The Regional Nature Parks of Lorraine, the Monts d'Ardèche, Pilat and Vercors have decided to conduct a collective reflection on the industrial history of their territories, its changes and ruptures, its impact on the landscapes and the daily life of today's populations. Eight commissions for works were sent to four artists. Lani Maestro worked in Ardèche and Lorraine.
The Boutières region is an important industrial and craft center in the central west of the Ardèche in the upper Eyrieux valley. In 2010, the former Community of Municipalities of Les Boutières decided to buy the Murat factory site, which embodies both the cradle of the jewellery industry and the workers' memory. The plant must now be part of the future of the territory, which raises many questions : what know-how and identity are we talking about, what can we value and transmit to future generations? Lani Maestro was invited to take a look at this changing place and the jewellery business while establishing a link with former employees. With as a starting point : the factory as it stands with its machines and tools.
During the conversations with the workers, Lani Maestro perceived a real creativity in the manufacture of each piece. These HANDS is an installation that can be read and deployed from the outside to the inside of the factory. The sentence (taken from José Perez Beduya's poem, "Glass Flowers" "If you have to take my life, let me keep my hands off" is written in blue neon on one of the walls facing the street. Opaque blue panels have been placed on the openings of the building. Inside, three old workbenches present tools recreated with Joel Haond who works at the factory. A sound composition in connection with people and the working environment is broadcast in the exhibition space and from the workshop.
Born in 1957 in Manila, Philippines, Lani Maestro lives and works in Canada and France. She graduated from the University of the Philippines in 1977 and from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax in 1989. Since 1979, his work has been shown in exhibitions in North America, Europe and Asia, as well as in the contemporary art biennales of Busan (South Korea), Istanbul, Havana, Shanghai, Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) and Sydney.