‘paysages en exil’ by nicolas dorval bory and raphael betillon
all images courtesy nicolas dorval bory and raphael betillon
french architect nicolas dorval bory together with raphael betillon have sent us images
of their winning project for the national cultural event ‘imaginez maintenant’, france –
featuring several art installations in toulouse and other french cities.
along the hospital of la grave in toulouse, ‘paysages en exil’ seeked to create an experimental
journey in which visitors were invited to explore an unlikely landscape, a condensation of climates,
a mix of natures from all over the world. the project finds its genesis in the description of
‘wandering plants phenomenon’ made by gilles clément;
‘plants travel. grass mostly. they silently move in the way of the winds. nothing can stop
the wind. by harvesting clouds, one would be surprised to get imponderable seeds mixed
with loess, fertile dusts. in the sky yet unforeseeable landscapes are being designed. chance
organizes the details, uses every possible vehicle to distribute the species. everything suits
the transport, from ocean currents to shoe soles. most of the trip belongs to animals. nature
charters birds, berry eaters, gardening ants, subversive and quiet sheeps, which fleece holds
fields and fields of seeds. and also man. restless animal, always in the move, free swapper
of diversity.’ – gilles clément, eloge des vagabondes
along the hospital of la grave in toulouse
in an acclimatization space – a long agricultural greenhouse – is prepared with medicinal plants’
seedlings coming from the five continents, as a reference to the wandering plants and to the curing
function of the hospital.
from a distance
the journey begins as the visitors enters an infinite bright tunnel and feels the climatic distortion.
after ‘blindly’ choosing one of the 2000 plants (a gift in a white paper bag), they continues through
its path and penetrates a thick cloud, a dense mist born from the spraying of the garonne river through
1000 nozzles, on the bank and the viguerie footbridge. still carrying their seedling, they then experience
in this abstract, a disconcerting humid environment with a random trip of those invisible wandering
landscapes through storms and clouds. at the end of this vaporous trail, exiting the viguerie footbridge,
the ‘traveler’ is invited to plant the seedling that they have carried so far wherever they want.
the green house was 50m long, and the cloud about 100m long. in four days, the event
imaginez maintenant received about 17 000 visitors inside the hospital. their project,
located outside the hospital and on a quite busy walkway, received about 25 000 visitors,
most of them not even aware of the art event, but just attracted from the other bank by the large
cloud, on the heatwave days (temperature reached 34°c on the 1st of july).
the mist system had been developed with french company dutrie, one the offices who carried
out the blur building, by diller+scofidio in yverdon les bains (2002).
more than 2000 seedlings were offered to the public, which were selected and prepared with
the agricultural highschool of auzeville.
in the early evening
visitors walking through
seedlings for visitors
the mist as it appears on an individual’s arm
the mist along the river
visitors walking on the footbridge
in the evening
the lighting effect at night
drawing of ‘paysages en exil’
the temperature scale
the temperature diagram has been produced with photoshop from a approximated thermal
survey with 10 regular thermometers, at 3pm on the 1st of july.
project name: paysages en exil
city, country: toulouse, france
authors: nicolas dorval-bory & raphaël bétillon
team: nicolas dorval-bory, raphaël bétillon, paula gonzalez balcarce
status of project: built project, 1st to 4th of july 2010