Bertrand Lamarche - Le Terrain Ombelliferique

Video 4/3, 23 min, sound
Music Erik Minkinnen
Production CNC (DICREAM) / DRAC Île-de-France
Ed. 4 + 1 AP
Collection MAC VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine
Collection Les Abattoirs, Musée –FRAC Occitanie, Toulouse 

Bertrand Lamarche, Le Terrain ombelliférique, 2005, exhibition view at Frac Centre 2012 © Nicolas Brasseur
Bertrand Lamarche, Le Terrain Ombelliférique, 2005, exhibition view at Frac Centre 2012 © Nicolas Brasseur

The Umbelliferous plot, which exists in the form of a digitally animated film and a text by the artist, initially published in the Nancy catalog in 1998 is a project to plant giant umbels to create a wild garden, “offering a dramatic shift in scale’’ and thrusting the visitor into an Alice in-wonderland like landscape.

The Umbelliferous plot is exclusively planted with giant Hogweeds. The surface of the land is perfectly flat, even though it ls covered by foliage in its horizontal density, which testifies to this flatness for the visitor standing up to the knees in this thick green carpet. The parc is large and dense enough that visitors can loose site of all visible bearings, beyond the hogweeds. However, it possible to keep one’s distance from the plants if one wishes, by staying on the alleys cutting through the park. They are necessary because one must not touch the umbels. When in bloom, simple contact of the skin or rubbing the leaves or stems causes visible skin painful and persistent eruptions. A light but fully covering suit, with a hood, and gloves are advised when visiting the Umbelliferous plot. .

Text by François Piron, in «Drag city», in The Funnel, edition HYX, 2008