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Les Heurtoirs du pas de ma Mignonne
Jean-Luc Brisson

Mediator - Luc Jourdinaud, Pierre Marsaa
Supporters - Fondation de France, European Union, Town of Excideuil, Groupama
Excideuil, Dordogne, France, 2002

The context

A few years ago, a walking trail in the landscape of the cliffs was set up but the karst circuit needs to be redesigned. Caves line this route but are not accessible because of security reasons. However, they have a history that is important to the inhabitants of the village because it was the meeting place for young lovers. Moreover, one of the caves, by its natural concretions, would be worth as an archaeological site, which is why the patrons want to make the hidden part visible to visitors. The artist Jean-Luc Brisson, struck by an improbable discovery of bear leg bones in these caves, had the idea of making them in cast iron and sealing them in the rock at various points of the site. By hitting these knockers against the rock, the walker can experience the nature of each of the sites through listening.

The commission

Struck by the unlikely discovery of bear leg bone in these caves, the artist had the idea of making casts of them and incorporating them into the rock as door knockers at various points in the community. The track is therefore punctuated by a rhythmic scansion. By hitting these knockers against the rock, walkers can discover the nature of each of the sites by audience. The mystery remains whole, but even so it can be revealed in this way. Although this proposal was immediately accepted by the patrons, the same ones did not really agree with the artist's garden project envisaged to strengthen the modernization of the community. For Jean-Luc Brisson, it seemed appropriate to give an undetermined appearance of the garden, the fallow land to an uncertain future. An artistic proposal of this type can really disrupt a vision that is more determined by functional imperatives. Mediators are then called upon to manage tensions in relationships to the best of their ability. Thus discussions continue between the artist, mediators and bosses, and the exchange of ideas as a fundamental principle is always the orientation of future work on "Le Pas de ma Mignonne".

Jean-Luc Brisson

Jean-Luc Brisson is the director of the plastic arts department of the École Nationale Supérieure du Paysage de Versailles, co-editor in chief of the Carnets du Paysage (Actes Sud), author of numerous books between poetry and theory, often full of drawings, he lives and works, from one end of the Durance to the other, between the Alpes de Haute-Provence and Marseille. "Having failed to get the garden accepted as a mode of artistic expression, I decided to make a garden only as a project manager. Even innovative places in contemporary art sometimes become very conservative when it comes to gardens. If they want to make a garden in front of their building, it will be lawn and flowers. Perhaps because the garden is part of the public space, we suddenly refuse to take risks." (Jean-Luc Brisson)