work 'in situ' ]
upon deciding to work together, we chose a field of experimentation
independent of our respective activities. We wanted a common and
neutral middle-ground, a studio without walls. Sites were to be the
frame, or stage, for the dramatization of different relationships:
between us, us and others - our partners, the local population, etc.
- as well as between us and places that were otherwise forgotten,
forsaken, overlooked. Fragments of nature or of the countryside
which, finally, were often quite close and familiar.
B/B art project considers the site with care and makes careful use
of it. Our involvement is always geared to a technical-visual
solution adapted to each site-situation. The point is to materialize
- on a specific spot, and through it - a process of temporary
appropriation, the passing possession or transient taming of a
place. This is essentially a matter of experience - direct and
intense - there is no room for simulation. Site-work is a matter of
reacting to a place, so as to activate or inactivate it. This means
relying on the givens of the site, interpreting it and its
surroundings, considering its history - in ecological terms - so as
to adapt to or alter the order of things; the latter being the more
critical aspect of our intervention.
I Following a sort of technical
mimesis, our operative modalities are drawn from the local
environment and, generally speaking, from the fields of agriculture,
architecture, ecology, and photography. There are no trade secrets
or special skills. The re-appropriation and re-interpretation of
ordinary modes of territorialization - however transient - produce
the ordered figures of our respective positions. That is, ways of
being-in-the-world and inhabiting it, a co-existence congruent with
the facts of the site: weather, schedule, and social modes of
adoption and co-adaptation. Our rites of
appropriation-inhabiting-dispossession involve the process of
emergence and abandonment of a site, a passage, a transitory
condition. To tame a piece of land is to try to make it one’s own
at the same time that it shapes one - while the co-habitation lasts.
It is a drama with three actors: the two of us and a site that is
I The finished
work demands an active attitude on the part of the spectator. It is
an invitation to act/react, not just because of an implicit
adherence to the artwork, but because of the experience of the site:
frequentation/appropriation. Thus our installations often include
footpaths that penetrate the installation and facilitate its
occupation. The phase of dispossession heralds that of the social
and local disappearance/integration. This involves a tacit contract
with the physical and social milieus.
I In recent years we have been
giving special emphasis to developing a greater integration of the
spatial, temporal and social factors. The salvaging of sites in the
process of losing their meaning involves a social dimension in which
spaces are re-activated, in which our critical gaze creates figures
not always expected, but that we wish to see emerge.
I Spatial expansion of the
intervention from tens of square meters to hundreds of hectares
modifies our relationship to the work: to its size, if not scale.
Here, the means require more than ever that we anticipate, work in
teams, and organize the construction of specific interventions.
Temporal extension from months to decades requires another
relationship to the site and the duration of the realization.
Site-work enjoins us to take the cyclical dimension of time into
consideration: when the maintenance of a site becomes the sine qua
non of the existence of our work, but also when other time-frames
are involved - years to decades - when the masses in play oppose
their inertia to disappearance.