Joya: AiR / Thibault Duchesne / France
“The doors of the 2000 Land Rover slammed.
All my senses needed to be readjusted as I stood in the sun - looking at that vast territory of silence.
Joya: AiR was built on an ancient farm, lost in the Sierra Maria-Los Vélez. Yet, whatever the reasons were to settle in such a hostile territory, generations had inhabited and cultivated this land. In these isolated places, inhabitants have a unique relationship with time and history, often protected from the destructive, as well as regenerative, flow of modernity.
Territories, territories, territories; I became obsessed with the idea. I was exploring the land, experiencing it in all its physicality; and allowing the flow of the mental afterimages develop within me.
I wanted the project that I was going to work on to be linked intimately to the environment in which it would be created. Almería is the only region in Western Europe considered as desert. In late August the whole landscape has been dried out under an unforgiving sun, and the presence of water is only revealed through the scars it has left in the land during the storms. The sun. Over a few days I laid papers, partially covering them with cardboard and stones. As an almost esoteric ritual, I removed shapes and stones carefully as the paper was being bleached.
I was interested in using one dimension to reveal a new one: the use of time in order to create space. Newly-opened territories emerged from the ghostly architectures that appeared on the surface. The paper returns to its primary organic nature, adopting the pigmentation of the landscape, inviting us to thread through a new space of rêverie.
As Emerson reminds us in his essay “Nature”, «In the tranquil landscape [...] man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.»
Joya: AiR is that space and time”.