As part of the program set up by the City of Cergy for the European Heritage Days on September 18 and 19, 2021, students and young graduates of the Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris Cergy (ENSAPC) – Manon Laurent, Sinae Lee, Rudy Levassor, Katia Louis, Shumeng Li, Arthur Motais de Narbonne – have been invited to take over the Park of the House of Anne and Gérard Philipe. Acquired by the post-war icon of French theater and cinema, and the writer in 1954, the bourgeois stone residence was built in the second half of the 19th century in the heart of a 5-hectare park planted with trees. Specifically designed for this green setting on the banks of the Oise River and near Dani Karavan’s Axe majeur, the students’ works and performances explore the links between nature and artifice as well as the history of the location.
Rudy Levassor, 2021 graduate
Vivisections is a set of sculptural modules that mix industrial wood and branches from the pruning of the city of Cergy. Playing with the contrast between the two materials, industrial and natural, the pieces reuse an obsolete material, which, in relation to the trees of the park of the house of Anne et Gérard Philipe, creates a visual confusion. At the intersection between art, design and architecture, these modules of varying dimensions serve as much to punctuate the space as to provide seating for visitors and shelter for birds.
Manon Laurent, 2021 graduate
Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps
Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps is a sculpture conceived in resonance with the poetic and bucolic atmosphere of the park of the house of Anne and Gérard Philipe and with its inhabitants: the birds. A metal structure similar to the surrounding vegetation gathers at its ends several species of flower seeds present on the site and its surroundings. By randomly sowing the seeds in the garden and beyond, the birds activate the installation and become actors. They reveal their essential role in biodiversity.
Shumeng Li, student in year 3
Étude pour cordes
Étude pour cordes (Study for strings) is a performance that stages the beginnings of a musical apprenticeship. Improvised in situ with the guitar, the mandolin, the pipa and the zhongruan, the melodies are inspired by the surrounding nature of Anne and Gérard Philipe’s house using objects found in the park. Involving new gestures and unexpected sounds, the performance questions learning as an act of exploration of oneself, of others and of the environment that surrounds us, a leap into the unknown. The performance will take place at 4pm and 6pm on September 18th and 19th.
Arthur Motais de Narbonne, student in year 4
Popcorn is an installation where popcorn packets face “crystal gem” corn plants, a variety with mysterious origins planted this summer by the association Les Incroyables Comestibles, in collaboration with the artist. The notion of “spectacle” – as an event both fascinating and alienating – is at the core of the proposal and questions the roles of those who act and those who watch.
Sinae Lee, 2021 graduate
Plusieurs ciels de 16h
Presented in the former greenhouse of the garden, the installation Plusieurs ciels de 16h (Several skies at 4pm) brings together photographs of the Paris sky taken by the artist and photographs – taken by her family at the same time – of the sky in Seoul. By bringing together these “two” skies, which are separated by an important spatial and temporal distance, the installation materializes the artist’s distance and nostalgia towards her country of origin.
Katia Louis, student in year 2
Dans les draps
“And I imagined the imaginary furniture escaping through the large openings
Leaving the linens in their wake
The trees were catching up with those sheets
And then in the middle of the sheets
were drawn the images that I collect since I live in Cergy.
Through these hanging linens and the paintings sewn into them, the intimacy of these places mingles with my own.”