Chapter (2)
~ Palimpsestes

Agricultural High School of Beaune-La-Rolande / 2022-2023

An artist's residency provides a rare opportunity to allow yourself to dive in, to experiment, to craft unprecedented scenarios and situations fostering artistic expression. This project stems from three months of immersion within an agricultural high school, a period during which I cohabited days and nights with over a hundred students. As an artist-researcher, I am particularly interested in the creative process. It quickly became clear to me that my presence had the potential to play a role in the emergence of spaces characterized by fertile chaos—a realm of creation unburdened by the education norms and the pursuit of predetermined outcomes.

Two installations and a soundscape have emerged from the process, testifying to my immersion within this somewhat neglected and overlooked territory. An intriguing connection surfaced between these dissident projects and the personalities of the students, a connection that I found intriguing to explore. The goal was also to initiate a meeting between these students, but also with other actors of the territory often undervalued yet crucial for preserving the local identity.

The Atelier
The Atelier primarily symbolizes the space allocated to me at the beginning of the residency: a former baggage room located at the heart of the high school. This seemingly sterile and uninviting space quickly transformed into a laboratory for free exploration. I invited eco-artist Lucie Damond to join me in experimenting with different ways to engage with the students and capture their attention.

In the end, we embarked on an adventure where students and artists mutually guided each other to appropriate the space and create a form of resistance to the prevailing school norm, eventually transforming the workshop into a retrofuturistic sanctuary.
At the end of the residency, during a one night performance, this space came to life with an immersive and acoustic experience. Bathed in a soundscape composed of fragments collected over the months, it testified to my immersion in the territory, subtly forming a narrative of the intimate, almost secret bond we built over the months.

The Construction Site
The Construction Site emerged from a desire to identify and celebrate certain aspects of the Loiret heritage. A testimony to an astonishing and perhaps marginal legacy, revealed to the students of the agricultural high school.

An ephemeral architectural project was born in collaboration with Patrick Beauvais, one of the last locals possessing the expertise in building charcoal burner's huts, Julien Recours, a collector of micro-architectures from the 1960s, and the eco-artist Lucie Damont.
The structure, positioned within the school courtyard, was constructed using peculiar remnants of a bygone era, partially shaped by students from the forestry program. It became a shelter, a space for expression for the high school students.