Arkhaemundi Utopia, a possible reality
One day a curator friend called me to help setting up what seemed to be an arduous art show. The space was not small but also used as an office where, usually, fancy art comes cheering up the visitor’s intellect. Only this time she found herself with an immense task into her hands. Organic body of work with multiple pieces; at one sight I understood it is a glossary. Each element had its role and they were inter-supporting each other. I treat it like a poetry, a narrative form that could develop from the entrance to the last space and back. A loop into another nature.
“Not a lost world, but a world to be found”, was telling me French artist Nicolas Hamm. Small, with bright eyes, and a scientific vocabulary he is more of an explorer than a plastician. Both, the depicted universe and himself, caught me completely and the scenography I did. We never lost track on each-other ever since.
His work developed and gained space, literally… you can see the monumental art piece in a allocated museum-house in Montmorillon, France.
Who are you?
At first, no memory… Born a urban-dweller, but not long enough…childhood, love of nature. The Forest … She(it) will be my refuge from adult variances, tasteless family reunions … Nature, forests, gardens …
The city, however, shows me early on, a musical, acoustic and methodical world. Conservatory and classicism … Later, Fine Arts Academy and experiments, artistic and artificial life … I worked for the Musée de l’Homme (Man Museum) and restitutions … This is when I absorb, understand and capture my major concepts (Cosquer cave, museum and valley of wonders, Tautavel, Fenaille, Carnac …)
What path you took from Musée de l’Homme to Arkhae Mundi?
Driven by a learning hunger I am experiencing rich exchanges with experts. I become a profound listener of the human nature in all its history, diversity, and complementarity to mother-nature. Arkhae Mundi is born, in form of letters.
First a drawing of “The Everything” that will in time be uplifted and detailed We are in 1997, I find a real graphic freedom… 25 years to date, to take shape… In the literal sense and in all femininity… Immediately… Antediluvian and back to basics… A personal project, without order, just a need to understand the humanity of the origins.
Women bear the primary role in your work. Is it a manifest?
At Elzies-de-Tayac, I immediately agreed with the oldest life representation: an engraved and sculpted vulvae. My tagline just come through: Femininity Forever. The embedded bond. Obvious, Amma is the vital source … Amma Zone – family of heart – primary civilisation.
So yes, the island is oversaw by its sisters: diplomates, independent and patrons. Thus, myths will be born, random mythologies only asking to hatch, to talk to each other, to assert themselves. In 25 years, certain affiliations are still in search of meaning and place.
There is also the ultimate and inseparable couple: indissociable parents of poetic beginnings. Then, with the organic separation, giving law on its first line offsprings, consenting on the timeless and strong agreements… to be followed completely for harmony.
Amma – Dogon* will become AMma-Zone, where the Breath-Woman will meet the Volcano-Man so they can merge. Draw, a universal form to attract a contemporaneity and evoke a countryside life, a heart in the forest. At one point I started to feed myself on urban cods. Write, Study… Archeologize everything… Go and see into This Community…
And the music part? Is it still present in this world?
Yes. The conservatory taught me that, because I didn’t feel like a musician. Already in 1988, I calligraphy on Philippe Forte ’s music and on texts by Henri Michaux. With Philippe we will not quit the acoustic/graphic research until today, we are working on chromatic ranges as dialogue elements.
There is so much more to Archae Mundi, what other scientific inputs can we discover?
At the beginning I used my talent in applied arts: materials, lines … Decoration getaways, theatre sets, festivals, establishments and finally art shows: I set up on my own.
I cross paths with Frédéric Serre: an essential sidekick for event creations. Palaeontology manager in Paris, a personality in the center of prestigious names. He introduced me to the vulgarisation of basic research (De Lumley, Descola, Coppens, Picq). It opens me to the discoverers acumen secrets. Their questions will ignite in me the joy of studying reality… of prehistory … ante gender and human imagination, from back then. Human complicity in national networks … Incredibly serious: I immediately adhere …
I will adapt my work in this way: make this endless study believable. After all, what you know today can be completely questioned tomorrow.
The style inquiry, egocentric repetition moving away from my endeavour, nothing but beauty to be perceive in the instant and integrate each element into an entire whole: Arkhae Mundi.
I consult, I read a lot, I look for one subject: life. A question torments me: what is the most famous myth. What would be THE MYTH concerning all humanity? The most telling? I find at crossroads: the flooding, a deluge, crisis, rescue, construction of an ark … Construction of The Ark: what if Noah had not been alone? I touch the work of Athanase Kircher, incomparable visionary …
I transformed the arch into a floating tower: verticality. Around a trunk, axis mundi revisited … I assimilate. Writings by Annick de Souzenelle: spinal column, Jacob’s ladder, connection to the divine, tree … obviously, the Tree Civilisation was born.
The drawing of a site under construction: a link will prevail, and around artisans, carpenters and blacksmiths villages, corporatism. The world around it can develop. The different geologies and geographies will feed… the Astonishing Tree. From spectator I become researcher. I write, I draw….
On-site traveller, reporter, smuggler, I obtain the right to move from one nation to another. Ethnologist, I have to accompany each inhabitant, each habit, in accordance with the “Big Little Sister”: immense forest, a legend, a floating island, a project: graphic references, fantastic animals and subtle offsets.
Druillet and his non-case, Mandryka and his sympathetic absurdity, Fred on his oceanic letters… A hint of Leonardo, of the hidden poetry of Buonarroti. All these beautiful people with endless projects inspire me.