Confinium is the latin expression ancient and medieval European scholars used for horizon. It refers to a surrounding finity, which we challenge as being both a temporal and spatial condition for the experience of nature as landscape and of landscape as being the theatre of history.
In Renaissance history paintings, landscapes often surround historical events, acting as an immuable host to the changing human thought, destiny and politics. The dichotomy the idea of landscape introduces furthermore reflects the dichotomy between the self and the object, thus dissociating human nature from an environment that has yet increasingly entered the anthropocene. In his essay Philosophie der Landschaft (1975), Georg Simmel writes that ”the sensitivity for the particular phenomenon of “landscape” emerged only at a late stage of Western history precisely because it presupposes the loss of the unitary feeling for the whole of nature. It is only the process of individuation of inner and outer forms of existence, the dissolution of the original bonds and ties into differenciated spheres—this great formula of the post-medieval world—that ﬁrst lets us see landscape in nature. No wonder antiquity and the Middle Ages had no feeling for landscape; the object itself had not even come into existence in the mental distinctiveness of perception and in the developed independence of its form.”
The exhibition aims to offer three diverse yet affiliate approaches to the disentanglement of landscape and history. Léonard Martin reenacts and animates canonical scenes from the history of art in outlandish abstract landscapes, which offer no index of an immuable nature, questioning the temporal structure of painting and the organicity of landscapes. Sophie Kitching intervenes on documents recounting the experiences of bygone landscapes, thus emphasizing their function as imaginative and narrative projections of the individual and collective history. Alizée Gazeau‘s landscapes evaporate in their temporal superpositions, revealing the intrinsic agency in their aperception.