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2014-05-29

RozO at PAV

Archive 2
Blending in with the vegetation - Vegetation is an anticolonial weapon.

The archive images presented here are from the film Chiến thắng Tây Bắc' (The victory of the North West) shot in 1952 by the military forces in Viet Minh during the war against French occupation. Here vegetation is a tool employed in the struggle by the weakest against the strongest. We do not refer here to the art of camouflage, nor to a return to a primitive state: rather it is used as a subordinate weapon for the preservation of autonomy. Vegetation is often used as a political agent in asymmetrical or revolutionary wars, as theorised by Mao Tse-Toung and Ho Chi Minh. These images also demonstrate a form of counter-planning of the land that allows topography (plains and mountains), geography and the ecosystem (the forest or the savana) to be used as a weapon. These images depict the strength of the soldiers who become one with their territory. I am the territory. They inhabit it, and reconstruct it as something else. Thousands of soldiers travel across the country without using the established infrastructure. Instead they use pathways that allow them to avoid detection by the French occupiers. In this way they invent a new map. This map subverts the relationship between city and countryside, and the new territory is built from nature (the countryside) towards culture (the city). Where, previously, bamboo rafts were used to cross rivers, here Giap built invisible bridges, along the Ho Chi Minh route, made from bamboo and positioned 10 centimetres under the surface of the water to allow them to escape the enemy's bombardment of the infrastructure. As well as the refinement of these particular inventions, what stands out is the use of vegetation to support the resistance effort.




Archive 3
The deconstruction of the indigenous landscape Vegetation as a colonial weapon


These archive photos were taken by the French Army. They were taken between 1956 and 1958. They document harvesting in Algeria. In this case, it is the French Army that are doing the harvesting, protected by elite soldiers and armored units of the French army on behalf of leading colonisers. These images clearly depict the yield obtained from the land, and the exploitation of agriculture for the benefit of the coloniser. But these images also show the critical aspects of the transformation of the landscape. On the one hand, we note the radical planning of this territory in terms of the intense cultivation of cereals. The intensive monoculture is designed to produce the maximum possible yield. On the other hand, a process of transformation of the territory is under way. Aside from the word "Algeria" written on the grain sacks, it seems that we are witnessing a French cereal farming region. Here vegetation is clearly used to assimilate and acculturate. Vegetation is employed by the attacker and coloniser of a country or region, to deterritorialize its inhabitants. Rendering the natives foreigners in their own land was a technique that frequently used by colonisers. In the 20th Century, following the invasion of Poland, Nazi Germany implemented a wide-reaching process of “Germanisation” of the territory, to render it German. 




Vegetation as a political agent exhibition at PAV

Today the plaiting of the leaves is starting.
Camille Sevaye is at work !

27 05 2014













The first plaited leave !




Vegetation as a political agent Exhibition at PAV

The structure is nearly finished.

26 05 2014





2014-05-27

At the exhibition Vegetation as a political agent curated by Marco Scotini at the Parco d'Arte Vivente ( PAV), RozO is presenting a triptyque called "When vegetation is not decoration".

This project is speaking about the vegetation used as a political agent in the control of territories in the colonial and South post-colonial world. Vegetation is not only decorative at the scale of private gardens, it becomes a tool of planification and of management of the territory or on the contrary a tool for resistance.
In that case, it offers a possibility to escape from the colonial grid to disappear. Vegetation as also been used to create the conditions to live different and autonomous lives apart from state autorities as James Scott describes it in his book "The Art of not Being Governed" or as Philippe Zourgane describes it in his text "Architectural Free Zone". This installation at PAV is presenting in this  tryptique three uses of vegetation in Reunion Island, in Algeria and in Vietnam during the XXeme century. This work is realized only with archives. Vegetation can be a tool to conquer new territories  but also a precious help for the resistance struggles or simply allow to enjoy life out of any control.

