Art & photography
The end of every Winter in France is marked by the International Agricultural Show, traditionally referred to as « the biggest farm in France ». This nostalgia for an everlasting countryside is actually part of a huge promotional campaign that disguises what French agriculture has truly become : a mechanical, motorized production line, excessively specialized, and that has long-forgotten the true foundations of agronomy ; an agricultural industry that mistreats the land, overexploits water resources and neglects the country's traditional livestock system. And for that matter, the rural population is melting like snow in the sun. The exhibition in March should be renamed “The Demise of Agriculture Fair”.
What has the original function of agriculture become ? This question is the starting point for this project.
French identity is strongly linked to the territory. The rural sphere such as we picture it is nothing but a cliché perpetuated in popular imagery, drawn from farming history and the nostalgia for a traditional countryside.
The perception of the countryside as a primitive Mother Earth, a property or a bucolic landscape is a façade that hides ecological, physical and social changes that affect the rural landscape and alter the nature of agricultural activity itself.
Dystopia is an imaginary country set at the end of the 21st century in France. Its characteristics are inherited from our time and from a certain economical and social model that tends to reduce agriculture to an industry like any other. This frame is used to imagine fictional scenarios that stage the future farmer in his working context. We are sometimes inspired by famous paintings. Every image is thought through, based on the place and a number of real facts that we attempt to clarify.
Thoses images are from the series "News from Gazhistan"
The project should culminate in a touring exhibition and the publication of a book in Winter 2013-2014.
Allocation of funds
The budget required will essentially cover two months of production in the Spring of 2013:
car expenses, accommodation and meals for two (Alexa Brunet and Patrick Herman), in regions that are able to illustrate the variety of agricultural landscapes in France : the Garonne (water retention basins, intensive corn production), Beauce (wheat fields) , Brittany (industrial livestock production), Poitou-Charente (wetland drainage), and Champagne (conventional vineyard). photographic supplies (medium format film 6x7) and developing.
Travel expenses for 2 months : 3000 € Accommodation and meals : 2000 € 100 colour medium format films : 500 €
TOTAL : 5 500 €
The budget does not include post-production : developing, postcard printing, exhibition production and book publication.
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