Guillaume Robert

Residency logbook
Programme Hors les murs de l'Institut Français 2014, Péloponnèse, Grèce
May 2014


Guillaume Robert, work in progress, 2013-2014

Checking Arcadia, checking on site, in vivo, the Arcadian character of Arcadia (in today’s Greece following on the heels of an artistic, literary and mythological genealogy). To do this, Guillaume Robert set off with Julien Quartier (performer and choreographer) to wander round that at once mythical and real region called the Peloponnese. Paradoxically, the checking activity involved bringing out the artifice and artefact in the landscape. It began in a mobile sewing and construction workshop enabling them to set up a schematic and optical camp. This research will be used in a film with shepherds and goatherds in the Peloponnese region.

 Guillaume Robert is laureate 2014 of the programme "Hors les murs" of Institut français.

The projects Vérifier l'Arcadie received the "aide au projet" from FNAGP and the support of Région Rhône-Alpes.

Conception, images: Guillaume Robert
Interpretation, couture: Julien Quartier
Construction: Julien Quartier, Guillaume Robert, La Fabrique

Production: Mamie Küsters, Lyon

After the film Nos mots nos mains nos morts [Our words our hands our deaths], the projects Global gardenAngola, and Drina, and the installation La paupière, le seuil [Eyelid, Threshold]Vérifier l’Arcadie emphasizes the composition of a general nature lived in by an archetypal humanity. Here, the human is set in motion, manufacturing, working on artifices in the mountains of Arcadia: Oh beats, thistles, Oh broom bushes, rain, fog, dry rivers, the white billy goat, the lamb, Spring. 

The opaque, exogenous artefact that man sews, and that he erects in the meadow, beneath the walnut three, masks, cleaves the Arcadian ideal which thrives all around. Splitting to the rhythm of the sewing machine, the thread, needles, scissors, making a sarcophagus, a sign, a collection. 

The opaque, exogenous artefact that man sews, and that he erects in the meadow, beneath the walnut tree, masks the supporting structures, steel, industry, plastic, protects the Arcadian ideal that thrives all around. Protecting, isolating the rhythm of the sewing machine, thread, needles, scissors, covering the pitfalls. 

Once again, what takes precedence is not the objects that are made, but those making themselves, in the continuous present, the camera records this construction, these preparations made by Julien Quartier. And sometimes for a torrent that is too close a music of knackis rises up, for a hat that is too red, a hairiness that chokes itself, Magnum. 
You wash your teeth in the stream, you are terrified by rust-coloured snakes, the flock stares at us, the moon makes the sky blue. 

Small, guttural shepherdess, heavy backpack, black, on which a manga image is exposed, we can’t see your face under your eyeshade, nor your arms under your anorak. You don’t have a stick, but your voice. We have two sticks, bought at Astros, a pickaxe handle, and a shovel handle, to ward off the dogs, and the snakes in the grass. We bang the ground ahead of our feet, this year we won’t seen any tortoises.



In the summer of 2013, Guillaume Robert continued the project at the CIAP at Vassivière. He transposed the performance and film arrangement into the landscapes of the Plateau de Millevaches, and made the video Vérifier l’Arcadie (préambule), the start of the work in Arcadia.

"Vérifier l'arcadie", préamble, 9 min


Partners: Institut français, FNAGP, Région Rhône-Alpes, CIAP de l'île de Vassivière, Fort du Bruissin, Mamie Küsters.

Thanks to: Revue Nioques, La Fabrique, famille Chastel, Mélina Faka, Michel Oudot, Laurent Pichaud, Nicolas Poussin, Jérémie Robert et Yasmine Youcef.