Lorraine Féline, filmmaker, and Carly Steinbrunn, photographer, are the two artists in residence on Tara since Cala Gonone, Sardinia. A few hours before disembarking, it’s time for an interview after three weeks aboard the schooner.
Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I make films, I do drawings and performances that revolve around the concept of gesture, movement and choreography. I studied at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, as well as at the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany. I film short performances with people in their workplace. In 2013, I made a film called “Mechanical Ballet,” shot in a London factory that makes ballet shoes.
I am a photographer working in London and Paris. I first trained in scientific photography and then studied at the National School of Photography in Arles. My work focuses on the idea of discovery and innovation in photography. I did a series, “The Voyage of Discovery” which was exhibited at the festival of photography in Levallois. This series was also made into a book, for which I was nominated for the “First Book Award” in London.
What was your project on Tara?
LF: My project was to make a film on board Tara. I wanted to observe the boat like the stage of a theater, regard the movements, gestures, the activity of everyone aboard the boat. All these movements could intersect, take place at the same time, and this creates a kind of choreography. This is an independent project, an independent film that could be shown at a festival or art center.
CS: I am developing a project inspired by the journey taken by the French astronomer Jules Janssen to photograph the passage of Venus across the sun in 1874. For my project, developed in partnership with the French Society of Photography, I am particularly interested in old techniques developed at the time, and the problems of movement and recording of such an event. I am trying to make a kind of preliminary sketch book, partly on Tara.
What does it mean for you to be on Tara?
LF: I discovered Tara from other artists who were on board, and then I was able to visit the schooner in Paris a year or two ago. It was then that my project really materialized. This resembled almost a type of dream, in the sense of everything related to the unknown, relative to the boat, navigation, the fact of traveling, of leaving. It’s an experience that is truly unique and rare.
CS: I’ve always been fascinated by this boat, which really makes me think of a vessel, something between a boat and a submarine, like the Nautilus. This is a truly unique boat, so it was very important for me to be aboard. As an artist, Tara gives me inspiration. Photos can be taken everywhere – in the engine room or during scientific experiments. I didn’t think I’d be taking so many images. I feared at the outset that it would be more monotonous, less intense, but in fact, it was very varied.
Why is it important to have resident artists on Tara?
LF: I find it very stimulating that artists can observe and contribute a view on the scientific activity of the boat and on the boat itself. I was wondering recently how the work done aboard Tara will be seen in a couple of years. I guess things will have evolved a lot, but what vision will people have of all of this? So, it is interesting to have the views of artists – it’s another way of archiving.
CS: It’s really a good thing to mix artists and scientists. Contrary to what one might think, they are not so different from each other. Each person in his own way is trying to understand reality. It’s also an incredible opportunity for artists, who are neither scientists nor sailors, to voyage on a boat like Tara. There are so few artists’ residencies like this – it’s really an amazing opportunity.
Interview by Yann Chavance