Fourth artist in residence to embark during the Tara Pacific expedition, Noémie Sauve will be aboard between Auckland and Noumea (August 9 to September 22, 2017). A totally committed artist, self-taught, a true researcher, she’s an artistic hurricane bursting with ideas.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO APPLY FOR A RESIDENCY ABOARD TARA?
It was in the logic of my artistic work. When I saw the ad on the internet via COAL, I was very inspired by the residency, knowing that Tara has missions that interest me and that I support, differently, because I usually work on the land, breeding, seeds, etc. So this was an opportunity for me to get out on the water!
HOW DO YOU IMAGINE YOUR STAY ON BOARD?
I like not imagining anything. I just imagine it’s going to be great! But even if I’m not imagining anything, I’m certainly preparing. I passed the level 1 diving test. I tried out lights at the Aquarium of Paris, I learned about fluorescence. Many people helped me, especially for documentation. So I’m embarking with good basic documentation on the water and sea. I’d already worked a little bit on certain subjects related to the oceans, especially on dead zones, but I’ve never been on a boat like Tara.
© Noémie Sauve
AS AN ARTIST, HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOURSELF?
Even people who work with me have a hard time defining me (laughs). I would define myself by what I do. Let’s say that, as far as form is concerned, I do a form of ‘messed up’ figuration. As for technique, I use almost all techniques.
My sculpture includes welding, casting, wood and stonework, classic ceramics and raku, molding, modeling – just about everything! I like doing everything because it creates cross-overs in techniques. If you’re working with glass, for example, you can get a mechanical idea and go further with metal. For me, technique inspires form, but to go further and explore all techniques. There’s also drawing, painting, theatre – staging the sculptures. The last staging I did was with dancers for a festival of creations inspired by hip hop.
What channels all this is an observation of living beings and the things surrounding me, my environment, to make iconographies around the theme of domestication. Domestication can go a long way. It’s the organization of a landscape according to a human rhythm for example, but it’s also a profound distortion of the autonomy of living beings.
Transmission of landscapes, or thorny volcano. © Noémie Sauve
YOU’VE TOLD US ABOUT ALL THE TECHNIQUES YOU USE, PAINTING, DRAWING, SCULPTURE BUT ALSO DISCONOGRAPHY, WHICH IS MUCH LESS FAMILIAR. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THIS ARTISTIC FORM?
I work on placing my art in the public space or on stage. By “disconographing” a play, I take it out of the studio and try to involve it in a territory, on the street for example, to illustrate the action suggested by the art piece. It’s like a box you re-open to re-propose the action. The first disconographies were photographed, staged in different places in Paris.
I’m still working on my last “Armies” disconography, presented carte blanche last March at the Festival “Désolé Maman” (programmed by Garde Robe). I’m reusing sculptures that came from my residency at the Museum of Hunting and Nature, which I had called “Domestication versus Full Moon”. This work was about the re-appropriation of images of wildlife to illustrate objects or weapons. I created a series of weapons, including daggers and fluorescent knives, which were staged with 3 dancers.
Disconography performance choreographed with sculptures from “Armies” at the Désolé Maman festival. © Noémie Sauve
WHAT WILL THE RESIDENCY ABOARD TARA BRING YOU AS AN ARTIST?
This is something I couldn’t have done without Tara! What I’m going to say may sound trite, but the dream of many artists is to join with scientists on a terrain at the center of their concerns, in this case ecology. And also, to be at the heart of a new language, learn new things, make discoveries, have a pretext for meeting passionate people and inaccessible places. It’s rather extraordinary!
I’m sure this experience will feed my work. That’s why I’m intensely preparing my studio, and I even developed 2 new techniques. Everything in my life has been revolving around Tara since September (laughs). I’m devoting myself to this tremendously because I want to be able to take everything from this voyage. When I say ‘take everything’, this also means giving everything upon my return. I want to communicate as best I can what living aboard Tara was like, through my artwork, in order to support the Tara project.
As an artist, the position we have from the start is to support Tara’s action. We know that the artwork will also be produced to disseminate what we’ve learned, what we see. A jury selected us and trusted us: it’s an important mission. And what a jury! That’s already great! Anyway, I’m going! (laughs)
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