Ephemeral Icons

A residency project with / Un projet de résidence avec
La Maison Laurentine: Centre d’art discret
Aubepierre-sur-Aube, France (map / carte)
June 6 > July 3, 2011presented as part of the manifestaion
D’abord les forêts… Opus 2
July 3 > September 25, 2011
Distribution & placement (1/20)
Distribution & placement
Moulage (1/7)
Préparation (1/16)

Beginning with my desire to work with an icon that would represent the region of the Aube valley, the project Ephemeral Icons developed during a one month residency with La Maison Laurentine.

The stag antler is such an icon as it is a representation of the abundance of life and an undeniable connection with nature. The transformation of the antler from solid bone to hollow beeswax renders it a delicate, rarefied icon that draws attention to the assumed sense that, here in Aubepierre-sur-Aube, one is a component of all that is the environment.

The delicate nature of beeswax renders the icon ephemeral. As a manner of preserving the analogy to life and nature, the beeswax icon must be maintained but only if the idea resonates within the hearts and minds of others. To this, the more than sixty beeswax icons are placed, with permission, in selected public and private outdoor locations, including courtyards, on the sidewalk, beside the river, in gardens and beside the church within the village of Aubepierre-sur-Aube. Once in place, susceptible to the elements, it is up to individuals as to whether the icon is maintained or not.

My interest remains in how art is not so much a reflection of life but rather a part of it, finding the separation unnecessary. I work from the principle of the pragmatic aesthetic, which refers to the intrinsic and evolving appearance of things, objects, and structures found in our environments, appearances that are inherently dynamic due to the passage of time. I am fascinated by the appearance that has both been created by abandoned attention and by the maintenance that is performed to reverse signs of neglect – the dichotomy between maintenance and deterioration – the inevitable, usual, predictable reaction of one to the other.

Special thanks to
Marie Solange Dubès and Pierre Bongiovanni – La Maison Laurentine
Jacky & Corrine Sanchez – Coco’s Bar
Alain Dourad – for providing the original stage antlers to cast from
Patrick Beaulieu
Julien Munchi
Laurie Lamoureux Scholes

Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec – Travel Grant