Residency: 17/04/23 to 30/05/23
Artists: Pauline Rouet / Thomas Durand / Janko Bozovic
Communities: Students from Fine Arts School of Nantes St-Nazaire
Curator: Josselin Couteau
In 2023, for the 4th Magic Carpets residency (the 2nd in this second cycle), we assembled three distinct artists: two local artists from Nantes, Thomas Durand and Pauline Rouet, and an artist proposed by our Serbian partner (Novo Kulturno), Janko Bozovic.
With the intention of bridging mediums and blending disciplines, we once again sought to bring together three emerging artists exploring practices such as sound art, live performance, and the visual arts. From the outset, our goal has been to foster fresh interactions and connections, for that is the essence of our mission: to imagine, connect, and develop.
The emergence and interaction of worlds that may be unfamiliar to one another give rise to new symbioses and uncharted territories to explore. It was with this in mind that we, Trempo and the Fine Arts School of Nantes Saint-Nazaire, identified artists who possessed the perception and eagerness to explore the ‘other,’ not only as an uncharted artistic practice but as an individual entity. The amalgamation of these two aspects defines the creation of these novel spaces. The concept of “territory” sets the tone; it is a dynamic space that moves to its rhythm and the rhythms of interactions generated by the elements that surround, span, nourish it—whether they be human, elemental, material, or living.
The meeting of Pauline Rouet, Thomas Durand, and Janko Bozovic embodies precisely this spirit. Three emerging artists, some self-taught, discovering and acquainting themselves with each other. The initiation of this new residency marked a shift in our work’s perception. The decision to select less experienced artists this year opened up new avenues for confrontation and exchange. Doubts and vulnerabilities were readily shared, and instead of pursuing their individual ideas, the artists opted to create together, in collaboration. This approach forces us to reconsider the very notion of error in the artistic process. Is it possible to make a mistake? And if so, does it matter? Perhaps it is more a matter of humility and confidence in exploring, at times, more ‘sensitive’ paths.
Throughout the residency, we witnessed the evolution of doubts, both individual and collective, from initial projections to understandable and relieving compromises. The artists transcended these uncertainties to become one cohesive unit. Pauline’s initial ideas about the railway lines on the Ile de Nantes gave way to the totem pole imagery proposed by Thomas. The sonic dimension of the work naturally integrated with the artists, all of whom have a deep affinity for sound. By collecting sounds on the island, designing electronics, working with materials like Plexiglas and metal, and enlisting external service providers, the artists combined their skills to create a work that mirrors their own identity: captivating, aesthetic, and playful.
Soundtrack of an Island is a collaborative six-handed endeavor, merging sound and visuals. It takes the form of an interactive sound totem designed for public engagement, resembling an arcade game. This ‘robot magician’ produces sounds derived from real recordings and altered by the artists to evoke a futuristic quality. The themes invoked include nature, work, politics, and noise. The interactive installation allows the public to improvise their own music using the integrated sounds and envision their own auditory environment of the future. The artists acknowledge that they are not the sole creative force behind this project; without the participation of the public, the sculpture loses its essence. They invite the public to engage in an artistic process, creating a continuum of co-creation. In line with this, they collaborated with students from the Fine Arts School of Nantes Saint-Nazaire to compose a musical piece for the totem pole’s inauguration.
For four years now, we have been engaging with the student community at the Fine Arts School of Nantes Saint-Nazaire, involving them in the creative processes conceived by guest artists during the Magic Carpets artistic residencies. Collaborating with local and European artists serves as a professional steppingstone for the students and a wellspring of inspiration. These works and residencies often span multiple creative forms, within a territorial context that encourages artists and community members to introspect. Our objective is to propose opportunities for former students of the school to engage with our European partners, exposing them to novel artistic spaces in diverse cultural contexts.
Curatorial text by Josselin Couteau