“let yourself be transformed by the forest”
Experimenting or creating in situ, in the forest, with researchers, institutions… as I undertake in my work, is a way of freeing oneself from the idea of a nature that we protect, that we study, turn into sanctuary, or that we look at as a work of art: the landscape.
In other words, a nature put at a distance since antiquity, subjugating as an object and separated from the living. By building the idea of cohabitation, like re-building a biocenosis, working with the forest. Neither submissive nor dominated, it is to be at the side of, with the forest. But above all we might seek to be transformed in return, in our own questions as a researcher, as an artist, in its experimental protocols, in its “modeling” techniques. Changing perspectives, acting in response. Finally, I hope, to help build a subject-tosubject relationship, which seems to be the only long-term answer to the emergency.
Sara Favriau graduated in 2007 from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (workshop of Giuseppe Penone). In 2014, she won the Discovery Prize of the Friends of the Palais de Tokyo and the Prize for the best installation awarded at the emerging YIA Art Fair. In 2020 she began a long-term collaboration with INRAe and biologists from the Mediterranean Forests Unit. Sara Favriau questions both the work and its ecosystem, its circularity. She summons forms, symbols and processes of a popular nature in order to transpose them. A hut, a canoe, an arch, a tree, the voguing… are elements that are part of her formal and conceptual vocabulary. It is an encounter between past, present and future that she has been developing for years. This crossbreeding is at the heart of her intentions: to interweave metamorphosis, fiction, essay in a simple form and according to essential actions, like a canoe-tree that crosses a sea to find a forest. A work that renews itself, and thereby questions its status as a sanctuary (exhibition, acquisition), towards a possible living status (evolving work, replayed, transformed, altered, etc.). A virtuous mixture approached with humor, whose poetic form exists even in the title of her works.
In 2016 Sara Favriau benefited from a personal exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo: “Repetition in the end, does not have fun with its singular repetition”. In 2017, she exhibited in a solo-show at the Château de Chaumont, at Independent Brussels and carried out a residency: “Arts and the world of work” with the Ministry of Culture, in partnership with the CNEAI. In 2018, she participated in the first Biennale of Bangkok Beyond Bliss as a guest of honor. In 2019, she completed the French Los Angeles Exchange (FLAX) residency and took part in the first Rabat Biennial. In 2020 she was invited to the Villa Noailles for the International Fashion Festival where she exhibited an installation of sculpted trees from a plot of forest studied by INRAe near Marseille. In 2021, a canoe tree crosses the Mediterranean Sea, from the Pesquiers salt marshes in Hyères, where the canoe was made, to the Carmignac Foundation on the island of Porquerolles.
In 2021/2022, she was doing a residency at the Royal Commission RCU and French Agency Afalula, operated by Manifesto, in AlUla, Saudi Arabia. Her work is present in many public collections: FMAC (collection of the city of Paris), FDAC Essonne, FRAC Normandie Caen, FRAC Centre, MAC VAL (permanent installation), BAB (Bangkok Art Biennale)…