Date: 10-Aug-2019 – 08-Sep-2019
Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania
‘Si on n’invente pas le Désert, on ne le voit pas.’
‘if one doesn’t invent the desert, one cannot see it.’
– Gilles A. Tiberghien
Paris-based Marie Jeanne Hoffner and Melbourne-based Alex Pittendrigh will independently make new works and devise an installation as a response to Le Désert de Retz, an 18th century park on the edge of the forêt de Marly in north-central France, where remnant and exotic architectural follies are found.
Known locally as Le Désert, it is a site built almost entirely around metaphors for different states of mind. A place full of mystery, it harbours surrealist and romantic connotations and echoes a sense of displacement similar to the curious exoticism found in historical and picturesque images of Tasmania.
The artists will create an environment that reflects the strangeness of Le Désert while offering entrée to a conceptual formation of the picturesque. The twin ideas of ‘displacement’ and the ‘desert’ are also important to the project. Displacement – in both a conceptual and psychological sense – is fundamental as a subject of the original site, the artwork and the site of its display. Whereas a ‘desert’ – an etymological ‘abandoned place,’ arid, empty and open to mirages – is also a place for the soul, a place where you can retire and allow yourself to dream.