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Optiques Limousines
Pierre Malphettes

Patrons - The network of open farms in Périgord
Mediator - Pointdefuite association
Supporters - Fondation de France, DRAC Aquitaine, Conseil régional d'Aquitaine, General Council of Dordogne, Dordogne - Périgord cultural agency
Dordogne departmental council - Departmental contemporary art fund, 2 Rue Paul Louis Courier, 24019 Périgueux, France, 2013

The contexte

The Réseau des Fermes Ouvertes en Périgord includes about thirty farms that open each summer to the public. During these visits, farmers present voluntarily their activity, their way of life and their commitments. To promote this approach and address citizens who are sometimes far from the rural world but who consume the products of the land, the Réseau des Fermes Ouvertes wanted a work of art to appeal to this public, to question the future of the peasantry and to indicate that the landscape is also "made" thanks to their herds of cows grazing in the fields.

The commission

After having spent time with farmers, Pierre Malphettes articulates his thoughts on cattle, cows of the Limousin breed, and wishes to (re)give them all their elegance. As a "sign" representative of the Perigord landscape and the activity of the Network's farmers, who commissioned the work, he designed fabric blankets for them with motifs inspired by optical art. "The cow is not only the support of the work, it is an integral part of it. Without it, there would be no cover, no motives, no meeting. The cow is the "vehicle" of the work". 
The work Optiques limousines includes several elements: 
- five fabric blankets 
- ten framed photographs depicting cows in their natural environment, covered with these blankets 
- a wooden easel or display case, covered with leather, to display an unfolded cover. 
This work, with "variable geometry" (all the elements, covers, photographs, easel) can be exhibited either in whole or separately, according to the modalities established by the artist. Network members present this work on their farms or at professional events (agriculture fair, etc.).

Pierre Malphettes

A multidisciplinary contemporary artist, Pierre Malphettes explores sculpture, installation, photography, video and mural drawing. He graduated from the Ecole des beaux-arts de Bourges in 1995. Pierre Malphettes' main source of inspiration is the space around him : he first takes its measure, then seeks to delimit it, then reveals its details... His work takes on multiple forms but sculpture and installation are the privileged media to best deploy themselves in this previously studied space. In stages, Pierre Malphettes is interested in the landscape, the elements that compose it, and the relationship that man has with this environment.