Archive 1
The Green room (Sal Vèrt) - Vegetation is an anticapitalist tool 

The green room that will be built in the installation is an archive. It is the reconstruction of a temporary kind of space that was used to be built in Reunion Island by the popular classes since the abolition of slavery up to the XXth century. The green rooms were built for the celebration of important moments of family life as weedings, baptism, birthdays or kabars (parties). They were often built on squatted plots in the neighborhood or in one's own garden. The green room has a bamboo structure that is covered with braided coco leaves. The bamboos for the structure were cut in the countryside and the coco leaves for the cover were cut in the family, friends gardens, along the roads, along the streets or in public gardens. Once the celebration over, it is common that the bamboo canes are stocked for futur reuse and that braided coco leaves are used again for another use : protect young plants from the sun. Very often also, those green rooms are abandoned , the vegetatl elements dry in the sun and decay with the seasons.

Vegetation is used here as an anticapitalist tool to enjoy life. This architecture is free, it is built with free materials, it offers a free use on a free piece of land. It is built in a collaborative way with the family, friends, neighboors...

Tomorrow Archive 2 ...

At the exhibition Vegetation as a political agent curated by Marco Scotini at the Parco d'Arte Vivente ( PAV), RozO is presenting a triptyque called "When vegetation is not decoration".

This project is speaking about the vegetation used as a political agent in the control of territories in the colonial and South post-colonial world. Vegetation is not only decorative at the scale of private gardens, it becomes a tool of planification and of management of the territory or on the contrary a tool for resistance.
In that case, it offers a possibility to escape from the colonial grid to disappear. Vegetation as also been used to create the conditions to live different and autonomous lives apart from state autorities as James Scott describes it in his book "The Art of not Being Governed" or as Philippe Zourgane describes it in his text "Architectural Free Zone". This installation at PAV is presenting in this  tryptique three uses of vegetation in Reunion Island, in Algeria and in Vietnam during the XXeme century. This work is realized only with archives. Vegetation can be a tool to conquer new territories  but also a precious help for the resistance struggles or simply allow to enjoy life out of any control.

Archive 1
The Green room (Sal Vèrt) - Vegetation is an anticapitalist tool 

The green room that will be built in the installation is an archive. It is the reconstruction of a temporary kind of space that was used to be built in Reunion Island by the popular classes since the abolition of slavery up to the XXth century. The green rooms were built for the celebration of important moments of family life as weedings, baptism, birthdays or kabars (parties). They were often built on squatted plots in the neighborhood or in one's own garden. The green room has a bamboo structure that is covered with braided coco leaves. The bamboos for the structure were cut in the countryside and the coco leaves for the cover were cut in the family, friends gardens, along the roads, along the streets or in public gardens. Once the celebration over, it is common that the bamboo canes are stocked for futur reuse and that braided coco leaves are used again for another use : protect young plants from the sun. Very often also, those green rooms are abandoned , the vegetatl elements dry in the sun and decay with the seasons.

Vegetation is used here as an anticapitalist tool to enjoy life. This architecture is free, it is built with free materials, it offers a free use on a free piece of land. It is built in a collaborative way with the family, friends, neighboors...

Tomorrow Archive 2 ...

2014-05-24

Philippe Zourgane was part of the seminar and workshop "Geography Law and Border" that took place at the "Altonaer Stiftung für philosophische Grundlagenforschung" Foundation from the 16th to the 18th of may 2014 in Hamburg, Germany.

Here is the presentation of the workshop :
"We want to explore particular aspects of spatial power in legal and geographically oriented research and thinking. The workshop would be something of a continuation of earlier ASFPG workshops on "Law, Colonialism and Violence" but with a focus on the overlapping terrain of spatial power and legal order. It will bring together people working with interdisciplinary approaches to legal theory, politics, and social and cultural geography. One aim would be a discussion about the lack of connection between geographically-oriented thinking and legally-oriented thinking regarding what could turn out to be the same questions. 

Particular topics: sovereignty, territory and jurisdiction as geolegal forms; aspects of spatial power; mobility and borders: labour and migration; colonial spaces; national and geopolitical orders; practices and technologies of violence; territorial integrity and geopolitical legality; policing the city (sea, sky, any- thing)."

Read Philippe Zourgane's abstract.

Find all the abstracts on the following link :
http://www.asfpg.de/english/17303/Workshops/WSVal/WSValmai14/Abstracts/valmai14abs.html

2014-05-12

An exhibition at Parco d'Arte Vivente -Torino in Italy

The concept of Vegetation as a political agent gives its name to a collective exhibition curated by Marco Scotini that will take place at PAV in Torino from the 30th of may 2014 to the 31th december 2014.

Read more about the event on the PAV website ...