A contribution from Mathilde Sauzet Mattei for the collected volume INLAND, an inquiry into the existence of cultural, artistic and agricultural practices, and the relationship between rural and urban spaces edited by the artist Fernando Garcia-Dory at the Dutch Art Institute in 2015.
The farm of La Mhotte is an informal and experimental institution located in a rural area in Auvergne, France. It is run by a group of people who live and/or work on the site on notions of autonomy and commons, through new approaches towards agriculture, horseback riding, cultural programming, tourism, currency, publishing, local food distribution, property, etc. Bureau d’Etudes, a duo comprised of artists Léonore Bonaccini and Xavier Fourt, decided to settle in this farm six years ago to develop their artistic practice (for which they mainly use cartography) with the aim of rooting itself in a specific locality and creating local anchorage.
This research aims to understand how La Mhotte contributes to the production of cultural resources and social imaginary for new societal models. I would like to bring out the role of art in the structuring of abstract values such as language, knowledge and empowerment.
This folder presents three moments of a research on the farm of La Mhotte : the first is an interview conducted two years ago in order to document the project, the second a recent Skype discussion with Xavier, following their proposition for Les commissaires anonymes to move to the farm to work on a professional collaboration ; lastly, a diary written during a one-week residency we undertook at La Mhotte in the beginning of April 2015. Gabriel Mattei, the husband of Mathilde, conductor and musician, was progressively associated with this research.
The complete volume is a collection of case studies classified in six chapters :
Industrial Capitalist Earth Model
Reinventing the vernacular / Eco-feminism & neo-indigenism
Worlding / Worldviews
Making it Happen - Hands at work
Test fields of practice
“ INLAND is a project that examines the role of territories, geopolitics, culture and identity in the relationship between the city and the countryside today. It´s aim is to introduce the possibility of contemporary art practice in relation to the rural, and how that context might modify the way art happens and circulates." Fernando Garcia Dory