Art & Culture

Published on November 1st, 2015 | by Pascal Ordonneau

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Château La Coste, in August 2015, The Field of Art or Art in the Field?

Chronicalization does not provide sufficient commentary for each artist exhibited or presented or anchored in the soil of Château La Coste. Each work should be detailed and assessed over pages and pages, as the authors are, they say, the geniuses of their time. Will they be geniuses for times to come? Will we find, in fifty or a hundred years, the ruined rubble of collapsed buildings or rusted carcasses? Obviously, nobody can tell.

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Photo by Aixenprovenceotourism.

Some of these works, wicked, unbelieving and/or blasphemous, may have been demolished. One of the first destroyed passages was driven by the small, underdeveloped Caliphate groups. Christians of extremist groups have razed the remaining ruins and works.

So no reviews of works. No name, either. Except two or three.

For example, we did not say a word about the work of Frank Gehry. Purposely. This gentleman is a sculptor in crustaceans that pretends to be an architect. Imagine the postman Cheval who was recruited by a company of ACHE-ELEME. This time, he planted a crab under the pretext of an outdoor music hall. A crab-drum, maybe.

I quoted Tadao Ando. For good reason. All those who will go to the castle will be under the spell of an exceptional event. Purity of form. Compliance with a beautiful environment. Outlook on classicism, which delves into the roots of the most beautiful Greek culture. Porticos that punctuate the host buildings and introduce visitors to this area of art, which, if the intention of its owner is well understood, will continue to enrich themselves.

We will question the owner to ask if there is not a true artist of these places, an author of a colossal work made of vineyards in Tuscany and aligned as masterpieces as before kings and princes loved to in order to decorate their gardens.

PS: the photos are mine, and well below the wonderful pictures you can find on the Château La Coste Site.

Would it become a must or fashion or attitude? The spaces open to art, offering hundreds of hectares, kilometers of trails, thousands of steps, rivers, streams, ponds and hundreds of thousands of vines plans. These areas were once stationed in Provence, and we see them go up to the North, where the vines are still growing but also where we find fruit trees.

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Photo by Aixenprovenceotourism.

In these vast areas, often away from mass tourism, far from the museum-towns, beaches and umbrellas, are populated villages of natives in local costume. Traveled by tourists in shorts and marcel, you see monumental works standing erect, such as that we would see around airports, major Olympic stadiums or near new modern stations for high-speed trains.

What megalomaniac, maxi-sized, gigantic sculptures and senseless constructions could befall the owners, often foreigners, of these areas? What new artistic expression of altruism is there to speak? These areas are privately owned. Would it be then a modern form of atonement for that which was formerly Brancacci chapel, the stained glass windows of great cathedrals and richly illuminated Bibles? Are we in one of those rare moments in the history of civilization when the rich, the Medici, the Rothschilds, the Fuggers, the Jacques Heart, get the idea of leaving something beautiful, grand, sublime for their contemporaries and future generations?

Something beautiful… or do we do we not offer an undecided thought, a meditation on art, a question about what may be a work? The visit I made to the field of wine and the art that is Château La Coste on the edge of the Luberon, near Aix en Provence, did not bring very precise answers to these questions in multiple forms.

Artwork, domaine? Works of art in the field? One area for artwork??? One area that offers visitors a little over three kilometers of paths and trails to lead this reflection, rub the works that have been installed there as a giant might throw handfuls of art here and there, spreading buildings, sculptures, and forms. Throughout the course, the eye plunges into nature, dominated by vineyards that give the look of view of an Italian table and draw in distant landscapes whose elegance makes for a setting in an art world.

Works in the field? The images speak for themselves: describing architecture and sculptures is often as delicate as commenting on a symphony or aria. It is so difficult that by provocation, we try to disturb the vision, upset the artistic scheduling and mixing of genres.

Works are spread throughout a path in the field – they give themselves to be seen, one after the other, well insulated, like all works are jealous of its beauty work or its reputation? Or works are scattered in nature to become one with her and show that she can be an accomplice of artistic creation or, a false servant, she can be creative and disturb the minds of viewers, forcing them to question. Because it may happen that the viewer falls into raptures before a piece of rock that they take for a work and miss a work next to it that they take for rock. The viewers are incorrigible, if we do not give them a map to find it and attempt to understand it, they are able to consider with interest, with passion, with the love of transportation, toilet seats, mismatched bicycle wheels and racks for drying bottles. They can immerse themselves in meditation in front of the numbers taking place for years on thousands of tables. They cannot stop in front of a monumental sculpture by Dubuffet, but they can reject or even wish for its destruction. Under these conditions, taking a divot in the work of an unknown modern is a lesser evil.

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Photo by Aixenprovenceotourism.

It is not surprising therefore that pictures of “nothing,” pictures of raw objects directly from nature, not signed, yet transfigured by culture, come here and there disturb the speech “land-artien” of Château La Coste. Playing and laughing in the middle of these masterpieces is a thousand times better than advancing in the stuffy air, hands behind his back and gaze half capsized, all while caring for the missing work marked 4B on the map presented at the entrance of the estate. Field of art, field of fight, it would extend into all areas … where art is sown, will they one day come together like water lilies on a pond, cover the entire territory?

Remember Lacoste to say two things: to be greeted by a giant spider by Louise Bourgeois is obviously iconic. We are entering a place where art is woven and which creates a mysterious network. Recently we became friendly, and it is from her that we take the canvas (unless it is the canvas that takes us!); entering the field by a building that hesitates between the peristyle and geometry lesson, we return to our ever-present roots: “O reward after a thought, a long look at the calm of the gods.” Tando Andao created a sublime door for a passage “au delà.”

In fact, I have not written it again: one must absolutely go there.

Heading page photo : voyager-magazine


About the Author

40 ans de banque chez plusieurs établissements français et anglo-saxons ; il est l’auteur de plusieurs livres sur l’économie et la banque, d’un livre de voyage, d’un roman et d’un livre sur l’Allemagne. Il écrit pour les journaux et la radio, dont les Echos, le Figaro, Huffington Post, Radio France International.



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