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Guillaume Logé's picture


Researcher (Art History and Environmental Science) & Art advisor for the Mobile Lives Forum

It is alongside a highway under construction that we find Robert Smithson, whose work we analyzed in the previous post . Where does this long expanse of asphalt the construction equipment is unfurling actually lead? What does it tell us about the way we develop? What drives us to build it?

The death of Robert Smithson in a plane crash in 1973, while flying over one of his works in progress, helped forge the mythical aura of this American artist who, at age 35, left behind a literary and artistic legacy that would deeply impact the art world. Smithson’s flight clearly refers to his last, tragic flight, but above all seems an appropriate way of describing both the general attitude of an artist whose thinking developed as a consequence of a life spent in perpetual motion, and the reflections he gained around the airplane, as we will outline in this post.

The first part of our interview with Jean-Jacques Lebel showed us how mobility helps us to build our perspective, giving us access to the freedom and autonomy necessary for individuals to manage themselves. The second part of the interview addresses wandering and drifting from the standpoint of social and political emancipation.

Interview with Jean-Jacques Lebel, a major artist and unrivalled actor and witness of some of the most important artistic movements of the second half of the 20th century. His work has an unusual relationship with mobility, addressing it simultaneously as a learning, creative and liberating process.

Poet, novelist and mathematician, Jacques Roubaud began integrating the systematic practice of movement into the process of creating his works very early on. In most cases, the scope of his travels is limited to that of cities, neighborhoods and transport lines in France, England, the US, Japan and elsewhere. He has collaborated with artists such as Christian Boltanski and On Kawara, and is currently working on the texts to accompany a series of photographs by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster for the Yvon Lambert Gallery and Nathalie Obadia Gallery. This collective work retraces the journey the two artists took together to London, following directional cues derived from the Kolakoski mathematical sequence throughout their trip.

The creation of the Industrial Heritage Trail provided a link between and coherence of the various constituents of the Ruhr territory. The trail is an integral part of the region’s founding identity, on which its conception was based. While intended as a tourist trail, it is also a trail that reflects the virtuous exchange between culture and economic and social development.

The study of the wanderings of children with autism carried out by Fernand Deligny’s network over the course of a decade opens up thinking about the determinants of travel, our ability to express our own mobility identity and the invisible at play in our relationship to space and to others. More broadly, it is mobility as an ontological expression that we are called upon to conceive.

Impressions on the artworks displayed during the International Meetings of the Mobile Lives Forum.

Simon Starling’s use of travel acts both as a mirror of the irrational development models of our societies and as an invitation to invent other practices.