José Le Piez (France)
UntitledVideo installation by Nushy Soup (France)
Vitruvian GateInstallation by José Le Piez (France)
Voices of the Night / Heads to HeadSound installation by Aurélien Bertini (France) and Quentin Mercier (France)
WatermarkPhotographs by Rémi Caritey (France)
Wooden MegaphonesInstallation by Birgit Õigus (Estonia)
Workshops by Eglantine Delécolle (France) and Manon Vandermersch (France)



Elektrophonie, Saline royale d’Arc-et-Senans and ISBA
with Chaux Forest Villages Association



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