16.6.2017

The White Walkers

The White Walkers project is a form of poetic colonization of the European expanse. An atlas of 120 images will bear witness to the 10.000 kilometres odyssey throughout Europe of two artists accompanied by their sculptures.

Francesca Bonesio (1976, Turin), Italian-born architect, researcher and working artist, and Nicolas Guiraud (1970, Bayonne), French photograph and visual artist, founded Atelier 37.2 in Paris in 2009. In the last 4 years, they conceived, built and installed their sculptures, for the time it takes to create an image, over 40 sites in 3 different countries (France, Italy, Iceland).

These raw wood sculptures, just a size above the human scale, have a limited life-span like us. These peuples de passage let themselves occupy the sites like statues with no claims to eternity. As they roam the territories where they have been installed, they piece together their history while questioning ours*.

The reference to the creatures from the “Game of Thrones” series, aka the “Others”, questions the migratory crisis endured by Europe today and the ever growing temptations to build walls.

This project is for us a way to develop a counter-point narrative by reminding us how much the idea of movement, exchange and migration are at the core of our identity. As artists, we want to introduce a form of poetry into a social issue, today mainly anchored to fear. Our ambition is to generate an atlas of 120 images of a certain European ideal.

In practical terms, the next step of this artistic adventure will be a 10 000 Km throughout Europe.  They will publish a 120 photographs atlas, accompanied by an itinerant exhibition, witness of “The whitewalkers” European odyssey.

Atelier 37.2 has just launched a crowdfunding campaign on KissKissBankBank (https://www.kisskissbankbank.com/fr/projects/the-white-walkers) in order to finance the production of this project. Their artistic performance consists also in the human adventure that the artists aim to share with the public. The campaign met an immediate public success : in 2 weeks they reached their goal. This crowd-funding operation  allows to finance the Whitewalkers project production through the sale (at very interesting prices) of signed photographs, as rewards.

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*As Austrian MAK curator Janina Falkner wrote, “The sculptures play the role of fictitious characters. While they wander over cities and lands, where they are put into situation, they build their story. We experience the sites through the protagonists of an adventure. In other words, the identity of the fictive heroes is developed through the narration of a journey, which divulge their being. The account of a travel follows here two performative directions, since together figurants and space enchant one another reciprocally. Therefore the sites only become legendary and mythic through their heroes, as well as the narration that draws the fictitious characters’ story, their biography“.

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