In their latest book, What cannot be stolen. Charte du Verstohlen (2022) (Ce qui ne peut être volé. Charte du Verstohlen), the designer Antoine Fenoglio and the philosopher Cynthia Fleury propose a manifesto to defend ten points necessary to our lives, in order to extricate ourselves from alienating crises. Silence, health, long time, care for the dead… and the horizon are included.
For the past twenty years, Olivier Crouzel has been looking at, inhabiting and crossing this horizon or these horizons.
Standing in the Strait of Gibraltar, O. Crouzel films the crossing of a bird, migrant fishermen or a suitcase. This contemporary altarpiece evokes the path that a part of the population must take through the currents that can save or kill. It is also a question of dark trajectories in Même mer, mêmes Hommes, since it is in Lesbos that Olivier Crouzel deposits the beating heart of an inflatable boat. The breathing of the boat comes to life in the deep night, the fragility of a breath dissolves in the water. Contemplative and brutal, these two works come together as an opus to the exhibition.
The artist scans the distance, it is a call, a necessity. Sometimes he settles for long periods of time in these landscapes and inhabits the moving spaces he depicts.
In this way, he conducts two parallel experiments, in Greece and in the Gironde, and questions not the vulnerability of men but that of nature, which are one and the same. This is the common story of abandoned buildings: a hotel for White Beach and a holiday home for Signal. The artist collects and archives views. The carcass of the Signal stands out on the Atlantic coast, since 2014 the artist has never stopped dissecting the great white bar, telling us the story of a building, of an era…
Olivier Crouzel offers us serious visions but distils a little lightness and takes us on a journey to Lanzarote.
On the island of a thousand palm trees, another artist, César Manrique (1912-1992), promoted a model of intervention marked by sustainability, where the buildings do not exceed the height of the palm trees.
O. Crouzel pays tribute to him with Arboretum.
The third and final act of this journey is a beautiful escape in a motor home on the French west coast.
O. Crouzel decides to reach the horizon, taking only roads on his right! This is where things get complicated, as you have to pass and overcome obstacles … and finally disobey to deserve these seasides. Through the window of his mobile home he records these holiday-like panoramas, punctuated by prohibitions.
This road-movie reminds us that obstinacy and long-term efforts offer us the simple possibility of a horizon that inhabits us, crosses us and frees us.
Visual : Olivier Crouzel, Horizonto, 2021.
Courtesy of the artist © Olivier Crouzel