• performance detail, 'The Cave' (2014)
  • performance detail, 'The Cave' (2014)
  • Camera Tracing Mechanism, 'The Arena' (2014)
  • Installation view, "The Cave", (2014)
  • performance, 'The Arena' (2014)
  • 'The Arena' (2014)
  • detail, 'The Arena' (2014)
  • detail, 'The Arena' (2014)

The Cave and The Arena

The Cave and The Arena


HD digital film, colour with sound

Acrylic, gloss and varnish on canvas with timber – 4 at 350×120²cm – 

Running time:
14 minutes, 12 seconds

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Midi-Pyrénées

Produced in association with Maison des arts Georges Pompidou

Photos – Jean-Benoit Lallemant and Yohann Gozard

Four canvases like curious doors, punctuate the spatial profundity of ‘Le cirque de Venes à Saint-Cirq Lapopie’. 

Their brilliant deep green patina contrasts the earthy greenery of the surrounding landscape, and evokes the reflective quality of the enigmatic French Lot River connecting the valley’s villages.

‘The Cave and The Arena’ is a multidisciplinary work encompassing performance, film and painting, concerned with the artist’s body and place. Central to the work is the artist’s desire to expose symbolic connections between hidden and exposed spaces.

The project focuses on two voids in the landscape of the French Lot Valley village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, where the artist was in residence for many months: ‘La grotte de Saint-Géry à Loze’ – a cave hidden in the forest and ‘Le cirque de Venes à Saint-Cirq Lapopie’, an arena-like piece of land with vantage point.

The artist choreographs a performance inspired by the cave’s monumentality and captures the ensuing moving image with a ‘camera tracing mechanism’ which enables a camera on her shoulder.

Hand-crafted from tactile raw cotton canvas, the mechanism’s materiality not only alludes to the language of painting, but also the vulnerability of the body.

As she performs in the cave, texture, surface and form seem to morph in the moving image capture, as the mechanism offers the viewer heightened and unusual perceptions.

With a similar choreography she creates a series of movement paintings on canvas at ‘Le cirque de Venes à Saint-Cirq Lapopie’, seeking to connect and communicate through her body, elusive similarities shared by these seemingly opposing aspects of the landscape.

The creative cycle continues as the canvases remain installed in the landscape for several months, at the mercy of the valley’s fickle and intense climate – relaying notions of change, repetition and endurance.

Read more on the process behind ‘The Cave and The Arena’, 2014

‘The Cave and The Arena’, 2014 in ‘Equivalencies’ – Parcours D’art Contemporain until 31 Aug 2014