"Témoin" by Nicolas Tourte, HYam Carte Blanche in Hydra
From July 14 to September 15, 2019, Nicolas Tourte’s video installation Témoin (Witness) will be exhibited in the public space of Hydra, in Greece. This in situ installation was specially conceived for this project, as part of the blank slate given by HYam to the artist.
HYam was created in 2014 by French journalist Pauline Simons as a means of supporting emerging artists from Mediterranean countries, helping them gain better international visibility.
Alternating with the prize, which every two years recognizes the work of a young artist from a Mediterranean country, HYam will now also offer carte blanche to a French artist who will create a work specially conceived for the public space in Hydra. The first commission has been entrusted to artist Nicolas Tourte, and will be installed on Makariou Square, in the heart of the village, for a richly art-filled summer 2019 season.
Témoin by Nicolas Tourte
A video installation inspired by the theme of insularity
Nicolas Tourte’s work is quixotic without being jarring, poetic without being unrealistic. Nevertheless, the artist enjoys - basically as a rule - altering perceptions, questioning equilibrium and distilling ambiguity, creating works that are all the more Circean because they are beautiful to behold.
Will passers-by in Hydra, attracted by a strange brightness in the night, linger on this old pontoon, encircled by an imaginary body of water that reflects the diurnal sky? Somewhere between waking dream and false truth, the artist invites viewers into his ruse - a romantic gesture - to then step back or examine a wider perspective. Inversely, under the blazing sun, this accelerated marine passage revives a meandering insular history. Is this the surviving vestige of a naval battle, the tangible symbol of imminent danger or some purposeful form of disrepair?
By choosing to “move” a seaside structure onto an empty square bordered by citrus trees, the artist opens up all the stops. “I work with limited means but I like to maintain an ambiguous link between real and virtual, true and false. The important thing is not to control everything, so that each person can project his or her own narrative. My work relative to the image comes from the idea of repetition: following and identifying processes and invisible mechanisms that govern our lives. I often like to make people think that my works are made in a high-tech way, despite the fact that they’re not,” the artist stated. That effect is clear.
Born in 1977 in Charleville-Mézières, Nicolas Tourte lives in Lille and works in various places. He is represented by Laure Roynette Gallery in Paris.
He was selected by Hermès for several projects (“La Tête dans les nuages” in 2014 and “L’œil du flâneur” in 2015), which gave his cult objects a completely unexpected use. He has had various solo exhibitions in French museums and art centers: at Chapelle de l’Oratoire in Clermont-Ferrand, at Château d’Hardelot, at Musée de la Piscine in Roubaix, at ESAM Caen ... In 2018, Nicolas Tourte will expand his reputation abroad through several group exhibitions, from Taipei (for the Biennial) to Barcelona, from Beirut to Katowice, Rome and more...
Photo : Temoin - Nicolas Tourte’s project for HYam – 2019, detail © DR