On the glass façade is reflected the "most beautiful stream of the kingdom" (Henry IV). At the foot of the building flows the quiet river Charente, which for centuries has offered its equal strength and peaceful course to the industrious and commercial enterprises of its neighbours. At the end, the ocean, it's swell breaking, its currents, its tides, its abysses, its elsewhere. Our region has spent more time as seabed than as land. In anticipation of the river floods, the building built for the FRAC Poitou-Charentes ten years ago has kept all the space under its slab free for ebb and flow. This plot was once occupied by a boathouse. From a maxim - "You never bathe twice in the same river"- Heraclitus meant absolute and perpetual change: everything changes all the time despite certain appearances of immutability. So human achievements aimed at eternity are in vain. Our massive activities may already have an accelerating impact on the pace of cycles or processes that were once natural. Water, nourishing or devastating, subjects life to its abundance or scarcity. It gives the tempo of fulgurating mutations or seemingly infinite continua. It gives humanity and the individual the experience of its finitude. The clepsydra, water clock, is given for having been, almost 4 000 years ago, the first system of precise measurement of the time which passes.
Delphine Coindet's Rock, an artefact relating to the solid a conceptualized nature, is a fragile and fungible image, sculpted from a piece of digitized landscape. By Amphibious, Paolo Codeluppi and Kristina Solomoukha translate the impermanence of waters as much as they give a metaphor of the uncertain paths of exploration, study, research and creation. Made extremely tangible by its radical volumetry and its raw matter, sculpture-architecture to practice, Pierre Malphettes' Light Cube House is at the same time a fisherman's hut, an underground hut, a Zadist, a hermit and a luminous image of precarious or ascetical states. Davide Balula's Puddles freeze within reach of humanity, ricochets, and wet feet, the water cycle between the sky and the depths. Inhuman, disconcerting and of a terrible beauty, La Mer, by Ange Leccia, imposes its steel pulsations when Muriel Toulemonde's River takes the bodies, cries and lives of carefree bathers at full speed out of the field and out of time. Boris Achour, for his part, frames and sequences the immersion experience in a self-portrait in apnea. The arrangement of a stool and a simplistic model of a house by the water's edge is enough for Didier Marcel for a striking evocation of emptiness, of disappearance (of drowning?) while a clever sculpture in paper mâché and cement on a base allows Laurent Le Deunff, with Conch, to make us accessible the zoological wonders of the deep sea and their shell-like subsistences. Alexander Bohn