Feu Forêt

Feu Forêt (a word play, in French, between « forest fire » and « will-o’- wisp ») here plays with the notion of fire using four different means: a video installation, a large-scale computer graphic,  and two mixed-media pieces.

The installation comprises a projection on which the viewer is invited to witness the burning of a perfectly symmetrical tree: a Christmas tree, to be precise. This absurd and somewhat sad spectacle serves as an archetypal representation of duration: that lighting a flame leads inevitably to its extinction. The computer graphic is an extension of the video installation, a large-scale image incorporating flames and fire motifs based on photographs taken during the shoot. The processing of the original photographs uses fire and light as patterns that can lead to abstraction. The  first mixed media piece consists of  a wooden board onto which ten small LCD screens are integrated.. Ten holes have been perforated  in the plywood in order to show videos which display a single fir tree burning. Their gleam and their sparks give them an air of bright Christmas ornaments. The  second mixed media piece consists of a collage of multiple computer graphics which, once assembled, form a mosaic of 120 centimeters by 180, inside which is cut the shape of a fir tree. The mosaic is affixed on a board of plywood.

One of the most interesting problematics addressed by this project relates to the various temporal relationships that stem from the interaction of these images with their videographic counterparts. The flame and the act of burning are by the very essence temporal events, of limited duration and in constant flux. These same characteristics are found in the video image. The photographic image, on the other hand, while referring back to the notion of temporality, does so by freezing the time consumed.

Éric Desmarais