Khurtova / Bourlanges

Artists residency in Atelier Holsboer, at la Cité des Arts, Paris
from 01 April till 30 September 2014

more informations on The Sky is on the Earth

Selected and supported by the Mondriaan Fonds

– The archive of Jacques Bourlanges

The deep and complex research of Jacques Bourlanges (Marie Ilse’s grandfather) was
on finding a tangible correlation between the position of star constellations and cities,
villages and meaningful landmarks in Europe, and mostly in South of France.
His assumption was that –not only geographical landscape information but also– stars had a subconscious influence on shaping our constructed environment.

At a first glance, we were absolutely impressed by the profusion of maps, notes and sketches, filling to its maximum the 24 archive boxes, as well as how visually appealing this whole archive turned out to be.
Therefore, we have properly recorded all documents and research with pictures and listed an inventory. Content-wise, the research of J. Bourlanges is quite broad, and involves different fields: toponymy, legends and symbols, geography, astronomy and astrology, as well as genealogy and heraldic study of Noble families (mostly in France). It all makes sense when reading his book "the Sky is on the Earth", which zooms in regional, historical and folkloric facts or legends, therefore creating imaginative links between each star constellation and a particular region on Earth.
A few side projects are dedicated to looking for clues to finding the legendary hidden treasure of the Templars, as well as a thorough research on Joan of Ark, and the development of several chemistry and engineering patents.

In parallel, we are inviting for "conversations" several experts of the various fields involved in the research of Jacques Bourlanges, s.a a toponymist and archivist of the Archives Nationales, the chairman of the European Study for Western Esoterism (professor at the Sorbonne), a mathematician, as well as people that knew and followed Jacques Bourlanges in his obsessive quest for finding mysterious hidden links.

– Intervening (with and around the archive)

What is striking in this archive is its massive physicality, even in the most compact form: folded. In those folds are embedded and encrypted many mysteries, quests, questions, ideas, and thoughts.
We chose to focus mostly on the (folded) maps, which become a constant subject of new interpretations. As a rhizome (of Deleuze and Guattari), the map appear as a tool which multiply the access to a reality, and affirm its complexity, multiplicity and singularity: "there is no cartographic truth, only multiple ways to testify of the world through maps".

By isolating elements of Jacques' research, playing with folding transparent layers and collages method, our process explores logical and illogical approaches and creates new links between form and content. Finally, the (im)possibility of unfolding - to its maximum - the content (of one's mind?) is translated into a spacious installation, as well as a series of small scale interventions.

On a larger scope, our investigation is an attempt to make visible and partially unravel the mysterious way one's mind can function: obsessive and compulsive, logical and associative, pragmatic and unreasonable…
The tactility of the works echoes to the fragility of physical traces we may leave behind, as well as the ones superimposed on us and our physical environment by higher forces.