Cheveux de Venus⎪Immersive Installation by François Génot and Christelle Enault

In collaboration with Centre National des Arts Plastiques, curated by Octave Cowbell

Location: Take Off

François Génot and Christelle Enault

Octave Cowbell

The Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap) is one of the main operators of the Ministry of Culture's contemporary visual arts policy. On behalf of the French government, it enriches the Fonds national d'art contemporain, a national collection that it preserves and promotes through loans and deposits in France and abroad, partnered exhibitions and publications. With almost 107,000 works acquired over more than two centuries from living artists, the Cnap collection is representative of the variety of artistic currents. A key cultural player, Cnap encourages the artistic scene in all its diversity, and supports artists and professionals through a number of programs. It also contributes to the promotion of the projects it supports, by implementing distribution initiatives.

In this way, Cnap aims to support artists who have received support for an original project, and who, beyond their research stage, are in a phase that can enable experimentation to become part of the "reality" of an exhibition. Since 2015, it has notably implemented the "Suite" program, which each year offers independent art venues and artist-run spaces in France and abroad the opportunity to host projects supported by Cnap. In view of the experimental nature of these projects, and the importance of supporting alternative or emerging exhibition initiatives, Cnap has decided to set up a promotional operation with Luxembourg Art Week, by inviting an artist-run space that has previously taken part in the "Suite" program. The aim of this initiative is to highlight the importance and commitment of the artist in his or her creative work, as well as in researching and experimenting with new forms of exhibition.

This year, carte blanche was offered to Octave Cowbell, a space in Metz which had exhibited the Machine Terrestrographique project by the Raffard-Roussel duo as part of the Suite 2020 program. As the exhibition could not be held under its original conditions due to the health crisis, Cnap decided to strengthen its support for the association, giving it the opportunity to present a tailor-made program during Luxembourg Art Week. On the occasion of a carte blanche for Luxembourg Art Week, the Octave Cowbell gallery brings together Christelle Enault (b. 1980) and François Génot (b. 1981), two artists with shared sensibilities, in an immersive and sensory proposition.

Taking care of ourselves, the environments we inhabit and the beings that inhabit them requires humble and active daily attention to living things. Learning to name plants, listen to animals, stroke the bark of a tree or smell damp earth all help to activate our senses and our knowledge. These rituals anchor us, repair our fragile bodies and re-establish lost connections with a magical, vital world. Christelle Enault and François Génot create works in relation to their everyday environment, in order to discover new ways of sharing. Collaborations, cohabitations, co-creations. Behind the veil printed with the juice of young shoots, gestures and ideas are activated, where worlds intertwine and converse. The visible and the invisible, heaven and earth, matter and spirit, humans and non-humans, the living and the dead. Singing, drawing and burning are all vibratory rhythms exerted between their own bodies and matter. New forms of writing emerge and resonate with popular traditions and skills derived from plants, their essences, their stories and their secrets.
Cheveux de Vénus is an invitation to experience, an ode to hybridization, intertwining, welcoming and otherness.

François Génot François Génot's (1981, Strasbourg, FR) lives and works in a rural environment in eastern France. His attitude and the impetus of his approach from the resistance and proliferation of living things. He elaborates a sensitive, energetic formal language punctuated by the experience of place. Travel, collecting and a particular attention to materials, forms and natural phenomena feed his practice. His attention to the everyday wilderness that inhabits our anthropized spaces opens doors to the human, animal, plant and mineral worlds in presence, with which he attempts to find new modes of cohabitation and sharing. The processes he develops with the seasons and the different environments he frequents enable him to maintain an active collaboration with living things. The empirical methods born of his systems of attention, the interplay of forms and materials, and his actions in the field bear witness to an approach geared towards understanding and translating other forms of language and modes of expression of living things.

Active on the international scene since 2005, he has carried out numerous residencies and exhibitions. He has recently collaborated with the FRAC Alsace for a curatorial project on issues of ferality, the Ferme Asile in Switzerland, Engramme in Quebec, the Fondation François Schneider in Wattwiller, the CIAP - Île de Vassivière, the association Fertile, Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, Ergastule in Nancy, the CACLB in Montauban, Belgium, and with the Saarlandisches Kunstlerhaus in Saarbrücken, Germany. In 2020 and 2021, his work will enter the collections of the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg and the FRAC Alsace. A founding member of numerous local community projects, he plays an active role in the development of culture in rural areas. He has been teaching drawing at the Ecole Supérieure d'Art de Lorraine in Metz since 2016.

Christelle Enault (1980, Paris, FR) lives and works in Dinan, Côtes d'Armor, France. Christelle Enault designs and creates objects reflecting the living, plants, forests and stars, weaving links between the visible and the invisible. Since 2010, she has been drawing worlds exploring the spirit world, desire and derision, sailing between drawing, comics and paper installations. In 2015, she completed an intense two-year training course in herbalism at the Institut Français d'Herboristerie. During this period, she studied the medicinal uses of plants, botany, chemistry, human and plant physiognomy, etc... Parallel to this apprenticeship, she forged links with the symbolic force of living forms, from plants to the stars, and delved into astrology. Carried away by the magical beauty of the world, she wishes to bring healing through images with her therapeutic drawings and songs. And to convey the richness of plants in a sensitive way. Since 2010, she has been working as an illustrator with various French and foreign press titles, including Le Monde, Libération and The New York Times.

Masque Platane Christelle Enault
© Masque platane -Christelle Enault