Julien SalaudGrotte Stellaire
Reversing the principle of his “constellated” animals (stuffed animals covered with a mesh of white thread), the artist develops constellations of animals on the walls of the room.
Through his practice Julien Salaud (b. 1977, lives and works in Orléans) questions the links, forces and symbolism that unite man with nature. He is equally interested in the survival of animal and plant species that are currently disappearing and in the manufacture of celestial creatures, chimera formed from birds and insects. Therefore he composes a magic bestiary – that allows us to confront a return to the powerful and mysterious reign of animals. In the artist’s own words, each of his works offers “a different point of view regarding what an animal can be (that of the Cartesian or the geneticist, the predator or the prey, the sorcerer or the mystic)”.
The Alice Guy room (named after the famous French film director, a pioneer of cinema) is a former cinema auditorium, occupied from 1988 to 1995 by the Cinémathèque Française and left abandoned ever since. Julien Salaud plans to decorate its walls and transform it into a Grotte stellaire [star-studded cave]. Inspired by the theories of the ethno-astronomer Chantal Jègues-Wolkiewiez who postulates that the herds painted on certain walls of the Lascaux Cave may repeat the arrangement of stars in the sky, Julien Salaud presents a reconstruction of this cave and its paintings that are presumed to be astronomical. Reversing the principle of his “constellated” animals (stuffed animals covered with a mesh of white thread), the artist develops constellations of animals on the walls of the room. With the help of networks of nails interlinked by white threads highlighted by a specific lighting, he revives the possible rituals of the Paleolithic age associated with the cult of the stars. Above all, in this cinema necessarily devoted to the appearance of images, brings together in a single impulse a fable regarding the birth of the stars in our consciousness, from the contemplation of the sky in the wall painting figures dating from 30,000 years ago, right up to contemporary cinema.