Sentiers Suspendus

four sketch maps – drawing series
Material: canvas 130×80 cm. and thread

„The map does not tell you where things are, allowing you to navigate from any spatial location you choose to any other. Rather, the lines on the sketch map are location you choose to any other. Rather, the lines on the sketch map are formed trough the gestural re-enactment of journeys actually made, to and from places that are already know for their histories of previous comings and goings. The joins, splits and intersections of these lines indicate which paths to follow, and which can lead you astray, depending on where you want to go. They are lines of movement. In affect, the walk of the line retraces your own walk trough the terrain.“

“A Brief History of Lines” by Tim Ingold

  • First series developed in collaboration with the children from the Rose-Oemischen primary School Berlin

This project is part of a research project concerning our perception of space and the presence of the line and its use in our society. In 2007, I discovered a text on the notion of “sketch maps” by anthropologist Tim Hingold in his book “A Brief History of the Line” *, and I wanted to try an experiment as part of a residency, by offering students at the Rose-Oemischen Primary School in Neukölln, Berlin, to draw me their daily routes. The result was a series of drawings that I transposed into large format, this was the first step of the project.

*The sketch map does not indicate where things are, it does not allow you to orient yourself between any point and another. The lines of a sketch map reconstruct gestures of already proven travels whose starting and ending points, already known, have a history of comings and goings. (…) These are lines of movement. The “movement” of the line traces your own “walking” in real space.

This first step consisted in transcribing the memorized path on paper, then transposing and enlarging the shapes obtained, the latter are sewn on the canvas: the trajectories are represented by a thread that is inscribed on the surface of the canvas and connects the different points marking a change of direction.

The choice of the son was made for two reasons, the first referring to the myth of Theseus, with the idea of finding one’s way back by following the son and the second that of inscribing the line in a surface, while creating a volume as fine as it may be, leaving a trace of the journey made in space, the large format being justified by the enlargement of the shapes obtained and their perception as its own space. The colours were chosen by the children.

These drawings are the basis of a work that transcribes different itineraries, different perceptions of space, creating a series of flat surfaces where the memory of a daily movement in the city is inscribed. A route influenced by urban roughness, which is simplified by a geometry of lines recalling the architectures encountered and integrated (physically) from one point to another.

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