artists / researchers


Françoise Parfait


2010 | video | colour | sound | 2' | overhead projected | looped

digital prcessing by Yannig Willmann

production Suspended spaces

Françoise Parfait experienced Famagusta by discovering the beach and its spectacular viewpoint over the seaside neighbourhood of Varosha, then by trying to drive round the ghost town, inland. It was there, along the fence that encloses the residential neighbourhoods furthest from the sea, that her attention focused on a house standing right by the barrier around the town occupied by the Turkish army. Returning three times and in different seasons to this house, Françoise Parfait recounts these repeated encounters thus:

“First visit: My attraction towards this house and its beauty is one that recalls the  stored-up models of childhood—the square, well-off family holiday home in the country with the grandparents—but it soon fizzled. A contrary movement, a sort of scattered dread that I did not immediately understand, gradually imposed itself: there was something that wasn’t quite right, a kind of disproportion, anachronism, incongruousness, in those proud, erect flowers, with their yellows that were too green, their stems too long, their density “out of place” for a small window box. Those household flowers were no longer being watered except by chance rain brought by the weather’s whims; spring was beginning and winter must have been generously cloudy. A feeling of embarrassment at the idea of seeing in this abundance of vegetation something monstrous, suggesting that something really wasn’t right, something was abnormal and haywire, something was not as it should be in that house beside the road, like so many village houses. Behind the peaceful appearance of a tamed nature was hidden, barely concealed, the trace of abandonment, beneath signs of shapelessness and disorder. Second visit: Time has passed and shriveled the oversized plants, leaving on the façade skeleton-like shadows, disembodied and dark. The dry weather had come, as if irremediable. And then my next visit rediscovered the hues of spring—a new spring.”

Botanica Entropica is the overhead projection of the image of the house. The shot is static, the picture’s grain extremely clear, without any apparent movement, vibration or pixels. Only the soundtrack consisting of small unidentified rustlings conjures up a miniature development of something, an invitation to stay and take a longer look at this image (sitting on the bench opposite it, for example). By a slow morphing procedure between photographic shots taken during her different visits to these places, Françoise Parfait’s video proposes a joint existence between the artificial and timeless fixedness of the building, the sky, the road and the discreet growth of the vegetation subject to seasonal variations.

Charlène Dinhut - Eric Valette

Translated by Simon Pleasance & Fronza Woods