Dans l’épaisseur de nos lisières, là où naissent les dragons

Group show
Domaine départemental de Chamarande, Chamarande (FR)

Michèle Magema


Everything now is territory.

In him are condensed all the aspirations and all the tears, all the projected futures and all the fantasized stories. And all of them – promoters, quackgrass, beavers, robins, bramblers, gardeners, GMOs, politicians, bees, farmers, bark beetles, inhabitants, lawyers, butterflies, owners, tenants, landscapers, wild boars, zadists, bears, shepherds, wolves, hunters … – seem to claim a “territory”, the same often. Because if it is true that with it emerges a labyrinth of lands where our imagination likes to drift – the near and the distant, the known and the unknown – a territory seems to first covet itself, before offering itself to reverie and desire.

But perhaps it is inherent in the notion itself which, since the 16th century, fragments space into exclusive and excluding plots defended by the arms of their inhabitants; unknown lands are explored and conquered; borders are reproduced on maps and limited in landscapes. Also, it is neither insignificant nor innocent that the word “territory” is currently enjoying such success, well beyond its sole geographical circumscription. Because everything, henceforth, constitutes territory – Art, the Intimate, the Me… – and therefore conflict: the Republic – again it – disputes with the Barbarians – again them – a territory as universal as it is abstract. During this time, we deplore that that of the Machine encroaches on that of the Human, which encroaches on itself, and on all the others. And all of them are scrapping noisily.

However, does the territory condemn us to the balance of power between pretenders who have become belligerents? Is it all just a matter of defenses and attacks, checks and invasions? Or can we question the modern understanding of the notion to adopt new perspectives? For that, we may first have to dodge the territory, follow its contours to redefine it from the intense rustle of its margins. So no longer conquering it, but taking it with the caution of a child who quietly enters a border, both worried and curious, impatient to flush out the sleeping dragon over there. It is only then that it shudders and comes to life: it is no longer this gloomy plain, an expanse of fenced areas to cross to reach the other side, but a mental landscape taking shape as we travel. It is no longer this passive reservoir of fungible resources, but becomes alive, with its memory and its stories, its uses and its ways of being inhabited. It gains in thickness and becomes a body, in the hollow of which it lodges. And within it, the intimate and organic link between collectives of plural beings is permanently reactivated.

These territories require new aesthetics: they need images, shapes and materials to imprint themselves on the surface of our retinas and our senses. They ask for a new cartography, which is no longer content to be the simple copy of the relations of domination and exploitation but which aspires to the creation of new worlds. They are waiting to be drawn, told, embodied. This exhibition is dedicated to some of these stories.

Gilles Rion


Artists : Cathryn Boch, Jordi Colomer (with Anne Houel), Suzanne Husky, Michèle Magema, Kathleen Petyarre, Abraham Poincheval, Eric Tabuchi & Nelly Monnier (ARN), Nasturtium Vever, Brankica Zilovic

More information here



Opening Saturday 15.04.23
Wednesdays to Fridays, 2pm > 6pm
Saturdays and Sundays, 1pm > 6pm
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Exhibition until Sunday 15.10.23

Departmental domain of Chamarande
38 rue du Commandant Arnoux
91730 Chamarande (FR)


Read more about Michèle Magema.