Julie Chaffort, Somnambules at the Bullukian Foundation in Lyon
Until the end of December, Julie Chaffort, who was awarded the third Bullukian Prize, offers an unusual experience of presence, a new adventure of the sensitive at the Bullukian Foundation in Lyon.
It’s early afternoon, and I am the only privileged visitor. I sit down in front of three screens and immerse myself in this world of nature. A world of greenery and sounds, which talks to our deep inner selves, to our guts.
Julie Chaffort invites seven singers of different genres and from different horizons in the landscape of La Petite Escalère, in the context of her recent residency in this sculpture garden located along the Adour river, at the crossroads of the Landes and the Basque country. She immerses them in vegetation, a moving frame of grasses and branches, patiently listens to them, captures them. Shots of the garden, foggy dawns and flooded undergrowth, accompany the portraits of these voice explorers. Glances, inhabited faces and bodies, well-known or to be discovered, moved, suspended, searching, offer themselves to the artist’s camera, to an intense, precious and rare interiority.
Filmed individually, in close-ups, they are confronting themselves to their presence within space and the land, to the power and beauty of nature. Silences and trickling sounds. Waiting for the necessity of a cry, a melody, a quiver. Of vibration.
The registers of the a cappella songs mingle, stretch and respond to each other: pop, opera, soft, guttural or high-pitched improvisations, resonating into a botanical cathedral, thundering metallic rock. Like rich calls to birds, to the caressing wind, to ghosts of the past…
Julie Chaffort’s eye is on the lookout, embracing concentration, emancipation, exhaustion, surrender to vital, subterranean forces, which sometime test and strip these solitudes. Noble and proud presences, subject to the emotions of a conquered space, claimed by sound. The visual artist lays out the images to create subtle dialogues of fortuitous glances, respirations, parallel trajectories between these faces scrutinizing and questioning the horizon.
Time passes and I vibrate, I travel with them, these men and women penetrated by a place, a moment, inviting me, in turn, to question the land that surrounds me, to own it differently. And these inner spaces. Tongue rolling and clicking in my mouth. When I am laid in earth… Purcell’s words persist and encourage me to remember. Back in the city, I become hunter, on the lookout. All my senses are awake, I am not quite the same.
Julie Chaffort was born in 1984 and studied in Bordeaux and New York. She lives and works in Bordeaux. The exhibition Somnambules consists in a video installation (55 minutes long) displayed on three screens. It is on view until December 31st 2016, Tuesday to Friday from 2pm to 6:30pm and Saturday from 1pm to 7pm.
26 place Bellecour
69002 Lyon – France
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