As part of the Festival Nuits des Forets, I realized in collaboration with the Segato family, La forêt qui n'existe plus, an artistic intervention in situ through the memory of the place and the trees.
Near the village of Perles-et-Castelet in the central French Pyrenees, the Segato family had a forest, but this place today becomes the testimony of an injustice towards nature: 300 fir trees over 50 years old were cut illegally, the fellers left only torn branches and a disfigured and polluted ground. The Segato family like birds, deer and badgers have lost their little paradise, which remains only in memories and in the hope that the forest will regenerate as soon as possible.
Currently, after a one-year investigation, the culprits defend themselves in court, the director of the company asks for a remedy for 18 months in prison, but the politicians involved have been protected. The owners must replant the trees and consolidate the land at their expense, for the moment they have not been compensated.
Ricordare, recall, call again, because his memory is still present, in the heart and the word. To find your bearings, to look differently through memories, to look for remains. Rivelare, reveal the hidden traces of the past but also of the future. Riparare as a repair but also to protect, from Riparo, shelter. Ricreare, rebuild lost things. Wait, wait, tender, aspire with hope and perseverance.
The ground is ransacked, see the torn branches and the polluted source is very painful. But once again, it is still nature that reassures us, there are small plants growing. Today I counted them.
ferns, ash, beech, oak, chestnut, hazel and fir.
To reveal the tree in these roots, still rooted, still embraced.
The harvesters have left a ground upset, deep cavities filled with polluted water from the deviated source.
By extending these grooves, I dig with my hands an archaeological sheet to find the tree.
Reconstruct the image of this place.
“It was really wonderful, every corner of this forest had its universe, it made sense, every time I came here I would walk for at least an hour through the whole forest, 30 years of memories.
The forest soothed me and I left with a new energy.
It brought me back to what I really was as a child, I found the roots of my childhood, I returned to this state of simplicity.
This plot was my favorite, a corner I liked a lot was more spaced out, brighter. ”
“You could see the green firs all the way down. It was like a parable, it was a piercing for the birds.
The fir trees had another structure, the branches were so big that they were arched downwards, but they went up to the end,
And then you had all the branches hanging like garlands. They had a structure that only appeared at a certain age of their height and weight.’