What is the place of art in the ecological struggle? In the heart of our cities, in the squares, in our gardens, in front of the symbolic places of life together, the artist photographer Nicolas Henry and the Letourdumonde association suggest. The initiators of the Photoclimat * Social and Environmental Biennial, which displays its open-air exhibitions free of charge in Paris and in six institutions of Greater Paris from September 18 to October 17, 2021, bring their generous and extravagant stone to the award building raising public awareness of the environmental crisis.
The values of sharing and collective action as the driving force behind the initiative
The initiative is anchored in the continuity of thought and career of Nicolas Henry, a Homo faber with a thousand resources, full of ideas and energy, capable of gathering around his association an active and inspired crowd of actors from the world of art, science or business. Their creed, which could be summed up as “doing together”, was consolidated thanks to an NGO tour of France and a founding experience in 2019 with Emmaüs, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the association founded by ‘Abbé Pierre. The values of sharing, mutual aid and collective action, the need to reorient our production methods towards more virtuous circuits focused on the sobriety of consumption, recycling and local resources, become obvious to him and he forges his vision of a artistic engagement. approach, at the service of raising awareness on these issues.
© Luke Duggleby / Photoclimat 2021
Photoclimat is not one more exhibition in the cultural offer that this bubbly back to school post-Covid offers, which still imposes a certain framework of restrictions on us. The staging of works produced by great talents on the international photographic scene – made from recycled wood and incorporating a transport device in packaging designed also to be reused – embody participation in the project, often in the form of support for the taking a photograph. commission of about thirty NGOs. Action contre la Faim, Bloom (pour la préservation des oceans), the Fondation Nicolas Hulot, the Ligue pour la protection des oiseaux (LPO), La Terre en Partage, Human Rights Watch, the Fondation Tara Océans… pour n’en citer que some. In this journey hand in hand, artists and associations reciprocally value their actions in favor of the defense of the planet.
© Floriane de Lassée / Photoclimat 2021
All contributions are amazing in quality, originality, and diversity. Because a very stimulating mix of records – portraits, photomontages, reports, virtual creations, symbolic staging – coexists in this biennial with rough wood scenographies that grab the viewer, theatrical machines imagined to resonate with the urban space.
A call for more humanity and a reminder of our dependence on nature.
Some favorites, torn from the impossibility of citing the whole set: Ice stupas (visible in the Climate Academy) by Cyril Yazbec, strange and monumental ice constructions made by Himalayan communities to fight against water scarcity due in part to the retreat of glaciers, and thus store their reserves. Badjines, the spirits of nature (in the Saint-Eustache church) by Nicolas Henry, staging imbued with spirituality, carried out in Casamance (Senegal) with local teams of initiates and products from the collection of seeds, shells and pieces of wood, symbol of harmony with nature. Garbage Paintings (place des Vosges) by Vik Muniz, a powerful work of construction of images in which the waste piled up in the landfills that fuels our unbridled consumption becomes the material and the framework of a call for more humanity. Ferhat Bouda’s superb black and white work on the drought in Chad (Place de l’Hotel-de-Ville), commissioned by Action contre la Faim. To end ? Human Nature (Place du Palais-Royal), by Lucas Foglia, who, through an exploration of different ecosystems, reminds us of our dependence on nature, and the delicate gaze that Floriane De Lassé poses in How Much Can You Wear? (Place de l’Hotel-de-Ville) about characters crossed during their travels around the world, loaded with bulky and heavy loads, who have posed for her carrying on their head what she will then have also called “the weight of life ”. …. This, and everything else, we highly recommend that you find out for yourself.
* Photoclimat, Social and Environmental Biennial, Detailed information on https://photoclimat.com/.