This sixth edition of Back to the Trees owes as much to constancy as to novelty.
Constancy – first of all – in everything represented by the sixth embodiment of this curious enterprise conceived by Lionel Viard as part of the Besançon Music Festival six years ago, and continued in the Chaux Forest in recent years. But also novelty: although the event is still based on the active involvement of Elektrophonie and the ISBA (Besançon Fine Arts Institute), this year it has chosen water instead of fire.
After all, it is the encounter with the community of various Val d’Amour towns, and especially the village of Chamblay and its famous Rafters, who perpetuate the tradition of navigating the woods on the Loue River, which prompted us to put microphones and picture rails in this magnificent and legendary space of an abandoned meander known as “Fountains Death”. It is in this pluralistic place that we invite you to wander through acoustic installations and visual experiences of every genre on Saturday 1 July 2017, from 6 p.m. A forest and rustic landscape, at times marsh, at other times open field, with the constant presence of this tumultuous water which brings a crystalline and musical constancy to our Back to the Trees.
This year, the artists responded to our invitation to “get back to the trees” not as an expression of reactionary nostalgia, but rather as an aspiration towards indispensable rejuvenation.
Our urban existences often cut us off from indispensable moments of contemplation and listening. From these parentheses, these “Epoché” which, according to the Ancients, allowed one’s thinking to free itself from the obligations of everyday life, in order to better understand the truth. Let us walk through the woods to dismiss the wolves that oppress us in one form or another.
However, in order to be fruitful, this adventure could not be an escapade of small marquis, or of shepherds in the style of the “Queen’s Hamlet” of Versailles. It needed to take risks. That of the climate, firstly, and the vagaries of meteorology, that of the imponderable techniques related to the “discomfort” of the situation, that of the uncompromising confrontation of the works with the walking public, who are often unfamiliar with the audacity of contemporary art.
And yet, it is precisely the purported limits of our exercise which are the basis of its legitimacy, the pressing need for it. Our aim is to escape the studio, the gallery, to dare to come into contact with natural sounds, foliage, and the wild sun. To reach onlookers attracted more by a hike than by the works themselves. To make understood, or rather to prove, the magic that this fusion of the arts and arboreal nature can have. To identify the ambitions which drive us, in a sharing of concrete experiences, rather than via operations of mediation, which regrettably often bury the pieces under external, albeit well-informed, commentary.
This year once again, we aim to attract the walker, not to educate him; to experience with him “unprepared” emotions, whose secrets are held only by the trees and their night, the river and its bank, the rafts and their mysterious navigation.
No one (especially the commissioning organisers) knows exactly what will become of this “displacement” which owes as much to geography as to history or metaphysics, and for which they wholeheartedly assume what the philosopher Michel Foucault called a “Heterotopia”: a spacial and temporal distancing which collectively enables us to have a unique festive experience, a search for the unassignable, like a maquis, a “jungle” or a children’s play house.
It is from the author of “The Order of Things” that we borrowed this conclusion, making our accomplice Rafters into pirates from another time and place, that is Back to the Trees: “In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.”
• And there was Light! • Installation by ChapChap Ink (France)
• Boat #1 • Sculpture by Thomas Perrin (France)
• Cohesion • Sculpture by Gérald Colomb (France)
• Confession • Sculpture by Sébastien Chaperon (France)
• Crack • Painting by Robin Davourie (France)
• Crafty Forest #3 • Literature installation by ISBA (France)
• Frogs • Sound installation by Ben Farey (France) and Benoît Favereaux (France)
• Go Love a Tree • Video by Jay Fox (France)
• In Chamblay in the Woods #1 • Poetic documentary by Clémence Culic (France)
• Listen, something is amiss! • Sound installation by Gilles Malatray (France)
• Mandragore • Performance by Claude Boudeau (France)
• Maquis Archives • Photographs of the Maquis
• Microcosm • Installation by Jeanne Dupuy (France)
• Ode to the Sea • Performance in collaboration with Christine Douxami (France), Guy Freixe (France) and Performing Arts students from Franche-Comté University (France)
• Origin • Sound and visual installation by Thierry Boucton (France), Nicolas Waltefaugle (France) and Guillaume Mougenot (France)
• Pamela Dionaea Muscipula • Performance by Chloé Guillermin (France) and Alexandra Jouffroy (France)
• Project Phoenix • Installation by Antonin Lagarde (France)
• Relic • Installation by Gérald Colomb (France)
• So far all is well! • Marquetry by Benjamin Desoche (France)
• Sticks • Installation by Pierre Balandier (France)
• Sus Scrofa • Sculpture by Mischa Sanders (Cuba)
• The Tube • Sound installation by Olivier Toulemonde (France)
• The Weight of Shame • Sculpture, performance and video by Fabien Guillermont (France)
• Totems #1 • Sculptures by Julien Zoh Nihouah (France)
• Track to the Bees • Sound installation by Corsin Vogel (Switzerland)
• UFO • Sculpture by ISBA (France)
• Untitled • Performance by Quentin Lacroix (France)
• Untitled • Video installation by Nushy Soup (France)
• VivariHomme • Performance by sisMa Company (France)
• You imagine • Video by Jenny Feal (Cuba)
Elektrophonie and ISBA