M O N T A V O I X
21st of June 2018
& Alexis Gautier
21st of June 2018
& Alexis Gautier
Sharing an Orange, Some Thoughts, & a Miracle, 2018
performance with two glasses, two wood stelas, oranges, cheese, bread, & wine.
moon shaped bonfire and hoven for the clay relics
Two glasses, local clay, baked in bonfire
Sharing an orange, some thoughts, and a miracle, Antoine and Wim rest on a patch of mountainside, after a long, hard day of work in the woods. This evening – like every evening – they enjoy this moment of tranquillity, there, sitting at the precise spot where some trees perfectly frame a view of the mountains. The sun is setting; it is too late to work anyway. Before going back to the refuge, this evening – like every evening – they have this instant of sovereignty, a sort of ritual: sharing an orange, some thoughts, and a miracle.
A few days later, Wim finds two glasses on this precise fragment of the earth. This ritual seems to have existed before, practised by other devotees. When searching for a place to realise this Lucrèce project, we come across this spot. After walking around the Montavoix and discovering its fields, forests, and waterfalls, it is not easy to establish a preference, but if this has already been recognised as an ideal place by others, why would we search for another place to settle?
The Montavoix is a place in between: between city and nature, peaks and valleys, between Haut-Jura’s mountains and the Alps. It is neither paradise, nor hell, but a sort of purgatory. On the 21st of June, between spring and summer, we will celebrate this place with an orange, some thoughts, and a miracle.
With some clay found in a river in the valley, we replicate the two glasses that we found, which are to be incorporated into this sovereign instant. These replicas will represent relics to us; they are the testimonies of this instant, precisely and uniquely situated in time and space. Later on, we will bring these fetish objects with us, hoping to take a share of this miraculous moment away with us. We copy the proportion of the glasses and print their motifs in the site’s earth. Later, we build a bonfire to bake the clay. This bonfire, in the shape of a crescent moon, is prepared during the day in order to bake the glasses all night long. They will enclose the solstice timeframe in their process; just as their matter encloses the substance of the site.
On the 21st, the day of the solstice, we respect Wim’s customs: waking up with the first sunshine, eating and leaving the refuge to work around the Montavoix. Before going to work in the woods, we agree an appointment at the exact patch of mountainside where the glasses were found and where we will meet in the evening. One more time, we will practise this kind of ritual. After building the bonfire, we meet at this place in the mountains, which is, in a way, dedicated to sovereignty.
When the sun goes down altogether, we share an orange, some thoughts, and a miracle for the last time. Then, when the darkness appears, we go to light the bonfire and to celebrate this miracle: between day and night, when work is over and we can enjoy the last sunshine before starting another cycle. On the 22nd, we discover the glasses, still warm. We bring them home to remind us of this place and this moment: vanished, but still represented and remembered by us.
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