Paysages en exil seeks to create, along the hospital of La Grave in Toulouse, an experimental journey in which the visitor is invited to explore an uncanny landscape, a condensation of climates, a mix of natures from all over the world. The project finds its genesis in the description of “wandering plants phenomenon” made by Gilles Clément :
“Plants travel. Grass mostly. They silently move in the way of the winds. Nothing can stop the wind. By harvesting clouds, one would be surprised to get imponderable seeds mixed with loess, fertile dusts. In the sky yet unforeseeable landscapes are being designed. Chance organizes the details, uses every possible vehicle to distribute the species. Everything suits the transport, from ocean currents to shoe soles. Most of the trip belongs to animals. Nature charters birds, berry eaters, gardening ants, subversive and quiet sheeps, which fleece holds fields and fields of seeds. And also man. Restless animal, always in the move, free swapper of diversity.”
(from Gilles Clément, Eloge des vagabondes - www.gillesclement.com)
In an acclimatization space, a long agricultural greenhouse, medicinal plant seedlings are prepared originating from all five continents, as a reference to the wandering plants and to the curing function of the hospital. There the journey begins as the visitors enters an infinite bright tunnel and feels the climatic distortion. "Blindly" picking one of the 2000 plants up (a gift in a white paper bag), he continues his path and enters a thick cloud, a dense mist formed by the spraying of the Garonne river on its bank and the Viguerie footbridge, through 1000 nozzles. Here the microscopic droplets naturally lower the temperature from 35°C to 19°C, sight is blurred, humidity saturates the air creating a new climate, an atmospheric architecture. Still carrying his seedling, he then experiences in this abstract, disconcerting humid environment the random trip of those invisible wandering landscapes through storms and clouds. At the end of this vaporous trail, discovering what species he picked up and what diseases they may cure, the “traveler” is invited to replant the seedling that he has carried into a new habitat, wherever it may be.
Architects : Nicolas Dorval-Bory, Raphaël Bétillon
Intern : Paula Gonzalez Balcarce