The seed drift

Work : The seed drift.

Action to derive seeds in small boats in nutshells on a fountain in the center of Montpellier 2015.
Series of photographs, pigment prints on paper Harman Baryta, various sizes 2016.

Location : Montpellier, France, 2015.

Exhibition from October 11 to November 26, 2016, at Galerie Alice Mogabgab, Beyrouth, Liban.

Statement :

Montpellier, October 3, 2015.
The ducks watching me are probably wondering what pushes me to float a hundred walnut shells weighted with seeds on a body of water in the city center. Unfortunately, this kind of action is not the easiest art form to explain to web-footed birds of the Anatidae family.
But when Claire contacted me to participate in this event to raise awareness of the fate of those we now call migrants, the first thought that came to me was for these frail skiffs loaded to the brim with terrified people who were braving the storm over the immensity of the sea, for these nut shells ready to sink from one second to the next in general indifference. By a curious association of ideas, my second thought took me back to the Calais of my early childhood. Not the Calais of the eponymous jungle where poor wretches today wade in the icy mud dreaming, day after day, of the makeshift raft that would allow them to cross the Channel; not the Calais of the carefree era when my grandfather passed on to the amazed toddler that I was his method for transforming real nuts into boats allowing him to travel to the furthest reaches of his imagination. My imagination at the time could not suspect, fortunately, that he would die a few months later in excruciating suffering and that beyond his skills in pocket shipbuilding would remain with this fleeting memory what he remembered. had transmitted something more precious, namely: life. As true as he knew that nuts are seeds long before becoming boats and that nothing better has ultimately been found to navigate between generations.
For we humans too are seeds, from our beginnings, floating from the tumultuous waters of our conception to the propitious womb where we develop. Going back much further in the genealogy of gametes, we must remember that these are identical seeds which have gradually spread across the five continents from the moment when, a hundred thousand years ago, a hundred intrepid homo sapiens decided to leave their African cradle to cross the Red Sea. Here, there is not one among us who is not descended from this small handful of original migrants who one day set out in search of a welcoming land in which to bear fruit. From fertile loves and tamed landscapes, over millennia, it is our common ancestors who built the world that we share today as a heritage.
Some will say that these distant ancestors gradually became sedentary, that through abundance and forgetting hunger, some even claimed rights over the fertile mounds that the most selfish of them had ended up with. surround with immobile barricades.
However, on a global scale, we only need to wait a few hundred years to realize that even the forests are moving and that, listening carefully to them rustling under our feverish hands with so many epics, the branch of the walker and the trunk of the canoe do not say anything else. Life has always been about movement.
In the age of the Anthropocene, this is the meaning of the tiny guerrilla gardening action that I am carrying out today. Because I want to tell the mallards, the brownshirts and all those who tinkle in the shadows, that nature is stronger than the smallness of their minds. I don’t need my reflection in a pond to realize that all these humans drifting on the water are us.
We, the little joys pushed by the wind just waiting to sprout.

For the three little girls to whom I also taught how to make walnut boats.

Links :

Morts aux frontières.

Déplacements de l’homme.

Guerilla gardening


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