Through her videos, Ariane Michel aims to change our perceptions of the natural world. In her videos owls, trees, walruses, horses are the actors, becoming almost human and identifiable. The work exhibited at Gallifet is one of Michel's first and typical of her artistic approach. ‘Aprés les pluies’ (After the rains) invites us to visit the forests of the Gard, after the violent floods of September 2002. We discover the destruction left in aftermath; land that has become a hostile space, desolate yet majestic. We meet a stray dog, who guides us. With him, we walk the rugged ground, smell the atmosphere and are surprised by birdsong or the rustle of leaves. Cinema allows us to experience the physical, auditory and temporal relationship that the dog has with its environment.
Michel’s work projects us immediately into the animal's perception of the world. Pushing against the constructed boundaries between of "nature" and "culture", she re-establishes a continuity between Man, his environment and the animals that inhabit it. There is no distinct moral judgement in her work, but rather a poetic and sensitive invitation to deconstruct our anthropocentric conception of the world.
A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Ariane Michel (1973) has shown work in numerous contemporary art institutions (Fondation Cartier, Centre Pompidou, CREDAC Ivry). She has also gained recognition in the world of cinema (Locarno Festival, IFF Rotterdam, Grand Prix of the French Competition at FID Marseille 2006). Her latest film-performance project, Il Concerto dell'acqua, was presented in Venice during the 59th Biennale and was a tribute to the city and the water that surrounds it. Ariane Michel is represented by the Jousse Entreprise gallery.