“We don’t perceive the climate, we perceive through the climate.” Tim Ingold
In what ways does environmental awareness influence our perceptions? How does it change the transmission of narratives or our relationship to landscapes?
As an artist, I consider myself a gate keeper. I constantly go back and forth between individual and collective histories or environmental history. I open gaps, passages, which allow me to bring together the diﬀerent scales of human and non-human memory.
Through my research I use many mediums such as installation, video, documentary, photography, painting, silkscreening, stencilling and event production. However, my work is mainly concerned with imagining the protocols from which all these forms emanate. For example, the records of the criteria for the photographic shoots that I produced at the outset of the project Les Vaches de Monsieur Yoshizawa (2014) testifying to the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Similarly, the Internet platform of exchanges on which the correspondences of Mémoires Contemporaines (2018) is based, which collects the criteria of anonymous people concerning the conservation of their digital images. Or the mapping principle of the project Strates (2020) that guided trips through the Grenoble Mountain Metropolis landscape, which resulted from a sensitive perception towards the atmosphere. These protocols allow other people to participate in the production of my works, which is the case for many of them, being the result of collaborations. The images I work with are either oﬀered to me or produced by me, without any distinction. The idea is to nourish my own practice through these exchanges and to encounter the diﬀerent uses of photography today.
Furthermore, I question through diﬀerent processes the capacity to transmit certain materials, potentially specific to our geological era: the Anthropocene. They are the result of human and/or non-human activities, such as the elementary particles present in the air and in the water from the passage of animals, pollens from plants or even plastics, concrete, automotive body paint, etc. I use these materials to embody images, thus confronting them. Several of my recent works, such as Strates (2020), uses giant stencils industrially printed from photographs that are placed in diﬀerent environments in order to directly impregnate the stencil’s base with elements present in these landscapes. Another approach led me to interview Lucille Royan, Restorer of Contemporary Collections at the George Pompidou Center in Paris, in the video work entitled Restaurer (2020), I asked her for anecdotes related to the durability of the materials that make up the works in these collections and the restoration problems she has encountered due to this issue. An earlier work Fukushima mon amour (2011) had already, in another way, questioned an ancestral landscape practice by bringing together the structure of a Japanese Zen garden with elements such as tar and glass bubbles, in addition to the traditional moss and rocks.
My aim is not to show the alteration of landscapes by pollution – in the ecological and committed sense – but to amplify the perception of our current environment, because as an artist, I feel concerned by this issue. What does this ‘trace’ found on my works of human activity and processes considered ‘non-human’ say about us? About our time? My experiments are therefore more like an attempt at an augmented perception of reality, a sensitive deployment.
 A term meaning “the human era” that was popularised at the end of the 20th century by the meteorologist and atmospheric chemist Paul Josef Crutzen.
Yves Monnier (b.1983) is an international artist who lives and works in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, in South- Eastern France. He has a varied multimedia artistic practice consisting of photographs, serigraphs, stencils, installations, videos, correspondences, events and projects that adopt protocols. He entered the École Supérieure d’Art de Grenoble in 2003, obtaining his Diplôme National d’Arts Plastiques in June 2006, then lived in Vilnius and studied at the Fine Art Academy of Vilnius until December 2006. Following this he obtained his Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique with honours at the École Supérieure d’Art de Grenoble in June 2008. He was a member of the first collective of the Ateliers des horizons from 2017 to 2018, at the Magasin, CNAC, Grenoble. Since 2020, the artist has been working in partnership with researchers from the CNRS, the CRESSON Laboratory, the PACTE Laboratory and Grenoble Alpes University in Grenoble. He works regularly with Japan and the USA.
My first experiences were with a collective of young visual artists: the Collectif Sans Titre (CST) from 2004 to 2010, based in Grenoble. I was invited to exhibit on numerous occasions in art centres including Le Centre d’Art Contemporain de Lacoux (2009), Espace Vallès (2010) and La Conciergerie (2011). Also during various regional events such as the Parcours Départemental d’Art Contemporain de l’Ain (2009), national events such as the Résonnances de la Biennale de Lyon (2011) and international events such as Concept App’Art organised by the Collectif Sans Titre in 2008 and 2010 between Marseille, Grenoble, Lyon, Mulhouse and Tokyo.
In 2014, I initiated a Franco-Japanese artistic collaboration with the photojournalist Sayuri Arima and Mr. Masami Yoshisawa, a farmer, in the framework of the project Les Vaches de Monsieur Yoshizawa (www.lesvachesdemonsieuryoshizawa.com). Following this, in 2017 I developed the Memoires Contemporaines project (www.memoirescontemporaines.com).
From 2017 to 2018 I was a member of the Collectif Poisson Lanterne: the first collective emanating from the Ateliers des horizons, at the Magasin, CNAC in Grenoble. The group organised, among other things, a retrospective of Les Vaches de Monsieur Yoshizawa in 2017 and the event Contrée des Risques in 2018. This led me to collaborate with Bétonsalon, Centre d’art et de recherche, Paris, during events of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation, Nous ne sommes pas le nombre que nous croyons être (2018).
Today I am represented by the Gallery l’Antichambre based in Chambéry in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, in South-East France and have participated since 2018 in the Zurich Contemporary Art Fair.
Since 2020 I have been working in partnership with multiple researchers in the environmental humanities between France and the United States, in particular on the STRATES Research Workshops of the Sensibilia National Research Agency Project based in Grenoble and Still on the Map: learning from the Mississippi Delta of the University of Grenoble Alpes in partnership with the University of Baton Rouge, Mississippi, USA.
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