Human Oriented Animals | For science
Lying on a platform, a deer is, finally, a buckskin equipped with “pipes” in place of legs to create a giant bagpipe that does its job: by blowing into the animal’s mouth, the instrument resounds with a deep dial sound in a kind of deer awakening and confrontation with the horrors of the hunt . Welcome to the world of Object Oriented Art, which Cornebra opened a retrospective devoted to him at the Chamarande estate, in Essonne.
This artist duo – Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin – have been drawing inspiration from science since 1991 (anthropology, ethology, biology, etc.) to question and analyze the relationship between humans and nature, between the human form and other animals. .
The resulting artisanal work is often unexpected and plunges the audience into confusion. Mission accomplished, then, because it is a question of getting people to think about the complexities of interspecific relationships, without forgetting to make people smile, so many artists work, these are their words, have fun creating “to create a barrier of difference with animals that continue to built by our culture. »
Therefore, I see myself, I am a centaurmade of sculpted deer antler, showing what a real centaur looked like, a true cross between a horse and a human.
It would not be the body of a horse being ridden by a statueHomo sapiens which would have had three pairs of limbs but, like the satyrs of Greek mythology, humans whose only lower limbs had nails. The idea of hybridizing with this horse is also at the core of Let the horse live in me, work in two stages. First of all, there’s the horse’s leg prosthesis that Marion Laval-Jeantet perched on to walk beside the real stallion.
This then is a show related to bio-art, this artistic movement that takes advantage of the latest advances in biotechnology: the transfusion of horse blood into an artist’s body after long discussions with scientists, first about the therapeutic capacity of animal blood and then on the elements horse blood should be discarded because it is too dangerous.
Biotechnology is also the basis of Microbiotic landscapewhich takes as its basic material the population of microorganisms that inhabit the intestinal system of all living things.
The duo became interested in 2010 and in 2015 sent Rob Knight, of the University of California, San Diego (and co-founder of the Microbiome Earth project, to propose analyzing the microbial community of 200,000 biological samples taken from around the world). world), fecal samples to obtain a map of the species present.
The first results reveal species commonly found in the four corners of the planet, a sort of microbial globalization (Covid-19 is another illustration of this) that reflects the various journeys, particularly in Africa, of the two artists. , which can be seen in the works tracked, seen at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dole, on the Jura, as part of the “Care” exhibition. To go beyond the numerical and statistical models currently showing the microbiota, they used a microphotography method developed by biologist Chantal Bridonneau, of the Micalis Institute (Microbiology of food in service of health) from INRAe and AgroparisTech, to visualize their internal bestiary. . In doing so, they discovered pathogenic species, such as amoebas, that conventional biological tests have never revealed! In their opinion, this is evidence that the loss of analog in favor of digital leads to a loss of a good understanding of our inner world.
From their photos, they took four microbiotic landscapes presented at the Chamarande estate, dioramas that fit 1 square centimeter of the gut wall in which pathogenic and harmless microbes are presented. Certain landscape element waxes even trap real bacteria, like an artist’s microbiota memory. Staging also involves fluorescence, which is the microscope used in molecular biology.
Art Orienté Objet’s interest in the microbiota is further enhanced by its appearance Let the primary forest live in me, meaning the transplantation of the pygmy Baka microbiota, an inhabitant of the equatorial forest, into Marion Laval-Jeantet’s body. The discovery of the role of the innumerable microbiota in the health and behavior of its hosts, in much the same way as the discovery of natural selection by Darwin or heliocentrism by Copernicus and Galileo, confounded the representations humans have of themselves and their lives. place in the universe and in the living. This exhibition goes in the same direction as questioning the condition of our existence, no less. Better do it while having fun with these two artists.