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Esch 2022, connection to the land with Justine Blau

Starting 25thSeptember, the Luxembourgish artist Justine Blau presents her project “I am a part of a landscape” at Annexe22 in Esch’s “Brillplaz”. From 25 September to 20 November 2021, the project will be on display in Pavillon Annexe22. Thanks to the glazed front of the cube on the "Brillplaz", visitors have access to the artwork during the day and during the night.

The project “I am a part of a landscape” questions the connection to the land in the context of migration and displacement. What remains of the landscapes and territories left behind ? What remains of the places brought to life by the words of our ancestors ? In our flesh, but also physically in the places we left ? How do we deal with the loss of enchanted landscapes ? Saudade, the past in the present. Between nostalgia and solastalgia. Our identities are connected to a country, and yet, we know that nothing is fixed, all is transformation. I found these beautiful words by artist, author and activist Jeannette Armstrong on the Okanagan culture*, to whom she belongs. She describes their “connection to the land”, bringing us back to our own:

« The Okanagan word for ”our place on the land” and “our language” is the same. […] This means that the land has taught us our language. […] We also refer to the land and our bodies with the same root syllable. This means that the flesh which is our body is pieces of the land come to us through the things which the land is.[…] We are our land/place. Not to know and to celebrate this is to be without language and without land. It is to be dis-placed. The Okanagan teaches that anything displaced from all that it requires to survive in health will eventually perish.[…] As Okanagans, our most essential responsibility is to learn to bond our whole individual selves and our communal selves to the land. »**

The sound installation proposed for Annexe22  includes interviews with Adriana, Sofia, Soraya, Eva and Katy, women living or working in Esch-Alzette, all having a connection to migration. Their flesh is made up of fragments of land and stories. Justine Blau

*The Okanagan is a population of Native Americans whose homeland spans the border between Washington State in the United States and the province of British Columbia in Canada.
** Jeanette Armstrong « Keepers of the Earth », in Theodore Roszack, Mary E. Gomes et Allen D. Kanner éd), Ecopsychology : Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, Sierra Book Club, 1995. p. 323 (appeared in « Quel Monde voulons-nous ? », Starhawk, édition Sorcières, 2019)

Justine Blau adopts a multidisciplinary approach in her work, mixing sculpture, installation, photography and video. Through her projects, she deals with ontological questions about the relationship between man and nature, the image and the living world.


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