Romain Legros: Argelàs. Graphic design: Nadja Zimmermann
Artist book, 64p, newspaper, 38 cm x 28,5 cm. With photographs and texts by Romain Legros. French. 2011. 200 copies. Collection editor: Delphine Bedel. Design editor: Barbara Fedier. Publishers: Geneva University of Art and Design, Monospace Press, Amsterdam. ISBN: 978-2-9700712-8-0. Copyright: Romain Legros, HEAD- Geneva 2011. All rights reserved.
The Argelàs series is a key entrance to reading a landscape through a practice and its constructions : huntersʼ guardhouse chase in the scrubland of Marseille in the south of France. These huntersʼ houses, authentic rupestrian constructions with a raw and brutal architecture, unique and singular, that are passed on from generation to generation, are built from materials found on location and other brought from town. Alternately, they appeal to the bunkerʼs architecture, a childʼs hut, the house or even the borie*. Genuine privatized areas within the communityʼs public territories, these houses are like small islands inventing themselves a notion of intergenerational property.
In this scrubland that seems to come out straight from a Pagnol novel, with the town in the background, interactions landscape/hunterʼs guardhouse are various. In addition to the camouflage matter (not always easy), the houses act on their own little world. For practical reasons, the guardhousesʼ surroundings see themselves being transformed. The nearby territory is marked out with multiple constructions and installations dedicated to a hoped and expected prey but whose presence is getting more and more scarce. Vegetation is cut, dead trees are planted and the cimeaux** and partègues** cross-rule the space with their vertical and horizontal lines. This hunting practice gives us as a second reading a built landscape, completely artificial. The hunter, in this case close to an architectural and artistic practice, intervenes on the territory with installations leaking from his guardhouse on the world. Argelàs enables us to see these hills that reveal themselves like a secret.
Romain Legros (translation Sonia Chanel)
* Farm huts made with dry stone shaped like a beehive or a body able to reach a height of several metres **Occitan vocabulary to name horizontal and vertical traps
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