Interval: Chants / Champs de Guérison - Sophie Bellot, Laurie Dall'Ava & Lore Stessel

Symbiosis Documentation Anesthesie 2009 2022 Detail L Dall Ava 15x21cm 300dpi 1

The Chants / Champs de Guérison exhi­bi­ti­on aro­se from the dia­lo­gue bet­ween artists Lore Stessel, Laurie Dall’Ava and Sophie Bellot. The artists explo­re the con­cepts of well-being and hea­ling in our con­tem­po­ra­ry soci­e­ty. They sha­re the con­vic­ti­on that the advan­cing secu­la­ri­za­ti­on of the West often igno­res a per­son’s yearning for (ritu­al) con­nec­ti­on. Healing is some­thing one has to do here in the first instan­ce alo­ne, in a hos­pi­tal, in one’s own home, in bed. Rest, medi­ca­ti­on and qua­ran­ti­ne are key con­cepts; fate is somehow in your own hands. However, all over the world the­re are cul­tu­res that con­si­der coming together, phy­si­cal con­tact and ritu­als as an essen­ti­al ele­ment of the reco­ve­ry pro­cess. Lore, Laurie and Sophie each in their own way immer­sed them­sel­ves in dif­fe­rent types of the­se sup­port sys­tems’. Chants / Champs de Guérison is the poe­tic account of this research. Photography forms a com­mon point of depar­tu­re, but the artists explo­re various media such as glass, paper and tex­ti­les throug­hout the exhi­bi­ti­on. The dif­fe­rent docu­ments come from com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent con­texts, but reso­na­te in their ambi­ti­on to learn from com­mu­ni­ties that care for each other. The artists view the exhi­bi­ti­on as a visu­al hymn that invi­tes visi­tors to a moment of connection.

Sophie Bellot inves­ti­ga­tes new ways of inha­bi­ting the earth and using it, con­si­de­ring it, wor­king it. She obser­ves the land’ and its inha­bi­tants over a long peri­od of time, docu­men­ting micro­sco­pic and macro­sco­pic cycles, pat­terns and chan­ges. She car­ries out artis­tic expe­ri­ments, that reve­al infor­ma­ti­on about the his­to­ry of the pla­ce or impact its trans­for­ma­ti­on in a non-intrusi­ve way.

During the Chants / Champs de Guérison exhi­bi­ti­on, Sophie Bellot pre­sents the body of work Paysage de Confidance, an inves­ti­ga­ti­on into a plot of land belon­ging to a fami­ly of far­mers, loca­ted on the Mediterranean coast. The fami­ly grows chry­san­the­mums and spi­ru­li­na, two labour-inten­si­ve crops that requi­re a lot of atten­ti­on, but also return this atten­ti­on later in the form of com­fort (in the event of death) or resis­tan­ce (as a super­food’). In recent years, the fami­ly has also ope­ned up the coun­try to small-sca­le tou­rism, for peo­p­le who need to rechar­ge their bat­te­ries in the midd­le of natu­re. As a pho­to­grap­her, Sophie docu­ments the crops that grow, the far­mers that work it, the sea­so­nal chan­ges and the way the tou­rists’ approp­ri­a­te the lands­ca­pe. The soil, which pro­du­ces all crops and con­nects peo­p­le with the earth, plays a lea­ding role for Sophie: she cap­tu­res dif­fe­rent tex­tu­res, colors and mine­rals in a poe­tic way. As a lands­ca­pe archi­tect she inter­ve­nes in a subt­le way to pro­mo­te the coming together’ of peo­p­le and natu­re on the plot and to opti­mi­ze the bene­fi­ci­al exchan­ge pro­cess. Sophie occu­pies the spa­ce with a series of pho­to­graphs, texts from her log book Corps Habitant and a video.

Sophie Bellot

Lore Stessel inves­ti­ga­tes the inter­fa­ce bet­ween pho­to­grap­hy, pain­ting and move­ment. Not only in the wor­king method but also as sub­ject, the phy­si­cal and the cor­po­re­al take an impor­tant posi­ti­on. The search for the human or ani­mal body – and espe­ci­al­ly the ten­si­on with the envi­ron­ment – is a recur­ring sub­ject in her practice. 

