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La Seine, un diorama végétal

paintings, Parisian lemon stones (lutecien), algae and aquatic plants, water from the river Seine, 2018.

photo credits © Brigham Baker


Just like in a scenography set up, the canvases by Marie Griesmar are floating in front of the windows and bathing the exhibition room in a subtle turquoise light. These are paintings inspired from footage of the bottom of the Seine, aiming to recreate sensorial experiences of this place both close and inaccessible to our eyes. For her project at DOC, Marie Griesmar took an interest in the Parisian river ecosystem and more precisely in the plants that are naturally appearing there but are systematically removed. During floods, seeds and plants are dragged by the river before settling on the shores where they start growing. However, the city of Paris prevents them from blooming by cleaning the riverbanks from all vegetation, but for a few discreet traces that remain visible in places that are hard to reach. And yet, beneath the surface, a wild world blossoms. It’s this invisible organic life that Marie Griesmar is making visible in SLOW SLOW KINESIS. The bottom of the pond in the exhibition room is covered with a canvas similar to the ones hanging in front of the windows. It matches the fluvial scenography of the show. In the water, limestone rocks typical of Parisian architecture are a mineral base for the landscape the artist is recreating in DOC. Some of the stones have been previously immersed in the Seine for several months and bear the traces of the underwater organic life. Algae from the Seine are progressively colonizing the water surface and lead us to picture a city where nature and vegetation would take part in the formal definition of the urban landscape. An ecosystem is slowly developing under our eyes while the elements that compose it interact without external constraint. In shifting our attention towards the symbiotic relationships that rule over this biotope’s life rather than the usual parasitic status of these plants, Marie Griesmar encourages us to look differently at this familiar environment and to question the scope of human influence over a landscape, as urban as it may be. Plants always end up reappearing on the shores of the Seine.
text by the curator, Simon Würsten Marín



If Bees Flew Under Water

Published by DOC Paris for the exhibition SLOW SLOW KINESIS in Paris

With Brigham Baker, Marie Griesmar, Simon Würsten Marín

Design by Guillaume Mojon

purchase: here at Motto Berlin 

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