Different artists, different perspectives

© Y. Chavance/Tara Expéditions

At the dry dock in Lorient, the sailors are carrying out major work and maintenance on the boat, while  Romain Troublé and the Tara team in Paris continue preparations for the future, at 11 boulevard Bourdon. They are preparing for the Climate Conference (2015) and planning the Coral Mission (2016).

An exhibition of the artists-in-residence aboard Tara during the recent Mediterranean expedition is also being organized. A few days ago, they were all invited to the Base Tara to present an outline of their work  and provide a glimpse of what visitors will discover in a few months.

Although the Tara Mediterranean expedition afforded a big place to videographers, the images taken on board do not resemble each other. Each artist evolves in a different universe. Among them, Malik Nejmi, gentleness incarnate. Standing in front of his comrades, Malik confided to the assembly: “At first I did not want to make an artist’s film, but on closer look, that’s what it is. What touched me when I talked with people aboard Tara is their connection to the marvelous, to dreams, and to childhood. So I wanted to work on that.” For 10 days, between Barcelona and Tangier, Malik became interested in the sailors, and created a real communication with them. In return, the crew played along with his photography. They all patiently posed in a studio improvised for black and white photography in the forward starboard cabin. The artist created a series of portraits, asking each person to visualize a mental picture related to the sea, letting themselves gently sway with the rolling of the boat. The result is a poetic work that highlights the faces of Tara.

Different artists, different techniques. Christian Revest is one of the few to have sketched on board. This can quickly become difficult when the sea starts acting up. After 3 rough days getting his sea legs, the artist sketched the crew from life, focusing on the atmosphere and the different postures of the Taranautes. On the blackened sheets of Canson you can easily recognize Samuel Audrain playing the accordion, Rodolphe Gaudin perched on the boom, and Mathieu Oriot at the stern of the boat. Christian’s residency continued on land in his studio located in Marseille’s old port, where he painted large formats with gouache. On canvases over a meter long, Tara is shown beside super tankers in the harbor of Toulon.

As for French-Algerian artist Katia Kameli, she wanted a new perspective on this boat so often exposed to cameras. In her animated images, the boat advances like a ghost ship or the vessel of Captain Harlock. The action, or more precisely the repetition of gestures, also inspired another videographer, Yoann Lelong. “I was struck by a kind of mimicry on board, especially during daily sampling.” Edited together, Yoann’s recordings comprise a one-and-a-half hour film, a unique video stream.

Inexhaustible source of inspiration, Tara has not finished fueling creative minds. In Paris in April, visitors will discover 7-months of artistic creation. As for artists wishing to come aboard for a future residency, they will have to wait until the end of the year to apply for the schooner’s “Coral Mission 2016.”

Noëlie Pansiot


Related articles:

– Discover all the artists embarked on Tara Mediterranean: Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques, Lorraine Féline, Katia Kameli, Yoann Lelong, Spencer Lowell, Malik Nejmi, Lola Reboud, Emmanuel Régent, Christian Revest and Carly Steinbrunn.

Tara Mediterranean: when art meets with science.

Base Tara in Paris.