Lore’s works, two tex­ti­les and a print, form a bin­ding agent in the exhi­bi­ti­on and gui­de the visi­tor around the spa­ce. Two of the ima­ges were shot in Mexico, whe­re Lore immer­sed herself in the local habits and way of life of a group of dan­cers. Mexico gives way to an infi­ni­te amount of beliefs and ritu­als, pea­ce­ful­ly uni­ted under the con­stant pre­sen­ce of the sun. Hands, an age-old fas­ci­na­ti­on of the artist, play a cen­tral role in all works. To Lore, hands ser­ve as a con­duc­tor of fee­lings, ener­gy, strength, know­led­ge, but hands also figu­re in various ritu­als, which are recog­ni­za­ble by their own uni­que ico­no­grap­hy: the rea­ching hand, the hea­ling hand, the sup­por­ting hand, the con­nec­ting hand. In one work, one can see a body car­rying ano­ther body, dan­cing, at the same time cat­ching it and pus­hing it away into the air. 

Lore Stessel

Laurie Dall’Ava explo­res con­scious­ness and living bodies. Passionate about anthro­po­lo­gy and bio­lo­gy, she is inte­rested among others in chlo­ro­p­hyll and bees, but also in the cul­tu­res of the invi­si­ble as well as in the dif­fe­rent forms of shamanism.

Laurie Dall’Ava pre­sents part of her Symbiosis. Documentation Anesthésie (20092022), an ico­no­grap­hic col­lec­ti­on from which she regu­lar­ly draws to cre­a­te dif­fe­rent ite­ra­ti­ons. She focus­ses on the noti­on of sym­bio­sis, the inti­ma­te rela­ti­ons­hip ini­ti­a­ted bet­ween two orga­nis­ms, most often for their com­mon bene­fit. The sym­bio­sis dis­rupts clas­si­fi­ca­ti­ons by docu­men­ting the inven­ti­ve­ness of living things. Laurie plays on this para­dox by using a back­ground of bota­ni­cal boards, of which only a few orga­nic tra­ces remain, enve­lo­pes emp­tied of their con­tent, micro-algae. From begin­nings to what might beco­me an end, she asso­ci­a­tes other ima­ges, trans­for­ming the ori­gi­nal data to cre­a­te a new web of mea­nings. The fabric of mole­cu­lar ima­gery, sha­ma­nic ses­si­ons, plants and psy­cho­ac­ti­ve fun­gi that the artist wea­ves echoes the mycor­r­hi­zal net­work, that gigan­tic car­pet of myce­li­um bet­ween the roots of trees. The mys­te­rious ener­gies which wea­ve their way through the invi­si­ble inter­s­ti­ces thus con­struct imper­cep­ti­ble meta­morp­ho­ses, making it pos­si­ble to over­co­me and sur­vi­ve in other forms.” Text © Victor Maziere 

Extraction V is a new mural, tai­lor-made for Cas-co spa­ces. The color used is eme­rald green, a pig­ment that Laurie has been researching for over 4 years. It is a mix­tu­re of two com­pounds: a semi-syn­the­tic mole­cu­le deri­ved from chlo­ro­p­hyll, and ano­ther mole­cu­le extrac­ted from cya­no­bac­te­ria, recrystal­li­zed and puri­fied. Cyanobacteria are algae at the ori­gin of life, sin­ce they pro­du­ce enor­mous amounts of oxy­gen, which pre­ce­ded human exis­ten­ce and will most sure­ly sur­vi­ve it. Normally, this pig­ment is very unst­a­ble and fades in a few days, but Laurie wor­ked together with Victor Mazière on a method to modi­fy the mole­cu­les and extend their vital poten­ti­al. It is about ener­gy trans­for­ma­ti­ons and exchan­ges, which one almost has the impres­si­on of see­ing in the bright green. The color refers to spring, when new pro­ces­ses are set in moti­on. This mural ser­ves as a coun­ter­point in the exhi­bi­ti­on, that simu­la­tes the vie­wer to medi­ta­te or relax for a while.

Laurie Dall Ava
Laurie Dall Ava 2