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It is an extraordinary garden...
cest-un-jardin-extraordinaire - ARTACTIF
June 2022 | Temps de lecture : 12 min | 0 commentaire(s)

About the Domaine des Etangs de Garance Primat, in the Limousin.

Get ready to go to the Charente Limousin: Valérie Bougault's article in the new issue of Connaissance des arts makes you want to go for a walk at the Domaine des Etangs, in Massignac.  Not far from the castles of La Rochefoucauld, Rochebrune and Rochecouard. It must be said that the idea of crossing the symbolism of the dragonfly with the concept of contemporary art is simply brilliant!

 « The Sun » d’Ugo Rondinone

« The Sun » d’Ugo Rondinone

"Relatum-L’ombre des étoiles" de Lee Ufan

« Relatum-L’ombre des étoiles » de Lee Ufan

For everything here is a work of art. The flora and fauna, such as the sculpture "The Sun" by Ugo Rondinone or the installation "Relatum - Shadow of the Stars" by Lee Ufan. The latter was installed last autumn on the edge of a crater formed by a giant meteorite that fell two hundred million years ago. Jean-François Magnan, a forest ranger by trade, makes sure that the herd of red Limousines does not have the foolish idea of one day pushing with its snout or hoof the beautiful circular expanse of small glittering pebbles on which stones have fallen there as if by chance... The white marble ring signed by Richard Long, which also rests in the heart of the thousand-hectare property, is certainly less accessible for cows.

Reading this article, there is no doubt: we have found paradise on earth, and God is a woman. Her name is Garance, her name is Primate. Worthy of the great patrons of yesteryear, the rich heiress of this immense nature reserve, which doubles as a luxurious hotel complex, had the wonderful idea in 2015 of combining her taste for modern and contemporary art, her appetite for environmental protection and her business sense: may she be thanked for it! Around the 13th century castle, the farmhouses, an exhibition space and a library, on the slopes of the valleys and meadows, on the edge of the ponds, the works of art have gradually been installed as if by magic.

At the Domaine des Etangs, nothing is decided in advance. Things are done when they become obvious. Thus "Formes premières", the sculpture by Tony Cragg recently purchased, has found its place quite naturally in this new spring, joining Wang Képing's "Venus de l'étang" carved on the spot in a diseased tree, or the golden Russian dolls of Irina Rasquinet's soothing installation, with the sweet name of "Mère veilleuse". Jean-François Magnan is also there to watch over the return of the bees or the purple spider, the herds of deer, the companies of wild boars or the growth of alders.

Garance Primat has entrusted Audrey Zecchin with the task of building up the collection by purchasing about ten works of art per year, and to propose an annual exhibition. After Yves Klein in 2019, the Argentinean artist Tomas Saraceno took over the exhibition space last July, with the exhibition "From the Ground to the Sun", extended until October 2, 2022. Conceived as a stroll through human and non-human universes, revealing the infinite and fragile links between a spider's web and a balloon flying without fossil energy, floating gardens and celestial phenomena, this exhibition invites us to build lasting relationships and to envisage new poetic ways of being in the world. Like the Domaine des Etangs.

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