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© Félicie d'Estienne d'Orves




From 7th november to 2nd December 2017.

opening on 6thNovember at 6:00pm

With the artist, free entry

The Sorbonne Artgallery hosts a selection of nine original images from spatio-temporal explorations by Félicie d'Estienne d'Orves in the Atacama Desert (Chile) and in the Bonneville Salt Desert (Utah - US). Here, the artist points out to the laser a real-time activity of cosmic space. The images, if they seem to superimpose a virtual reality on real physical objects, literally project our thought into the sky.  Through a subtle synergy between his observations and his mastery of the effects of light on our immediate environment, Félicie d'Estienne d'Orves contextualises a singular perception of our cosmographic environment. The research-creation work she began alongside astrophysicist Fabio Acero is an undeniable engine of this new series of the artist. The visualization of the data of the real to which it leads here gives the opportunity to question our intimate relation to cosmic space.

To walk the desert is to make the physical experience of the relation to the horizon.The further one goes, the further it recedes. Atacama and Bonneville are enriched by a night horizon that offers the naked eye a detailed image of the cosmos, a sky covered with thousands of celestial objects. The apparent proximity of the luminous points is deceptive, some celestial objects are close (a few light-years) others are several thousand AL of the Earth. The gaze which gives a reading of this celestial vault, dissolves little by little in the multiple temporalities of the visible stars.


It is this paradox that I explore between the Euclidean scale of the desert and the current models of the universe. In ephemeral land art installations, I use light vectors (laser pointers) to highlight perspectives, spatial and temporal connections between celestial and geographical coordinates. On sites where the clear horizon provides a visual balance between the ground and the sky. The laser then becomes a tool to direct the gaze on celestial objects in the white page of the desert.


The laser, a modern rule of surveyors (laser standard), is a means of positioning itself in the cosmos. This large-scale drawing tool allows me to establish spatial relationships according to the sites with light as interface. The beam of the dense and rectilinear laser defies by its scope the perception of space and gives the sensation of «touching» at a distance.


The repeated actions of the series «Cosmographies», connect the sky and the earth by geometric combinations and architecture ephemeral sculptures of light between nearby objects and deep sky. At a given moment in time and place, the plots of light manifest the relations of simultaneity between the continuous movement of the Earth and that of the cosmos. The series of photographs underlines a suspension of time between these two immensities.

COSMOGRAPHIES, 23 ° 11′14 ″ S, 68 ° 0′16 ″ W / SIRIUS
(NOV. 13TH, 2016 - 2 am - Alt: 2500 M)

Félicie d'Estienne d'Orves, born in Athens in 1979, lives and works in Paris.

Combining light, sculptures and new technologies, the work of Félicie d'Estienne d'Orves questions the process of vision and the conditioning of the gaze.His installations call for a phenomenological knowledge of the real, they emphasize the perception of time in a continuous movement. Since 2014, the artist has focused his research on astrophysical space and the study of natural light cycles.

In 2012, on the occasion of a commission from the City of London she realized her first installation of lasers «Geometry», a sculpture of motorized mirrors that projected elementary geometries drawings in the sky of London. As a result of this project, she envisions continuing this project in the more radical context of the Atacama desert, in land art. She started in 2014, a collaboration with field recording musician Julie Rousse, around the land art project in Atacama. Their first production «EXO» (Nuit Blanche de Paris - 2015), is a laser installation that reads the sky like a music score. They associate the light of lasers projected towards hundreds of celestial objects, stars, planets, black holes, pulsars, GRB... with an electroacoustic composition of the musician*.

COSMOGRAPHIES, 23 ° 08′14 ″ S, 68 ° 14′6 ″ W / PLEIADES
(NOV. 8TH, 2016 - 11 pm - Alt: 2500 M)

Félicie d'Estienne d'Orves has been collaborating since 2011 with astrophysicist Fabio Acero (AIM laboratory, CEA/Saclay) on art-science installations such as Supernova (2011) and EXO (2015) that allow us to grasp the distances and time scales of our universe through the artistic vector. In 2016, they developed the Light Standard series which reintroduced the idea of cosmic time relating to natural rhythms as a reference system.  Each standard corresponds to an object in the solar system and follows the time it takes for light to reach Earth for each of them.  Either 8 minutes for the Sun, 2 to 15 minutes for Venus, 3 to 22 minutes for March, 4 hours to 4 hours 19 for Neptune, etc.The work of Félicie d'Estienne d'Orves was presented at the Centre Pompidou -Nuit Blanche - Le Centquatre/ Nemo (Paris) - New Art Space/ Sonic Acts (Amsterdam) - Watermans Arts Center (London) - OCAT (Shanghai) - ICAS (Dresden) - BIAN (Montréal) - Aram Art Museum (Goyang/Korea) etc. The Cosmographies in the Atacama Desert series project was carried out with the support of the CNC (DicrÉam), the French Institute (PACA), Diffusing Digital Art and Second Nature.

*The «EXO» project will be presented at the Friche Belle de Mai in Marseille on 19 May 2018 (Diffusion: GMEM, Production: Seconde Nature, Bipolar).

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